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rambob

AN-M54X Thermite Bomb

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You're gonna laugh at this one, but this may be the most unusual WWII item I have ever seen on Ebay, other than the PT boat. Seller had it advertised as a Navy Mine Detonator. Probably because of the 54X that is marked on it. It is actually an AN-M54X Incendiary Thermite bomb and well marked as such. It is dated 10/42 and is complete except for the nasty chemical crap and the safety pin with spring. I remembered seeing this in an obscure WWII Study Guide - Chemical Warfare manual. Shows you that knowledge and a good collection of reference material is very valuable. I can't believe there are very many of these around, because it would have taken testicles/nerves of steel to physically open it up and scrape out the Thermite mixture from inside to make them inert. It was riveted together and someone had to GRIND off the top of the rivets to get it open. The thing that amazes me is it still has the striker, spring and primer detonator assembly with it. I actually also got a second steel piece with this item. Take a look at the last attached two pictures from the manual to see the internals of it and how they were deployed. This is the kind of interesting stuff that occasionally pops up that still keeps me excited about this hobby.

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"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

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Very interesting. It may be the only one that was ever live and deactivated. Whoever operated the grinder was very lucky. Thanks for posting, and putting the link here. I rarely look elsewhere and have missed some neat stuff.

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Intersting. You mention nerves of steel in that post, but surprisingly, thermite is incredibly stable. I don't know if you still can do it, but I bought a pound of it off of Ebay. It is obvously used in the welding industry, but since I couldn't get a thermite grenade for training, I bought some and demonstrated it at drill. It was shipped regular mail, not hazmat. It takes something hotter than a flame to ignite it. I had to use a magnesium ribbon to light it off.

 

Mike


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mmerc20, Thanks for your first hand insight on Thermite. What I may have been more concerned about would have been the First Fire Charge going off by accident. This is the explosive/incendiary charge that starts the thermite burning and in the pictures it is located right where the rivet grinding would have been done to deactivate this puppy. BTW. This First Fire Charge assembly was NOT included with the bomblet I received, but the popped primer was.

 

Bob


"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

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mmerc20, Thanks for your first hand insight on Thermite. What I may have been more concerned about would have been the First Fire Charge going off by accident. This is the explosive/incendiary charge that starts the thermite burning and in the pictures it is located right where the rivet grinding would have been done to deactivate this puppy. BTW. This First Fire Charge assembly was NOT included with the bomblet I received, but the popped primer was.

 

Bob

Also manual said it was a "modified thermite mixture". Some mixtures have used oxydizing agents a lot more reactive than rust. That is a very interesting and rare piece.

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copdoc, Thanks for the kind words. I was hoping to get a little attention on this unique item from the forum.

 

Bob


"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

donation2008.gif

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