46. DESTRUCTION OF EQUIPMENT.—a. General principles.—(1) Situations may arise when matériel must be destroyed to prevent—
(a) Its capture by the enemy.
(b) Its use by the enemy, if captured, against our own or allied troops.
(2) The principles to be followed are:
(a) Methods for the destruction of matériel subject to capture or abandonment in the combat zone must be adequate, uniform, and easily followed in the field.
(b) Destruction must be as complete as available time, equipment, and personnel will permit. If thorough destruction of all parts cannot be completed, the most important features of the matériel should be destroyed, and parts essential to the operation or use of the matériel and which cannot be easily duplicated, ruined, or destroyed. The same essential parts must be destroyed on all like units to prevent the enemy's constructing one complete unit from several damaged ones by "cannibalism."
(c) Destruction of matériel, subject to capture or abandonment in the combat zone, will be undertaken only when in the judgment of the military commander concerned such action is necessary. The destruction of matériel is a command decision to be implemented only on authority delegated by the division or higher commander.
(3) Squads will be trained in the prescribed methods of destruction. Training will not involve the actual destruction of matériel.
b. Methods.—(1) The methods below are given in order of effectiveness. If method No. 1 cannot be used, destruction should be accomplished by one of the other methods outlined, in order of priority shown. Adhere to the sequences.
(2) Certain methods require special tools and equipment such as TNT and incendiary grenades, which may not be items of issue normally. The issue of such special tools and matériel, the vehicles for which issued, and the conditions under which destruction will be effected are command decisions in each case, according to the tactical situation.
47. DESTRUCTION OF CALIBER .30 MACHINE GUN.—a. Method
No. 1.—Field strip. Use barrel as a sledge. Raise cover until
vertical; smash cover down toward front. Deform and break backplate;
b. Method No. 2.—Insert bullet point of complete round into muzzle and bend case slightly, distending mouth of case to permit pulling of bullet. Spill powder from case, retaining sufficient powder to cover the bottom of case to a depth of approximately 1/8 inch. Reinsert pulled bullet, point first, back into the case mouth. Chamber and fire this round with the reduced charge; the bullet will stick in the bore. Chamber one complete round, lay weapon on ground, and fire with a 30-foot lanyard. Use the best available cover, as this means of destruction may be dangerous to the person destroying the weapon. Complete destruction as in method No. 1. Elapsed time: 2 to 3 minutes.
c. Small arms cannot be adequately destroyed by firing with the bore stuck in the ground, with or without a bullet jammed in the muzzle.
d. Machine-gun tripod mount, caliber .30 M2.—Use machine-gun barrel as a sledge. Deform traversing dial. Fold rear legs, turn mount over on head, stand on folded rear legs, knock off traversing dial locking screw, pintle lock, and deform head assembly. Deform folded rear legs so as to prevent unfolding. Extend elevating screw and bend screw by striking with barrel; bend pintle yoke. Elapsed time: 2 minutes.
48. DESTRUCTION OF CALIBER .50 MACHINE GUN.—a. Method No. 1.—Field strip. Use barrel as a sledge. Raise cover; lay bolt in feedway; lower cover on bolt, smash cover down over bolt. Deform backplate. Wedge buffer into rear of casing allowing depressors to protrude; break off depressors by striking with barrel. Lay barrel extension on its side. Hold down with one foot and break off the shank. Deform casing by striking side plates just back of the feedway. Elapsed time: 3 1/2 minutes.
b. Method No. 2.—Insert bullet point of complete round into muzzle
and bend case slightly, distending mouth of case to permit pulling of bullet.
Spill powder from case, retaining sufficient powder to cover the bottom of
the case to a depth of approximately 1/8 inch. Reinsert pulled bullet, point
first, back into the case mouth. Chamber and fire this round with the reduced
charge; the bullet will stick in the bore. Chamber one complete round, lay
weapon on ground, and fire with a
c. Machine-gun tripod mount, caliber .50, M3.—Use machine-gun barrel as a sledge. Deform pintle yoke. Deform traversing dial. Fold rear legs and deform so as to prevent unfolding. Remove front leg and knock off yoke. Extend elevating screw and bend screw by striking with barrel. Turn mount over; deform head assembly and knock off dial locking screw and pintle lock. Elapsed time: 3 minutes.
49. DESTRUCTION OF 60-MM MORTAR.—a. Sight.—Detach the sight. If evacuation is possible, carry the sight; if not, smash the sight thoroughly.
b. Method No. 1.—Place a complete round, with at least 20
increments and with safety wire in fuze not withdrawn, part way into the
mortar tube. Block round in this position by jamming between the round and
the side of the mortar tube a stick, small-arms cartridge, or loop
c. Method No. 2.—Drop two M14 incendiary grenades into the tube and ignite. One grenade should be equipped with a 15-second Bickford fuze, if available, otherwise use standard Bouchon fuze. Elapsed time: 1 minute.
50. DESTRUCTION OF ROCKET LAUNCHER.—Remove firing batteries. Smash tube by pounding it with sledge or rock; if tube has two sections, be sure both sections are thoroughly deformed. Elapsed time: 1 minute.
51. DESTRUCTION OF SMALL ARMS.—a. Method No. 1.—(1) Rifle,
caliber .30, M1.—Remove operating rod and bolt. Bend barrel. Remove and
distort driving spring and/or remove firing pin and break point. Remove trigger
group and break off hammer hooks by striking against the receiver. Bend operating
rod by wedging handle into receiver, standing on the receiver, and pulling up on
the operating rod tube. Elapsed time:
(2) Carbine, caliber .30, M1.—Remove operating rod and bolt. Bend barrel. Remove and distort driving spring and/or remove firing pin and break point. Remove trigger group. Deform operating rod and trigger group by hammering with the receiver. Elapsed time: 2 minutes.
(3) Submachine gun, caliber 45, M1928A1 and M1.—Draw bolt to rear. Using right lip on magazine, or winding key from drum type magazine, free rocket pivot from small spring on pivot plate. Remove safety by freeing it from large spring on pivot plate and pulling it out to left. Pull pivot plate to right. Shake gun until trigger mechanism is loose in frame. Break pivot plate by wedging spring ends in receiver holes and bending plate. Elapsed time: 1 1/2 minutes.
(4) Submachine gun, caliber 45, M3.—Remove barrel; deform with sledge. Remove housing and guide rod assembly and bend and deform both. Smash receiver throat. Time: 2 minutes. If time is limited, do not disassemble. Deform or smash receiver throat so that bolt cannot be retracted. Time: 30 seconds.
b. Method No. 2 for all small arms.—See paragraph 47b and c.
52. DESTRUCTION OF HALF-TRACK CAR.—a. Method No. 1.—(1) Remove and empty portable fire extinguishers. Puncture the fuel tanks if readily accessible. Place TNT charges as indicated. Insert tetryl non-electric caps with at least 5 feet of safety fuze in each charge, unless otherwise indicated. Ignite the fuzes and take cover. Elapsed time: 1 to 2 minutes if charges are prepared beforehand and carried in the vehicle. Place charges as follows:
(2) If sufficient time and materials are available, additional destruction of track-laying vehicles may be accomplished by placing a 2-pound TNT charge at about the center of each track assembly. Detonate these charges in the same manner as the others.
(3) If charges are prepared beforehand and carried in the vehicle, keep the caps and fuzes separated from the charges until used.
(4) For the destruction of pneumatic tires, see paragraph 55.
b. Method No. 2.—(1) Remove and empty the portable fire extinguishers. Puncture the fuel tanks, if readily accessible. Fire on the vehicle, using adjacent tanks, antitank or other artillery, or antitank rockets or grenades. Aim at the engine, suspension, and armament in the order named. If a good fire is started, the vehicle may be considered destroyed. Elapsed time: About 5 minutes per vehicle.
(2) Destroy the last remaining vehicle by the best means available.
c. Method No. 3.—Remove and empty the portable fire extinguishers. Puncture the fuel tanks, if readily accessible. Smash all vital elements (such as distributors, carburetor, radiator, engine block, air and oil cleaners, generator, control levers, crankcase, and transmission) with a heavy ax, pick, or sledge. Pour spare gasoline, oil, or distillate over entire unit and ignite.
d. (1) Whenever time and materials are available, combine the vehicle destruction in a and b above with the armament destruction in paragraphs 47, 48, and 49.
(2) If possible, detach and evacuate all machine guns mounted on vehicles before destroying the vehicle.
53. DESTRUCTION OF AMMUNITION.—a. General.—(1) Time usually will not permit the destruction of all ammunition in forward combat zones.
(2) When sufficient time and materials are available, ammunition may be destroyed as indicated below. At least 30 to 60 minutes may be required to destroy adequately the ammunition carried by combat units.
(3) In general, the methods and safety precautions outlined in TM 9-1900, should be followed whenever possible.
b. Unpacked complete round ammunition.—Stack ammunition in small piles. (Small-arms ammunition may be heaped.) Stack or pile most of the available gasoline in cans and drums around the ammunition. Throw onto the pile all available inflammable material such as rags, scrap wood, and brush. Pour the remaining available gasoline over the pile. Sufficient inflammable material must be used to insure a very hot fire. Ignite the gasoline and take cover.
54. FIRE CONTROL EQUIPMENT.—All fire-control equipment, including optical sights and binoculars, is difficult to replace. It should be the last equipment to be destroyed, if there is any chance of personnel being able to evacuate. If personnel is evacuated, all possible items of fire-control equipment should be carried. If evacuation of personnel is not possible, fire-control equipment must be destroyed. All optical equipment which cannot be evacuated will be thoroughly smashed.
55. PNEUMATIC TIRES.—a. General.—(1) Rubber is such a critical item that whenever matériel is subject to capture or abandonment, an attempt to destroy pneumatic tires must always be made, even if time will not permit destruction of the remainder of the vehicle.
(2) With adequate planning and training, however, the destruction of tires may be accomplished in conjunction with destruction of the vehicle without increasing the time necessary.
b. Method No. 1.—(1) Ignite an M14 incendiary grenade under each tire.
(2) To insure the best results when this method is combined with the destruction by TNT of half-tracks and trucks or towed artillery carriages, be certain that the incendiary fires are well started before detonating the TNT.
c. Method No. 2.—(1) Damage the tires with an axpick, or heavy machine-gun fire (deflate them before doing this, if possible.) Pour spare gasoline on tires, dousing each one, and ignite.
(2) When used in conjunction with wheeled vehicle destruction, the ensuing fire will adequately destroy the vehicle.
56. RADIO EQUIPMENT.—a. Books and papers.—Instruction books, circuit and wiring diagrams, records of kinds for radio equipment, code books, and registered documents will be destroyed by burning.
b. Radio sets. (1) Shear off all panel knobs, dials, and switches with an ax. Break open set compartment, by smashing in the panel face, then knock off the top, bottom, and sides. The object is to destroy the panel and expose the chassis. On top of the chassis strike all tubes and circuit elements with the ax head. On the under side of the chassis, if it can be reached, use the ax to shear or tear off wires and small circuit units. Break sockets and cut unit and circuit wires. Smash or cut tubes, coils, crystal holders, microphones, ear phones, and batteries. Break mast sections and break mast base at the insulator.
(2) When possible, pile up smashed equipment, pour on gas or oil, and set it on fire. If other inflammable material such as wood is available, use it to increase the effect of fire. Bury smashed parts.