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Sticky Bombs

        This page is about improvised Sticky Bombs, not the British No.74 grenade
nor the German SS-HL-Handgranate.

        In "Saving Private Ryan" Tom Hank's character suggests using sticky-bombs made from grease covered socks and comments

"It's in the field manual"

        Haven't looked today but I'm pretty certain that is not in the current "Combatives/combat skills" -why not?

        Suppose you put a doubled sock over an offensive grenade and greased it? In MOUT it could be thrown and would stick to a door long enough to explode against it

Bill Schneck writes
        I have some of the US field manuals that cover this. FM 21-75 (Combat Skills of the Soldier) seems to be the most recent (1984) one to deal with expedient anti-armor techniques. It is available on line at:

         It does not mention the "sticky bomb," nor have I seen that in any other manuals (even from the World War II period). As far as that goes, the best treatment I have seen of this subject was a WWII German training video titled "Männer gegen Panzer" (Men against Tanks). It can be purchased on line from "International Historical Films" at
        . It seems most of the techniques in the US manuals were inspired by this captured film. FYI, I have a copy of one of the most interesting: "To Catch a Tank, 'Big Game' Hunting Made Easy," TC 23-3, 30 June 1972. It is in a comic book format. Good luck, I hope this is some help.
        I have some of the original German language documents that pertain to this subject as well (from the US National Archives).
         My only comment to the "sticky bomb" would be that I do not regard it to be a "proven technique." If you recommend it, I would include a recommendation that they experiment with it in training/rehearsals before attempting to use it in combat. I am not sure how well some of this stuff will adhere. It strikes me as funny that the Germans had manufactured anti-tank charges that attached to the armor using magnets, while the US relied on improvised techniques (of course, special purpose defensive items are rarely where you need them).

        Good points -I see this more as something to experiment with for applications other than anti-tank
        Germans also developed anti-magnetic paste to prevent the allies trying the same thing although there was never an allied magnetic charge, so may be the paste was a good idea - that reminds me of the joke about keeping elephants away by throwing paper out of a london bus

        Bill: On zimmerit, see
        As to using the "sticky bomb" concept in urban operations, this is somewhat like the famous old petards that were so dangerous to use for knocking down city gates in the 17th and 18th centuries (Hamlet- "tis sport to see the engineer hoist with his own petard..."). It is also similar to the limpet mines used by naval spec ops units. One interesting item in them is the use of spring-driven nail guns for rapid attachment. Such hardware may be of use in your application.
        The spring-loaded nail guns that I have seen on modern Italian limpet mines would function against steel and concrete as well.
        For doing this from standoff, I prefer to use breaching rounds from a recoilless rifle or rocket launcher. I do not think that any hand-thrown device will have the required accuracy from any distance.

        Interesting idea -the SOE mines had a device like this for attachment to wooden vessels. I'm thinking of a system that you can position by throwing, for when you can't tape an engineers charge to the door and weapons such as Recoilless rifles are not available.

        On another page I've mentioned how effective the glue used on adhesive mousetraps is:- very sticky but does not seem to dry out for days, possibly weeks. For the doorbusting application more mundane adhesives may be used. The stick-on adhesive pads available in most stationary stores might be suitable. One or two of these should be added to each offensive grenade.

        I've just come across this information about breaching interior walls :- it suggests two sheets of M118 "Flex-X", each sheet being only half a pound and 12" x 3" x 0.25".

        Why not a factory-produced breaching charge? Two containers of Flex-X with mouse-trap adhesive on one side and joined by det cord with a pull figniter. This would take up less room in a Soldier's kit than a claymore but can be rapidly brought into action by a man with only basic training. Just peel off the backing and stick each half to the wall a couple of feet apart vertically and pull the igniter. Ralph Zumbro suggests that each half of the charge be about 1/2 inch thick or a pound each. This would give the charge an additional anti-LAV capability.

        Another interesting idea can be found here. Barbed wire was added to Molotovs, Large Grenades and Satchel charges to increase the chance of them catching when thrown at a vehicle.

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