TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



2. German Demolition Equipment

a. SAFETY FUZE BLASTING CAP AND ACCESSORIES (Sprengkapsel No. 8). (1) Description. This blasting cap is similar to the U.S. and British types. It is designed to fit over the safety fuze and be initiated by it. The initiator of the cap consists of lead azide and lead styphnate.

(2) Characteristics.

Length   . . . . .   2.36 inches.
Diameter    . . . . .   0.28 inch.
Packing   . . . . .   15 in wooden box.

(3) Bakelite Holder (Zünderhälter). This holder serves the double purpose of connecting the cap and fuze and permitting the cap to be screwed into the charge. It consists of a tube which covers the junction of the cap and fuze, and is enclosed in a bakelite cover. At one end of this cover is an externally threaded sleeve; the other end is covered by a bakelite cap with a central hole for passage of the fuze.

(4) Blasting Cap Igniter Set (Sprengkapselzünder). This is a prepared set with a cap in a bakelite holder, with a 3- to 6-foot safety fuze attached, and a safety fuze igniter. This provides a convenient short-delay demolition igniter.

b. SAFETY FUZE (Zeitzündschnur). The black powder train of this fuze is enclosed in strands of jute-like fibre and white cotton-like fibre alternately, the whole being covered with a bituminous paint, over which goes the black rubber outer covering. This safety fuze burns in air or under water at the rate of approximately 2 feet a minute. It can be initiated in the same way as U.S. and British safety fuzes.

c. ELECTRIC BLASTING CAPS. (1) Glühzünder 28. This consists of a cap, with twin leads of copper or iron, and a wire bridge. The whole fits into a standard bakelite cap holder. The copper leads have a resistance of 2 ohms; iron, 3 ohms.

(2) Delay Electric Blasting Cap (Glühzünder mit Verzögerung). These electric caps, which fire with a delay of 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 seconds after electrical initiation, are similar to ordinary electric caps except that there is a pyrotechnic delay pellet between the wire bridge and the cap proper. These caps have the number of seconds delay marked on a disc attached to the leads.

(3) Spark Gap Electric Blasting Cap (Spaltzünder). In these caps, the wire bridge has been replaced by a spark gap.

d. INSTANTANEOUS FUZE (Knallzündschur). This fuze has a soft, pliable, green, outer covering with a waterproof varnish finish, surrounding an explosive core. It will detonate under water, initiated by a cap, but the ends must be waterproofed.

e. 100-GRAM CARTRIDGE (Bohrpatrone 28). There are two types of this cartridge; one in waxed paper, and one in compressed paper. Both cartridges may be marked Bohr-Patr. 28, identifying the cartridge, and Fp.02 or Grf.88, identifying the explosive as TNT or picric acid.

f. 200-GRAM SLAB (Sprengkoerper 38). This slab is provided in two forms: in waxed paper and in a bakelite case. The waxed paper slab may contain either TNT or picric acid. Pressed picric acid is contained in the casing of two bakelite mouldings. The bakelite slab actually weighs 250 grams or 8 3/4 ounces.

g. 1-KILOGRAM (2.2 POUNDS) SLAB (Sprengbüchse 24). (1) Description. This slab may be made either of TNT or picric acid, in a pressure-resisting zinc container which permits it to be used at any depth of water. There are three sockets for standard caps and holders, or igniters—one on each face of the slab, excluding the base. Each socket is covered with a paper disc marked Sprengbüchse 24 and either Fp.02 (TNT) or Grf.88 (picric acid).

(2) Characteristics.

Weight   . . . . .   2.2 pounds.
Length   . . . . .   7.9 inches.
Width   . . . . .   2.9 inches.
Thickness   . . . . .   2.2 inches.

h. 3-KILOGRAM (6.6 POUNDs) SLAB (Geballte Ladung 3 Kg.). (1) Description. This slab, in a zinc container with a carrying handle at one end, has either three or five sockets for standard caps and holders or igniters: The container is pressure-resisting, and the slab may be used under any depth of water. This slab is often used with igniters for improvised mines. It is marked 3 Kg. on the side.

(2) Characteristics.

Weight   . . . . .   6.6 pounds.
Height   . . . . .   7.7 inches.
Width   . . . . .   6.5 inches.
Thickness   . . . . .   3 inches.

i. 3-KILOGRAM BALL CHARGE. (1) Description. The spherical body of the charge is constructed in two hemispherical sections of pressed mild steel, seamed together by a rolled joint. The securing lugs are welded to the top half of the body, and to them are attached the two ends of a canvas carrying strap. The charge has the standard threaded igniter socket and is marked 3 Kg.

(2) Characteristics.

Weight of explosive   . . . . .   6.6 pounds.
Diameter   . . . . .   6.25 inches.
Filling   . . . . .   Amatol.

j. HOLLOW DEMOLITION CHARGE (400 GRAMS OR 14 OUNCES). This charge is a cup-shaped, aluminum case, painted field gray, with the standard threaded cap socket in the top. A plate is recessed into the base. The central part of this plate forms a hemispherical wall surrounding the hollow space in the base of the charge. The main filling is penthrite.

k. 12.5-KILOGRAM HOLLOW CHARGE (Hohlladung). (1) Description. This charge is designed to blast holes in steel plates in permanent fortifications or for special tasks. It is enclosed in a sheet iron cover with a carrying handle. In the base of the charge is a hemispherical cavity, and in the top is a standard threaded cap socket. This charge is usually part of the equipment of airborne troops.

(2) Characteristics.

Outside diameter   . . . . .   11 inches.
Diameter of cavity   . . . . .   5.3 inches.
Weight   . . . . .   28 pounds.
Filling   . . . . .   TNT.

l. 13.5-KILOGRAM HOLLOW CHARGE (Hohlladung). (1) Description. This hollow charge rests on three telescopic legs, which ensure proper "stand-off". The charge is provided with a pellet contained in a standard detonator socket.

(2) Characteristics.

Outside diameter   . . . . .   13 1/2 inches.
Diameter of cavity   . . . . .   9 3/4 inches.
Weight of charge   . . . . .   30 pounds.
Filling (RDX-TNT)   . . . . .   21 pounds.

m. 50-KILOGRAM HOLLOW CHARGE (Hohlladung). (1) Description. For convenience in transport, this charge is made in two parts. The lower part, which is provided with a separate carrying handle, contains a hemispherical cavity. The upper part contains both an explosive charge and a standard cap socket. This charge is part of the equipment of airborne troops.

(2) Characteristics.

Outside diameter   . . . . .   20 inches.
Diameter of cavity   . . . . .   8 inches.
Height of cavity   . . . . .   4 inches.
Weight of charge   . . . . .   110 pounds.
Filling   . . . . .   TNT.

n. HOLLOW RING CHARGES (Hohlringladung). (1) Description. These charges, used principally for the destruction of gun barrels, contain TNT, in a thin annular metal casing which is slipped over the gun barrel and fired by a cap. There is an annular, hollow space of semi-circular cross section on the inside of the ring, designed to increase the cutting effect. The fragmentation effect of these charges is negligible, which makes them suitable for use by raiding parties and patrols.

(2) Characteristics.

Hollow ring charge for antitank and machine-gun barrels:

Weight   . . . . .   2 pounds 11 ounces.
Outside diameter   . . . . .   7.1 inches.
Inside diameter   . . . . .   3.9 inches.
Width   . . . . .   3.1 inches.

Hollow ring charge for field guns:

Weight   . . . . .   7 pounds 1 ounce.
Outside diameter   . . . . .   10.4 inches.
Inside diameter   . . . . .   6.7 inches.
Width   . . . . .   3.4 inches.

o. BANGALORE TORPEDO (Gestreckte Ladung). This torpedo is made up of units of 16-gauge steel pipe lengths, with a sleeve welded to one end to form a socket for the adjoining unit. Units are packed with blasting gelatine or other suitable explosives. Detonating fuzes run the lengths of the tubes. The torpedo is initiated at one end by two independent caps, using a cap igniter set for one and a length of safety fuze and match for the other. Other sections carry a cap fitted to the end of the tube. When assembling sections, the free end of the fuze at the socket end of one section is tied to the cap at the spigot end of the next section.

p. GERMAN FIELD EXPLODERS. (1) Exploder 1942, six-barrelled (Nebelwerfer). This exploder is 6 inches high and has two sockets in the core. One socket is for winding, and the other for a seven-pin plug providing six circuits with a common central return. On the outside of each of the six outer plug holes are six numbered windows which glow in turn as their circuit is completed. The exploder thus can fire six circuits rapidly, one after another; the operator can see the glow lamps recording the firing in succession. Since this exploder has a low capacity, with 20 detonators the maximum number it will handle, its use for demolitions is restricted.

(2) Small Exploder 1940 (Glühzündapparat 40). This exploder forms part of the portable demolition kit (Zündgerät 40). It is 5.3 inches high and has an oval-shaped top, mounting the firing terminals and the winding socket. It will fire through 90 ohms external resistance, and the generator is turned directly by the handle in the winding socket. Only when the maximum current is generated is the circuit closed; for firing, the handle must be turned as fast as possible to the "stop". The exploder has an internal resistance of 30 ohms and generates a current of 1 ampere at 80 volts. Before using the exploder, it must be tested with a special neon test tube, which not only tests the exploder but also excites the magnetism in the generator.

(3) Field Exploder 1939 (Glühzündapparat 39). This exploder is packed in a leather carrying case. It fires through a maximum resistance of 300 ohms and has an internal resistance of 40 ohms. The winding key is kept in the carrying case, which also holds the test resistance, a spare spring, and a screw driver. On the top of the exploder are the winding socket, the spring socket, and the spring terminals.

(4) Field Exploder 1937 (Glühzündapparat 37). This exploder generates 300 volts and fires through a maximum resistance of 300 ohms. The internal resistance is 43 ohms. The exploder has a winding key kept in the carrying case, which also holds the test resistance. On top of the exploder is a winding socket marked Aufziehen and a firing socket marked Zünden. The firing terminals are on an insulated step below the level of the cover. The spring driving the generator cannot be released unless it has been fully wound. To use the exploder, wind the spring clockwise until the "stop" is reached. To fire, turn the socket marked "Zünden" with the key.

(5) Field Exploder 1926. This exploder weighs 14.5 pounds and is packed in a leather case. The exploder is of the low tension type (hot wire as opposed to spark) with an internal resistance of 45 ohms. Maximum resistance through which it will fire is 255 ohms.

q. PORTABLE DEMOLITION KIT 1940. This is a pack containing everything needed to fire charges electrically. It weighs 51 pounds, and can be carried by a handle or by shoulder straps on the back. It contains a small exploder (1940) and neon test tube, a continuity tester (galvanometer) (1926), 40 electric detonators, two spools of single cable and two drums of double cable, metal sleeve for crimping over electrical joints, a notched pocket knife, crimpers, and insulating tape.

r. CONTINUITY TEST (GALVANOMETER) 1926. This tester not only tests continuity but also measures resistance of circuits and detonators. It contains an ohmeter, resistance, and battery (1.5 volts). The battery is housed in a cylinder 4.7 inches high with the ohmeter on top. Adjusting screws for setting the ohmeter needle to zero and infinity are midway between the testing terminals. A built-in resistance protects caps from being initiated while being tested for continuity.

s. TEST RESISTANCE AND NEON LAMPS. The resistance is for testing the Field Exploder 1926 for firing through 250 ohms resistance. The neon lamp, designed for testing the Field Exploder 1937 and 1939, has a screw head which may he set to test for firing either 50 or 100 detonators. There is another neon lamp for testing the small Exploder 1940. It is part of the portable Demolition Kit 1940.

t. MAGNETIC DEMOLITION CHARGE ANTITANK (Panzerhandmine). This charge is spherical and completely covered by pressed cardboard. This cardboard casing, held in shape by two metal bands, extends 4 inches below the base of the explosive. Primarily designed as a demolition charge, it also can be used against tanks. The explosive filler is 1 pound 12 ounces of cyclonite and TNT. The booster consists of two pellets of cyclonite and wax in which there is a fitting for a standard igniter of the BZ type.

u. GERMAN ANTITANK MAGNETIC HOLLOW CHARGE. This charge is painted field gray. The three attached magnets are strong enough to hold the charge against a vertical surface. The main filling is in a pressed metal container, conical in shape, with an elongated apex to act as a hand grip and to accommodate the detonator. The igniter has a delay of only 4 1/2 seconds. However, a new type igniter with a yellow head and a 7 1/2-second delay has been introduced.


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