SD2 70B Fuze

Title: The Most Horrific Night in Grimsby's History
Author: P.M. Fenwick
Date: January 2016

In the early hours of 14th June 1943, the Luftwaffe dropped containers holding over 3,000 individual SD2 'butterfly' bombs which were scattered over Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Great Coates. Some streets were covered with high concentrations of these nasty, anti-personnel bomblets.

For some unknown reason, Grimsby was chosen as the only place in Great Britain where significant numbers of these 2kg submunitions were dropped. The heavy SD2 raid killed 99 people and seriously injured many more and the area was virtually paralysed for many days whilst new methods were devised to dispose of the huge number of 'butterflies'.

Wartime censorship meant that little was said about the raid outside the Grimsby area. It's assumed that the Luftwaffe never found out how successful the raid had been as it was never repeated on this scale again in Great Britain nor against the Allies at the time of the Normandy landings.

The terror and chaos in the Grimsby area was much increased by the clever mixing of the fuzing of the SD2s. The No 41 fuzes detonated the bomb in the air or upon hitting the ground (depending on fuze setting). The newer No 67 and No 70B fuzes were different. A No 67 had a clockwork time delay of between 5 and 30 minutes after arming whilst dropping. The nastiest of the three fuze types was the 70B. This was a 'booby trap' fuze designed to go off at the slightest disturbance after landing.

The 70B fuze in the photo, identical to those used in the Grimsby raid, is part of a private WWII collection in Lincoln. All such items have been made safe and are totally inert.

This infamous, Grimsby area 'butterfly' raid and those who lost their lives or who were injured must never be forgotten. Neither should the experts like the well-known Lt. Col. Eric Wakeling who risked their lives numerous times to make the area safe.

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