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Johan Willaert

Composition C-2 vs C-3 Explosive

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Can anyone tell me when the C-3 replaced C-2? Or were both used at the same time? How about C-4?

 

Thanks,

 

Johan


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Hi Johan According to the TM 9-1900 Ammunition General June 1945

page 45. Composition C is referred to as P.E. Its a plastic explosive containing RDX and an inert plasticizer. Comp C-2 and C3 are similar except that an explosive plasticizer is used. Comp -2 indicates a mixture of RDX plus nitrocotton and an explosive plasticizer containing no tetryl. Comp-3 consists of RDX plus nitrocotton and plasticizer containing tetryl substituted in part for RDX.

Comp-2 is easily moldable at most temperatures. It withstands water submersion well. It is used in the 2 1/4 pound demolition block M3.

Comp-3. At temperatures between 0 and 110f, Comp-3 is plastic or pliable very much like putty. below -20f it becomes hard and brittle. Above 110f it becomes soft. It is considerably less sensitive than TNT and may not aways be detonated by a No 8 blasting cap but will always be detonated by a special engineer corps blasting cap. The brownish- yellow plastic however has considerably greater brisace than TNT and is particualy effective under water. It is used principally as a commando and demolition explosive, with or without a container. It is also used as a filler in some types of munitions. If its plasticity is lost by long storage at low temperatures, it may be restored warming by moulding with the hands and helped by immersion in warm water. It must not be exposed to open flame as it catches fire easily and burns with an intense flame. If burned in large quantities, the heat generated may make it explode. Its explosion produces poisonous gases in such quantities that its use in closed spaces is dangerous.

I think that C-2 was only in use at the time of Normandy. with C-2 and C3 both in use mid 1945. Not sure when C4 came into use. Hope this helps. Maybe have a look at the next TM and the one after that until C4 gets a mention. I am sure there are guys out there on the who would have the next TM Ammunition General from 1945.

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I think that C-2 was only in use at the time of Normandy. with C-2 and C3 both in use mid 1945.

 

I think you are correct on the C-2 being available for Normandy and the C-3 later on... But I suspect C-3 was already in late 1944...

 

If all those that have wooden crates of C-2 and C-3 composition could check the packing dates of those crates, we would know more....

 

Johan


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donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

 

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January 1956 C-3 was still in use as well as was C-4 wrapped in a M5A1 demolition block that was similar in size to the M3 demolition block that contained C-3. This narrows it down a bit more.

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I think you are correct on the C-2 being available for Normandy and the C-3 later on... But I suspect C-3 was already in late 1944...

 

If all those that have wooden crates of C-2 and C-3 composition could check the packing dates of those crates, we would know more....

 

Johan

 

Johan,

 

Here's a crate from my collection, it's marked C-2 and dated April 1944. Bought it at a militaria show in Normandy in 1999.

 

Bfryar44

 

MVC-016S-1.jpg

 

MVC-018S.jpg

 

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“There's not much I can tell you about this war. It's like all wars, I guess.The undertakers are winning.The politicians who talk about the glory of it.The old men who talk about the need of it.The soldiers, well, they just wanna go home.” Jimmy Stewart in Shenandoah

 

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Johan,

 

I checked with a fellow collector and he has a March 1945 dated wooden crate. It's marked Compostion C-3. Not much help but it's the only other one that I know of in a fellow collector's collection. :unsure:

 

Bfryar44


“There's not much I can tell you about this war. It's like all wars, I guess.The undertakers are winning.The politicians who talk about the glory of it.The old men who talk about the need of it.The soldiers, well, they just wanna go home.” Jimmy Stewart in Shenandoah

 

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