Three new German igniters have been reported. While there is no evidence
that these igniters have been adopted by the German Army, they may be in the
hear future. It appears that the following descriptions may not be accurate in
every detail; however, they are sufficiently accurate to permit recognition of
the igniters should they make their appearance.
a. Reinhard Igniter
This igniter is illustrated in sketch No. 1. It consists of a
striker (1) with a spring (2) contained in a casing (3). The top
end of the striker is provided with a cavity (4), probably a cylindrical
hole passing through the striker. This cavity is gripped by the turned-in ends
of two arms of a piece of spring steel (5), and the striker (1) is thereby
held in place in the assembly. Above the striker is a sleeve (6), which is
provided with two diametrically opposite longitudinal slots (7), in which
slide the turned-in ends of the arms (5). Above the sleeve (6) is the main
pressure bolt (8), which is kept in position by a retaining cap (9), the
exact construction of which is not definitely known. Below the striker
is the percussion cap (10) and a detonator (11).
When pressure is applied and the bolt (8) depressed, the sleeve (6) is forced
down and compresses the spring (2). The striker is then spring-loaded but still
held in place by the turned-in ends of the arms (5) in the striker cavity (4). When
the lower end of the bolt (8) comes into contact with the turned-in ends of the
arms (5), it forces them slightly apart and frees the striker (1), which, forced down
by the spring, fires the cap (10) and the detonator (11).
b. Weissmann Igniter
This igniter is illustrated in sketch No. 2. It is designed to be used either
as a push-igniter for improvised mines, etc., or as an impact igniter for HE
charge when used in the assault. It consists of a spring-loaded striker bolt (1), at
the top of which is a curved pressure head (2). The bolt is held against this spring
(3) by a small glass rod (4), diameter 1.2 mm (0.05 in), which passes
through a hole in the bolt, and by a safety device (5), consisting of a small
pair of tongs, the turned-in ends of which fit into another hole in the bolt and
are kept in position by a small spring clip (6). In the base of the igniter is a
percussion cap (7) and a short detonator (8). The igniter and detonator assembly
are secured to the HE charge (9) by a thin metal cramp (10).
In operation, it is assumed that the safety tongs (5) are removed by withdrawing
the clip (6). Pressure or a blow on the head (2) will then shatter the glass
rod (4) and allow the spring to drive the bolt on to the cap (7).
c. PX32 Igniter
This igniter is illustrated in sketch No. 3. Like the Weissmann Igniter, it
can be used either as a push-igniter in improvised mines or as an impact igniter.
It consists of a striker bolt (1), which is apparently made in two portions, the
inner component (2) supporting at its top end the hollow pressure cap (3), on the top
of which is a small metal vane (4). The bolt is contained in a stout casing (5), and
is normally kept in the positions shown in the sketch by the spring (6). In the base
of the igniter is a percussion cap (7) and a detonator (8). Above the percussion
cap is a safety device consisting of a small wing-shaped plate (9), pivoted at one
end. When in the safety position, this plate is kept in the position shown in the
sketch, against the action of a small spring (10), by a vertical safety pin (11) which
is inserted from the top of the igniter and passes through a small hole in the free
end of the plate (9). When in the position shown, the plate (9) forms a guard between
the bolt (1) and the cap (7). On withdrawal of the safety pin (11) the plate (9) is
forced over to the position shown dotted, and the bolt (1) has access to the cap (7). A
further safety device is provided by a pin which passes through the
horizontal hole (12).
It is assumed that both pins (11) and (12) are withdrawn before use. Pressure
or a blow on the cap (3) will then force the striker bolt on to cap (7).