Grenades

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
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Pips
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Grenades

Post by Pips » 28 May 2020 03:16

Am curious why the Germans went down the path of a 'stick' grenade, while the British, Americans, Italians and Russians all went for the 'pineapple' style.The Japanese also went for the stick style, but I think that's probably a reflection of the fact that the Germans had a heavy influence on equipment for the IJA.

Which was the easier to throw? Approximate distances?
Also, does anyone know of the explosive power contained in each of the various grenades?

wwilson
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Re: Grenades

Post by wwilson » 28 May 2020 07:09

Note the Germans had an "egg-shaped" hand grenade as well.

The U.S. Mk IIA1 fragmentation grenade contained 0.74 ounce of EC Blank Fire Powder, bursting radius of 30 yards.

You might find this URL of interest.

http://tgrm.foxed.ca/index.html

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Waleed Y. Majeed
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Re: Grenades

Post by Waleed Y. Majeed » 28 May 2020 10:15

It should also be mentioned the germans also had fragmentation sleeves “splitterring” for the stick grenades

Waleed

LineDoggie
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Re: Grenades

Post by LineDoggie » 29 May 2020 01:35

Pips wrote:
28 May 2020 03:16
Am curious why the Germans went down the path of a 'stick' grenade, while the British, Americans, Italians and Russians all went for the 'pineapple' style.The Japanese also went for the stick style, but I think that's probably a reflection of the fact that the Germans had a heavy influence on equipment for the IJA.

Which was the easier to throw? Approximate distances?
Also, does anyone know of the explosive power contained in each of the various grenades?
Japan ww2 grenade types

Pineapple Types- 10, Type 91, Type 97, Several versions could be adapted for Knee Mortar use or as Rifle Grenades
Smooth cased Types- 99
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Helmut0815
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Re: Grenades

Post by Helmut0815 » 30 May 2020 20:38

The standard stick grenade M24 had a charge of 170g TNT, the egg-shaped Eihandgranate M39 a charge of 112g Donarit.

Another question: Im WWI Germany produced over 300 million handgrenades, in WWII only 75 millions. Was the german industry not capable of producing such vast quantities or did the infantry tactics in WWII have changed and there was simply no need for so many grenades?


regards


Helmut

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Grenades

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 02 Jun 2020 01:38

Change in tactics & other weapons. LMG, SMG, automatic rifles, & automatic pistols then filled some of the roles the hand grenade did earlier.

When I was trained in assault tactics the preference was to throughly suppress the target area with support weapons. The assault included hand grenades, but we also depended on full automatic fire from out M16 rifles at point blank range-1-5 meters. I suspect it was similar in WWII, with a SMG used as we used our assault rifles. In the Great War SMG were rare, assault rifle near non existent, and not as many LMG/automatic rifles or other light support weapons. Trench or bunker assault teams depended a lot more of showering hand grenades in all directions as a suppressive and assault technique.

Of course close combat amount trenches and bunkers seems to have been more common in 1915 than in 1942.

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Re: Grenades

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 02 Jun 2020 01:47

Waleed Y. Majeed wrote:
28 May 2020 10:15
It should also be mentioned the germans also had fragmentation sleeves “splitterring” for the stick grenades

Waleed
That seems to have been a added feature. The stick grenade was at its heart a concussion weapon. I've seen descriptions of them used by police & prison guards for riot control. Something to stun & disorient people. The worst injury being permanent deafness or eye damage.

Duncan_M
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Re: Grenades

Post by Duncan_M » 03 Jun 2020 21:26

Pips wrote:
28 May 2020 03:16
Am curious why the Germans went down the path of a 'stick' grenade, while the British, Americans, Italians and Russians all went for the 'pineapple' style.The Japanese also went for the stick style, but I think that's probably a reflection of the fact that the Germans had a heavy influence on equipment for the IJA.

Which was the easier to throw? Approximate distances?
Also, does anyone know of the explosive power contained in each of the various grenades?
The stick part provides additional leverage for throwing, so they can throw greater distances.

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jwsleser
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Re: Grenades

Post by jwsleser » 05 Jun 2020 18:29

Many armies had two types of grenades: offensive and defensive.

The offensive grenades were, as Carl stated, a concussion style of grenade. The concept was that as the attacking soldiers advanced/ran towards the enemy, they could throw these types of grenades. The concussive effect would stun the defenders, while not making a lot of shrapnel that could injure the advancing attackers. The stunned defenders would be overrunned before they could recover (in theory). Being lighter than the defensive grenade, they could be thrown further to add space between the attacker and the effects of their own grenades.

The defensive grenades were heavier as they were design to produce a lot of shrapnel. You couldn't throw them as far but the defender had the shelter of the trench/foxhole to protect them from the shrapnel.

The Italian Army in 2GM exclusively issued/used an offensive grenade. The OTO, SCRM, and the Breda grenades had a light bursting charge with a thin chain wrap around the charge (think about a model wooden ship's anchor chain. It is that thin) for minimal shrapnel. All this was encased in a light aluminum housing. It used a percussion impact fuse that wouldn't detonate until it hit the ground or other hard surface. Theoretically this fusing made the grenade safer/more effective as an offensive grenade. A timed fuzed grenade could detonate too close if held too long before throwing.

The reality was that these Italian grenades weren't very effective. Unless you are charging the enemy, the stunning effect didn't last long and didn't produced as many causalities as the defensive grenades. The fuzing wasn't very sensitive. You didn't want these things going off from merely a jostle, so they needed to hit something fairly hard and with enough force to release the striker. Sand wasn't a very hard surface. Mud the same. This is why you read about the Italian Red Devils (all these grenades were painted red) being dangerous as they had a high failure rate because of a soft impact. The safety had been released, so hitting/kicking them was enough to set them off.

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