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Destruction of Artillery Ammunition

Instructions for destruction of artillery ammunition to prevent capture by the enemy — the methods will require imagination, initiative, and ingenuity. Source: TM 9-1901: Artillery Ammunition, U.S. War Department Technical Manual, June 1944.

DESTRUCTION OF AMMUNITION UPON IMMINENCE OF CAPTURE IN COMBAT ZONE

387. GENERAL.

a. When immediate capture of ammunition is threatened by a turn of events in the combat zone and when the ammunition cannot be evacuated, it will be as completely destroyed or damaged as available time, equipment, materials, and personnel will permit.

b. The destruction of ammunition will be accomplished only on authority delegated by the division or higher commander.

c. The methods used will require imagination, initiative, and ingenuity, and should be the simplest which will accomplish the desired purpose.

388. METHODS.

a. Ammunition can be destroyed most quickly by detonation or burning.

(1) DETONATION. Unpacked high-explosive rounds, separate-loading high-explosive shell, and high capacity items such as antitank mines, bangalore torpedoes, bursters or caps, packed or unpacked, may be destroyed by placing them in contact in piles and detonating them with a charge of TNT, using with blasting cap and sufficient safety fuse to permit reaching cover at 200 yards. About 1 pound of TNT per 100 pounds of ammunition as packed, should be sufficient,

(2) BURNING. All other types of ammunition such as packed high-explosive rounds and propelling charges, small-arms ammunition, grenades, pyrotechnics, etc., packed or unpacked, can most rapidly be destroyed by burning. The ammunition may be piled in the containers (except small-arms cartridges which should be broken out) with all available inflammable material as wood, rags, brush, and cans or drums of gasoline. The gasoline should be poured over the pile and ignited from cover. Rounds that come through the fire unexploded will be in the nature of duds, that is, in a condition dangerous to handle.

 

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