Explosive Horseplay

While serving at 3 BAD Bracht, I do vaguely recall being concerned about the possibility of one of the ATs 'wiring up' my door, but for the most part I was too pissed to know or care.

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Apart from prepping devices for Ex Demon Beacon, i've never had an opportunity myself but have any of you ATs past and present had a little jest with some low explosives?
I 'heard of' an ISFE/thundy/bag of flower combo....just enough to give a little wake up.

Sim Exp L20A1's are pretty tame but still not worth the risk of not following the safety distances/hurting anyone IMO.

When I was a young L/Cpl, I did a week Dems course followed by a 1 week Minewarfare/booby trap course in Hameln

This was way, way back...can only remember one of the staff Instructors being a Irishman with glasses (..not alot of help there then?).

It was back in the days when each Rifle Coy had two Nco's trained up on Basic Dems and MW....very basic in my case. So me and one other got sent up to CETC. Must have been that we weren't orbated for AP's at the time?

The Dems course was ace and we spent a lot of time hanging off of bridges with Hayricks in one arm, trying not to fall into the river or drop them onto passing barges.

Got me further into the AP role and courses, including doing the DSO course...one of the best things ever, fan - fecking - tastic time had at Brompton.

The course had students from the REME, Pathfinders and even 'Them'. Someone will remember the course OC. A tall, moustached Canadian. Think that there may even have been some Cav on it?

On that very first course. I learned to respect the power of the devious mind + PE/ANFO type mix. The Instructor would rig up all kinds of shite while we were off on a NAAFI break.

Feck me, you couldn't move a chair, turn the page of a newspaper, turn on a light without something going 'pop'.

I've heard of others playing around and people getting hurt.....not worth it in any situation.

Having to find and clear blinds on a LAW range was bad enough for me, thank you very much, although setting up mahoosive and complex BATSIMS, and using Dems pits where there was no limit to the charges used, never bothered me at all.

I know that it's nothing compared to what the RE's have done. One fella on my DSO Course was involved with that big bang is Bosnia..can't remember the figures but he said that it was the biggest man made Expl since the War?

No doubt there have been a few other biggies re the current conflict.

Munitions. Not worth fecking about with anything that could hurt those it isn't meant to.


I remember the training film about explosives and the missuse off, showed some examples of the emperors finest work! Throwing det cord into a fire springs to mind.
No it was detcord, the lesson being that the authorised disposal was to cut it into 1m lengths, the film saw a roll thrown onto the fire whole which subsequently burnt to detonation, it was based on a real event.
We had a bonfire at Kineton in the early 90's that someone, IIRC from A Coy, thought would be a good idea to prop up with a huge amount of bag charges/propellant. We all stood back while the bonfire was ceremoniously lit. It caught, then the young flames licked at the kindle as it tried to survive the wind, then . . . 8O

Whoosh!, a sudden inferno the intensity I've not felt before. The flames lept triple the height of the bonfire, the heat made everyone step back several times, if they valued their eyebrows, and then almost as quick as it started, it ended.

The bonfire was reduced from a repectful height and girth to a smoldering heap of embers and flame to a fraction of it's original size within a minute or so.

How we all laughed as the MOD fire service had kittens and there were some red faces about, and not because of the towering inferno :oops:

Anyone around in '92 to witness that one?


No it was detcord, the lesson being that the authorised disposal was to cut it into 1m lengths, the film saw a roll thrown onto the fire whole which subsequently burnt to detonation, it was based on a real event.
Also vaguely remember some biff hitting a fuse gripped in a vice?
Someone in 321 thought it would be fun to put an outdoor sound unit in a toilet bowl, not taking into account bubble pulse.

It didn't survive the 8 grains of black powder.

Canadians + Plod = any opportunity to claim compensation IHMO

...that said, the use of "silver sound units" as training aids is not to be condoned!

As a result of the loss of crown immunity, I am franky suprised we are allowed to use anything much more than a party popper in training these days (held at arms length, wearing appropriate PPE, having passed the appropriate course, submitted a written hazard evaluation and formulated, submitted and having had approved an appropriate safe system of work...)

On the other hand, reducing your audience to a gibbering mass, terrified of touching anything or even breathing and with ringing ears is probably not the best way of setting up an appropriate or receptive environment to impart knowledge about IEDs..!

Fun though! :)
Not explosives as such...but the old compo tins of sugar were great fun when thrown onto a fire. As the sugar inside heated up and melted the tin would usually give way and burst open at one end. The can would then fly off on a jet of hot burning sugar to a distance of 100m.

Apparently, according the SSM, civpol and the camp commandant, the bang could be heard over a mile away.

While observing such entertainment (from a distance of about 10m) I felt a slight burning sensation on my neck but being suitably numb after umpteen beers I thought nothing of it. Six months later a small piece of compo tin shrapnel worked its way out...


My university mates and I used to play tricks on eachother by breaking into eachother's rooms, and rigging them with party poppers in unusual places. There was a time when I could barely open a wardrobe door or drawer without cringing for fear of getting a facefull of paper ribbons.

For real jolly explosive japes, try visiting an Israeli range. I remember watching in horror as a range technician who was burning off cordite artillery propellant in bigs lots inside upended hollow shells (which resulted in a satifying whooomp, and massive flare stack) walked back to one that hadn't gone off after less than a minute, and stuck his head over the top to have a look...I really was expecting A Wile E. Coyote moment as he tapped the damn thing to see what was going one!
I am surprised more Alberts have not posted on this? I've shied away from a lot of the explosives horseplay myself although I did manage to get some of the training area turf to fly over Dingers head once.
On the subject of horseplay, I met a retired Gunner who was something like the range warden on the sub-calibre range in Tidworth, as he told it to me...

“He asked an AT if there was a way he could make a cake explode for his sons 18th birthday. The AT gave him 2 simulators and said 1 to test on a cake and 1 for Ops. The birthday came, the family were in attendance, in an 18x24 in the back garden, and the cake with lit candles was on the table. The trial run seemed all too much like hard work so he had just put both simulators into the cake. He called his son over and said to blow out his candles, the son leaned in to blow...

The explosion was apparently quite loud, the cake was evenly distributed around the inside of the tent (so everyone got some), ears were ringing and there were aunties with babies in arms with cake splattered up the sides of their heads”
He told me that he was not flavour of the month but his son has never forgotten his 18th!!!
Not horse play but bad timing on the C.O.
Was in charge of the SPALS for a NBC range, all set up with then to' burst over the trenches at a godo height, covering the shooters in agent. No worry except the CO decider to' visit and was very late, very very late.
So when the range started , and the RSM was showing the CO how it went, behind the trenches, and I was given the signal to' "Fire" I did,
Shame the first charge was by now wet and only sent the bottle and bursting charge just over the RSMs head, he was ok as he was wearing a skid lid and hearing protectors but he was very wet.

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