List of explosives used during World War II

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Almost all the common explosives listed here were mixtures of several common components:

This is only a partial list; there were many others. Many of these compositions are now obsolete and only encountered in legacy munitions and unexploded ordnance.

Name Composition Notes
Amatol Ammonium nitrate and TNT Extensively used in bombs, shells, depth charges and naval mines
Baronal Barium nitrate, TNT and powdered aluminium
Baratol Barium nitrate and TNT Used in British hand grenades
Composition A 88.3% RDX and 11.7% plasticizer
Composition B RDX, TNT and wax
Composition H6 45% RDX, 30% TNT, 20% powdered aluminium and 5% wax Replaced Torpex for use in naval applications.
DBX (Depth Bomb Explosive 21% RDX, 21% ammonium nitrate, 40% TNT, 18% powdered aluminium An alternative for Torpex, that used less of the strategic material RDX
Minol 40% TNT, 40% ammonium nitrate and 20% powdered aluminium (Minol-2) Developed by the British Royal Navy and used in torpedoes, depth charges and naval mines. Unsuitable for shells because of a risk of detonation if subjected to very high accelerations.
Octol 75% HMX (cyclotetramethylene-tetranitramine) and 25% TNT Still in use
Pentolites 50% PETN and 50% TNT
Picratol 52% ammonium picrate and 48% TNT Used in armour-piercing shells and bombs as insensitive to shock
PIPE 81% PETN and 19% Oil
PTX-1 30% RDX, 50% tetryl and 20% TNT
PTX-2 41-44% RDX, 26-28% PETN and 28-33% TNT
PVA-4 90% RDX, 8% PVA and 2% dibutyl phthalate
RIPE 85% RDX and 15% Oil
Tetrytols 70% Tetryl and 30% TNT
Torpex 42% RDX, 40% TNT and 18% powdered aluminium Developed for use in torpedoes, it was especially effective at producing destructive, underwater explosions.
Trialen 105 15% RDX, 70% TNT and 15% powdered aluminium Used by the Luftwaffe
Explosive "D" Ammonium Picrate US Army/Navy
Type 91 Explosive Trinitroanisol (TNA) Japanese Army/Navy

Two Nuclear explosives, containing mixtures of uranium and plutonium, respectively, were also used at the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

See also[edit]