Smoke Grenades in use?

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SFCLinken
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Smoke Grenades in use?

Post by SFCLinken » 02 May 2018 08:10

Did the Finnish army have smoke grenades in use by 1944? I mean those that the squad a can throw to conceal an advance or retreat. If they used it, did all units get provided or was it just the elite units such as Jaegers and others?

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JTV
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Re: Smoke Grenades in use?

Post by JTV » 02 May 2018 18:28

SFCLinken wrote:Did the Finnish army have smoke grenades in use by 1944? I mean those that the squad a can throw to conceal an advance or retreat. If they used it, did all units get provided or was it just the elite units such as Jaegers and others?
There were at least three Finnish smoke hand grenade designs that had been manufactured by that time:
- Smoke hand grenade m/Pm (Savukäsikranaatti m/Pm) (Pm = Puolustusministeriö = Ministry of Defense). This was presumably the oldest design - a soup-can shaped thingy with very primitive fuse system.
- Smoke hand grenade m/42 F (Savukäsikranaatti m/42 F): Stick hand grenade warhead with short grip that contains friction fuse.
- Stick smoke hand grenade m/43 (Varsisavukäsikranaatti m/43): Look-a-like of stick hand grenade m/32 marked as smoke hand grenade with grey stripe around warhead.

Check this page for more info: https://www.lexpev.nl/grenades/europe/f ... index.html

While I am yet to see any actual info about how widely they were actually issued, educated guess is that they were normally issued on mission bases - in other words when infantry unit was about to launch an operation for which it needed smoke hand grenades could request to be supplied with them. But I doubt that infantry normally carried smoke hand grenades at all times.

According what I have read infantry usually took care of small scale use of smoke with help of anti chemical weapons (kaasusuojelu) teams. While it may sound strange what anti chemical weapons teams had to do with use of smoke, in fact Finnish Army for some reason (*) had concentrated that particular know-how to them and smoke laying equipment including smoke hand grenades were listed in their equipment inventory. Anti chemical weapons teams had not only smoke hand grenades, but also smoke canisters (for creating larger & denser & more long lasting smoke cover) and smoke throwers (special type of lightweight mortar only intended for firing smoke projectiles). Also sappers were apparently better equipped for using smoke than infantry and probably usually had smoke hand grenades and smoke canisters among their equipment.

By year 1944 also 81-mm mortars (German smoke shells & Finnish smoke shell m/43 P) and guns & howitzers of field artillery had smoke shells available.

(*) The reason for this may have been that if Finnish Army would have ever started using chemical weapons, anti chemical weapon troops would have been the troops that would probably been used for that task since they were best trained & equipped for it. And for practical purposes methology for using smoke and using gas were not that different.

Jarkko

SFCLinken
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Joined: 12 Jul 2004 10:23
Location: Sweden

Re: Smoke Grenades in use?

Post by SFCLinken » 03 May 2018 06:09

Amazing information! Many thanks Jarkko!

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