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Title:SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE TESTING OF EXPLOSIVE AND INCENDIARY DEVICES FOR SABOTAGE [Allocated Title]
Film Number:MGH 4324
Other titles:MAJOR C V CLARKE COLLECTION [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: Railway engine shots; tests of various types of explosive devices.
Description: I. (In b/w) Continuing from MGH 4323 (qv), a railway worker opens and closes the smoke box of a railway engine. Shots show various parts of a railway engine and an LNER train passing. A man switches some railway points.
II. (In b/w) In woods, men in civilian clothes prepare plastic explosive (PE) and attach a detonator. In a quarry, a man attaches a circular sausage PE charge to a metal plate and fixes the detonator. The Bickford fuse is lit. The explosion is filmed from a distance. The resulting hole in the plate is examined.
III. (In colour) A demonstration of a method of blowing up a liquid container by igniting an incendiary and then blowing a hole in the container - a Warrant Officer fixes a detonator to a fuse with a crimping tool. He holds a double incendiary charge taped together. One end of the fuse is fixed to a charge attached to a metal plate. The Warrant Officer lights the fuse and retires - the incendiaries ignite.
IV. (In b/w) A man unravels a sausage/link charge around a large cylindrical metal tank set up in woodland. The charge explodes, cutting the tank in two - the liquid inside pours out. A large group of officers and civilians examine it. A tree spigot attached to a tree has its sight removed. The mortar is fired at a metal plate, and the resulting hole shown. The group of officers and civilians walk away.
V. (In colour) In a quarry a petrol can is blown up by a charge attached to its side. An officer throws incendiary grenades into the quarry (first one fails to go off). A fuse taped to the side of a glass bottle containing orange liquid is lit. The resulting incendiary explosion is shown from a distance. A soldier places some kind of incendiary (embedded in a piece of coal?) on to a bed of straw. From a distance the device is seen burning. A civilian wearing gloves places a charge on a girder. A soldier places a petrol can on a sleeper and lights the attached device which explodes (filmed from a distance).
Technical Details: Format: 16mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 227 ft; Running time: 10 mins (at 16 fps)
Notes: Summary: the man wearing gloves was probably handling Nobel 808 explosive which causes headaches and sickness after prolonged skin contact.
Part of collection of film shot by or for Major C V Clarke, MC while on staff of Special Operations Executive (SOE) Technical Research and Development Station (Station XII, Brickendonbury House in Hertfordshire), showing trials of various sabotage devices for use against Germans in Occupied Europe during the Second World War.