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WEAPONS Training must, of course, fall into its true perspective with other branches of training, but it is so vital a part that those who specialise in Fieldcraft, Intelligence, Signalling, etc., must forgive me if, in this article, I should appear to overestimate its importance.

These reflections cover a period of over four years during which there have been three Weapons Training Officers at B.H.Q. In chronological order they are myself, Major Hodgkin and Lieut. Fox.

I feel that we who have held the appointment, and those who have assisted us, have every reason to congratulate ourselves on the fact that during the whole of this time no serious accident occurred, although the men handled an enormous quantity of dangerous weapons, grenades and bombs. To quote Hodgkin, we were successful rather than fortunate.

Our first defensive weapon was the Molotof Cocktail. This was in use in the very early days of the L.D.V. and consisted of a preparation of paraffin and tar poured into a bottle, any bottle shaped


like a beer-bottle serving the purpose. The bottle was then sealed and a piece of cotton-wool secured at the neck by wire. The idea was to soak the cotton-wool in petrol, ignite it, and throw the bottle against some hard surface such as a tank or lorry, when it would break and the contents immediately burst into flame. Each company made its own Molotofs, with the result that throughout the Battalion there must have been many hundreds of these bottles. I remember that our C.O., together with Major Stephens, Capt. Howarth and myself tested a number of these against the bridge in Stillwell Lane, Aldridge. Everything went according to plan, but when we had finished throwing them, the road was strewn with broken glass, which all had to be picked up - an anticlimax. I rather fancy that it must have flashed through the mind of each one of us that the man who would risk getting near enough to German transport and throwing a Molotof at it would deserve the V.C. - posthumous, of course.

About the time of this Molotof Cocktail activity, various men were selected to be attached to B.H.Q. to deal with the volume of paper work that passed through the office. It was not long,