Incendiary found, advice pls

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Incendiary found, advice pls

Post by panzer » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:29 pm

I was digging a belting signal in an open field, relatively remote, and started to come across blueish clumps of crytallised gunk, bit more clearance showed it to be a 1kg WW2 incendiary with a heavily damaged aluminium casing with a rather nice bronze tailfin still attached. I had my little one with me so decided to rebury it for another day. I am making an assumption that this has been soaking up rainwater for 60 yrs and is likely very much inert, well the crytals certainly didn't fire up when exposed to the air anyway.

Whats the guidance on this? I feel a call to EOD would be an over reaction in this case?

The tailfin would look rather nice on my mantlepiece though :))

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Re: Incendiary found, advice pls

Post by peteh » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:40 pm

Being as it is remote I'd be tempted to leave it buried and let the elements continue to chemically dismantle it. I'm no expert though
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Re: Incendiary found, advice pls

Post by Steve_T » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:15 pm

First responsible thing would be to let the landowner know, let them make the call to the RLC Bomb Disposal and or police, the last thing they would want is a tractor destroyed or worst case scenario a land worker killed

I found a live timer from an incendiary device a few months back, I contacted the landowner, he didn't want it on his land to much fuss or publicity, so i called the necessary people, it was blown up where it was found with little knowledge or fuss to anyone

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Re: Incendiary found, advice pls

Post by Twit » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:56 pm

Yep - notify... not your problem, and what they are there for. Detonators, toxic residues etc. , ask if you can keep the tail section once they have cleared it.

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Re: Incendiary found, advice pls

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:10 pm

+1 for notifying EOD. Those are nasty little buggers! If there’s one, there might be more (more in exploded condition!) as these were dropped in groups.


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Re: Incendiary found, advice pls

Post by Me and my boy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:18 pm

I found a mortar with fin intact then spent half the day unable to go to work as the police wouldn’t let me leave until the disposal unit arrived as I had another til fin and this one on my kitchen window seal 😳🙄😩🤣
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Re: Incendiary found, advice pls

Post by Wansdyke44 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:10 am

Unless you are either an experienced ordanance specialist or are sure it is harmless always call the Police/RLC. Do NOT take things home. Old explosives do not distinguish between friend or foe and can maime or kill. Harmless tail fins can be found/bought if you really want one, but don't don't kill yourself or anyone else for one. It just isn't worth it.

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Re: Incendiary found, advice pls

Post by Twit » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:37 pm

Just for information - as far as I have read thermite was the incendiary used, which is a mixture of iron or iron oxide and aluminium filing size particles. They can be ignited and burn underwater.

This is thermite in a modern setting ( apart from being used in incendiary grenades, fireworks, to weld railway tracks sometimes etc.) : ... -thermite/

It's not fun.

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