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"Destruction of Abandoned Vehicles" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following report on German procedures for destruction of vehicles was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 18, Feb. 11, 1943.

[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.]


When motor vehicles must be abandoned, it is essential that they be rendered useless to the enemy. To this end the Germans recommend that the following steps (among others) be taken.

When the time is limited and the vehicle must be rendered useless quickly, the carburetor, distributor, and fuel pump should be destroyed. Hand grenades are effective for this purpose, especially when placed between the carburetor or distributor and the cylinder block. According to the Germans, a grenade placed in this position will crack the cylinder block. When there is sufficient time for more deliberate action, the distributor, generator, starter, and tires should be destroyed. Gasoline should then be poured over the vehicle and ignited. In the case of tracked vehicles, 3-kilogram (6.6-pound) charges should be placed between the driving sprocket and the front bogie wheel on each side of the vehicle, and exploded.


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