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\fancyhead[CE,CO]{\textit{Simple Sabotage Field Manual}}
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\author{United States Office of Strategic Services}
\title{Simple Sabotage Field Manual}
\date{17 January 1944}
Office of Strategic Services \\ \\
Washington, D.C.\\ \\
17 January 1944
This Simple Sabotage Field Manual Strategic Services
(Provisional) is published for the information and guidance of
all concerned and will be used as the basic doctrine for
Strategic Services training for this subject.
The contents of this Manual should be carefully controlled
and should not be allowed to come into unauthorized hands.
The instructions may be placed in separate pamphlets or
leaflets according to categories of operations but should be
distributed with care and not broadly. They should be used as a
basis of radio broadcasts only for local and special cases and as
directed by the theater commander.
AR 380-5, pertaining to handling of secret documents, will
be complied with in the handling of this Manual.
William J. Donovan \\
\chapter*{A Note from the Typesetter}
The United States military has a history of publishing documents that are both interesting and useful—the Army Survival Manual (FM 2-05.70) being perhaps the most well known.\footnote{This document is easily available on the internet.}
I originally found this on Project Gutenberg and was immediately struck by how useful some of this information is, and how quaint and outdated other parts of it are. If we are to face another war against fascists (and the probability of that seems to be increasing every week), this document is in need of a comprehensive upgrade.
I decided to convert it to \LaTeX{} for three reasons.
\item I wanted to gain more experience with typesetting books in \LaTeX{} using the \texttt{book} class, and as a short book, this seemed ideal.
\item The original typography was questionable in places, particularly with regard to nested lists. This seems reasonable; the booklet was originally produced during wartime with presumably limited resources.
\item Make it easier to update.
In typesetting this as a book, I have not altered the text, but I have introduced some headings and additional formatting to make the nested lists consistent. Chapters 4 and 5 were problematic in many ways, as their structure varies greatly from the first three chapters, and their formatting was often internally inconsistent. Chapters 1 and 2 were oddly numbered, and those numbers were removed in the Gutenberg version, which makes sense.
This project is located at \texttt{}, where you can find a scan of the original document for comparison.
As far as I can tell, this document was declassified on 16 June 1976.\footnote{Three days after my eighth birthday. This document was active in my lifetime.}
Kenneth John Odle \\
\lettrine[loversize=0.3, nindent=-1pt]{T}{he} purpose of this paper is to characterize simple sabotage,
to outline its possible effects, and to present suggestions for
inciting and executing it.
Sabotage varies from highly technical \textit{coup de main} acts that
require detailed planning and the use of specially-trained
operatives, to innumerable simple acts which the ordinary
individual citizen-saboteur can perform. This paper is
primarily concerned with the latter type. Simple sabotage does
not require specially prepared tools or equipment; it is
executed by an ordinary citizen who may or may not act
individually and without the necessity for active connection
with an organized group; and it is carried out in such a way as
to involve a minimum danger of injury, detection, and reprisal.
Where destruction is involved, the weapons of the citizen-saboteur are salt, nails, candles, pebbles, thread, or any other
materials he might normally be expected to possess as a
householder or as a worker in his particular occupation. His
arsenal is the kitchen shelf, the trash pile, his own usual kit of
tools and supplies. The targets of his sabotage are usually
objects to which he has normal and inconspicuous access in
everyday life.
A second type of simple sabotage requires no destructive
tools whatsoever and produces physical damage, if any, by
highly indirect means. It is based on universal opportunities to
make faulty decisions, to adopt a noncooperative attitude, and
to induce others to follow suit. Making a faulty decision may be
simply a matter of placing tools in one spot instead of another.
A non-cooperative attitude may involve nothing more than
creating an unpleasant situation among one’s fellow workers,
engaging in bickerings, or displaying surliness and stupidity.
This type of activity, sometimes referred to as the ``human
element,'' is frequently responsible for accidents, delays, and
general obstruction even under normal conditions. The
potential saboteur should discover what types of faulty
decisions and the operations are \textit{normally} found in this kind of
work and should then devise his sabotage so as to enlarge that ``margin for error.''
\chapter{Possible Effects}
\lettrine[loversize=0.3, findent=-2pt]{A}{cts} of simple sabotage are occurring throughout Europe. An
effort should be made to add to their efficiency, lessen their
detectability, and increase their number. Acts of simple
sabotage, multiplied by thousands of citizen-saboteurs, can be
an effective weapon against the enemy. Slashing tires, draining
fuel tanks, starting fires, starting arguments, acting stupidly,
short-circuiting electric systems, abrading machine parts will
waste materials, manpower, and time. Occurring on a wide
scale, simple sabotage will be a constant and tangible drag on
the war effort of the enemy.
Simple sabotage may also have secondary results of more or
less value. Widespread practice of simple sabotage will harass
and demoralize enemy administrators and police. Further,
success may embolden the citizen-saboteur eventually to find
colleagues who can assist him in sabotage of greater
dimensions. Finally, the very practice of simple sabotage by
natives in enemy or occupied territory may make these
individuals identify themselves actively with the United
Nations war effort, and encourage them to assist openly in
periods of Allied invasion and occupation.
\chapter{Motivating the Saboteur}
\lettrine[loversize=0.3, findent=2pt, nindent=-0pt]{T}{o} incite the citizen to the active practice of simple sabotage
and to keep him practicing that sabotage over sustained
periods is a special problem.
Simple sabotage is often an act which the citizen performs
according to his own initiative and inclination. Acts of
destruction do not bring him any personal gain and may be
completely foreign to his habitually conservationist attitude
toward materials and tools. Purposeful stupidity is contrary to
human nature. He frequently needs pressure, stimulation or
assurance, and information and suggestions regarding feasible
methods of simple sabotage.
\section{Personal Motives}
\hspace{\parindent}(a) The ordinary citizen very probably has no immediate
personal motive for committing simple sabotage. Instead, he
must be made to anticipate indirect personal gain, such as
might come with enemy evacuation or destruction of the ruling
government group. Gains should be stated as specifically as
possible for the area addressed: simple sabotage will hasten the
day when Commissioner X and his deputies Y and Z will be
thrown out, when particularly obnoxious decrees and
restrictions will be abolished, when food will arrive, and so on.
Abstract verbalizations about personal liberty, freedom of the
press, and so on, will not be convincing in most parts of the
world. In many areas they will not even be comprehensible.
(b) Since the effect of his own acts is limited, the saboteur
may become discouraged unless he feels that he is a member of
a large, though unseen, group of saboteurs operating against
the enemy or the government of his own country and
elsewhere. This can be conveyed indirectly: suggestions which
he reads and hears can include observations that a particular
technique has been successful in this or that district. Even if the
technique is not applicable to his surroundings, another’s
success will encourage him to attempt similar acts. It also can
be conveyed directly: statements praising the effectiveness of
simple sabotage can be contrived which will be published by
white radio, freedom stations, and the subversive press.
Estimates of the proportion of the population engaged in
sabotage can be disseminated. Instances of successful sabotage
already are being broadcast by white radio and freedom
stations, and this should be continued and expanded where
compatible with security.
(c) More important than (a) or (b) would be to create a
situation in which the citizen-saboteur acquires a sense of
responsibility and begins to educate others in simple sabotage.
\section{Encouraging Destructiveness}
It should be pointed out to the saboteur where the
circumstances are suitable, that he is acting in self-defense
against the enemy, or retaliating against the enemy for other
acts of destruction. A reasonable amount of humor in the
presentation of suggestions for simple sabotage will relax
tensions of fear.
\hspace{\parindent}(a) The saboteur may have to reverse his thinking, and he
should be told this in so many words. Where he formerly
thought of keeping his tools sharp, he should now let them
grow dull; surfaces that formerly were lubricated now should
be sanded; normally diligent, he should now be lazy and
careless; and so on. Once he is encouraged to think backwards
about himself and the objects of his everyday life, the saboteur
will see many opportunities in his immediate environment
which cannot possibly be seen from a distance. A state of mind
should be encouraged that anything can be sabotaged.
(b) Among the potential citizen-saboteurs who are to engage
in physical destruction, two extreme types may be
distinguished. On the one hand, there is the man who is not
technically trained and employed. This man needs specific
suggestions as to what he can and should destroy as well as
details regarding the tools by means of which destruction is
(c) At the other extreme is the man who is a technician, such
as a lathe operator or an automobile mechanic. Presumably
this man would be able to devise methods of simple sabotage
which would be appropriate to his own facilities. However, this
man needs to be stimulated to re-orient his thinking in the
direction of destruction. Specific examples, which need not be
from his own field, should accomplish this.
(d) Various media may be used to disseminate suggestions
and information regarding simple sabotage. Among the media
which may be used, as the immediate situation dictates, are:
freedom stations or radio false (unreadable) broadcasts or
leaflets may be directed toward specific geographic or
occupational areas, or they may be general in scope. Finally,
agents may be trained in the art of simple sabotage, in
anticipation of a time when they may be able to communicate
this information directly.
\section{Safety Measures}
\hspace{\parindent}(a) The amount of activity carried on by the saboteur will be
governed not only by the number of opportunities he sees, but
also by the amount of danger he feels. Bad news travels fast,
and simple sabotage will be discouraged if too many simple
saboteurs are arrested.
(b) It should not be difficult to prepare leaflets and other
media for the saboteur about the choice of weapons, time, and
targets which will insure the saboteur against detection and
retaliation. Among such suggestions might be the following:
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Use materials which appear to be innocent. A knife or a
nail file can be carried normally on your person; either is a
multi-purpose instrument for creating damage. Matches,
pebbles, hair, salt, nails, and dozens of other destructive agents
can be carried or kept in your living quarters without exciting
any suspicion whatever. If you are a worker in a particular
trade or industry you can easily carry and keep such things as
wrenches, hammers, emery paper, and the like.
(2) Try to commit acts for which large numbers of people
could be responsible. For instance, if you blow out the wiring in
a factory at a central fire box, almost anyone could have done
it. On-the-street sabotage after dark, such as you might be able
to carry out against a military car or truck, is another example
of an act for which it would be impossible to blame you.
(3) Do not be afraid to commit acts for which you might be
blamed directly, so long as you do so rarely, and as long as you
have a plausible excuse: you dropped your wrench across an
electric circuit because an air raid had kept you up the night
before and you were half-dozing at work. Always be profuse in
your apologies. Frequently you can “get away” with such acts
under the cover of pretending stupidity, ignorance, over-
caution, fear of being suspected of sabotage, or weakness and
dullness due to undernourishment.
(4) After you have committed an act of easy sabotage, resist
any temptation to wait around and see what happens. Loiterers
arouse suspicion. Of course, there are circumstances when it
would be suspicious for you to leave. If you commit sabotage on
your job, you should naturally stay at your work.
\chapter{Tools, Targets, and Timing}
\lettrine[loversize=0.3, nindent=0pt]{T}{he} citizen-saboteur cannot be closely controlled. Nor is it
reasonable to expect that simple sabotage can be precisely
concentrated on specific types of target according to the
requirements of a concrete military situation. Attempts to
control simple sabotage according to developing military
factors, moreover, might provide the enemy with intelligence of
more or less value in anticipating the date and area of notably
intensified or notably slackened military activity.
Sabotage suggestions, of course, should be adapted to fit the
area where they are to be practiced. Target priorities for
general types of situations likewise can be specified, for
emphasis at the proper time by the underground press,
freedom stations, and cooperating propaganda.
\section{Under General Conditions}
\hspace{\parindent}(a) Simple sabotage is more than malicious mischief, and it
should always consist of acts whose results will be detrimental
to the materials and manpower of the enemy.
(b) The saboteur should be ingenious in using his every-day
equipment. All sorts of weapons will present themselves if he
looks at his surroundings in a different light. For example,
emery dust—a at first may seen unobtainable but if the
saboteur were to pulverize an emery knife sharpener or emery
wheel with a hammer, he would find himself with a plentiful
(c) The saboteur should never attack targets beyond his
capacity or the capacity of his instruments. An inexperienced
person should not, for example, attempt to use explosives, but
should confine himself to the use of matches or other familiar
(d) The saboteur should try to damage only objects and
materials known to be in use by the enemy or to be destined for
early use by the enemy. It will be safe for him to assume that
almost any product of heavy industry is destined for enemy
use, and that the most efficient fuels and lubricants also are
destined for enemy use. Without special knowledge, however, it
would be undesirable for him to attempt destruction of food
crops or food products.
(e) Although the citizen-saboteur may rarely have access to
military objects, he should give these preference above all
\section{Prior to a Military Offensive}
During periods which are quiescent in a military sense, such
emphasis as can be given to simple sabotage might well center
on industrial production, to lessen the flow of materials and
equipment to the enemy. Slashing a rubber tire on an Army
truck may be an act of value; spoiling a batch of rubber in the
production plant is an act of still more value.
\section{During a Military Offensive}
\hspace{\parindent}(a) Most significant sabotage for an area which is, or is soon
destined to be, a theater of combat operations is that whose
effects will be direct and immediate. Even if the effects are
relatively minor and localized, this type of sabotage is to be
preferred to activities whose effects, while widespread, are
indirect and delayed.
\hspace{\parindent}(1) The saboteur should be encouraged to attack
transportation facilities of all kinds.
Among such facilities are roads, railroads, auto mobiles,
trucks, motor-cycles, bicycles, trains, and trams.
(2) Any communications facilities which can be used by the
authorities to transmit instructions or morale material should
be the objects of simple sabotage. These include telephone,
telegraph and power systems, radio, newspapers, placards, and
public notices.
(3) Critical materials, valuable in themselves or necessary to
the efficient functioning of transportation and communication,
also should become targets for the citizen-saboteur. These may
include oil, gasoline, tires, food, and water.
\chapter{Specific Suggestions for Simple Sabotage}
\lettrine[loversize=0.3, nindent=1pt]{I}{t} will not be possible to evaluate the desirability of simple
sabotage in an area without having in mind rather specifically
what individual acts and results are embraced by the definition
of simple sabotage.
A listing of specific acts follows, classified according to types
of target. This list is presented as a growing rather than a
complete outline of the methods of simple sabotage. As new
techniques are developed, or new fields explored, it will be
elaborated and expanded.
Warehouses, barracks, offices, hotels, and factory buildings
are outstanding targets for simple sabotage. They are extremely
susceptible to damage, especially by fire; they offer
opportunities to such untrained people as janitors, charwomen,
and casual visitors; and, when damaged, they present a
relatively large handicap to the enemy.
(a) \textit{Fire}
Fire can be started wherever there is an accumulation of
inflam\-mable material. Warehouses are obviously the most
promising targets but incendiary sabotage need not be confined
to them alone.
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Whenever possible, arrange to have the fire start after you
have gone away. Use a candle and paper, combination, setting
it as close as possible to the inflammable material you want to
burn: From a sheet of paper, tear a strip three or four
centimeters wide and wrap it around the base of the candle two
or three times. Twist more sheets of paper into loose ropes and
place them around the base of the candle. When the candle
flame reaches the encircling strip, it will be ignited and in turn
will ignite the surrounding paper. The size, heat, and duration
of the resulting flame will depend on how much paper you use
and how much of it you can cramp in a small space.
(2) With a flame of this kind, do not attempt to ignite any but
rather inflammable materials, such as cotton sacking. To light
more resistant materials, use a candle plus tightly rolled or
twisted paper which has been soaked in gasoline. To create a
briefer but even hotter flame, put celluloid such as you might
find in an old comb, into a nest of plain or saturated paper
which is to be fired by a candle.
(3) To make another type of simple fuse, soak one end of a
piece of string in grease. Rub a generous pinch of gunpowder
over the inch of string where greasy string meets clean string.
Then ignite the clean end of the string. It will burn slowly
without a flame (in much the same way that a cigarette burns)
until it reaches the grease and gunpowder; it will then flare up
suddenly. The grease-treated string will then burn with a flame.
The same effect may be achieved by using matches instead of
the grease and gunpowder. Run the string over the match
heads, taking care that the string is not pressed or knotted.
They too will produce a sudden flame. The advantage of this
type of fuse is that string burns at a set speed. You can time
your fire by the length and thickness of the string you chose.
(4) Use a fuse such as; the ones suggested above to start a
fire in an office after hours. The destruction of records and
other types of documents would be a serious handicap to the
(5) In basements where waste is kept, janitors should
accumulate oily and greasy waste. Such waste sometimes
ignites spontaneously, but it can easily be lit with a cigarette or
match. If you are a janitor on night duty, you can be the first to
report the fire, but don’t report it too soon.
(6) A clean factory is not susceptible to fire, but a dirty one is.
Workers should be careless with refuse and janitors should be
inefficient in cleaning. If enough dirt and trash can be
accumulated an otherwise fireproof building will become
(7) Where illuminating gas is used in a room which is vacant
at night, shut the windows tightly, turn on the gas, and leave a
candle burning in the room, closing the door tightly behind
you. After a time, the gas will explode, and a fire may or may
not follow.
(b) \textit{Water and Miscellaneous}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Ruin warehouse stock by setting the automatic sprinkler
system to work. You can do this by tapping the sprinkler heads
sharply with a hammer or by holding a match under them.
(2) Forget to provide paper in toilets; put tightly rolled paper,
hair, and other obstructions in the W. C. Saturate a sponge with
a thick starch or sugar solution. Squeeze it tightly into a ball,
wrap it with string, and dry. Remove the string when fully
dried. The sponge will be in the form of a tight hard ball. Flush
down a W. C. or otherwise introduce into a sewer line. The sponge
will gradually expand to its normal size and plug the sewage
(3) Put a coin beneath a bulb in a public building during the
daytime, so that fuses will blow out when lights are turned on
at night. The fuses themselves may be rendered ineffective by
putting a coin behind them or loading them with heavy wire.
Then a short-circuit may either start a fire, damage
transformers, or blow out a central fuse which will interrupt
distribution of electricity to a large area.
(4) Jam paper, bits of wood, hairpins, and anything else that
will fit, into the locks of all unguarded entrances to public
\section{Industrial Production: Manufacturing}
(a) \textit{Tools}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Let cutting tools grow dull. They will be inefficient, will
slow down production, and may damage the materials and
parts you use them on.
(2) Leave saws slightly twisted when you are not using them.
After a while, they will break when used.
(3) Using a very rapid stroke will wear out a file before its
time. So will dragging a file in slow strokes under heavy
pressure. Exert pressure on the backward stroke as well as the
forward stroke.
(4) Clean files by knocking them against the vise or the
workpiece; they are easily broken this way.
(5) Bits and drills will snap under heavy pressure.
(6) You can put a press punch out of order by putting in it
more material than it is adjusted for — two blanks instead of
one, for example.
(7) Power-driven tools like pneumatic drills, riveters, and so
on, are never efficient when dirty. Lubrication points and
electric contacts can easily be fouled by normal accumulations
of dirt or the insertion of foreign matter.
(b) \textit{Lubrication}
Oil and lubrication systems are not only vulnerable to
easy sabotage, but are critical in every machine with moving
parts. Sabotage of oil and lubrication will slow production or
stop work entirely at strategic points in industrial processes.
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Put metal dust or filings, fine sand, ground glass, emery
dust (get it by pounding up an emery knife sharpener) and
similar hard, gritty substances directly into lubrication
systems. They will scour smooth surfaces, ruining pistons,
cylinder walls, shafts, and bearings. They will overheat and
stop motors which will need overhauling, new parts, and
extensive repairs. Such materials, if they are used, should be
introduced into lubrication systems past any filters which
otherwise would strain them out.
(2) You can cause wear on any machine by uncovering a filter
system, poking a pencil or any other sharp object through the
filter mesh, then covering it up again. Or, if you can dispose of
it quickly, simply remove the filter.
(3) If you cannot get at the lubrication system or filter
directly, you may be able to lessen the effectiveness of oil by
diluting it in storage. In this case, almost any liquid will do
which will thin the oil. A small amount of sulphuric acid,
varnish, water-glass, or linseed oil will be especially effective.
(4) Using a thin oil where a heavy oil is prescribed will break
down a machine or heat up a moving shaft so that it will
“freeze” and stop.
(5) Put any clogging substance into lubrication systems or, if
it will float, into stored oil. Twisted combings of human hair,
pieces of string, dead insects, and many other common objects
will be effective in stopping or hindering the flow of oil through
feed lines and filters.
(6) Under some circumstances, you may be able to destroy
oil outright rather than interfere with its effectiveness, by
removing stop-plugs from lubricating systems or by puncturing
the drums and cans in which it is stored.
(c) \textit{Cooling systems}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) A water cooling system can be put
out of commission in a fairly short time, with considerable
damage to an engine or motor, if you put into it several pinches
of hard grain, such as rice or wheat. They will swell up and
choke the circulation of water, and the cooling system will have
to be torn down to remove the obstruction. Sawdust or hair
may also be used to clog a water cooling system.
(2) If very cold water is quickly introduced into the cooling
system of an overheated motor, contraction and ~considerable
strain on the engine housing will result. If you can repeat the
treatment a few times, cracking and serious damage will result.
(3) You can ruin the effectiveness of an air cooling system by
plugging dirt and waste into intake or exhaust valves. If a belt-
run fan is used in the system, make a jagged cut at least half
way through the belt; it will slip and finally part under strain
and the motor will overheat.
(d) \textit{Fuel Tanks}
Gasoline and oil fuel tanks and fueling engines usually
are accessible and easy to open. They afford a very vulnerable
target for simple sabotage activities.
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Put several pinches of
sawdust or hard grain, such as rice or wheat, into the fuel tank
of a gasoline engine. The particles will choke a feed line so that
the engine will stop. Some time will be required to discover the
source of the trouble. Although they will be hard to get, crumbs
of natural rubber, such as you might find in old rubber bands
and pencil erasers, are also effective.
(2) If you can accumulate sugar, put it in the fuel tank of a
gasoline engine. As it burns together with the gasoline, it will
turn into a sticky mess which will completely mire the engine
and necessitate extensive cleaning and repair. Honey and
molasses are as good as sugar. Try to use about 75–100 grams
for each 10 gallons of gasoline.
(3) Other impurities which you can introduce into gasoline
will cause rapid engine wear and eventual breakdown. Fine
particles of pumice, sand, ground glass, and metal dust can
easily be introduced into a gasoline tank. Be sure that the
particles are very fine, so that they will be able to pass through
the carburetor jet.
(4) Water, urine, wine, or any other simple liquid you can get
in reasonably large quantities will dilute gasoline fuel to a point
where no combustion will occur in the cylinder and the engine
will not move. One pint to 20 gallons of gasoline is sufficient. If
salt water is used, it will cause corrosion and permanent motor
(5) In the case of Diesel engines, put low flashpoint oil into
the fuel tank; the engine will not move. If there already is
proper oil in the tank when the wrong kind is added, the engine
will only limp and sputter along.
(6) Fuel lines to gasoline and oil engines frequently pass over
the exhaust pipe. When the machine is at rest, you can stab a
small hole in the fuel line and plug the hole with wax. As the
engine runs and the exhaust tube becomes hot, the wax will be
melted; fuel will drip onto the exhaust and a blaze will start.
(7) If you have access to a room where gasoline is stored,
remember that gas vapor accumulating in a closed room will
explode after a time if you leave a candle burning in the room.
A good deal of evaporation, however, must occur from the
gasoline tins into the air of the room. If removal of the tops of
the tins does not expose enough gasoline to the air to ensure
copious evaporation, you can open lightly constructed tins
further with a knife, ice pick or sharpened nail file. Or puncture
a tiny hole in the tank which will permit gasoline to leak out on
the floor. This will greatly increase the rate of evaporation.
Before you light your candle, be sure that windows are closed
and the room is as air-tight as you can make it. If you can see
that windows in a neighboring room are opened wide, you have
a chance of setting a large fire which will not only destroy the
gasoline but anything else nearby; when the gasoline explodes,
the doors of the storage room will be blown open, a draft to the
neighboring windows will be created which will whip up a fine
(e) \textit{Electric Motors}
Electric motors (including dynamos) are
more restricted than the targets so far discussed. They cannot
be sabotaged easily or without risk of injury by unskilled
persons who may otherwise have good opportunities for
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Set the rheostat to a high point of resistance in all types of
electric motors. They will overheat and catch fire.
(2) Adjust the overload relay to a very high value beyond the
capacity of the motor. Then overload the motor to a point
where it will overheat and break down.
(3) Remember that dust, dirt, and moisture are enemies of
electrical equipment. Spill dust and dirt onto the points where
the wires in electric motors connect with terminals, and onto
insulating parts. Inefficient transmission of current and, in
some cases, short circuits will result. Wet generator motors to
produce short circuits.
(4) ``Accidentally'' bruise the insulation on wire, loosen nuts
on connections, make faulty splices and faulty connections in
wiring, to waste electric current and reduce the power of
electric motors.
(5) Damage to commutators can reduce the power output or cause short circuiting in
direct-current motors: Loosen or remove commutator holding
rings. Sprinkle carbon, graphite, or metal dust on
commutators. Put a little grease or oil at the contact points of
commutators. Where commutator bars are close together
bridge the gaps between them with metal dust, or sawtooth
their edges with a chisel so that the teeth on adjoining bars
meet or nearly meet and current can pass from one to the
(6) Put a piece of finely grained emery paper half the size of a
postage stamp in a place where it will wear away rotating
brushes. The emery paper and the motor will be destroyed in
the resulting fire.
(7) Sprinkle carbon, graphite or metal dust on slip-rings so
that the current will leak or short circuits will occur. When a
motor is idle, nick the slip-rings with a chisel.
(8) Cause motor stoppage or inefficiency by applying dust
mixed with grease to the face of the armature so that it will not
make proper contact.
(9) To overheat electric motors, mix sand with heavy grease
and smear it between the stator and rotor, or wedge thin metal
pieces between them. To prevent the efficient generation of
current, put floor sweepings, oil, tar, or paint between them.
(10) In motors using three-phase current, deeply nick one of
the lead-in wires with a knife or file when the machine is at
rest, or replace one of the three fuses with a blown-out fuse. In
the first case, the motor will stop after running awhile, and in
the second, it will not start.
(f) \textit{Transformers}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Transformers of the oil-filled type can be put out of
commission if you pour water, salt water, machine-tool coolant,
or kerosene into the oil tank.
(2) In air-cooled transformers, block the ventilation by piling
debris around the transformer.
(3) In all types of transformers, throw carbon, graphite or
metal dust over the outside bushings and other exposed
electrical parts.
(g) \textit{Turbines}
Turbines for the most part are heavily built, stoutly
housed, and difficult of access. Their vulnerability to simple
sabotage is very low.
\hspace{\parindent}(1) After inspecting or repairing a hydro turbine, fasten the
cover insecurely so that it will blow off and flood the plant with
water. A loose cover on a steam turbine will cause it to leak and
slow down.
(2) In water turbines, insert a large piece of scrap iron in the
head of the penstock, just beyond the screening, so that water
will carry the damaging material down to the plant equipment.
(3) When the steam line to a turbine is opened for repair, put
pieces of scrap iron into it, to be blasted into the turbine
machinery when steam is up again.
(4) Create a leak in the line feeding oil to the turbine, so that
oil will fall on the hot steam pipe and cause a fire.
(h) \textit{Boilers}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Reduce the efficiency of steam boilers any way you can.
Put too much water in them to make them slow-starting, or
keep the fire under them low to keep them inefficient. Let them
dry and turn the fire up; they will crack and be ruined. An
especially good trick is to keep putting limestone or water
containing lime in the boiler; it will deposit lime on the bottom
and sides. This deposit will provide very good insulation
against heat; after enough of it has collected, the boiler will be
completely worthless.
\section{Production: Metals}
(a) \textit{Iron and Steel}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Keep blast furnaces in a condition where they must be
frequently shut down for repair. In making fire-proof bricks for
the inner lining of blast furnaces, put in an extra proportion of
tar so that they will wear out quickly and necessitate constant
(2) Make cores for casting so that they are filled with air
bubbles and an imperfect cast results.
(3) See that the core in a mold is not properly supported, so
that the core gives way or the casting is spoiled because of the
incorrect position of the core.
(4) In tempering steel or iron, apply too much heat, so that
the resulting bars and ingots are of poor quality.
(b) \textit{Other Metals}
No suggestions available.
\section{Production: Mining and Mineral Extraction}
(a) \textit{Coal}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) A slight blow against your Davy oil lamp will extinguish it,
and to light it again you will have to find a place where there is
no fire damp. Take a long time looking for the place.
(2) Blacksmiths who make pneumatic picks should not
harden them properly, so that they will quickly grow dull.
(3) You can easily put your pneumatic pick out of order. Pour
a small amount of water through the oil lever and your pick will
stop working. Coal dust and improper lubrication will also put
it out of order.
(4) Weaken the chain that pulls the bucket conveyers
carrying coal. A deep dent in the chain made with blows of a
pick or shovel will cause it to part under normal strain. Once a
chain breaks, normally or otherwise take your time about
reporting the damage; be slow about taking the chain up for
repairs and bringing it back down after repairs.
(5) Derail mine cars by putting obstructions on the rails and
in switch points. If possible, pick a gallery where coal cars have
to pass each other, so that traffic will be snarled up.
(6) Send up quantities of rock and other useless material
with the coal.
\section{Production: Agriculture}
(a) \textit{Machinery}
(1) See par. 5 b. (2) (c), (d), (e).
(b) \textit{Crops and Livestock }
Crops and livestock probably will be destroyed only in
areas where there are large food surpluses or where the enemy
(regime) is known to be requisitioning food.
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Feed crops to livestock. Let crops harvest too early or too
late. Spoil stores of grain, fruit and vegetables by soaking them
in water so that they will rot. Spoil fruit and vegetables by
leaving them in the sun.
\section{Transportation: Railways}
(a) \textit{Passengers}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Make train travel as inconvenient as possible for enemy
personnel. Make mistakes in issuing train tickets, leaving
portions of the journey uncovered by the ticket book; issue two
tickets for the same seat in the train, so that an interesting
argument will result; near train time, instead of issuing printed
tickets write them out slowly by hand, prolonging the process
until the train is nearly ready to leave or has left the station. On
station bulletin boards announcing train arrivals and
departures, see that false and misleading information is given
about trains bound for enemy destinations.
(2) In trains bound for enemy destinations, attendants
should make life as uncomfortable as possible for passengers.
See that the food is especially bad, take up tickets after
midnight, call all station stops very loudly during the night,
handle baggage as noisily as possible during the night, and so
(3) See that the luggage of enemy personnel is mislaid or
unloaded at the wrong stations.
Switch address labels on enemy baggage.
(4) Engineers should see that trains run slow or make
unscheduled stops for plausible reasons.
(b) \textit{Switches, Signals and Routing}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Exchange wires in switchboards containing signals and
switches, so that they connect to the wrong terminals.
(2) Loosen push-rods so that signal arms do not work; break
signal lights; exchange the colored lenses on red and green
(3) Spread and spike switch points in the track so that they
will not move, or place rocks or close-packed dirt between the
switch points.
(4) Sprinkle rock salt or ordinary salt profusely over the
electrical connections of switch points and on the ground
nearby. When it rains, the switch will be short-circuited.
(5) See that cars are put on the wrong trains. Remove the
labels from cars needing repair and put them on cars in good
order. Leave couplings between cars as loose as possible.
(c) \textit{Road-beds and Open Track}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) On a curve, take the bolts out of the tie-plates connecting
to sections of the outside rail, and scoop away the gravel,
cinders, or dirt for a few feet on each side of the connecting
(2) If by disconnecting the tie-plate at a joint and loosening
sleeper nails on each side of the joint, it becomes possible to
move a sections of rail, spread two sections of rail and drive a
spike vertically between them.
(d) \textit{Oil and Lubrication}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) See 5 b. (2) (b).
(2) Squeeze lubricating pipes with pincers or dent them with
hammers, so that the flow of oil is obstructed.
(e) \textit{Cooling Systems}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) See 5 b (2) (c).
(f) \textit{Gasoline and Oil Fuel}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) See 5 b (2) (d).
(g) \textit{Electric Motors}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) See 5 b (2) (e) and (f).
(h) \textit{Boilers}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) See 5 b (2) (h).
(2) After inspection put heavy oil or tar in the engines’
boilers, or put half a kilogram of soft soap into the water in the
(i) \textit{Brakes and Miscellaneous}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Engines should run at high speeds and use brakes
excessively at curves and on downhill grades.
(2) Punch holes in air-brake valves or water supply pipes.
(3) In the last car of a passenger train or or a front car of a
freight, remove the wadding from a journal box and replace it
with oily rags.
\section{Transportation: Automotive}
(a) Roads.
Damage to roads [(3) below] is slow, and therefore
impractical as a D-day or near D-day activity.
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Change sign posts at intersections and forks; the enemy
will go the wrong way and it may be miles before he discovers
his mistakes. In areas where traffic is composed primarily of enemy autos,
trucks, and motor convoys of various kinds remove danger
signals from curves and intersections.
(2) When the enemy asks for directions, give him wrong
information. Especially when enemy convoys are in the
neighborhood, truck drivers can spread rumors and give false
information about bridges being out, ferries closed, and
detours lying ahead.
(3) If you can start damage to a heavily traveled road,
passing traffic and the elements will do the rest. Construction
gangs can see that too much sand or water is put in concrete or
that the road foundation has soft spots. Anyone can scoop ruts
in asphalt and macadam roads which turn soft in hot weather;
passing trucks will accentuate the ruts to a point where
substantial repair will be needed. Dirt roads also can be
scooped out. If you are a road laborer, it will be only a few
minutes work to divert a small stream from a sluice so that it
runs over and eats away the road.
(4) Distribute broken glass, nails, and sharp rocks on roads
to puncture tires.
(b) \textit{Passengers}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Bus-driver can go past the stop where the enemy wants to
get off. Taxi drivers can waste the enemy’s time and make extra
money by driving the longest possible route to his destination.
(c) \textit{Oil and Lubrication}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) See 5 b. (2) (b).
(2) Disconnect the oil pump; this will burn out the main
bearings in less than 50 miles of normal driving.
(d) \textit{Radiator}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) See 5 b. (2) (c).
(e) \textit{Fuel}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) See 5 b. (2) (d).
(f) \textit{Battery and Ignition}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Jam bits of wood into the ignition lock; loosen or
exchange connections behind the switchboard; put dirt in spark
plugs; damage distributor points.
(2) Turn on the lights in parked cars so that the battery will
run down.
(3) Mechanics can ruin batteries in a number of undetectable
ways: Take the valve cap off a cell, and drive a screw driver
slantwise into the exposed water vent, shattering the plates of
the cell; no damage will show when you put the cap back on.
Iron or copper filings put into the cells i.e., dropped into the
acid, will greatly shorten its life. Copper coins or a few pieces of
iron will accomplish the same and more slowly. One hundred to 150 cubic centimeters of vinegar in each cell
greatly reduces the life of the battery, but the odor of the
vinegar may reveal what has happened.
(g) \textit{Gears}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Remove the lubricant from or put too light a lubricant in
the transmission and other gears.
(2) In trucks, tractors, and other machines with heavy gears,
fix the gear case insecurely, putting bolts in only half the bolt
holes. The gears will be badly jolted in use and will soon need
(h) \textit{Tires}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Slash or puncture tires of unguarded vehicles. Put a nail
inside a match box or other small box, and set it vertically in
front of the back tire of a stationary car; when the car starts off,
the nail will go neatly through the tire.
(2) It is easy to damage a tire in a tire repair shop: In fixing
flats, spill glass, benzine, caustic soda, or other material inside
the casing which will puncture or corrode the tube. If you put a
gummy substance inside the tube, the next flat will stick the
tube to the casing and make it unusable. Or, when you fix a flat
tire, you can simply leave between the tube and the casing the
object which caused the flat in the first place.
(3) In assembling a tire after repair, pump the tube up as fast
as you can. Instead of filling out smoothly, it may crease, in
which case it will wear out quickly. Or, as you put a tire
together, see if you can pinch the tube between the rim of the
tire and the rim of the wheel, so that a blow-out will result.
(4) In putting air into tires, see that they are kept below
normal pressure, so that more than an ordinary amount of
wear will result. In filling tires on double wheels, inflate the
inner tire to a much higher pressure than the outer one; both
will wear out more quickly this way. Badly aligned wheels also
wear tires out quickly; you can leave wheels out of alignment
when they come in for adjustment, or you can spring them out
of true with a strong kick, or by driving the car slowly and
diagonally into a curb.
(5) If you have access to stocks of tires, you can rot them by
spilling oil, gasoline, caustic acid, or benzine on them.
Synthetic rubber, however, is less susceptible to these
\section{Transportation: Water}
(a) \textit{Navigation}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Barge and river boat personnel should spread false
rumors about the navigability and conditions of the waterways
they travel. Tell other barge and boat captains to follow
channels that will take extra time, or cause them to make canal
(2) Barge and river boat captains should navigate with
exceeding caution near locks and bridges, to waste their time
and to waste the time of other craft which may have to wait on
them. If you don’t pump the bilges of ships and barges often
enough, they will be slower and harder to navigate. Barges
``accidentally'' run aground are an efficient time waster too.
(3) Attendants on swing, draw, or bascule bridges can delay
traffic over the bridge or in the waterway underneath by being
slow. Boat captains can leave unattended draw bridges open in
order to hold up road traffic.
(4) Add or subtract compensating magnets to the compass
on cargo ships. Demagnetize the compass or maladjust it by
concealing a large bar of steel or iron near to it.
(b) \textit{Cargo}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) While loading or unloading, handle cargo carelessly in order to cause damage. Arrange the cargo so that the weakest and lightest crates and boxes will be at the bottom of the hold, while the heaviest ones are on top of them. Put hatch covers and tarpaulins on sloppily, so that rain and deck wash will injure the cargo. Tie float valves open so that storage tanks will overflow on perishable goods.
(a) \textit{Telephone}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) At office, hotel and exchange switch boards delay putting
enemy calls through, give them wrong numbers, cut them off
``accidentally,'' or forget to disconnect them so that the line
cannot be used again.
(2) Hamper official and especially military business by
making at least one telephone call a day to an enemy
headquarters; when you get them, tell them you have the wrong
number. Call military or police offices and make anonymous false
reports of fires, air raids, bombs.
(3) In offices and buildings used by the enemy, unscrew the
earphone of telephone receivers and remove the diaphragm.
Electricians and telephone repair men can make poor
connections and damage insulation so that cross talk and other
kinds of electrical interference will make conversations hard or
impossible to understand.
(4) Put the batteries under automatic switchboards out of
commission by dropping nails, metal filings, or coins into the
cells. If you can treat half the batteries in this way, the
switchboard will stop working. A whole telephone system can
be disrupted if you can put 10 percent of the cells in half the
batteries of the central battery room out of order.
(b) \textit{Telegraph}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Delay the transmission and delivery of telegrams to
enemy destinations.
(2) Garble telegrams to enemy destinations so that another
telegram will have to be sent or a long distance call will have to
be made. Sometimes it will be possible to do this by changing a
single letter in a word—for example, changing ``minimum'' to
``maximum,'' so that the person receiving the telegram will not
know whether ``minimum'' or ``maximum'' is meant.
(c) \textit{Transportation Lines}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Cut telephone and telegraph transmission lines. Damage
insulation on power lines to cause interference.
(d) \textit{Mail}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Post office employees can see to it that enemy mail is
always delayed by one day or more, that it is put in wrong
sacks, and so on.
(e) \textit{Motion Pictures}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Projector operators can ruin newsreels and other enemy
propaganda films by bad focusing, speeding up or slowing
down the film and by causing frequent breakage in the film.
(2) Audiences can ruin enemy propaganda films by
applauding to drown the words of the speaker, by coughing
loudly, and by talking.
(3) Anyone can break up a showing of an enemy propaganda
film by putting two or three dozen large moths in a paper bag.
Take the bag to the movies with you, put it on the floor in an
empty section of the theater as you go in and leave it open. The
moths will fly out and climb into the projector beam, so that
the film will be obscured by fluttering shadows.
(f) \textit{Radio}
\sloppypar\hspace{\parindent}(1) Station engineers will find it quite easy to overmodulate
transmissions of talks by persons giving enemy propaganda or
instructions, so that they will sound as if they were talking
through a heavy cotton blanket with a mouth full of marbles.
(2) In your own apartment building, you can interfere with
radio reception at times when the enemy wants everybody to
listen. Take an electric light plug off the end of an electric light
cord; take some wire out of the cord and tie it across two
terminals of a two-prong plug or three terminals of a four-
prong plug. Then take it around and put it into as many wall
and floor outlets as you can find. Each time you insert the plug
into a new circuit, you will blow out a fuse and silence all radios
running on power from that circuit until a new fuse is put in.
(3) Damaging insulation on any electrical equipment tends to
create radio interference in the immediate neighborhood,
particularly on large generators, neon signs, fluorescent
lighting, X-ray machines, and power lines. If workmen can
damage insulation on a high tension line near an enemy
airfield, they will make ground-to-plane radio communications
difficult and perhaps impossible during long periods of the day.
\section{Electric Power}
(a) \textit{Turbines, Electric Motors, Transformers}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) See 5 b. (2) (e), (f),and (g).
(b) \textit{Transmission Lines}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Linesmen can loosen and dirty insulators to cause power
leakage. It will be quite easy, too, for them to tie a piece of very
heavy string several times back and forth between two parallel
transmission lines, winding it several turns around the wire
each time. Beforehand, the string should be heavily saturated
with salt and then dried. When it rains, the string becomes a
conductor, and a short-circuit will result.
\section{General Interference with Organizations and Production}
(a) \textit{Organizations and Conferences}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Insist on doing
everything through ``channels.'' Never permit short-cuts to be
taken in order to expedite decisions.
(2) Make ``speeches.'' Talk as frequently as possible and at
great length. Illustrate your ``points'' by long anecdotes and
accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few
appropriate ``patriotic'' comments.
(3) When possible, refer all matters to committees, for
``further study and consideration.'' Attempt to make the
committees as large as possible—never less than five.
(4) Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
(5) Haggle over precise wordings of communications,
minutes, resolutions.
(6) Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting
and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that
(7) Advocate ``caution.'' Be ``reasonable'' and urge your
fellow-conferees to be ``reasonable'' and avoid haste which
might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
(8) Be worried about the propriety of any decision—raise the
question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within
the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with
the policy of some higher echelon.
(b) \textit{Managers and Supervisors}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Demand written orders.
(2) ``Misunderstand'' orders. Ask endless questions or engage
in long correspondence about such orders. Quibble over them
when you can.
(3) Do everything possible to delay the delivery of orders.
Even though parts of an order may be ready beforehand, don’t
deliver it until it is completely ready.
(4) Don’t order new working materials until your current
stocks have been virtually exhausted, so that the slightest delay
in filling your order will mean a shutdown.
(5) Order high-quality materials which are hard to get. If you
don’t get them argue about it. Warn that inferior materials will
mean inferior work.
(6) In making work assignments, always sign out the
unimportant jobs first. See that the important jobs are assigned
to inefficient workers of poor machines.
(7) Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products;
send back for refinishing those which have the least flaw.
Approve other defective parts whose flaws are not visible to the
naked eye.
(8) Make mistakes in routing so that parts and materials will
be sent to the wrong place in the plant.
(9) When training new workers, give incomplete or
misleading instructions.
(10) To lower morale and with it, production, be pleasant to
inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions.
Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about
their work.
(11) Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be
(12) Multiply paper work in plausible ways. Start duplicate files.
(13) Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in
issuing instructions, pay checks, and so on. See that three
people have to approve everything where one would do.
(14) Apply all regulations to the last letter.
(c) \textit{Office Workers}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) Make mistakes in quantities of material when you are
copying orders. Confuse similar names. Use wrong addresses.
(2) Prolong correspondence with government bureaus.
(3) Misfile essential documents.
(4) In making carbon copies, make one too few, so that an
extra copying job will have to be done.
(5) Tell important callers the boss is busy or talking on
another telephone.
(6) Hold up mail until the next collection.
(7) Spread disturbing rumors that sound like inside dope.
(d) \textit{Employees}
\hspace{\parindent}(1) \textit{Work slowly}. Think out ways to increase the number of
movements necessary on your job: use a light hammer instead
of a heavy one, try to make a small wrench do when a big one is
necessary, use little force where considerable force is needed,
and so on.
(2) Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can:
when changing the material on which you are working, as you
would on a lathe or punch, take needless time to do it. If you
are cutting, shaping or doing other measured work, measure
dimensions twice as often as you need to. When you go to the
lavatory, spend a longer time there than is necessary.
Forget tools so that you will have to go back after them.
(3) Even if you understand the language, pretend not to
understand instructions in a foreign tongue.
(4) Pretend that instructions are hard to understand, and ask
to have them repeated more than once. Or pretend that you are
particularly anxious to do your work, and pester the foreman
with unnecessary questions.
(5) Do your work poorly and blame it on bad tools,
machinery, or equipment. Complain that these things are
preventing you from doing your job right.
(6) Never pass on your skill and experience to a new or less
skillful worker.
(7) Snarl up administration in every possible way. Fill out
forms illegibly so that they will have to be done over; make
mistakes or omit requested information in forms.
(8) If possible, join or help organize a group for presenting
employee problems to the management. See that the
procedures adopted are as inconvenient as possible for the
management, involving the presence of a large number of
employees at each presentation, entailing more than one
meeting for each grievance, bringing up problems which are
largely imaginary, and so on.
(9) Misroute materials.
(10) Mix good parts with unusable scrap and rejected parts.
\section{General Devices for Lowering Morale and Creating Confusion}
(a) Give lengthy and incomprehensible explanations when questioned.
(b) Report imaginary spies or danger to the Gestapo or police.
(c) Act stupid.
(d) Be as irritable and quarrelsome as possible without getting yourself into trouble.
(e) Misunderstand all sorts of regulations concerning such matters as rationing, transportation, traffic regulations.
(f) Complain against ersatz materials.
(g) In public treat axis nationals or quislings coldly.
(h) Stop all conversation when axis nationals or quislings enter a cafe.
(i) Cry and sob hysterically at every occasion, especially when confronted by government clerks.
(j) Boycott all movies, entertainments, concerts, newspapers which are in any way connected with the quisling authorities.
(k) Do not cooperate in salvage schemes.