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The document was, no doubt, used by the Dutch resistance during the Second World War. Overall, the Dutch resistance was less violent than in other European countries and focused primarily on hiding and sheltering fugitives, sabotaging telephone lines, publishing underground newspapers and counterfeiting money. However, after the famous January strike of 1941 and the April-May strike of 1943, the Dutch resistance became more violent. In the course of the war, houses, bridges and railroad tracks were blown up.


Many of the weapons and explosives used by the resistance were dropped by allied aircrafts. However, the Dutch also made their own explosives, often under the guidance of an expert or with the help of a detailed manual such as this one. The Dutch resistance seems to have favoured ‘trotyl’ (TNT). But the explosive described in the present document was different and apparently more powerful, similar to Miedziankit, which was widely used in the First World War.


It was composed of a fuse, a detonator and the explosive material, consisting of potassium chlorate (85%), sawdust (12%), and paraffin oil (5%). According to the document one kg was enough to make a house collapse, while 25 kg could destroy a bridge.


A rare survival.

DIY guide for making an explosive: Dutch resistance during WWII

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  • Samenstelling en fabricatie van explosief, krachtiger dan Trotyl. [Composition and manufacture of an explosive more powerful than TNT].

    [Netherlands, 1940s.]

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