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HLSS231 - History of Explosive Ordnance Disposal

Course Details

Course Code: HLSS231 Course ID: 2525 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course is a dynamic and information packed introduction to the history of incendiaries and explosives. Included is a short study of the origins of modern-day Bomb Disposal and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Teams and their evolving techniques. The course examines areas and ideas from the ancient mystique of “Greek Fire” and the inventions of gunpowder and high explosives, up to modern-day nuclear reactions and weapons of mass destruction. The course provides an in-depth understanding and appreciation of the history and background of the science and mechanics applied to explosive technologies, and provides for a better understanding of those who work to render safe unexploded hazards.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Course Objectives:

CO-1 Describe specific dates in relation to discovery, invention and use of various explosives.

CO-2 List important scientists and inventors who played essential roles in explosives development.

CO-3 Explain the cause and effect relationship of experimental tests with early explosives use and testing.

CO-4 Discuss the importance of explosives development for mining operations.

CO-5 Describe the importance of engineering principles and technology for the past 2 centuries

CO-6 Recount early military use of explosive and incendiary compounds.

CO-7 Explain the significance of World War II bomb disposal procedures.

CO-8 List the series of events leading up to the first successful nuclear tests.

CO-9 Discuss military bomb disposal’s expansion into chemical, biological and nuclear ordnance.

CO-10 Recall the growth and diversity of both military and civilian EOD organizations.

CO-11 Recognize the sacrifices made by EOD personnel on a global scale.

CO-12 Underline the differences between organizational histories of EOD units from a civilian and military perspective to include international concerns.

CO-13 Examine the importance, and role of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other State and Local organizations in relation to disaster responses involving hazardous explosives Weapons of Mass Destruction and other like materials.

Grades for this course will be based upon four grading instruments. Discussion questions for class participation/interaction are provided in the Discussion section of the LMS. The student – when directed by the instructor -- will respond to the posting of other students. The mid-term and final exams will be a composite of multiple choice questions, true false and possibly short essays.

The grade scale each of the evaluation items are provided below:

  1. Websites (URLs) provided in Weekly Lessons located in the Lessons Section.
Book Title:Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, and Pyrotechnics : The History of the Explosive That Changed the World - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Lib
Author:Jack Kelly
Unit Cost:$11.88
Book Title:To find the library e-book(s) req'd for your course, please visit to locate the eReserve by course #.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.