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Remembered Today:

WW1 Grenades both British and Enemy.


Lancashire Fusilier
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That said, the L2A1/M.26 was hardly a success in the Falklands where the Argentinian troops were heavily clad in winter clothing - I was told that this led to the British using W.P. grenades and eventually led to the introduction of the current hand grenade.

As was said to me in the mess at Browning Barracks in 1982: "you had to practically stick them down their smocks".

It may be apocryphal, yet I was also told of one intrepid group at Goose Green who, having come across a stash of rusty hacksaw blades in a lull, snapped them into pieces and taped them onto grenades for added 'frag'.

Cheers,

GT.

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John

I agree with much of what you say, but by the 1970's the doctrine had also changed. The 36 was seen as more a defensive weapon where the thrower needed more cover to protect himself from heavier fragments. The lighter notched coil was more in line with modern doctrine which required an offensive weapon which proved less danger to the thrower but could still disable the enemy.

TR

Yes, I'll agree that point too. Use of grenades has changed over the years and the general change to offensive types is pretty much the rule. I think there may only by the old Soviet F1 types still in use in some countries as examples of iron based defensive grenades.

John

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The writing on these grenades says "insert detonator before use". The chap on the right marked with a cross was killed on 1st July 1916 when the Beaumont Hamel mine exploded at 7.20 am.

post-100478-0-00467800-1426413036_thumb.

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In Iraq in 2004 Cpl Jason Dunham USMC was wounded and later died when he covered a 36M grenade with his body to protect his colleagues. He threw himself on the grenade dropped by an individual he was tackling and tried to use his helmet to shield himself and others from the explosion. He was quite rightly awarded the Medal of Honour.

The chap below, Captain Hugh Cowell Kinred MC, has been covered in a previous threads (with the citation for his MC) on the forum http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=78432 and here http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=78482

Here is the front page of the Daily Mirror for August 22nd 1916.

img621.jpg

He was serving with 14th Glosters at the time of the incident related in the article. Although the article describes his body armour as a 'Whitfield' steel waistcoat, I believe this is actually a Dayfield Body Shield (patentees Dayton and Whitfield) The name 'Dayfield' can just be made out on the upper right quarter of the vest. I expect his jacket needed some work however...

He seems to have escaped without serious injury as he went on to transfer to the RAF. Interesting chap, he was born in 1886 and died 25th May 1956, in the Isle of Man. Unfortunately the article doesn't tell us which type of bomb. There is a MIC for him which seems to indicate he was originally a Corporal in the Malay States Volunteer Rifles. There is an entry in 'Incoming Passenger Lists' for an H C Kinred arriving from Yokohama in 1914 and I assume this was him.

Also for those who are interested in such things, note the use of cloth pips on his shoulder straps.

I've been meaning to post this for a while, now seems like a good opportunity!

Regards

Tocemma

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The chap below, Captain Hugh Cowell Kinred MC,

Here is the front page of the Daily Mirror for August 22nd 1916.

Also for those who are interested in such things, note the use of cloth pips on his shoulder straps.

I've been meaning to post this for a while, now seems like a good opportunity!

tocemma,

A very interesting article, and as you say, the use of cloth pips on his shoulder straps is excellent confirmation that insignia was actually used in that way during WW1. Were such a uniform jacket with such shoulder strap insignia surface today, there would probably be grave concerns as to the authenticity of the insignia being used in that way during WW1 without such photographic evidence.

Regards,

LF

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tocemma,

A very interesting article, and as you say, the use of cloth pips on his shoulder straps is excellent confirmation that insignia was actually used in that way during WW1. Were such a uniform jacket with such shoulder strap insignia surface today, there would probably be grave concerns as to the authenticity of the insignia being used in that way during WW1 without such photographic evidence.

Regards,

LF

Well I certainly wouldn't have had any concerns over such a jacket, indeed I've owned two or three and seen several more over the years, all plainly authentic, and if one takes a moment to look there's plenty of photographic evidence in contemporary publications. Cloth pips were commonly worn especially by the RFC, and whilst their use abated as the war went on, they were never entirely supplanted by the metal variety.

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Well I certainly wouldn't have had any concerns over such a jacket, indeed I've owned two or three and seen several more over the years, all plainly authentic, and if one takes a moment to look there's plenty of photographic evidence in contemporary publications. Cloth pips were commonly worn especially by the RFC, and whilst their use abated as the war went on, they were never entirely supplanted by the metal variety.

You yourself would not have had any concerns, as you had owned a jacket with such insignia before. However, there are those who denigrate anything that is not ' text book ', and photographic evidence is always an excellent bonus to have.

Regards,

LF

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You yourself would not have had any concerns, as you had owned a jacket with such insignia before. However, there are those who denigrate anything that is not ' text book ', and photographic evidence is always an excellent bonus to have.

Regards,

LF

Cloth pips are not as common as bronzed ones, but anyone who makes a study of contemporary photos should find plenty of them. You can't get much more "text book" than that!

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My small collection of German grenades (except the potatomashers):

post-110385-0-62602500-1426933327_thumb.

Kugelgranate model 1915 n/A, Discusgranate Offensive M1915, Kugelgranate model 1913, and two Eierhandgranaten model 1917, the left one fitted with transportplug.

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  • 1 month later...

Did the No 36M Mk1 become the standard grenade by the end of the war and used on all fronts not just tropical and especially would it have seen service in France and Belgium?

Thanks

TT

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Did the No 36M Mk1 become the standard grenade by the end of the war and used on all fronts not just tropical and especially would it have seen service in France and Belgium?

Thanks

TT

TT,

The Grenade, Hand or .303 in Rifle, No. 36M Mk. I ( L ) was introduced specifically for use in ' hot climates ' and differed from the No.36, in that the 36M had a special waterproof coating applied to all openings in the grenade to make it water and moisture proof.

The waterproof coating which was applied by brush when still molten, consisted of a mixture of heated Chinese Wax or Madagascar beeswax 20%, Unvulcanised rubber 2% and Lanolin veterinary anhydrous 78%.

With this special coating, which had to be applied to the 36M for use in ' hot climates ', it is unlikely that it was routinely used on the Western Front in France and Belgium, where the standard No.36 Grenade was still readily available throughout WW1.

The standard No.36, officially introduced in May 1918, remained in use throughout WW1, and was declared obsolete on 5th December 1932.

However, the No.36M still saw service in ' hot climates ' during WW2.

Regards,

LF

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Thanks LF much appreciated.

TT

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  • 2 weeks later...

So following on from above the most common Mills on the Western Front was the No 5 or the No 23? No 36 used in the last 6 months?

I have for the record just aquired (bought) a nice non relic No 23 Mk 11. Base plug W.E.B dated 4/17. Not rodded for rifle.

From this thread very happy with it.

TT

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.

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post-15846-0-70060200-1431801685_thumb.j

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So following on from above the most common Mills on the Western Front was the No 5 or the No 23? No 36 used in the last 6 months?

I have for the record just aquired (bought) a nice non relic No 23 Mk 11. Base plug W.E.B dated 4/17. Not rodded for rifle

TT,

A very nice example of a No.23 Mills Grenade, the Base Plug Maker's Mark ' W.E.B. ' was for W.E. Blake Ltd., of London, and the Base Plug is threaded to take a rod, and is date marked 4 17 for April 1917.

As far as numbers made, most reference books which quote numbers, lump all the Mills Grenade types together, the No.5, 23 and 36, and quote 75 million for all types made by the end of WW1.

Regards,

LF

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Always good to see some Mills bombs! The Burns discharger cups are very hard to get. They now also have to be de-activated with a bar inserted across the middle.

John

John I am interested in the drawing of the Burns Discharger, could you please either tell me where the drawing can be seen or else post it bigger so that I can read the dimensions. I recently bought the bottom section with the 'arms' and was planning to make a cup to suit. The mention that all cups have now to be deactivated is worrying. I assume it is also illegal to make a replica?

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Stupid q so apologies in advance. Was there a correct side for the ring pull on the lever release cotter pin i.e as you look at the front to the left or right? Did it matter?

TT

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Stupid q so apologies in advance. Was there a correct side for the ring pull on the lever release cotter pin i.e as you look at the front to the left or right? Did it matter?

TT

TT,

The official diagrams for the Mills Grenade which accompanied List of Changes Nos. 19781 & 20121, show the ring pull to the left of the Striker Lever ( with the Striker Lever facing you ), as is shown in your photograph.

This is also confirmed in a 1917 Grenade Instruction Booklet, which gives the following instructions for throwing the Mills Grenade :-

" Hold the grenade in right hand, base plug up, the fingers holding the striker lever firmly against the body of the grenade, the ring of the safety pin towards the left hand ".

Regards,

LF

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Thanks LF.

TT

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Excellent informative thread. Thanks for sharing. When I started to read the thread I had no idea it would be so many pages, not complaining, just

wished I had been warned and then I could have had my thermos at the ready.

David

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This is (I suppose) a WW1 Mills det tin, completely made of sheet steel , founded in the british trenches on the plateau of Asiago (italian front)

Have you seen similar of this one?

Near is a p-bomb, founded in the same area.

Bye

post-51030-0-56012200-1433266767_thumb.j

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The det tins are not for Mills grenades - they look more like the tins for holding 25 No.8 MkVII detonators. No.8 detonators were used for many of the early British Alphabetical Series grenades, although usually as part of a Brock igniter.

The P bomb (or No.26) shown was made by the Self-Opening Tin Box Company, Albion Tin Works, Barking, London.

265

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Thanks so much for the informations.

I never found before the name of the manufacturer.

About detonators, I have now to find where was used the No.8 MkVII detonators or the Brock igniter in the 1918 from the british troups in Italy.

I don't think they had early British Alphabetical Series grenades (do you mean like Battye?)

Best regards

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The grenades of the Alphabetical Series were generally chemical grenades for throwing or launching from catapults and spring guns. So there were Grenade, Chemical, Type A; Type B; Type C; Type D; etc. They were introduced in 1915 and were mostly obsolescent by the beginning of 1916. However, a few continued to be used until the end of the war, including:

The Chemical Type C, also known as the P (phosphorus) bomb, and which became the No.26. Although supposedly succeeded by the No.27 in 1917, the P bomb remained in service in parallel with the No.27, and was still being made in mid-1918 such was the demand for smoke grenades.

The Chemical Type Q (also known as the MSK grenade), which became the No.28 MkI, and then No.28 MkII with revised igniter. Small quantities of No.28 MkII were supplied to the Italian government.

The P bomb/No.26 used a Brock igniter with No.8 detonator, while the No.28 MkII used a burster incorporating a .410 cap, fuze and No.8 detonator.

P bombs were packed 12 to a box, with a tin of 12 Brock igniters, so it may be that the detonator tins you have found were not for use with grenades - the central big hole in the middle of the 25 small holes is for a rectifier, which is a spike on a handle used to ensure the detonator cavities in slabs of guncotton are the correct size (not too tight). In other words the tins of 25 detonators were for use perhaps with other stores, such as demolition explosives.

265

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