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Need info on WWII small demolition bag metal tool box


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TheGrayGhost

I have only seen a couple of pictures of the small demolition tool bag metal box around the internet. These items are extremely rare and information is almost non-existent. I am trying to compete my demolition kit and found a decent reproduction of the small bag. However, no reproduction of the tool box exists, so I will need to make my own.

 

If anyone has this tool box, can you please post some pictures and dimensions. The more detail the better, particularly of the hinge, lid, and seams. If there is an issue with image size on the forum, PM me and I will send you my email address.

 

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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  • 4 years later...

Mr. Ghost I have to revive this dead thread to ask if you ever found this information and if so if you ever had a box made? I got into contact with a nice Frenchman about a year back that had one and sent me pictures with measurements, but I don't currently have the ability to make one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was contacted by the same individual who provided me with the same great information.  Unfortunately, I have not had time to build a box yet.  If I do, I will post in this thread.

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I'll take the time to point out those two compartments seem to be made to fit the wooden blasting cap holders, specifically the 6 cap ones I can't seem to find.

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Those are different images than the ones I was sent, I have attached mine as well for reference:

 

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0.jpeg.99df9383743c958cb367ac92adb9ce14.jpeg

 

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Additional images I have found around the web:

 

38 minutes ago, ironsights66 said:

I'll take the time to point out those two compartments seem to be made to fit the wooden blasting cap holders, specifically the 6 cap ones I can't seem to find.

 

That does make sense as the the M1 Infantry bag had a separate compartment for the 10-cap boxes (see attached image).  I have only seen the 6-cap box (also referred to as the Cavalry) in early war kits.  Unfortunately, I have never been able to find any original photographs of this box and it's contents.

 

On a related note, I still have not figured out where this bag set comes from.  No markings on any set I have seen.  The measurements seem to be nice round metric numbers which doesn't make sense for US manufacture.  Foreign procurement?  If so, where?  Or, is it like the medic equipment where it was US produced but just not marked?

 

DemolitionKitM11944.jpg.8025ed5301a8dbde357ccd0e278fe41b.jpg

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Thanks for posting the photos! That helps a lot. Looks like the metal is just under 1mm thick so that would be either 20 or 22 gauge and it looks like galvanized steel. I thought it interesting that the measurements seem to work well as cm, but 19cm is close enough to 7.5", 18cm is close enough to 7" and 4cm is close to 1 5/8". I think I'll run it through a 3D printer first to see if the dimensions work in the bag. I have not found an official reference for it, but someone, somewhere must know what is supposed to go inside. 🤔. I have never seen a real M1 Infantry demo kit, although I need to check my photo archives.

 

Peter

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I think you are right about the thickness and possible imperial size equivalents.  Would be interested to see what "fits".  This got me back on this project again and I am currently working a model for a sheet metal build in CAD.

 

In regards to the sets contents.  The 1942 edition of FM 5-25 lists the following kits.  I believe the "Cavalry" kit is the early war two bag kit while the "Infantry" kit was for the M1.

 

Cavalry Demolition Set:

1 - Bag, carrying (explosive), canvas, with sling

1 - Box, cavalry demolition, metal with leather case and carrying strap

2 - Box, cap, 6-cap capacity (cavalry)

12 - Cap, blasting, tetryl, nonelectric

1 - Crimper, cap with fuze-cutter combination

10 pounds - Explosive, rectangular block

50 foot - Fuze, blasting, time

1 - Knife, pocket, engineer, 4-blade, with clevis

10 - Ligher, fuze

1 - Tape, friction, insulating, 3/4 inch wide, 1/2-lb roll

1 - Twine, hemp, 4-ounce ball

 

Infantry Demolition Set:

2 - Box, cap, 10-cap capacity (infantry)

1 - Box, match, waterproof, with approximately 20 common household matches

20 - Cap, blasting, tetryl, nonelectric

1 - Case, demolition kit, infantry, canvas

70 foot - Cord, detonating

1 - Crimper, cap with fuze-cutter combination

2 - Drill, detonating cord, handled

10 pounds - Explosive, rectangular block

30 foot - Fuze, blasting, time

1 - Knife, pocket, engineer, 4-blade, with clevis

1 - Tape, friction, insulating, 3/4 inch wide, 1/2-lb roll

1 - Twine, hemp, 4-ounce ball

 

I don't believe the M1 kit saw much field use as it was poorly designed.  I think the only use it saw was in the Pacific.  I have attached the only photo I have seen of it in what appears to be combat.  I also have one if you have any questions about it.

 

12088181_465725336952645_5975815658478921412_n.jpg.e0c7a191d2003c5f321509257c148315.jpg

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Thanks for posting that Brandon. My '42 5-25 doesn't have that information. The '45 5-25 does reference the 6 cap box as cavalry so I think that list is a starting point for the contents of the tray. I noticed that list says leather carrying case for the tray. I think I need to find another demo pliers.

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If you look at photos of the Marines while on Tarawa you can see the M1 demo kit occasionally. It looks a lot like the M41 back pack so it's a little hard to pick out some times.

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Robin, could you please clarify what you mean by it being a USMC demo kit?  I double checked my Jan '42 FM 5-25 and these lists are on page 11-12.

 

Peter, I also found the reference to a leather case interesting.  I have never seen one.

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I concur that the cavalry kit is the one we refer to as the early war kit, I assume that the leather bag they are referring to is a prewar version that was quickly changed to canvas, and it one of those things that just didnt get updated in the manual.

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That is my assumption as well.  The 1940 version on FM 5-25 shows only one individual kit listed, the cavalry.  I feel this origin also holds true with the known explosives bag, its construction is heavy duty for canvas, which also says cavalry to me.

 

Has anyone here seen or have pictures of the leather cavalry demolition tool case?

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Thanks again for the photos with dimensions.

 

Based on the dimensions, I was able to 3D print the tray. The photos show the walls to be about 1mm thick, but the plastic didn't look like it would be stable at 1mm so was printed at 2mm. I used 180mm x 190mm x 45mm outer dimensions for the bottom portion, and 180mm x 190mm inner dimension and 10mm outer dimension for the print. For the (assumed) cap box holders, the inner dimensions were used based on the photos.

 

Overall pretty happy how it turned out. The tray fits perfectly in my repro small bag. Based on Brandon's list, I put some stuff in the tray. Couldn't find my time fuze, but not sure how that plus 4oz of twine will fit in there. I also expected my 10 cap box to height wise but it did not. Anybody have dimensions for a 6 cap box, are they shorter?

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Have also been searching for references to the demolition kit. Since we are assuming its a cavalry it, I started searching the Cavalry Journal and found something.

 

The July-August 1939 Cavalry Journal, page 330, lists Demolition Kits, Cavalry as new equipment "some of the items now contained in Tables of Basic Allowances".

 

Nothing else yet. Its not unusual for the branch journals to have articles about new equipment so there may yet be additional information.

 

Peter

 

 

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The box looks good, tools look nice in it.  Certainly a snug fit so you must be close on the overall dimensions.   I don’t have a 6-cap box so not sure of the exact dimensions.  I thought the height should be the same as the 10-cap, so it should fit.  How much are you off?

 

Nice find in the additional reference.  Makes me wonder how many of the leather version were produced, if any.

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The Cav Journal article says the kit comes from the engineers. Their journal at that time was called "The Military Engineer" but I haven't found one online from '38 or '39. JSTOR may have it but I don't have a subscription there. During the break, I'll see if I can find an Infantry Journal that might reference the Infantry Kit. The leather sleeve was probably in somebody's What's It pile 25-30 years and may have gone unclaimed. There must be someone out there with one if they were made.

 

When I tried to fit the 10 cap box, I had the DOH moment that shoulda measured the 10 cap box before printing. Based on the photos, we assumed the length of the box compartment was 75mm but my box measures 77mm so my son is going to reprint assuming 78mm inside for each and see how that works out. Will probably narrow the width and see if we can get the half moon cutouts into it. Without the cutouts, the latch hangs up on the edge.

 

On another note, anybody know of an all red M1 friction igniter like the one in my photo?

 

Peter

 

 

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Digging around some more this evening. There is a report/manual titled Weapons for Jungle Warfare based on PTO battlefield tours in late 1943. The report mentions the use of Demo Set No 5 and No 1, but no mention of Cav or Inf demo kits. Found another report/manual titled Engineer Estimating Data from SWPA Chief Engineer dated 1 Jun 45. It lists both Demo Set No 5 as well as Inf Demo Kit (29 lbs). Still no pictures or detailed descriptions of either the Cav or Inf Demo kits.

 

Both reports came from the Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library.

 

Peter

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On 12/21/2020 at 10:36 PM, sgtpeter said:

The Cav Journal article says the kit comes from the engineers. Their journal at that time was called "The Military Engineer" but I haven't found one online from '38 or '39. JSTOR may have it but I don't have a subscription there. During the break, I'll see if I can find an Infantry Journal that might reference the Infantry Kit. The leather sleeve was probably in somebody's What's It pile 25-30 years and may have gone unclaimed. There must be someone out there with one if they were made.

 

When I tried to fit the 10 cap box, I had the DOH moment that shoulda measured the 10 cap box before printing. Based on the photos, we assumed the length of the box compartment was 75mm but my box measures 77mm so my son is going to reprint assuming 78mm inside for each and see how that works out. Will probably narrow the width and see if we can get the half moon cutouts into it. Without the cutouts, the latch hangs up on the edge.

 

On another note, anybody know of an all red M1 friction igniter like the one in my photo?

 

Peter

 

 

Once you work out the final design of the box I'd really appreciate if you shared your CAD model, I'd like to print one as well.

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