View Full Version : How much plastic explosive would be needed?

07-26-2018, 01:46 PM
... to blow up a substantial building, like a big house?
Could it be planted in the cellar or the house or would it
have to be an upstairs room?
The main thing is not to destroy the house but to destroy it
during a meeting of Nazi generals in a downstairs room.
The perpetrators have access to the building; it's sort of a big villa.
But only one room needs to be destroyed.
They have a good supply of plastics and a timer detonater,
rather I think like the one used on the assassintion attempt
on Hitler.

07-26-2018, 02:23 PM
I'm not too sure about the quantities of explosives, but I know it is hard to blow a building up.
You need to understand the way buildings are constructed and how to undermine the structure so it falls down. Professional demolition people make holes in the walls of the buildings, to weaken them. I would guess that would not be practical for your story. You could place explosives on supportive beams in the cellar. A relatively small explosion could make part of the building collapse.Another possibility is to place explosives on the chimney in the attic. There is a lot of weight in a chimney stacks and if undermined will crash through the ceiling. If you can have you victim sitting by the fire, a ton of bricks coming down might be a worry for them

07-26-2018, 02:46 PM
Thanks. I'll think some more of how they can do this. I'm flexible!

07-27-2018, 06:48 AM
4.7 kilos. Unless it's a different building.


07-27-2018, 10:46 AM
The Valkyrie conspirators planted the briefcase with the plastic explosive (captured from the British) right where Hitler would be standing at a big map table, but you know the story, it's on film, some helpy person brushed against it with his boot and moved it away so the blast was blunted by a heavy table support. And Hitler was carried out, still alive. So close but yet so far.

If you can get the explosive into the same room as the Generals and the explosion isn't thwarted by a resistant obstacle then you've got a good chance of killing them. The blast itself can kill or incapacitate, but if said explosive can be planted inside something or beside something that disintegrates, sending debris/shrapnel everywhere, even better. I recall another WWII thwarted sabotage story, unrelated to Hitler, an enterprising chap chiselled a space for his bomb inside a statue, which would have fragmented everywhere, but he was discovered and arrested before he completed his weeks-long task. Bad luck, good idea, though.

A couple of plastic bricks could do the business, planted apart but detonated simultaneously, the percussive shock wave could bring down the ceiling and walls, trapping and killing whoever's in the downstairs room. And the house above would collapse on top of this, sealing the deal. Planting more than one bomb may seem redundant, but if one is discovered the other might still do the business.


07-27-2018, 11:21 AM
So much is down to chance.
It's not just how much plastic explosive could be surreptitiously brought into the building and carefully located at the proper weak points to destroy part of the building.

There's also 'how do you keep the targeted people in the right place at the right time?'

The famous July 20th plot that just missed killing Hitler to start Operation Valkyrie failed. The briefcase that held the bomb was shoved out of the way by a third party, and ended up behind a heavy table leg. Which, when it exploded, only killed four people, none of them Hitler.

That one used a 1 kilo block of explosive, which was originally intended to be used in a solid blockhouse, where the trapped explosion and resulting shrapnel would be lethal to all in the room.
However the meeting was moved to a smaller wooden building, where the explosive force was able to escape.

Are you sure you couldn't park a tank or anti-aircraft gun just out of sight, and use that?

07-27-2018, 01:44 PM
No, it's got to be plastics... but dpaterso's comment has given me an idea.... (thanks Derek!)
And it's OK -- the bombing is meant to fail. So though the bomb goes off, the intended target is no longer in the house... :cry:

Thomas Vail
07-27-2018, 08:30 PM
There are many ways it could fail. Target takes a call and walks out of the room. Something pulls them outside of the building. The incidents involving the 'demon core' (a plutonium testing core that was involved in two separate fatal accidents) are another good example of how random chance can save people. In one of the incidents where the core went supercritical, it was the 'shadow' created by the researcher standing right next to it at the time that prevented some of the people behind him from being bombarded by dangers radioactivity. He himself of course was not so lucky.

Al X.
07-28-2018, 01:07 AM
If the intention is to kill all the Nazi generals in the room, then a single brick with a mass of heavy nails taped around it would be quite effective, placed anywhere in the room.

If you tasked me with the destruction off the building itself, I would form the plastics in to cone shaped charges aimed at the corners near the foundations. These days we use det cord to string the charges together for simultaneous explosion, but back then you would have had to accomplish that using electric caps.

07-29-2018, 06:32 PM
Would it be possible to mould the plastic to the top of the conference table legs?

Al X.
07-30-2018, 02:11 AM
Would it be possible to mould the plastic to the top of the conference table legs?

Sure, but it would be more destructive as a single charge. Plus then you have to rig them all up for simultaneous detonation.