PDA

View Full Version : Airstrike



Emermouse
06-16-2014, 04:09 AM
Okay, I'm thinking of having my bad guys unleash an airstrike, basically bomb the city back to the stone age, on the heroes in my novel. But I need help. First of all, I need to know what it's like to be in an airstrike. What are you going to be seeing/hearing? But key among my concerns, while I know a lot of my characters are going to die, I want a few to survive, so is there any way of surviving this or do I need to scale back some? Is there anything you can do to survive an airstrike like, say, going underground? Any help would be nice.

Duncan J Macdonald
06-16-2014, 05:19 AM
Okay, I'm thinking of having my bad guys unleash an airstrike, basically bomb the city back to the stone age, on the heroes in my novel. But I need help. First of all, I need to know what it's like to be in an airstrike. What are you going to be seeing/hearing? But key among my concerns, while I know a lot of my characters are going to die, I want a few to survive, so is there any way of surviving this or do I need to scale back some? Is there anything you can do to survive an airstrike like, say, going underground? Any help would be nice.

Not sure if 'airstrike' is what you want here. Generally the phrase is 'call in an airstrike' which has the connotation of a limited response to a relatively small target.

If you want to bomb a city back to the stone age, drop a nuke. If you are limited to conventional ordnance, it is going to take a lot of bombing runs, spread out over a number of hours/days, to do it.

What your characters will hear depends on the aircraft delivering the bombs. Subsonic and you'll hear the drone of many engines coming your way, followed by waves of explosions moving in the same direction as the aircraft. Supersonic and you'll get the bombs before the sound of the aircraft, so less warning.

It is perfectly reasonable to have a few characters survive. Find them a subterranean shelter like a subway station, or a very deep cellar. People survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so a few measly tons of ordnance will be easy to survive.

badwolf.usmc
06-16-2014, 07:51 AM
Air strikes generally don't work like that. They normally don't drop ordnance "danger close", within the blast range, of troops.

While I have never been in an air strike, I have been close to explosives going off. You feel the shock waves in the ground and air, then you hear the blast. The air shock waves feel like pressure against your skin, ground shock waves feel like a waterbed, or an earthquake I imagine, but just for a moment. Fragmentation flies all over the place, you can hear it fly by or hit stuff. Dust and dirt are kicked up, your ears ring for a bit, even with protection.

Watch the beach assult scene from Saving Private Ryan, don't worry about the mechanic details, but the feeling your characters are experiencing.

cbenoi1
06-16-2014, 10:08 PM
Watch the beach assult scene from Saving Private Ryan, don't worry about the mechanic details, but the feeling your characters are experiencing.
HBO's Band Of Brothers, episode 6 (Bastogne), contains a scene whereby US troops are bombarded by the Germans.

-cb

Hallen
06-17-2014, 01:55 AM
Massive bombing can be done in multiple ways. It takes a lot more than you'd think to level a city. How big of a city are we talking about here and what is the technology level?
To level even a medium sized city, say 200k people, with conventional weapons would take a lot. You would need heavy bombers dropping thousands and thousands of bombs to do it. It would take several days at least depending on the number of bombers available.

People can and do survive these things. Once a bomb hits an area, the bombers generally do not target that area again unless there are things left standing. So, it's not like they keep pounding the same spot on purpose. Finding cover is critical. There are two things that will kill you, the concussion or blast wave, or the shrapnel. Something as simple as a fox hole will protect you pretty darned well. It keeps you out of the way of the blast and shrapnel. If a bomb hits you directly, well, forget it, you're done. Or, if something else falls in on you, well too bad. But if you do have good cover and you do get lucky, you can survive.

Trebor1415
06-17-2014, 07:34 AM
What tech level and time period? Present day/present tech or future/advanced?

Conventional munitions or nukes?

With conventional munitions in modern useage an airstrike is usually a precision guided munition dropped on a specific target, like a specific building. That's very survivable, just don't be in that building or make the building large enough that only part is damaged and they are in the undamaged or lesser damaged portion.

A WWII type strategic bombing mission involved hundreds of bombers dropping thousands of bombs on a city. Even then not everyone in a city died. The worst effects were the firestorms that killed thousands, but most weren't as bad.

A nuclear strike would destroy a city, but again, there likely would be survivors. You'd want more research on that specifically if that is what you are talking about.

cmhbob
06-17-2014, 08:07 AM
The Wikipedia entry on the Oklahoma City Bombing has some good images and casualty information, including a floor-by-floor diagram of injuries, and some before-and-after photos.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OKBomb

King Neptune
06-17-2014, 04:29 PM
Another way to bomb a city into rubble is the Dresden method: use enough HE to loosen things and break gas lines then use incendiary bombs in great quantity to start the loose pieces and hope that the buildings catch. If the buildings catch fire and it develops into a fire storm, then it will take some time to burn, but it (the city) will be finished when the fire goes out.

robjvargas
06-17-2014, 05:32 PM
Fuel-air bombs. MOAB's (http://science.howstuffworks.com/moab1.htm) (Massive Ordnance Air Burst, I believe). Daisy Cutter bombs.

There is a very impressive arsenal of conventional weapons available that make WWII ordnance look like firecrackers. All three types of weapons above are designed for air burst. MOAB's just a few feet above ground. This maximizes the blast radius.

WeaselFire
06-17-2014, 08:54 PM
Okay, I'm thinking of having my bad guys unleash an airstrike, basically bomb the city back to the stone age...
That would normally be called a bomb strike, bombing run or just bombing. Air strikes are generally more precise than an entire city.

That said, ever lose complete control of your bodily functions, be unable to make your muscles move and totally lose your hearing for most of a day? Welcome to a B52 bombing run.

Jeff