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Destroying own guns during retreat

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by greglewis, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. greglewis

    greglewis Member

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    Hi
    I was wondering if any weapons experts could help with this query.

    In Les Spence's diary (77th HAA Regt, RA) he records how he and has men "blew up our guns" before they retreated into the interior of Java (and eventually capture) in 1942.

    Does anyone know what would be the standard way to "blow up" a 3.7in ack-ack gun? Grenades down the barrel?

    Any thoughts much appreciated.

    Greg
     
  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I've read several instances of US artillery units dropping thermite grenades down the barrel of their guns to destroy them.

    Mr. Sanford of the 30th Recon stated that they destroyed several of abandoned vehicles by putting a thermite grenade on the engine block and another on the transmission of the doomed vehicles. He said it worked very well, leaving affected parts worth little more than scrap.
     
  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Of course the alternative where time or explosive charges were lacking was the removal of breach block or other components to render them inoperable. These parts being strung about in any convenient hiding place such as a pond, well, river/steam or buried.
     
  4. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    yes, ...ditto
     
  5. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    The Gun drill book will include the drill for destroying the equipment. Typically the drill was to load an HE Round in the muzzle with a point detonating fuse and then load a second round in the breach. Remove the sights and clinometer. fire the gun using a long lanyard. These use the resources available to a gun detachment.. Thermite bombs are fine, but not normally available to a gun detachment.

    A grenade down the barrel will not do much damage. The had no effect on the 10cm guns of the Merville Battery. They are stressed to take much higher stresses than inflicted by hand grenade fragments..

    .
     
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  6. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    I would think that one of the more common methods of rendering an artillery gun is placing some type of explosive down the barrel.
     
  7. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    I thought they [ USMC ]dragged Japanese guns, into the water at the Canal....I do remember reading how they fused the parts of the guns together with incendiary grenades [ I think that was DDay?? ]
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Yes, later in the war, the Western Allies used thermite grenades placed down the barrel to destroy captured German guns.


    I can't say that a normal fragmentation grenade would have enough oomph to get the job done(maybe for smaller field pieces, but only maybe). I believe, the artillery units were issued demo charges specifically to blow the guns before capture.

    Of course, the easiest way would be to simply remove the firing pin. A more effective way would be to drain the hydraulic fluids from the gun, raise the barrel to maximum elevation and fire a round to jam the barrel out of battery. I have also heard of loading two shells into the gun and then firing it.

    Although I don't know what the British used to do this at Dunkirk.
    http://www.ww2incolor.com/d/472713-4/Dunkirk
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    just as Sheldrake stated, wouldn't it have to be a looooong lanyard??
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 Member

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    What he said,

    A similar practise was taking place on the way to the northern beaches of France in 1940.
     

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