When quite dry guncotton is easily detonated by a blow on an anvil or hard surface.
Lemery showed that a mixture of hydrogen and air detonated on the application of a light.
She was under heavy fire, and as she appeared to be sinking, the order was given to abandon ship and blow the charges; they detonated and the ship sank.
With about 2% of moisture it can still be detonated on an anvil, but the action is generally confined to the piece struck.
Compressed dry guncotton is easily detonated by an initiative detonator such as mercuric fulminate.