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German hand grenades 1914


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#1 cdr

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:29 AM

Does anyone have information of german hand grenades in early 1914? A Germen text i'm reading on the attack mentions pioneers armed with handgrenades .



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#2 CROONAERT

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:06 AM

They certainly had the 1913 model Kugelhangranate (and also a rodded rifle grenade) at the outbreak of war... unsure off the top of my head of any other patterns...

(rusty one dug up on an exclusively 1914 battlefield in the Ardennes)

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#3 CROONAERT

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:18 AM

...

...

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#4 31543 Ogilwy

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:27 AM

carl,

I have an entire database (from the Belgian EOD) that lists the grenades and years of introduction. If I have it here I'll post a list, if it's at home then on Friday.

Rod

#5 auchonvillerssomme

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:06 PM

I thought I had a rifle grenade somewhere, I will have to dig it out. All empty, including fuzes before anyone starts jumping up and down.

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#6 cdr

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:26 PM

Thanks everyone !



Rod

sounds interesting


Carl

#7 connaughtranger

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 01:53 PM

Advice given to bomb instructors and bombers 1917 on some of the above:

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#8 Tom W.

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 04:55 PM

Does anyone have information of german hand grenades in early 1914? A Germen text i'm reading on the attack mentions pioneers armed with handgrenades .

The M1913 ball grenade and the M1913 disk grenade were the two main production models. The ball grenade used a friction-activated time fuse, while the disk grenade used an impact fuse that exploded the grenade when it struck the target.

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#9 Tom W.

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:00 PM

The Germans also used improvised "jam tin" grenades, which were filled with explosive material and shrapnel and detonated with a lit time fuse.

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#10 Tom W.

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:14 PM

There were also improvised "paddle" grenades, consisting of gun cotton wired to paddle-shaped boards and detonated with a lit time fuse.

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#11 cdr

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:41 PM

Thanks everyone

The text i've read, are brigadeorders from the 'handstreich' on Liège ((so very early war !) where pionier units were told to use handgrenades. So most logically the 1913 model.



Carl

#12 MartinBennitt

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:34 PM

so does this mean the German grenades were much more sophisticated at the beginning of the war than anything the British had? Received wisdom indicates we had to rely on improvised jam tins and hairbrush type bombs until the advent of the Mills bomb. True or false?

cheers Martin B

#13 Tom W.

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:03 PM

so does this mean the German grenades were much more sophisticated at the beginning of the war than anything the British had? Received wisdom indicates we had to rely on improvised jam tins and hairbrush type bombs until the advent of the Mills bomb. True or false?

False. The British No. 1 percussion grenade was designed in 1908.

http://en.wikipedia....ki/No_1_Grenade

There was also the No. 2 grenade:

http://www.inert-ord.../no2/index.html

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#14 MartinBennitt

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:40 AM

thanks Tom. I remember the cloth streamers now. But it seems from the Wikipedia link the Germans had a low opinion of them. So were the German ones better?

cheers Martin B

#15 auchonvillerssomme

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:32 PM

Well before that were the Grenade, Hand, Sea Service and the Granade, Hand, Land Service.

#16 Tom W.

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:45 PM

thanks Tom. I remember the cloth streamers now. But it seems from the Wikipedia link the Germans had a low opinion of them. So were the German ones better?

The German disk grenade was very dangerous for the user. To use it, the soldier removed the safety cap and flung the grenade like a discus, causing a rod to fall out in flight. This allowed one to four primers to hit firing pins when the grenade landed on the target, setting off the detonator, which was inserted before use. The cast-iron body consisted of two halves riveted together. This grenade was prone to premature detonation.

The ball grenade used black powder ignited by a friction fuse. The problem with it is that it could be accidentally detonated if the wire pull ring got caught on anything before the user was ready to throw it.

Even so, the German grenades were more likely to detonate on the target than the British. But in 1915 the Germans adopted a stick grenade, too, so they clearly liked the British idea if not actual design.

#17 connaughtranger

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:28 PM

The German disk grenade was very dangerous for the user. To use it, the soldier removed the safety cap and flung the grenade like a discus, causing a rod to fall out in flight. This allowed one to four primers to hit firing pins when the grenade landed on the target, setting off the detonator, which was inserted before use. The cast-iron body consisted of two halves riveted together. This grenade was prone to premature detonation.

Which is why Bombing Schools warned that, if found, they should be destroyed rather than "recycled" back into German trenches (see Post 7)

#18 auchonvillerssomme

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 06:45 AM

The only place I have found the remains of the disk grenade in any numbers are in the fields along the track leading to Highland Cemetery, Roclincourt, there were piles of the things brought up with deep ploughing. They appeared to have been stacked with sacking between them, made me wonder how they were transported. Strange area, I also found several clips of fired cases put back into the clips and what were possibly reversed rounds but I'm not getting into that discussion.

#19 31543 Ogilwy

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:02 PM

auchonvillerssomme

"Strange area, I also found several clips of fired cases put back into the clips and what were possibly reversed rounds but I'm not getting into that discussion".
[/quote]

Reversed rounds aside (apparantly the programme was recycled again recently)! I have found sandbags full of re-clipped fired cartridge cases in St Eloi whilst excavating there. I believe they were doing the same as we did and collecting their fired brass for return and recycling back into the chain again!

I have only found part of the central fuze spider from a disc grenade once and that was in Loo's. I have had about three or four in the Uk but all were inert and obviously souveniers brought back (I do wish soldiers would not do that ).

Rod

#20 CROONAERT

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:21 PM

The only place I have found the remains of the disk grenade in any numbers are in the fields along the track leading to Highland Cemetery, Roclincourt,


Never found too many of them myself, but this was just about my favourite that I've ever come across... (still with original finish in parts) ...

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#21 31543 Ogilwy

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 02:18 PM

Croonaert,

A Belgium beach? It looks to have been placed there. Someone may have discarded it having picked it up and then decided that was not a good idea. These come with a big 'BLOW IN SITU' instruction for EOD Operators!

Maybe the reason we find so few is that even the Germans did not like them at the time!

Rod



#22 auchonvillerssomme

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:06 PM

Rod, the empty cases back in the clips, policing your brass or a bored squaddie, I like the idea that nothing changes.

I have a close relationship to many lonely parts of the front lines but that area of Roclincourt is well worth visiting, the lines are very close and the amount of spent cartridges, parts of grenades and other bits and pieces both British and German gives a feeling of hard fighting, on a misty, darkening evening you can almost smell it.

#23 CROONAERT

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 04:23 PM

A Belgium beach? It looks to have been placed there. Someone may have discarded it having picked it up and then decided that was not a good idea. These come with a big 'BLOW IN SITU' instruction for EOD Operators!


Certainly hadn't just been placed there...mine were the only footprints in the sand for quite some distance. It was on the exact spot of the German frontline pre-'Strandfest' and is a very quiet section of beach inhabited by the occasional dog-walker and kite flyer only. The area used to be dunes, but these have been eroded over the years leaving traces such as this (and a myriad of shell shards) in this particular stretch. The interesting thing about it being here is that new things are uncovered (and covered!) on a daily basis because of the tides.

#24 31543 Ogilwy

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:15 AM

Croonaert,


Ah, Ok. We regularly get people having a good look with there hands and the lack of sand around it suggested that someone before you might have done likewise! I know some people involved in the clearence of the beaches and they are surprisingly dirty in a couple of areas I understand.


auchonvillerssomme,


Roclincourt sounds fascinating. I may be over digging for some weeks later in the year so I will visit then and have a look. Thanks for the steer!


Rod

#25 Cnock

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:57 PM

URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/526/kugel.jpg/]Posted Image[/URL]


Kugel and Diskushandgranate, and one of the first types of stick handgrenandes

Cnock