What does most of the damage in a bomb? The actual explosion/fireball or the shockwave?


What does most of the damage in a bomb? The actual explosion/fireball or the shockwave?

In: 22

There are 5 different effects a bomb can produce: penetration, blast, fragmentation, debris, and incendiary. The type of target and how far away it is from the bomb will determine how much the target is affected by each. As a rule of thumb, blast is the main destroyer of buildings, especially if the bomb detonates inside, and fragmentation or debris is typically what gets people.

This would be a looooooonng answer and I’m not going to give it fully. I’ll outline the factors though. Depends on the type of bomb (incendiary vs regular vs bunker busters vs tons others), type of building (is it a shack? a house? is it made from wood or concrete? What kind of concrete, and how thick?), how well the building is made and where exactly the bomb hits.

If you talk about high explosive the shockwave is what is produced from the high explosive reacting is the shock wave. So asking it is the explosion or the shockwave is like asking if when someone hit you with their fist in the head if it was the hit or the fist impacting you head that hurt?

You are missing common bomb damage, that is fragmentation and other stuff that move quickly as a result of the explosion. Bombs dropped by aircraft ofter are by weight 50% explosives and 50% the metal casing that will be broken apart and thrown out at high speeds and fragments are ready at a longer distance than the shockwave.

The fire explosions you see in movies/shows is 100% not real life. That is Hollywood using diesel to get a ton of smoke and flame.

A real explosive used by the military gives off nearly no smoke nor fire unless it was a device *meant* to do that, like an incendiary device or a smoke device. The explosive is designed and formulated to transfer as much of its mass into force energy, not light nor heat. A military explosive looks like a sudden white pop even if that. That force creates a pressure wave which can burst organs and atomize matter as it hits it as well an propel fragments.

Here is a real live grenade.


When it goes off, the dust you see is from the ground debris, not the grenade. You will actually not even see the actual explosion of the grenade since it is soo efficient in turning the explosive into force and not light nor heat.

Unless it is napalm or another incendiary device, the force of the shockwave or fragments in the shock wave will kill you, otherwise the fire will kill you.

Short answer , It depends on the kind of bomb. Incendiary bombs damage things differently than an HE bomb etc.

Speaking about a general bomb:

The fireball does not exist irl. Yo get killed by the shockwave that smash your organs, at small distance the wave will remove some limbs from you. Further away, the debris the bomb throws around can hit and kill you. Last, you get buried by a collapsing building maybe.

That’s it for the common bomb.

Then there are anti people bombs, that are specialized into making shrapnels (the bomb contains thousand of bullet sized metal pieces, they fly around like an omnidirectional shotgun)