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German Hand-Grenades
(Verbatim Text from the U.S. Army Publication "German Infantry Weapons" May 1943, pages 40 -54.  German Kar98k rifle-fire grenades)

The hand grenades used by the German Army are all of the "offensive" type: that is, they have a thin metal casing with a high proportion of explosive filler. Being of this type, they depend on the blast effect, instead of on the fragmentation of the case as in the U. S. "defensive-type" Mills grenades. They can be used safely by troops advancing erect in the open, because they can be thrown to a distance greater than their effective bursting radius. The model 24 and model PH 39 stick-type, or "potato masher " type grenades are used more often than the "egg" type and can be regarded as the standard hand grenades of the German Army.  In addition, there is a smoke stick grenade, which differs from the regular stick, or "potato masher," only in the marking on the head of the grenade.

ONE: STICK HAND GRENADE, MODEL 24 (STIELHANDGRANATE 24)

A. How to Identify

The stick hand grenade, Model 24, may be identified by:

(1) Metal casing or body screwed onto a wooden handle with a metal cap.
(2) Model marking on the casing or body of the grenade.
(3) Porcelain ball attached to a cord in the exposed cavity after the metal cap is unscrewed.

B. Characteristics
General. This grenade consists of a thin iron or steel casing, or head, containing the explosive filler and screwed onto a hollow wooden handle, through the center of which runs a double length of cord. This cord is attached at one end to a lead ball which is part of the 'friction-igniter-detonator system, and at the other end of a porcelain ball. The cavity in which the porcelain ball rests is closed by a metal cap that screws on. Inside the cap is a spring-actuated metal disk that prevents movement of the porcelain ball.

Figure 25. Sketch of Stielhandgranate 24 (stick hand grenade, model 24) showing outside and cross section of grenade and fuse. (The cross section of the grenade is drawn to a larger scale than the scale of the sketch of the outside view.)

Table of characteristics.
Over-all length 1 foot 2 inches.
Weight 1 pound 5 ounces.
Weight of explosive filler 6 ounces.
Time of delay fuse 4 to 5 seconds.
Effective blast radius 12 to 14 yards.

C. How to Operate

(1) Safety. (a) The detonator is not assembled to the grenade until it is carried into combat.  (b) The metal cap on the end of the handle holds the porcelain ball in place and is not removed until the grenade is to be thrown.
(2) To arm and throw. (a) To arm grenade, the wooden handle is unscrewed from the head, and the metal end of the delay fuse is exposed in the interior of the handle.  Insert a detonator into the open end of the delay fuse. The head and the handle are screwed together again.  (b) To throw grenade. Unscrew the metal cap, pull out the porcelain ball as far as it will go, and throw. Do not throw too soon, as there is a 4- to 5-second delay.
(3) To disarm grenade. (a) Unscrew the handle from the head; (b) remove the detonator from the open end of the delay fuse; (c) replace the handle. d. Method of Carrying  Stick hand grenades, model 24, are carried in:
(1) A metal case holding 15 grenades and 15 detonators (see fig. 26);
(2) A sleeveless jacket fitting over the blouse. (In this jacket there are 10 pockets, 5 in front and 5 in the back, in which the grenades are carried with the heads down.)
(3) The belt with the grenades stuck in, handle first.
 
Figure 26.-Method of carrying and packing stick-type grenades.

E. Use as a Booby Trap
This grenade may be made into a booby trap by removing the delay fuse. (See Fig. 25.) When troops attempt to use the captured grenades, pulling the friction wire causes the grenades to explode immediately without the usual 4 to 5 second delay.

To see whether or not the delaying device has been removed from the grenade, it may be tested as follows: (1) unscrew the head (explosive cylinder) from the wooden handle; (2) remove the detonator and the fuse which project from the handle; (3) unscrew the cap at the end of the handle and let the porcelain ring hang down; (4) unscrew the delayed-action device in the top of the handle to make sure whether the delayed action cylinder actually contains the column of compressed black gunpowder.

To reassemble the grenade, carry out the above operations in the reverse order.

TWO: STICK HAND GRENADE, MODEL PH 39 (STIELHANDGRANATE PH 39)

A. How to Identify
The stick hand grenade, model PH 39, may be identified by
(1) Metal casing or body screwed to a wooden handle with a metal cap.
(2) Model marking on the casing or body of the grenade.
(3) Cord attached to the friction igniter being also attached
to the metal- cap (this being observed on unscrewing the metal cap on the handle).

B. Characteristics
General.-Like the model 24 stick grenade, the model PH 39 consists of a thin iron or steel casing, or head, containing the explosive filler. This head is screwed onto a hollow wooden handle, through the center of which runs a double length of cord. At one end, this cord is attached to a lead ball which is part of the friction-igniter-detonator system, and at the other end to the metal cap which screws onto the end of the handle.

Table of characteristics.
Over-all length 1 foot 4 inches.
Weight . 1 pound 6 ounces.
Weight of explosive filler 7 ounces.
Time of delay fuse 4 to 5 seconds.
Effective blast 16 yards.

C. How to Operate
(1) Safety. (a) The detonator is not assembled to the grenade until it is carried into combat. (b) The metal cap on the end of the handle is not, unscrewed until the grenade is to be thrown. The cap may be unscrewed carefully and lifted slightly to be sure that the grenade is a model PH 39, as the cord that starts the delay fuse is attached to the metal cap on the model PH 39 grenade. However, the cap should not be pulled away from the handle, as this action would start the fuse burning.
(2) To arm and throw. (a) To arm grenade. Before use in action, the grenade is ordinarily carried without the detonator assembled. To arm the grenade, the wooden handle is unscrewed from the grenade head, and the hollow end of the delay fuse is exposed; a detonator is inserted into the hollow end of the delay fuse; and the casing and the handle are screwed together again.
(b) To throw grenade.-Unscrew the metal cap and pull it away from the grenade handle to the full length of the cord. This ignites the 4- to 5-second delay fuse, and the grenade should then be thrown with an over-arm motion.
(3) To disarm grenade.-The grenade is disarmed by unscrewing the handle from the head, removing the detonator from the open end of the delay fuse, and then replacing the handle.

Figure 29.-Concentrated charge (geballte Lathing) made from several stick grenades. (This charge is used for demolition purposes.) concentrated charge (geballte Ladung) for the above purposes.

D. Method of Carrying
Like the model 24, the PH 39 grenades are carried in:
 
(1) A metal case holding 15 grenades and 15 detonators.
u In this respect it differs from the model 24.
(2) A. sleeveless jacket fitting over the blouse. (In this jacket there are 10 pockets, 5 in front and 5 in back, in which the grenades are carried with the heads down.)
(3) The belt with the grenades stuck in, handle first.

E. Use as a Booby Trap
The removal of the delay element in the fuse of this grenade will cause the grenade to explode at once without the usual 4- to 5-second delay. The grenade may be examined in the same manner as is described for the Model 24 grenade (above).

Figure 30. 1: Stick grenade antipersonnel mine. (This mine is improvised from the head of a stick grenade and pressure igniter 35 (Druckzünder  35, D.Z. 35), which is screwed into the head of the grenade.  2: Stick grenade cluster mine. (This mine is a variation of mine 1.) 3: Cross section of pressure igniter 35 (Druckzünder  35, D.Z. 35). 

Figure 31.-Stick grenades used as Bangalore torpedo.


THREE: SMOKE HAND GRENADE, MODEL 34 (NEBELHANDGRANATE 34)

The smoke grenade, model 34, which is a standard stick grenade with the explosive filler replaced by smoke composition, is handled in the same manner as the other stick grenades and is identified only by a broken white line painted around the head of the grenade near its base.

FOUR: EGG-TYPE HAND GRENADE, MODEL 39 (EIERHANDGRANATE 39)

A. How to Identify
The egg-type hand grenade may be identified by
(1) Egg shape, of gray-green painted metal with a raised rib around the middle.
(2) Blue knob protruding from one end.

B. Characteristics
General. This is a small thin-cased "offensive" type grenade with a high proportion of a low-grade high explosive (see fig. 27). It is ignited by a friction-type igniter and a 4 to 5 second delay fuse. (Fig. 28 illustrates the shaving-stick grenade, which has the same type of detonator as the egg-type.)

Table of characteristics.
Over-all 3 inches (approximately).
Weight 12 ounces.
Maximum diameter 2 inches.
Time of delay fuse 4 to 5 seconds.
Thickness of casing .02 inch.

C. How to Operate
(1) Safety. The detonator is not assembled to the grenade until it is carried into combat.

(2) To arm and throw. (a) To arm grenade. Unscrew the knob from the grenade; be sure that the exposed pocket is clean; unscrew the protective cap from the detonator end of the knob; draw a detonator (standard No. 8) from its box and check the open end to see that it is dust free and not distorted (do not use a dusty or distorted detonator); carefully slip the detonator onto the detonator end of the knob, screw the armed fuse by hand, and then use the key supplied to tighten the fuse.  (b) To throw grenade. Unscrew the blue 13 knob and pull. Throw the grenade, remembering that it has a 4- to 5-second delay.

(3) To disarm grenade. (a) Unscrew the knob from the grenade; (b) remove the detonator from the end of the knob; and (c) replace the knob. To render the igniter inoperative, carefully unscrew the knob. It has been reported that a red knob is used for those igniters having no delay element. Blue knobs have been reported on igniters having a 4- to 5-second delay, taking care not to exert any pull on the cord.  Then cut the cord with scissors and replace the knob with the cord inside.

D. Method of Carrying

The egg-type grenades are carried in
(1) The pockets.
(2) Any convenient container.

E. Use as a Booby Trap

Like all other materiel, these egg-shaped grenades can be used as booby traps. It has been reported that Eierhandgranate 39 (egg-type hand grenade, model 39).the Germans in Africa have put red primer caps on the grenades which are used as traps. If the red primer cap is unscrewed and the firing string pulled, the explosion occurs instantaneously rather than after a 4 to 5 second delay, the standard delay with the blue cap.

FOUR: SPECIAL USES OF STICK GRENADES

For special demolition, antitank, and anti-pillbox work, the heads of six model 24 or model YH 39 stick grenades can be removed from their handles and fastened securely around a seventh stick grenade from which the handle is not removed (see figs. 29 and 30). The whole can then be used as a convenient

Bangalore torpedoes for blowing paths through barbed wire can also be made by binding the desired number of grenade heads behind one another on a long stick or board' (see fig. 31); the grenade nearest the operator is complete with handle and detonator, and to it is attached a long wire or cord.

 




The following mages of German infantry grenades are found in the U.S. Army Publication "German Infantry Weapons" , May 1943 and in other sources.


STIELHANDGRANATE 24 german hand grenade potato masher stick


German grenade cross section MODEL 24 STIELHANDGRANATE 24















 

 

Grenade image garments and gifts


 

 

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