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  1. #11
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    All in all I would agree the program didn’t portray the RLC particularly well.

    However, in respect of the training grenade one shouldn’t ignore the current vogue of terrorists converting conventional munitions to IEDs and I believe the premises were described as a 'bomb factory'.

    As for the tension release – it was at a training establishment and students do make mistakes. It would appear that particular student has ‘training needs’ and might need to consider a different career path.

    “I've yet to see a hand grenade that was a threat to a gas main. Madness.”
    Most of Britain’s High Pressure gas mains are plastic with a wall thickness of about 15 – 20mm, I’m sure a Mills, notwithstanding its random fragmentation pattern could rupture that.

    As for the Leytonstone Police Station story I would say it is a greatly embellished account. Almost all London police stations (Leytonstone is a London station) had what is known as a ‘Bomb Bin’ whose very purpose was to store the likes of small ordnance surrendered to police and its use would have almost negated the need for cordon. Had they put in cordons, they wouldn’t have gone bigger than 100m radius. As for evacuation – no way, provided they we away from the windows they would have been safer in than out and evacuation, especially residential is exceptionally time consuming and manpower intensive.

    Why should the officers have the knowledge to differentiate between a training and live grenade? A recurring theme of this forum is the difference between ‘Drill’ & ‘Practice’ and that’s for people with an interest in ordnance.

    A little knowledge – can be very dangerous.

    The RN EOD teams now venture far beyond the High Water mark and it appears where there are RN shore establishments they have responsibility for a lot of the surrounding area.

    The RLC are/have taken over the RE’s responsibility for air dropped ordnance, though they are/were assisted by the REs, I don’t know if this is of a technical and/or practical nature. The RAF lost their EOD capability at the beginning of the year.

    TimG
    Last edited by TimG; 17th September 2020 at 12:18 PM.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimG View Post

    “I've yet to see a hand grenade that was a threat to a gas main. Madness.”
    Most of Britain’s High Pressure gas mains are plastic with a wall thickness of about 15 – 20mm, I’m sure a Mills, notwithstanding its random fragmentation pattern could rupture that.

    As for the Leytonstone Police Station story I would say it is a greatly embellished account.


    TimG

    All gas mains are buried at least a metre underground. How would a grenade affect that?

    The Leytonstone story is not embellished. That is what happened.

    Recently a friend of mine had his house raided - also in east London because he was seen carrying a shell into the house. In his case armed Police kicked his door in, there was an EOD unit in attendance and all the surrounding streets were closed off for a morning. EOD did not find any live explosives at all. Just a rather nice collection which they offered to 'dispose of'. He declined.
    Author of 'British Rifle Grenades of the Great War' and 'Mills Grenade Development 1915-1918'.

  4. #13
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    https://www.guardian-series.co.uk/ne...vated-grenade/ ?
    (Chingford is a short distance north of Leytonstone)

    TimG

  5. #14
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    I remember Leytonstone but the same thing.

    A friend of mine was involved in the relief convoys to Bosnia. By accident a box of 9mm ammo was brought back in one of the tricks. He took it into Folkestone Police Station and mass panic ensued and they closed down the Police station for 2 hours until a firearms officer arrived!

    Police motto (Don't panic Capt Mainwaring!)
    Last edited by Millsman; 19th September 2020 at 09:59 AM.
    Author of 'British Rifle Grenades of the Great War' and 'Mills Grenade Development 1915-1918'.

  6. #15
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    I recall from some years ago that someone was caught at an airport security gate (Stansted IIRC) carrying an inert hand grenade. The whole airport was shut down for hours. The logic of this baffled me: the attempt was unsuccessful, the security measures worked as advertised, there was no suggestion of any other security problem, so why didn't they just arrest the guy and let everyone else continue with their journeys?

  7. #16
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    There is insufficient knowledge out there both among the public and the police. Our armed forces are smaller now than in many decades and therefore the pool of knowledge with regards ammunition is more restricted. In any case the police will refer to the EOD organisation as the experts. During my trade training I was taught about ammunition natures that were current. There was no training about older ammunition natures and when being trained in EOD (conventional munitions disposal) we were told to apply general principles. That is why, when my unit in Germany was having a clear-out of old documents in the mid 1980s, I was horrified to see that old publications dating back to WW2 were being binned. I asked permission to keep some and have posted snippets from them on this forum. In Kent in the 1980s one of my colleagues applied general principles to a rusty shell unearthed in a quarry. After the demolition he approached again to ascertain that the shell was destroyed and was burned by the blister agent that it had released. When we did our trade training there were no chemical filled shell in general storage and therefore no training on such. He had no knowledge of the tell-tale side filling plug that was no doubt obscured by rust. In the mid 1980s there was not the onboard computer to refer to that the EOD teams now have and it was not routine practice to x-ray found items. With regard the 2 Pr round that was supposedly a misfire: In my day I would have ensured there was a working cordon, removed it to an open area and applied explosive to the base of the round to destroy the cap and propellant. All that would then remain was scrap metal. I once had a couple of 76 mm canister rounds and disposed of them that way. One case ripped open, the other remained intact but bulged massively and made a nice vase for an ammo storeman who had given me the rounds to dispose of.
    Any live or dug ordnance shown in my posts has been dealt with accordingly by eod personel

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  9. #17
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    saw the program, fair enough we all think the service personnel are experts but one minor mistake and they are in deep doo doo with claims from civilians so they err on the side of caution. Where can I get a big magnet cheap?

  10. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2pounder View Post
    saw the program, fair enough we all think the service personnel are experts but one minor mistake and they are in deep doo doo with claims from civilians so they err on the side of caution. Where can I get a big magnet cheap?
    On the UK mainland EOD actions are granted public indemnity provided that there is at least one police officer present. I was once tasked to the North Yorks moors, supposedly to a 2 Inch mortar, that turned out to be a 1 Kg incendiary minus the tail unit. It was empty and I took it away with me. The gamekeeper who found it then told me about two more 2 Inch mortar bombs that he had found 8 and 15 years earlier. I asked the police officer if he would go with us but he refused - he had attended at the incident he had been tasked to. The gamekeeper and I walked a few miles and on the way he showed me one of the bombs - an expended 2 Inch Smoke mortar bomb. I picked that up and took it away. Eventually we arrived at a place about 100 m from a stone-built sheepfold not far from a road. He showed me the third bomb which turned out to be a blind 2 Inch HE mortar bomb - embossed cross on the nose. I sent him back to the sheepfold while I prepared the demolition charge and lit the safety fuse. We hid behind the wall and when the demolition charge destroyed the bomb a piece of shrapnel hit the wall near us. Had the gamekeeper been injured I would have had no public indemnity as no police officer was present, meaning that I could have been sued. A point about the HE bomb is that around the time I joined the army 2 Inch HE bombs were banned from use, I think it was because a soldier had unthinkingly placed their tube under the branches of a tree, then were fragged by one of their own bombs when it detonated in the branches. The 2 Inch mortar was obsolescent and eventually the 51 mm was brought into service. While in training I and my group of apprentices took part in complete round proof (CRP) of 2 Inch Smoke and Illuminating bombs, so I knew what they looked like, and they were still similar to those bombs in use in WW2. To get back to the point of the conversation, I had never seen a 2 Inch HE mortar bomb and had to look up the details when I was tasked to attend the moors. Luckily it was still in a current publication although by then (1989) it was obsolescent.
    Any live or dug ordnance shown in my posts has been dealt with accordingly by eod personel

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