TV Mini-Series | | Action, Drama, History
Brian Ash is a young lieutenant who is assigned to a UXB unit in the early days of World War II. UXB (UneXploded Bomb) is the signal that an aerial bomb has not exploded. Ash's job is to ... See full summary »
The 'Butterfly Winter' story (episode 10) was loosely based on a true story. In reality the Luftwaffe dropped the 'Butterfly Bomb' (officially known as the SD2) on the towns of Ipswich, Grimsby, Hull and Cleethorpes, and on the island of Malta, but not in the south east as depicted in this episode. They were lethal 2kg cluster bombs that were not designed to go off on impact but rather were either on a pre-set timer or were triggered if they were disturbed. Unfortunately many small children were killed or injured by them when they picked them up thinking they were toys.
The Butterfly bomb was as disruptive as it was nasty, and particularly difficult to deal with. Many if not most of them that had not already detonated were set off in a controlled explosion as they were too fiddly and unpredictable to be defused. Due to the disruption they caused the War Office issued a 'D notice' which requested the British press do not report on raids where these were used. The hope was that by not mentioning it, the German spy network would not mention it in reports and therefore the Luftwaffe would consider the bombs to have been relatively ineffective and be discouraged from using them in future. The plan worked as the bombs were not dropped on any of the major inland cities in Britain.