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Title: Hand Grenades - A handbook on rifle and hand grenades
Author: Ainslie, Graham M.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                             HAND GRENADES

                          _A HANDBOOK ON RIFLE
                           AND HAND GRENADES_

                      COMPILED AND ILLUSTRATED BY
                        MAJOR GRAHAM M. AINSLIE

                            _FIRST EDITION_

                                NEW YORK
                        JOHN WILEY & SONS, Inc.
                    London: CHAPMAN & HALL, Limited

                          COPYRIGHT, 1917, BY
                           GRAHAM M. AINSLIE

                                PRESS OF
                            BRAUNWORTH & CO.
                           BOOK MANUFACTURERS
                            BROOKLYN, N. Y.


The purpose of this work is to assist students of grenade work in
acquiring a rapid and complete knowledge of the subject. If the student
will refer constantly to the illustrations, which are accurate drawings
of grenades now in use, this book may help to elucidate many points
which are inadequately treated in any existing work.

In compiling the book, the author has inserted only information
absolutely necessary, and has arranged it so simply that a person with
a very little previous knowledge of the subject may be able to grasp
both the data given, and the principles, and methods herein explained
and illustrated.

This book is the result of practical experience in the present war.

                                                      G. M. AINSLIE.


  INTRODUCTION                      1
  GRENADE SQUAD                    28
  FRONTAL ATTACK                   32
  FUSES, DETONATORS, ETC.          55
  THROWING                         59


A grenade is a hollow ball, cylinder, or cube, made of metal or other
material, which is filled with some explosive, and burst by means of a
fuse, or on impact when it falls among an enemy. Until about the end
of the seventeenth century trained soldiers called Grenadiers used
grenades which were thrown by hand, but after that date they fell into
disuse. In 1899—1900 at the siege of Mafeking they are said to have
been used by the besieged, and also in the Russo-Japanese war. In the
year 1914, however, the beginning of the great war produced new methods
in the employment of infantry in the attack or defense of positions.
It was proved that under many conditions infantry armed only with a
rifle and bayonet found it impossible to press home an attack or hold a
position against troops armed with grenades.

This weapon, handy to use and immensely destructive and demoralizing in
its employment, has played a most important part in every successful
operation carried out by British troops on the Western front. It has
become one of the principal weapons not only in trench warfare, but in
the attack and clearing of enemy positions, strong points, villages,
and especially in house-to-house and cellar fighting.

      NOTE. 1. In throwing all hand grenades an overarm
    action will be used, like a bowler when playing cricket.

      2. Attached to all stick hand grenades are tapes or
    streamers a couple of feet long to enable them to fly head
    first, when thrown.


There are two kinds of grenades:

    No. 1. Time grenades.
    No. 2. Percussion grenades.

No. 1 rely for ignition upon:

    (_a_) Some form of fuse lighter.
    (_b_) A length of time or safety fuse.
    (_c_) A detonator or exploder.

No. 2 on:

    (_a_) Some form of percussion striking device.
    (_b_) A percussion cap.
    (_c_) A detonator.

For throwing purposes grenades as follows:

    1. Hand grenades.
    2. Stick hand grenades.
    3. Rifle grenades, fitted with firing rods 8 to 10 in. long.

GRENADE HAND NO. 1 or General Service

    =Type.= Percussion stick grenade.
    =Weight.= Two lb. complete.
    =Explosive.= Lyddite.

=Safety Device.=

    1. Safety pin. Leather thong through eye of pin.
    2. Cord becket.
    3. Red indicator and words of directions on removable cap.

[Illustration: GRENADE HAND NO. 1, MARK I.]

=Body.= Brass cylinder.

=Striker.= Steel needle carried in removable cap.

=Detonator.= Special detonator (see page 57.)

=To prepare for use=:

    1. Turn word “remove” on cap to red indicator.
    2. Take off removable cap.
    3. Insert detonator. Turn to left to secure.
    4. Replace cap and turn to “travel.”

=To fire=:

    1. Turn cap to “fire.”
    2. Pull out leather thong from safety pin. Remove
       cord becket.
    3. Gather streamers palm right hand, holding
       grenade in left hand.
    4. Holding grenade right hand, pull out safety pin
       with left hand.
    5. Throw grenade.

=Packing=: Grenades are packed six in wooden box with tin containing
ten special detonators.

=Precautions=: Care must be taken in act of throwing that grenade does
not strike any object in rear of the thrower.

Always carry grenades at “travel.”


Hales Hand or Mexican Grenade

    =Type.= Percussion stick grenade.
    =Weight.= One lb. complete.
    =Explosive.= Tonite.
    =Safety Device.= Safety pin.
    =Body.= Brass cylinder 4¾ × 1¼ in. diameter.
    =Striker.= Brass needle pellet 1½ in. long, conical head,
     steel needle point, creep spring contained in brass base piece.


=Detonator.= Special No. 2.

=To prepare for use=:

    1. Holding grenade head downwards, unscrew black
       ebonite, if needle pellet found secure.
    2. Screw in detonator.

=To fire=:

    1. Holding grenade in left hand, gather streamers
       palm of right hand.
    2. Holding grenade right hand, pull out safety
       pin with left hand.
    3. Throw grenade.

=Packing.= Grenades are packed ten in a wooden box, with tin containing
ten No. 2 detonators.

=Precautions.= See Hand Grenade No. 1.


Hales Rifle Grenade

=Type.= Percussion.

=Weight.= One lb. 5 oz.

=Explosive.= Tonite.

=Safety Device=:

    1. Safety pin.
    2. Releasing collar.
    3. Wind vane.
    4. Retaining bolts.

=Body.= Serrated steel cylinder.

=Striker.= Brass fluted needle pellet 1½ in. long, wasp waisted,
conical head, steel needle point and creep spring, contained in brass
base piece.

=Detonator.= Special No. 3 (see p. 57.)


=To prepare for use=:

    1. Holding grenade head downwards, unscrew black
       ebonite block, if needle pellet found secure.
    2. Screw in detonator.

=To fire=:

    1. Oil rod and barrel of rifle.
    2. Insert rod into barrel of rifle and work it up
       and down to ensure lubrication and to expel
    3. Place special cartridge in chamber rifle and
       close bolt.
    4. Pull out safety pin.
    5. Pull down releasing collar.
    6. Give wind vane 1½ turns to left.
    7. Fire the rifle.

=Packing.= Grenades packed twenty in wooden box in protecting tins with
screw-off lids and four tins containing 20 in. special detonators,
rifle, grenades and twenty-two special blank cartridges.


Mills Hand Grenade

=Type.= Time 4½ seconds.

=Weight.= One and one-half lb.

=Explosive.= Ammonal.

=Safety Device=:

    1. Safety pin.
    2. Striker lever.

=Body.= Serrated oval cast-iron.

=Striker.= Steel rim firing.

=Igniter.= Special, consisting of a separate unit. Special N.g.
cap holder, N.G. rim firing percussion cap, 1¾ in. safety fuse and

=To prepare for use=:

    1. Unscrew base plug.
    2. Examine detonator and striker well for faults.
    3. Insert special igniter.
    4. Screw on base plug tightly by means of special


=To fire=:

    1. Hold 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.
    2. Pull out safety pin with the left hand, keeping
       the pressure on the striker lever.
    3. Throw the grenade.

=Packing.= Grenades are packed twelve in wood box, with a tin
containing twelve igniters.

Mills Rifle Grenade

Base plugs into which are screwed 8 in. rods are provided for this
grenade to be fired from rifle, a special one being fitted to the rifle
for this purpose.


R.L. or T.G. Grenades

=Type.= Time and friction.

=Weight.= No. 6 or light grenade, 1 lb. complete; No. 7, or heavy
grenade, 1 lb. 13 oz.


=Safety Device.= Papier maché cap.

=Body.= Tin cylinder with rounded ends 4 in. long, 2¼ in. diameter.

=Igniter.= Special friction igniter, length of safety fuse, and service
detonator combined.

=To prepare for use=:

    1. Take off papier maché cap.
    2. Take wooden plug out of detonator tube.
    3. Insert friction lighter, turn to left and lock,
       clipping flange under studs.
    4. Replace papier maché cap.

=To fire=:

    1. Remove papier maché cap.
    2. Hold grenade right hand, becket towards the
    3. Pull out becket sharply with left hand.
    4. Throw grenade at once.

[Illustration: GRENADE NO. 6, MARK I.]

=Packing.= Grenades packed forty in wooden box. Four haversacks with
four tins containing ten special igniters. These grenades should always
be carried with papier maché caps on.

      NOTE. The No. 6 grenade is an assault or demoralizing grenade.


Double Cylinder

=Type.= Time.

=Weight.= No. 8 light pattern, 1 lb. 6 oz. complete; No. 9, heavy
pattern, 2 lb. complete.


=Safety Device.=

=BODY.= Tin cylinder 2¾ × 1½ in. diameter, inside larger cylinder 3¼ × 3
in. diameter.

=Igniter.= Special Nobel lighter 1¾ in. safety fuse No. 8, VII

[Illustration: GRENADE NO. 8.]

=To prepare for use=:

    1. Crimp lighter on to fuse, insert fuse into detonator
       and crimp the latter on to fuse. Wax
       joints at lighter and detonator.
    2. Insert igniter into detonator tube in inner
    3. Wax round joint where igniter enters grenade.
    4. Wire fuse on to grenade.

=To fire=:

    1. Hold grenade right hand, gripping bottom of
       Nobel lighter between thumb and finger.
    2. Tear off tape and pull out safety pin.
    3. Press down outer tube of N. lighter, turn sharply
       to R. or L.
    4. Throw grenade at once.

      NOTE. The heavy pattern grenade has more shrapnel and less
    explosive than the light pattern grenade.


Hairbrush or Box Pattern Grenade

=Type.= Time, or land mine.

=Weight.= Three lb. complete.

=Explosive.= Ammonal or guncotton.

=Safety Device.= Safety pin.

=Body.= Tin box 3×5×2 in. A grooved cast-iron plate, ¼ in., forms the
front side.

=Igniter.= Special brass tube consisting of spring and striker held in
place by safety pin. Cap and fuse and detonator or Nobel lighter, fuse
and detonator.

=To prepare for use.= See Nos. 8 and 9 grenades.

=To fire.= See Nos. 8 and 9 grenades.

      NOTE. This grenade is now used as a land mine.

[Illustration: GRENADE NO. 12.]


=Type.= Time.

=Weight.= One lb. 2 oz. complete.

=Explosive.= Ammonal guncotton, 1½ oz.

=Safety Device.= Safety pin in Nobel lighter.

=Body.= Cast-iron cylinder, 3 × 2 in. diameter, one end solid.

=Igniter.= Nobel lighter, 1¾ in. fuse, No. 8 M.K. VII detonator.

=To prepare for use.= See Grenade Hand No. 8.

=To fire.= See Grenade Hand No. 8.

=Packing.= Grenades packed thirty in wooden box arranged with removable
wooden partitions which rest on top of the grenades, to prevent lid
coming in contact with the end of the igniters.

[Illustration: BATTYE HAND GRENADE.]


=Type.= Time.

=Weight.= One and one-half lb.

=Explosive.= Ammonal.

=Safety Device.=

=Body.= Cast-iron cylinder 4 × 1⅞ in. diameter, one end solid.

=Igniter.= Special.

This grenade is not likely to be reissued. The igniter is described
in the Training and Employment of Grenadiers issued by General H. Q.,
October, 1915.



=Type.= Time.

=Weight.= One lb. 2 oz. complete.

=Explosive.= Ammonal.

=Safety Device.= Brock lighter. (See Patent Lighters, p. 58.)

=Body.= 3/16 in. cast-iron, egg-shaped, 3½ in. long × 2¼ in. diameter
at middle.

=Igniter.= Brock lighter, 1¾ in. fuse, No. 8 M.K. VII detonator.

=To prepare for use.= See Hand Grenade No. 8.

=To fire=:

    1. Hold grenade right hand.
    2. Pull off waterproof paper on Brock lighter with
       left hand.
    3. Strike lighter against brassard carried on left
       arm for this purpose.
    4. Throw grenade at once.

=Precautions.= The waterproof paper must not be removed before
throwing, as composition may get damp, or grenade accidentally lighted.


=Type.= Time.

=Weight.= One lb. 11½ oz. complete.

=Explosive.= Ammonal, 5½ oz.

=Safety Device.= Safety pin in Nobel lighter. (See Patent Lighter.)

=Body.= Cast-iron sphere, 3 in. diameter.

=Igniter.= Nobel lighter, 1¾ in. fuse, No. 8 M.K. VII detonator.

=To Prepare for Use.= See Hand Grenade No. 8.

=To Fire.= See Hand Grenade No. 8.

[Illustration: BALL GRENADE.]


=Type.= Time, 4½ seconds.

=Weight.= One lb. 5 oz.

=Explosive.= Ammonal.

=Safety Device.= Special split tin disc over N.G. percussion cap.

=Body.= Cast-iron, pear-shaped.

=Striker.= Contained in special striker cap.

=Igniter.= Sawed off .303 in. blank cartridge, 1½ in. safety fuse,

=To Prepare for Use=:

    1. Remove striker cap.
    2. Insert igniter.
    3. Slip on safety device.
    4. Replace striker cap.

[Illustration: NEWTON HAND GRENADE.]

=To Fire=:

    1. Hold grenade in right hand, narrow end downwards.
    2. Bring striker cap down a sharp blow on brassard
       carried on left thigh for that purpose,
       or upon some hard surface.
    3. Throw grenade at once.


=Type.= Percussion.

=Weight.= One lb.

=Explosive.= Ammonal.

=Safety Device.= Newton Hand.

=Body.= Cast-iron conical.

=Striker.= Newton Hand.

=Detonator.= Commercial.

=To Prepare for Use=:

    1. Remove striker cap.
    2. Insert detonator.
    3. Slip on safety device.
    4. Replace striker cap.

=To Fire=:

    1. Oil 10 in. rod and barrel of rifle.
    2. Work rod up and down to insure lubrication
       and to expel air.
    3. Place special blank cartridge in chamber of
       rifle and close bolt.
    4. Fire the rifle.



=Type.= Percussion stick grenade.

=Weight.= One and three-quarter lb.

=Explosive.= Ammonal.

=Safety Device=:

    1. Safety pin.
    2. Shearing wire.

=Body.= Oval, cast-iron.

=Striker.= Mushroom-topped brass.

=Detonator.= Special long commercial.

=Igniter.= (Sawed off) 380 in. blank cartridge.

=To Prepare for Use=:

    1. Unscrew brass striker holder.
    2. Insert detonator.
    3. Screw on brass striker holder.

=To Fire=:

    1. Unwind streamer at end of handle.
    2. Hold grenade in left hand, gather up streamers
       palm of right hand.
    3. Holding grenade in right hand, take out safety
       pin with left hand.
    4. Throw grenade.

=Packing.= Grenades are packed twelve in a wooden box, also a tin
containing twelve special detonators.

[Illustration: GRENADE NO. 19. HAND.]

RIFLE GRENADE NO. 20 Improved Hales Rifle Grenade

=Type.= Percussion.

=Weight.= One lb. 8 oz.

=Explosive.= Tonite.

=Safety Device=:

    1. Safety pin.
    2. Releasing collar.
    3. Retaining bolts.

=Body.= Steel cylinder.

=Striker.= Same as No. 3 Rifle Grenade (see p. 7).

=Detonator.= Special No. 3 (see p. 7.)

=To Prepare for Use=:

1 and 2. See No 3 Rifle Grenade (see p. 7).

=To Fire=:

    1, 2, 3, and 4 same as No. 3 rifle grenade,
             see p. 7, Fire Rifle.

=Packing.= Grenades packed twenty in wooden box, four tins containing
five each “special detonators rifle grenade,” and 22 special blank

=Precautions.= See all stick hand grenades.

[Illustration: RIFLE GRENADE NO. 20.]


=Divisional Grenade Officer and Instructional Staff= for Grenade,
Stokes Gun, Trench Mortar Schools.

=Brigade Grenadiers=:

    1. Sergt. Major.
    1. Q.M.S.
    4. Sergt. Instructors.
    4. Grenade platoons, per battalion in brigade.

=Battalion Grenadiers of Grenade Platoon=:

    1. Grenade officer.
    1. Sergt. Instructor.
    4. N.C.O.’s and 40 men.
    1. Cook.
    1. Officers’ servant.

=Total=, 48 all ranks.

=Company Grenadiers=:

     1. N.C.O. and 10 men per platoon.
     4. N.C.O.’s and 40 men per company.
    16. N.C.O.’s and 160 men per battalion.

Total grenadiers per battalion, 224 all ranks.

Total grenadiers per brigade, 896 company and battalion grenadiers.

Total grenadiers per division, 2688 company and battalion grenadiers.



In Line

    No. 1. Bayonet man.
    No. 2. Bayonet man.
    No. 3. First thrower.
    No. 4. Second thrower.
    No. 5. N.C.O. or Leader.
    No. 6. First carrier.
    No. 7. Second carrier.
    No. 8. Spare man.
    No. 9. Spare man or sniper.

In Single File

    No. 1. Bayonet man.
    No. 2. Bayonet man.
    No. 3. First thrower.
    No. 6. First carrier.
    No. 5. N.C.O. or Leader.
    No. 4. Second thrower.
    No. 7. Second carrier.
    No. 8. Spare man.
    No. 9. Spare man or sniper.

=Duties of Above.= _Nos. 1 and 2 Bayonet Man._ 1. _Clearing of a Trench
to a Flank._ They are the bodyguard for the thrower and carrier and
must always protect them under any conditions and at all costs.

      NOTE. The latter are not armed against attack at close
    quarters. The bayonet men work in advance of the thrower and
    carrier of their squads. They act as trench scouts; that is,
    they instruct their thrower and carrier how the trench runs and
    where the dug-outs and side trenches will be met. They will carry
    their rifles with bayonets fixed, loaded, magazine full. No. 3
    and 6 bomb and clear all dug-outs on the way down the trench. The
    first man throws the bomb, the bayonet man enters the dug-out and
    completes its work. At the junctions of communication trenches
    and side trenches they act as trench sentries and observers until
    relieved by the squads in rear. If necessity arises they assist
    the thrower by throwing bombs.


2. _Frontal Attack against Enemy Positions._ They will be in line with,
not in advance of the thrower and carrier and will protect them while
throwing by snap shooting, or with their bayonets against assault, or a
sudden rush by the enemy when at close quarters.

3. _Street Fighting and Village Cleaning._ They will keep down enemy
rifle fire by snap shooting, so as to enable the thrower to work close
enough to his objective to throw grenades, and when these have burst,
will go forward and complete their work.

_No. 3. First Thrower._ He throws grenades according to the directions
given him by his leader or by his bayonet men. He is a picked man,
steady under fire and chosen for his accuracy and length in throwing.

_No. 4. The Carrier._ He follows close enough in rear of the throwers
to keep them supplied with grenades, but must be careful not to crowd
them or impede the throwing. He will be prepared to instantly take up
the duties of the thrower should he become a casualty.

_No. 5. N.C.O. or Leader._ He is responsible for his squad and the
proper carrying out of the duties given to the squad. He will inspect
each man before an attack and see that he has his complete equipment
and that he knows the general idea and direction of the attack and
the final objective of his squad. He will be responsible for the
maintenance of supplies of grenades through his squad to the thrower,
and will supervise the automatic filling up of casualties in his squad
by men from the squads in the rear. He will indicate the position and
progress of his squad in the attack to supporting troops, etc., by
means of flags or other signals by day and by colored flares by night.

_Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9._ Their duties are the same as Nos. 1, 2, 3 and
4, and are to be considered primarily as carriers until otherwise

_No. 10. Spare Man._ He will act, if necessity arises, as leader of his
section, to clear side trenches, etc., and will instantly take over the
duties of No. 5 should he become a casualty.

_No. 11. Sniper._ He will act as a sniper by day and a connecting file
by night, between his own squad and the squad of troops in rear.

      NOTE. Every man in the grenade squad should be
    trained to fill the position of any other in the squad.

=Explanation of Chart No. A2.= The position occupied by grenadiers in
an attacking squad has this main point in consideration.

The safety and local protection of each individual in the squad; care
should be taken that as far as possible each man has a solid corner of
the trench close to him, which he can use as a protection against the
bursting effect of enemy grenades, by quickly advancing or retiring
around the corner.

The bayonet men are in advance of the thrower, close enough to protect
him, and not too far in front as to be in danger of being bombed by him.

The thrower—the actual means of attack—is protected in front by the
traverse and in the rear by the corner of the parados. The carrier is
close behind the thrower and is protected by two corners. The N.C.O. or
leader is where he can best watch the flight of the grenades thrown by
the throwers, and is also equally well protected.

=Method of Advance.= It is usually the endeavor to bomb and clear three
bays at a time in advance of the bayonet men. The N.C.O. reports the
throwing by the word “Mark,” to indicate a burst in the required bay.
On the third mark having been registered, the N.C.O. gives the order,
“Bayonet men report.” They immediately advance up the trench to the
last bay cleared and report back after examination either “All clear”
or “Enemy holding,” whereupon the N.C.O. gives the order “Advance,” or
directs the thrower to bomb the last bay again. This means of advance
is continued until the objective is gained.

=Island Traverse.= The two methods of attack are employed as shown on
the chart. It is imperative that the attack must not be allowed to be
held up, and should it be found impossible to advance down the trench
itself, owing to enfilade fire, the attack must be immediately launched
outside the trench, so as to attack the traverse from the rear, in the
case of a daylight attack.

=Precautions.= Care must be taken, especially by the bayonet men in
their advance through the trench, that enemy concealed trenches,
dug-outs, etc., are not left undiscovered. The sides of trenches and
the walls and floors of dug-outs should be carefully examined for
concealed entrances or exits.



=The Preparation Before an Attack.= The following details must be
carefully considered:

(_a_) The study of operation orders.

(_b_) The linking up of observations gained from the

    1. Study of existing trenches and aeroplane maps
       of enemy positions.

    2. The personal reconnaissance of the topographical
       features of the ground to be covered in the advance.

(_c_) The detailing of squads to their special objectives and the
arranging for work, carrying wire and demolishing parties for permanent
blocks at the final objectives.

[Illustration: FRONTAL ATTACK.]

(_d_) The kind of grenades to be used with a view to facilitating the
carrying of same.

(_e_) Carrying parties must be told off to insure supplies of grenades
reaching the throwers.

(_f_) Grenade depots must be built, sign boards arranged for, and
clearly marked “Grenade Depot” not only in our own system of trenches,
but also the positions told off beforehand where they are to be
established in the enemy trenches, or in =No Man’s Land= immediately
previous to the attack.

(_g_) Responsible officers and N.C.O.’s should be told off to look
after the grenade depots and supply of grenades.

(_h_) The position for infantry grenade dumps must be selected and
clearly explained to all units taking part in the attack, and special
parties told off to collect at these points and carry grenades to
nearest depots.

(_i_) A traffic system should be arranged and all men must be
acquainted with it, and the trenches or lines of travel clearly marked
“up traffic,” etc.

=The Advance.=

    =1. In line with infantry.=
    =2. In advance of infantry.=

No. 1 is the method adopted in daylight attack, the advance not being
covered by gas or smoke clouds.

No. 2 is method adopted in night attack and when weather conditions or
topographical features of ground covered in the advance allow it.

Attacking squads are allotted positions in lines of infantry
immediately opposite their first objectives, and on reaching these
positions should immediately commence bombing and clearing the trenches
towards their final objectives. In the case of No. 1 the infantry
clears the main trench, but special grenade parties may be told off to
assist the infantry in this work, especially when strong points occur
in the enemy position.

It is most important that all infantry taking part in an attack should
be previously supplied with grenades and this must be considered the
first source of supply. Positions designated as infantry grenade
dumping positions should be chosen and known to the infantry at which
they dump their grenades in their advance on the enemy positions. These
positions should be close to the position to be captured and held.

In order to hold positions captured from the enemy it is imperative
that grenade storming parties hold their final objectives at all costs,
and until the positions to be permanently held have been consolidated.


Trench storming parties should kill or drive back the hostile occupants
of a trench as quickly as possible, clear as much of the enemy trench
as has been ordered, and then hold the portion cleared with as small
loss as possible to themselves. It must be remembered that in trench
clearing, and especially in deep and narrow trenches, only the head of
the attacking party can directly kill, and seldom more than one man
can throw at a time. Therefore it is essential that a constant supply
of grenades reaches the thrower and that the places of casualties are
automatically filled by reinforcements. Men must be trained until they
can do this either by day or at night time.

=Advance.= Movement is rapid until contact with the enemy is obtained.
Once contact is established it must be maintained and pressed home.
A retreating enemy must be given no time to re-establish a defensive
attitude, corners must be worked carefully and bays and straight
pieces of trench rushed. The bayonet men will complete the work of
the grenades and see that the carrier and thrower will meet with no
opposition on their way to new throwing position. The effect of a
grenade bursting in a confined space like a trench is tremendous, and
though it may not kill it will stun or shock the hostile occupants, and
if the bayonet men follow up rapidly they will meet with very little

=Casualties.= Every man must be trained to take up the duties of any
other man in his squad. They do not necessarily keep to their own
squads; the squads in rear of the attacking squad may be looked on as
a reserve squad for the one in front. Thus, Casualty first squad. The
thrower No. 3 is reinforced by the first thrower of the second squad,
and so on.

=Side Trenches.= When a side trench is met with, the leading squad will
go up and clear it. The second half will remain at the junction until
first returns, then the second squad will continue advance in original
direction of the attack.

=Blocking and Barricades.= For blocking captured trenches, etc., see
Manual of Field Engineering, Wire Entanglements, Hurdles, etc.


The description of British and German grenades apply also to those
grenades used by the French army. They are:

    1. Three kinds of petards.
    2. Pear-shaped percussion grenade hand.
    3. The “Besozzi” grenade.

[Illustration: BALL GRENADE.]



=Igniter.= Friction tube with wire pull let into wooden fuse.

=Safety Devices:=

    1. The fuse is carried separate.
    2. The plug is covered with paper.
    3. The wire pull is bent to prevent a direct pull
       of the fuse.

=To Use.= See German spherical Grenade, p. 43.



=Igniter.= A copper tube containing striker, creep spring and detonator.

[Illustration: PEAR-SHAPED GRENADE.]

=Safety Devices:=

    1. The cams lever secures striker while the lever
       is held in place against body of grenade.
    2. The strong loop which holds lever against body
       of grenade and is fastened by a metal seal.

=How to Use;=

    1. This grenade is always =“alive.”=
    2. Holding grenade in right hand, neck towards the
       wrist, the lever against the palm of the hand.
    3. Pull off the metal seal with left hand.
    4. Throw the grenade.

      NOTE. This grenade must be carefully
    handled; it is carried and packed “alive.”

[Illustration: BESOZZI GRENADE.]




    1. Time fuse which projects from the grenade.
    2. Red phosphorus tipping to fuse.
    3. Detonator.

=Safety Devices=:

    1. The grenades are packed in waterproof paper.

=To Use:=

    1. Holding grenade in the right hand, fuse upwards.
    2. Strike the phosphorus tip with a downwards
       motion of the left hand, with the striking box.
    3. Throw the grenade at once.

      NOTES. 1. Fuse burns 5 seconds.
      2. These grenades are always carried alive.
      3. A special ring or striking box is provided to light the fuse.

=Foreign Hair Brush Grenades.= They are similar to the British No. 12
Hand Grenades.


There are two types:

No. 1. Service grenades.

No. 2. Improvised or home-made grenades.

These are again divided into two classes:

=A.= Those that depend for their effect upon fragmentation on

=B.= Those that depend for their effect upon the shock of detonation

The type =B= is more commonly met with than type =A=. Ignition is by
time or percussion. The time of fuses about six seconds burning.

=Precautions.= When handling foreign grenades care should always be
taken and the following rules should be enforced:

    1. Only skilled grenadiers should be allowed to examine
       and handle any grenades found.
    2. Grenade depots when discovered should be immediately
       reported to the nearest grenadier.
    3. Foreign time grenades should be thrown as soon
       as the lighting device has been started.

Description of German Grenades

As the means of firing a grenade will be immediately apparent to the
skilled grenadier on seeing the grenade, the following information only
is of importance to the unskilled grenadier:

    1. How to make the grenade safe.
    2. How to make the grenade alive.
    3. How to use the grenade against the enemy.


=1. How to Make Safe=:

    1. Screw out the special lighter, taking care not
       to pull the wire.

=2. How to Make the Grenade Alive=:

    1. Screw in the special lighter.
    2. Remove the oiled paper, straighten the wire.

=3. How to Use the Grenade=:

    1. Put on wrist strap.
    2. Hold grenade in the right hand, igniter towards
       the wrist.
    3. Hook the swivel of the wrist strap on to the
       wire pull of the grenade.
    4. Throw the grenade at once.

      NOTE. Use time of fuse burning, seven
    seconds, but another lighter which burns for five
    seconds—painted red—is also provided.


See p. 44.

=1. How to Make Safe=:

    1. Remove the handle and base plug by raising
       turned down edge of the cylinder carefully.
    2. Empty contents of cylinder.

=2. How to Make the Grenade Alive=:

    1. See the British Grenades Hand No. 12.

=3. How to Use the Grenade=:

    1. Pull out safety pin.

    2. Throw the grenade at once.

      NOTE. Fuse about 2 in. long. Burns about six seconds.



See p. 45.

=1. How to Make Safe=:

    1. Take out igniter.

=2. How to Make the Grenade Alive=:

    1. Take out wooden plug and insert the igniter.
    2. Tear off paper cover from the lighter.

=3. How to Use the Grenade=:

    1. Holding grenade in right hand, rub the match
       head on the side of a match box, etc.
    2. Throw the grenade at once.

      NOTE. Time fuse burns about six seconds.

[Illustration: Fig. 1, Fig. 2]


See p. 44.

Regulation Type

=1. How to Make Safe=:

    1. Unfasten clips which hold lid of cylinder.
    2. Remove cardboard cylinder containing explosive.
    3. Insert hand and withdraw detonator from brass
       tube at end of handle.

=2. How to Make Alive=:

    1. If drawing loop is attached to handle by paper
       band, unscrew handle and insert special detonator
       into brass tube at end of handle and
       refix handle.

=3. How to Use the Grenade=:

    1. Holding grenade in right hand.
    2. Pull loop sharply with left hand.
    3. Throw the grenade at once.

      NOTE. Time fuse burns is stamped on handle 5½ or seven
    seconds. Care must be taken when grenade is found without the
    pull loop, in case it has been fixed to light on unscrewing


See p. 47.

=1. How to Make Safe=:

    1. If safety pin is in place, unscrew cap marked =S=.
    2. Remove detonator.

      NOTE. If safety pins and safety tubes
    are not in place, the above must be done without
    disturbing the grenade.

=2. How to Make Alive:=

    1. This grenade is packed alive.

=3. How to Use the Grenade=:

    1. Holding grenade in right hand, safety pin upwards,
       pull out safety pin with left hand.
    2. Pull off the cap of the safety tube.
    3. Holding the grenade with the first or middle
       finger on top of the safety tube and the ball
       of the thumb over the cap marked =B=.
    4. Throw the grenade with its edge vertical.

      NOTE. A low or horizontal throw may cause a failure.

[Illustration: DISK HAND GRENADE.]


See p. 48.

=1. How to Make Safe=:

    1. Unscrew the plug in the head.
    2. Withdraw the detonator.

=2. How to Make Alive:=

    1. Unscrew the plug and insert detonator, fulminate
    2. Screw the plug and tear off band holding parachute.

[Illustration: PARACHUTE GRENADE.]

=3. How to Use the Grenade=:

    1. Hold loop of cord firmly with fingers of right
    2. Tear out plug from handle and unwind a short
       length of the cord.
    3. Holding the grenade in right hand, the first
       and second fingers firmly in the loop of the
    4. Throw the grenade to a height of at least 3 to 4

      NOTE. This grenade requires considerable practice.


See p. 50.

1913 and 1914

=1. How to Make Safe=:

    1. Unscrew igniter plug in the head of 1913 grenade.
       Unscrew fuse from the body of 1914 grenade.

=2. How to Make Alive=:

    1. Screw igniter into head of 1913 grenade. Screw
       fuse into body of 1914 grenade.

=3. How to Use the Grenade=:

    1. Follow out custom of firing British Rifle Grenades.

      NOTE. Only a German rifle can be used, and more
    care in handling the grenade before firing must be taken
    than with the British grenades, they are liable to become
    “alive” if dropped on to the tail rods.

[Illustration: RIFLE GRENADES.]


Explosives are divided into two classes:

    1. Low explosives.
    2. High explosives.

To the first group belong all propellant explosives, i.e., all powders,
such as gunpowder and smokeless powders used in firearms.

To the second group belong:

    (_a_) All explosives used in shells, torpedoes,
    grenades, demolitions, etc.

    (_b_) Detonators or exploders, i.e., explosives which
    start explosive reactions in the explosives of Group (_a_).

=The characteristic of H.E.= is the extreme violence and suddenness of
their detonation.

In order to make them instantly pass from a solid or liquid form to
gas, they require a detonator or exploder, which applies a violent
shock to them and breaks down the chemical structure of the explosive
compound, and enables the flame to pass instantaneously throughout the
mass of the compound. This explosive is known as detonation.

=The composition of H.E.= almost without exception is some organic
substance, usually some form of carbon combined with nitrogen. Nitrogen,
one of the most inert gases known, owes its explosive value to this
very inertness; it combines so very reluctantly that on the least
provocation—such as shock—the compound of which it forms a part
instantly breaks up into gas, giving the enormous expansion needed for
explosive effect.

=Ammonal.= A gray powder. An Austrian explosive, picric acid plus
T.N.T. plus aluminum powder plus nitrate of ammonia plus carbon.

A very safe explosive—will not detonate when struck by rifle bullet,
but is very hygroscopic (collects moisture) and when in this condition
is liable not to detonate.

=Ballistite.= Consists of guncotton plus camphor or vaseline. Invented
by Nobel in 1888.

=Cordite.= Consists of nitro-glycerine 55 parts, plus guncotton 37
parts, plus vaseline 5 parts, plus acetone to harden, invented by Sir
W. Abel.

=Benzol.= Or Benzine, used extensively as a motor fuel contains a fair
percentage of toluene. (See T.N.T.)

=Coal Tar.= When subjected to fractional and low-temperature
distillation produces many by-products valuable in the making of H.E.
These distillations give off “light” and “heavy” oils of coal tar.

=Donnerite.= High explosive employed by German army in grenades.

=Dynamite.= See Nitro-glycerine.

=Fulminate of Mercury.= See Mercury.

=Guncotton=, or nitro-cellulose consists of cotton waste, purified,
dried, and heated with mixture of concentrated nitric and sulphuric
acid. Washed and reduced to a pulp and moulded into 1 oz. primers and
15 oz. slabs for service use. Is considered inferior to lyddite.

Size of wet slab of G.C., 6 × 3 × 1⅜ in.

Wet guncotton will not explode if hit by a bullet.

Wet guncotton can be sawn by a wet saw.

Requires dry primer, detonator and fuse to explode.

Dry guncotton will explode if hit by a bullet.

Dry primer of guncotton 1.35 in. diam., 1.15 in. diam. at ends, and
1.25 in. high.

Strength, 2½ times stronger than gunpowder, unconfined. Strength, 7 to
8 times stronger than gunpowder, confined.

Invented by Schombein in 1846.

=Gunpowder.= A mechanical mixture.

Saltpeter 75 per cent, plus charcoal 15 per cent, plus sulphur 10 per
cent. Rate of burning depends upon firmness of powder.

=Lyddite=, or picric acid. Consists of melted and solidified picric
acid. Vaseline is used to melt it. (See Picric Acid.)

=Mercury Fulminate.= Is made by dissolving three parts mercury in
36 parts nitric acid, keeping mixture at low temperature, and when
dissolved adding 17 parts of alcohol.

A small quantity of F. of M. placed on top of T.N.T. forms an excellent
detonating mixture. A great many German detonators consist of this.
Discovered by Howard in 1800.

=Melinite.= A French H.E., very similar to lyddite. Is picric acid
mixed with collodion. Introduced by Eugene Turpin.

=Nitro-glycerine.= Is produced by the action of nitric acid and
sulphuric acid on glycerine. Invented in 1847. When pure is a colorless
liquid. Explodes when heated to about 360° F.

N.G. in liquid form too dangerous to be used in practice. Was absorbed
in porous solid by Nobel in 1867 as dynamite. Porous solid used either
=kiesulguhr= or =fullers’ earth= used in percussion caps.

    Relative strength   150 equals maximum
    Blasting glycerine  150
    Gelatine dynamite   130
    Gelignite           110
    Dynamite            100
    Carbonite            55

=Picric acid.= A yellow crystalline prepared from coal tar. A
by-product of gas manufacture. The “heavy oil” of coal tar is boiled
and chemically treated, resulting in phenol or carbolic acid, which
separates from it. Carbolic acid is boiled sulphuric acid, and nitric
acid is carefully added, resulting in picric acid.

It is a very safe explosive and very powerful. Its chief fault is that
it forms “picrates” with metals or acid salts, some of which are more
sensitive to disturbing influences than the acid itself. To overcome
this the inside of all shells are varnished.

Pressure of picric acid equals 135,820 lb. on the square inch.

=Shimose.= Japanese H.E. Similar to lyddite.

=T.N.T.=, or tri-nitro-toluene or Toluol, largely used in German army
and navy. Is produced by heating toluene with mixture of nitric and
sulphuric acid.

Less powerful than lyddite, but is more stable and does not form
“picrates” and is not affected by water or air. Will not explode if hit
by a bullet.

Pressure T.N.T. equal to 119,000 lbs. per square inch.

=Tolite.= French name for T.N.T.

=Trilite.= Spanish name for T.N.T.

=Trotyl.= German name for T.N.T.

=Toluene=, or Toluol. Experiments made in 1899 at Karlsruhe produced
about seven pints of toluene from one ton of coal. The modern process
of low-temperature distillation of coal, however, greatly increases
quantity that can be obtained from each ton.

Is an aromatic colorless liquid hydrocarbon.

=Turpinite.= French H.E. similar to Melinite.

=Tetryl.= A coal tar product containing more nitrogen than T.N.T. or
lyddite. When mixed with a lead oxide it makes a less sensitive and
safer preparation than fulminate of mercury for detonators.



=No. 11 Safety or Time Fuse=

=Description.= Color, black. Smooth surface.

=Time of Burning.= One foot in thirty seconds.

=Composition.= Train of slow match inside a wrapping of hemp or flax,
covered by layer of gutta-percha, surrounded by binding of black
waterproof tape.


Color, red. Ribbed surface.

=Time of Burning.= Eighty feet per second.

=Composition.= Same as service fuse, except that it contains quick
match in place of slow match.

=Caution.= Instantaneous fuse must never be stored alongside safety



=No. 8 Mark VII=

=Description.= Copper tube open at one end painted red, marked on white
label, No. 8. M.K. VII containing 32 grs. fulminate of mercury.



=Description.= Copper tube, open one end, containing 25 grs. fulminate
of mercury.



=Guncotton.= One-oz. primer, 15-oz. slab. See Explosives, Guncotton.

=No. 2 Detonator for Hand Grenade.= Consists of brass tube (detonator
holder) with flat screw head. The other end is fitted with a cavity
which carries N.G. percussion cap. A commercial detonator open end
toward the screw head is placed inside, its open end closed with a
wooden plug; the closed end is pierced with four flash holes to enable
flash from percussion cap to communicate with F. of M. in detonator. A
brass screw in head of detonator holder closes detonator tube.

This detonator has three screw threads.

=No. 3 Detonator.= See description of No. 2. This detonator is ¼ in.
longer than No. 2, and has two screw threads.


=Nobel Lighter.= (See Plates 8 and 9.) The lighter is made up of two
cardboard tubes, one fitting over the other; inside the end of the
larger tube is a small brass cap containing friction composition. At
the top of the smaller tube are two friction points. These points are
held about ¼ in. from the cap containing friction composition, by a
safety pin passing through both tubes. At the other end of the smaller
tube is a small copper band into which the fuse can be crimped. A
narrow band of waterproof tape with a loose end is glued around the
joint of the two tubes to keep out moisture.

=To Assemble.= Insert fuse into lighter, fasten by crimping, and insert
other end of fuse into detonator. The joints at lighter and detonator
should be waxed to make it damp-proof and flash-proof.

=Brock Lighter.= See Grenade Hand. Consists of a small cardboard cup
filled with friction composition, covered with waterproof paper. The
latter can be torn off by pulling a small tag which is left free.

Grenades with fuses are so arranged (with sufficient length of fuse)
to explode from 3 to 5 seconds after being ignited and thrown, giving
the thrower plenty of time (when throwing from a trench) to bend down
safe. Grenades, without fuses (but with detonators only) will explode
on impact; for instance, in Grenade No. 1, Mark I, it is obvious when
instructions (see p. 2, Grenade 1) are carried out, and grenade is
thrown, that the steel needle will be driven into the detonator and

In Grenade No. 3, Mark I, when safety pin is removed and releasing
socket slipped back, the wind vane revolves backward (during the
passage through the air) until far enough to allow the retaining
bolt to fall out. This leaves nothing between the firing needle and
detonator cap except a very thin spiral spring which is only strong
enough to hold the weight of the needle pellet until the shock of
impact when the grenade explodes.

In Grenade No. 20 releasing collar slips back on the rifle being fired.

In Grenade No. 5, Mark I. On this grenade being thrown the pressure
of the fingers being released the striking lever flies outward by the
pressure of the powerful spring, releasing the shoulder of the firing
striker which is driven on to the fuse and explodes in 4½ seconds.

All other grenades, see pages opposite plates.


Hand grenades are held firmly in the hand behind the thrower, the arm
is brought quickly upward with a sweeping movement (the arm straight
all the time), the grenade will be let go when the hand is above the
thrower’s head, and should describe a semicircle in its flight.

Hand grenades can be thrown from 30 to 50 yards, rifle grenades from
200 to 400 yards.

Attacks should be practiced with dummy and deteriorated grenades, i.e.,
grenades with only a detonator and no explosive, etc.

Confidence and knowledge of grenades should be gained by students
handling, stripping and assembling all types and handling fuses and
detonators, as often as possible.

The importance of grenade work cannot be over-estimated and one can
imagine numberless cases when a grenade is more useful than any
other weapon. For instance, in street fighting a number of the enemy
are holding a house and firing from an upper window commanding the
main approach. You cannot get at them with a rifle, but it might be
comparatively easy for one or two men to get along to the house by back
ways, using the other houses for shelter and throw a grenade through
the window, killing everyone in the room.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Hand Grenades - A handbook on rifle and hand grenades" ***

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