A compact monolithic capacitive discharge unit (CDU) is disclosed in which a thyristor switch and a flyback charging circuit are both sandwiched about a ceramic energy storage capacitor. The result is a compact rugged assembly which provides a low-inductance current discharge path. The flyback charging circuit preferably includes a low-temperature co-fired ceramic transformer. The CDU can further include one or more ceramic substrates for enclosing the thyristor switch and for holding various passive components used in the flyback charging circuit. A load such as a detonator can also be attached directly to the CDU.