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Air Raid Precautions
Training Pamphlet No. 2
OBJECTS DROPPED FROM THE AIR
Issued by the Ministry of Home Security
Crown Copyright Reserved
HIS MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE
Price 4d. net
Copies will be sold only on written application to His Majesty’s Stationery Office, York House, Kings way, W.C.2, by a Clerk to a local authority, a Chief Constable, or by a principal of a public utility company or industrial or commercial concern.
15. LEAFLET-CARRYING BALLOONS
Two types of German leaflet-carrying balloons have been found so far, one khaki and the other silver, but apart from colour they appear identical. As will be seen from the illustration (Figure 28), they are in the form of a vertical cylinder with rounded ends, and measure when deflated about 16 ft. by 13 ft. They are made of rubberised fabric and have a long fin of some 4 to 5 ft. at the base.
Figure 28.—German Leaflet-Carrying Balloon
Figure 29.—Leaflet-carrying Box: Cross-section
The leaflet-carrying box is slung underneath, and consists of a small cardboard box in cube form with an 8 ½ in. side, in the centre compartment of which is a simple clockwork mechanism. Around this are four compartments (see Figure 29), containing bundles of leaflets which are held in position by wire bands until the moment of release.
The clockwork mechanism drives two pulleys; round one is wound a thin wire and round the other a silk cord. The thin wire unwinds off the pulley under the impulse of the clockwork and lets fall the wire bands clear of the bottom of the box, thereby releasing the leaflets. In a small compartment adjoining the clockwork a dry cell is held between two spring clips. Leads from this cell are carried into a small bag of flash powder, and contacts on the clockwork side are arranged to give a delayed action.
When the box is found unopened on the ground, it is only necessary to reverse the battery end for end in the clips to prevent this powder being fired. Injuries have been caused in certain cases through the omission to take this precaution.
16. LEAFLET-CARRYING PARACHUTES
Prior to the use of balloons for this purpose, the Germans dropped leaflets by means of parachutes, the leaflets being carried in bundles and secured by a simple wire device which was broken open by a small explosive charge. It is possible this practice may be resumed.