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AN-M54X Thermite Bomblet I got off of Ebay., There can't be many of these around!!

Article about: 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 becau

  1. #1
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    Default AN-M54X Thermite Bomblet I got off of Ebay., There can't be many of these around!!

    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 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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  2. #2

    Default Re: AN-M54X Thermite Bomblet I got off of Ebay., There can't be many of these around!!

    Excellent piece! I wish I had one myself! William
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

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    Default Re: AN-M54X Thermite Bomblet I got off of Ebay., There can't be many of these around!!

    Quote by rambob View Post
    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.
    Actually thermite is quite safe and requires a massive amount of energy to ignite- like burning magnesium- so I'd expect these things are less-dangerous to de-mil than a regular HE shell...
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

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    Default Re: AN-M54X Thermite Bomblet I got off of Ebay., There can't be many of these around!!

    Matt, You are quite right and I have now read that the Thermite mixture is basically metal powder and a metal oxide, which makes it pretty safe. The part of the bomblet deactivating procedure that I guess I would be most concerned about would be the First Fire Charge, which starts the thermite burning. How stable would it be as the bomblet was opened? The steel rivets were definitely ground flush with the outer case on my bomb, then punched in a bit to make them clear the holes in the case. This kind of heat (grinding) and shock (punching) on a live bomblet would have made me more than a bit nervous.

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