I have looked over some of the posts here as well as some field manuals and am trying to put together a demolition kit that would be used by either a line unit or Engineers attached to a line unit and still have some questions. I hope these can be answered by some of the members here or be pointed towards some reference material.
1) Who employed explosives? I am aware that the job fell primarily to Engineers, but were Infantry cross trained on the matter? It seems that Airborne units had to be trained to use them to successfully do their job.
2) What situations would be appropriate to use an electrical firing system vs a non-electrical system? Or was it more dependent on what a unit had on hand at the time? It seems like non-electrical is more compact to carry since all you need is time fuse as opposed to firing wire. But perhaps it was less reliable?
3) What was the most common type of explosive on hand? It seems that the 1/2 pound blocks of TNT are the jack of all trades explosive that can do most jobs and as such seems to be the likely candidate. As a follow up: When would other types be issued such as composition C, dynamite, or even the 1 pound blocks of TNT?
4) Is there an early war equivalent to the late war demolition kit? Subsequently, is this the most common method to carry equipment or did GIs ever substitute other gear such as a GP pouch or a Gas Mask bag?
5) Was it possible to substitute field phone wire for firing wire if in a pinch?
Thank you in advance!