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"Clearing Objects Dropped on Allied Airdromes" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on clearing airdromes was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 14, Dec. 17, 1942.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Several references have already been made in Tactical and Technical Trends to the use by the enemy of metal spikes - "crowsfeet" - dropped from the air on landing fields and motor transport roads.

In addition to dropping several hundred spikes on one of our airdromes in North Africa, according to a recent announcement antipersonnel mines, said to resemble pencils and fountain pens, were also released.

It was reported that a skirmish line of all available men provided the best method of removing spikes, and shrapnel and bomb fragments. Shells and dud bombs are flagged for subsequent removal. In the case in question, the engineering unit furnished sand bags for collecting stakes and the flags for spotting the location of duds or holes.

Following each of these attacks, it was indicated that commanding officers must prescribe that all available personnel report for duty.


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