Smoke Generator Tin

A smoke generator is a pyrotechnic device used to generate smoke on the battlefield. Larger than a smoke grenade, these smoke generators are launched from vehicles rather than being thrown and usually produce around four or five minutes worth of smoke for screening purposes. The munitions themselves are packaged in small metal tins to protect them from damage or accidental activation and it is one of these tins that is the subject of today’s blog post:

The front of the tin is marked with its contents, in this case the No 8 Smoke Generator:

This generator had been introduced back in the Second World War and had a diameter of 4 inches. It had a compound of Hexachloroethene to produce the smoke and they were originally launched using a cut down Lee-Enfield action and a very large tube!

The smoke generator itself, after firing looked like this:

Returning to the tin, as well as the markings about its contents painted around the outside, it also has the details about the tin itself stamped into the metalwork on the base:

The tins were packaged in boxes with ten rounds and twelve disposable covers for the launchers- under fire you would not want to spend time removing a waterproof cover so spares were issued to replace those shot off when the generators were launched! The box also contained 14 rounds of ballistite to launch the generators with:

One comment

  1. Smoke generators come in a great many sizes, up to ‘bloody huge’ and were used for more than screening or signaling.
    The ‘Atomic Blast Simulator’ consisted pretty much of a very large smoke pot, a large package of flash powder and an entire 55lb case of dynamite !!
    The blast both blew the smoke pot open, lit off the flash powder and propelled the cloud upwards, the smaller size giving an uncanny resemblance to what a ‘mushroom cloud’ would look like if viewed some distance off.
    Of course, if it were a real ‘NuDet’ occuring at a distance where the cloud would appear larger than the simulated one then the effect would be lost completely on the burned out eyeballs of the viewers anyway 😉
    There was another one with a pyrotechnic ‘sound unit’ and a 100lb smoke generator all contained in a 45gal drum for shipping, but it wasn’t nearly as impressive as using an entire case of dynamite for the sound 🙂

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