Monday, 11 January 2021

German Explosive Ordnance - German Mines and Grenades (Part 17)

    








German Explosives






Hollow Charge Grenade Faustpatrone


Overall Length: 41 inches
Length of Tube: 31.5 inches
Length of Body: 19.5 inches
Calibre of Tube: 1.75 inches

Weight of Grenade: 6.62 pounds
Weight of Tube and Grenade: 11 pounds
Weight of Filler: 3.4 pounds
Effective Range: 33 yards


Description: The Faustpatrone consists of a large hollow charge H.E. grenade and a projecting tube.  The grenade consists of a large head and a cylindrical body terminating in a tal to which are attached four spring steel stabilizing fins.  The body contains a base fuze and a booster.

The projector is a simple metal tube in which is located a propellant charge contained in a waxed cardboard container held in position by a set screw.  On the opposite side of the set screw is an igniter situated below a flash hole.  On top of the tube is a simple firing mechanism with release button, firing pin and spring, and a safety catch.  There is also a folding sight.


Operation: The grenade is armed by unscrewing the tail and inserting the booster and fuze, open ends facing each other.  The tail is then replaced.  The fins are wrapped around the tail and the grenade inserted into the tube.  The pressure of the fins against the inside of the tube serves to retain the grenade in position.

The firing mechanism is cocked by pushing the lock forward until the release button emerges.  The lock then slides back to its original position.  The weapon is now cocked and "safe".

To make ready for firing, the lock is rotated 90 degrees to the left.  The tube is held under the right arm, the left hand supporting the forward part.  Aiming is accomplishing by aligning the sight, placed vertical to the tube.  The sight is adjustable for a range of 33 yards.  To fire, depress the release button, thus allowing the striker to go forward.  The tube cannot be used a second time.


Safety Precautions:
1. Set Faustpatrone to "fire" only when using.  The Faustpatrone can be set to safe again if it has not been fired.

2. To set from "fire" to "safe" , turn bolt to vertical, then push fully forward and hold.  Press release button and allow it to slide back slowly so that firing pin spring is allowed to expand.  Snap sight back onto tube and replace the split pin.

3. On discharge, a sheet of flame up to 6 feet long comes from the rear end of the tube.  Great care must be taken that the flame and bits of wadding do not hit either the firer or anyone standing behind him.  The danger zone extends up to 30 feet.  There must be a clear space (IE: no earth, stones, or wall) for the flame at least 6 feet behind the tube.

4. If propellant charge fails, do not attempt to fiddle around with the weapon.  It must be laid aside carefully and exploded.  Delayed explosions may still occur.  Should the hollow charge detonator fail to explode, the grenade must on no account be touched but must be exploded by placing an explosive charge against it.

5. During practice firing with live ammunition, an area of 800 yards around firer and target must be closed off.  Firer must wear steel helmet.





Pistol Grenade (Wurfkorper Leuchtpistole)


Overall Length: 6.89 inches
Maximum Diameter: 3 inches
Delay: 4.5 seconds
Range: 80 yards


Color: Olive Green


Description: This grenade is fired from the 27mm Walther signal pistol.  It consists of the normal egg hand grenade attached to a plastic stem or body by a retaining tube.  The plastic stem contains the firing pin, delay igniter, detonator, and a base adapter for the propelling charge.  The end of the stem is closed before firing by a cardboard cap.

The retaining tube fits through the hollow stem and is threaded to it.  The retaining tube is also threaded to the grenade body and contains in its forward part the 4.5 second igniter.  In the base of the tube is a fuze consisting of a firing pin held away from the primer by a creep spring and safety pin.  An alloy flash tube connects the primer to the delay igniter.

Screwed into the base of the plastic stem is a base adapter containing a primer and propelling charge.


Operation: Before firing, the safety pin is pulled out and the grenade is then armed.  The stem is placed in a barrel reinforcing tube which is inserted previously inn the barrel of the pistol.  On impact, the firing pin overcomes the creep spring and impinges the primer thus igniting the delay igniter which will detonate the explosive after a delay of approximately 4.5 seconds.





Pistol Grenade H.E. Egg Type


Description: This grenade is fired from the latest type Walther 27mm signal pistol.  It is used without the addition of a rifled liner of reinforcing tube in the barrel, or the special sights used with the hollow charge grenade.  The folding putt on the pistol may be used by is not necessary; the pistol can be held in the hand for firing if the arm is slightly bent.

The difference from the old grenade 361 L.P. lies in the projector stem.  The stem on this grenade has a sliding fit in the smooth bore of the pistol.  It consists of a wooden cylinder with thin metal reinforcing sleeves at each end.  A grenade adapter is screwed to the forward end of the projector stem and contains a 4.5 second delay pellet.  

At the after end the stem is firmly held in a short metal cartridge which contains the percussion cap.  Inside this end of the stem are the propellant, the striker, and the initiating percussion cap.

For loading, the plastic cap is removed from the forward end of the stem and an egg grenade, complete with detonator, is screwed to the stem.  The complete grenade is loaded into the pistol from the muzzle end until a spring locking ring on the stem engages in a groove at the breach of the barrel.  The grenade is firmly held and cannot fall out.


Operation: There is no safety pin and the grenade is safe until fired.  When fired, the grenade and stem are propelled from the short cartridge case and at the same time the striker in the stem is driven forward to the percussion cap.  A flash travels through the hollow stem and ignites the delay pellet.  After 4.5 seconds the grenade detonates.







Next Time: German Mines and Grenades (Part 18)


Source: German Explosive Ordnance Vol. 1: Bombs, Rockets, Grenades, Mines, Fuzes & Igniters 

Monday, 4 January 2021

German Explosive Ordnance - German Mines and Grenades (Part 16)

   








German Explosives






Hollow Charge Grenade (Schuss Gg. P-40)


Overall Length: 9.3 inches
Length of Body: 3.1 inches
Maximum Diameter: 2.4 inches
Filler: Cyclonite/Wax

Markings: Blue band around projection at the base of the body.

Color: Olive Green


Description: The grenade consists of a stream-lined bell-shaped body, with a slightly convex closing disk of aluminum, a graze fuze which screws into a projection on the base of the body, and a vaned tail unit which screws on the base of the fuze and is closed by a rubber plug.

The body is made of thin steel and is streamlined with a cylindrical projection welded at the base.  The projection is screw-threaded internally for the insertion of the fuze.  A hole in the base of the body is fitted with an aluminum cup to accommodate the protruding magazine of the fuze.  The head of the body is closed by a concave disk of aluminum which is secured by the overturned rim of the body.

The bursting chare consists of cast cyclonite-wax with a hemispherical cavity in the head.  The cavity is fitted with an aluminum liner of corresponding shape with a flange which fits inside the body at the head.

The fuze is cylindrical with an external screw-thread at each end for assembly as the connecting piece between the tail unit and the body.  A central recess contains the striker and creep spring and is closed at its enlarged front end by an aluminum magazine which is screwed in and contains a detonator and an intermediary explosive.  A transverse channel near the base contains a spring-loaded screwed shearing pin which engages in a recess in the stem of the striker.  Another channel containing a cutting pin with spring, is bored from the base of the body and communicates with the shearing pin at a point where the shearing pin is reduced in diameter.  A circular plate, secured in a recess in the base of the body by two screws, retains the cutting pin in its channel.  The base end of the cutting pin passes through a hole in the circular plate and is thus exposed to the pressure of the propellant gases.

The tail unit screws on to the base of the fuze and consists of a drawn-steel tube with six vanes formed in pairs.  The cartridge is placed inside the tube for transport and the tube is closed at the base by a rubber plug.  The cartridge is of the 7.92mm small arm type with an undyed hollow wooden bullet.


Operation: The grenade is fired from the spigot type discharger.  On firing, the hollow wooden bullet is shattered by the propellant gases, which project the grenade.  The propelling gases overcome the spring of the cutting pin and drive the pin forward, causing it to cut the shearing pin away from its screwed end.  The shearing pin is then ejected by the spring held in compression under its head, and thus leaves the striker held off the detonator only by the creep spring.  On graze the momentum of the striker overcomes the creep spring and the detonator is pierced.






Propaganda Rifle Grenade - Gewehr Propaganda Granate


Overall Length: 5.7 inches
Total Weight:  8 ounces
Weight w/o Leaflets: 7 ounces
Delay: 9 seconds
Range: 500 yards


Description: This grenade is fired from the rifled 3-cm discharger cup (Schiessbecher) which can be fitted to most types of German rifles.  The body of this grenade is a steel case with a pre-rifled base.  Inside the base there is a 9-second delay fuze and an ejecting charge for the pamphlets.  Two steel leaflets packing covers are held loosely inside the case and fitting over the top of these is a removable steel cap.  The leaflets are inserted by removing the steel cap and rolling the leaflets tightly making sure that they do not show above the rim of the case.  The cap is then replaced.

The case and cap are varnished to protect them from rust and the ejecting charge is protected by a cardboard disk to prevent moisture from causing deterioration.

The propelling cartridge is distinguished from other rifle grenade cartridges by a red ring around the base.


Operation: When the grenade is fired, the propelling cartridge will ignite the delay fuze.

Approximately 9 seconds after discharge, the delay fuze will set off the ejecting charge, blowing off the cap and forcing the leaflets out the nose.





Illuminating Star on Parachute Rifle Grenade
Gewehr Fallschirmleuchtgranate (Gw. F. S. St. Gr.)


Overall Length: 6.88 inches
Diameter: 1.18 inches
Weight: .28 grams

Propellant: 1.5 g propellant enclosed in a cartridge case which is closed with a wooden bullet

Color: White cap. "Gewehr Fallschirmleuchtgranate" stencilled on body.


Description: This grenade consists of a thin-walled body which contains another internal container.  The internal container holds the parachute and illuminating star.  The grenade has a thin conical cap and is fitted with two delay pellets and two ejection charges.


Operation: On firing, delay 1 is ignited by the flash from the propellent gases.  After 6.5 seconds of flight, ejection charge 1 is initiated.  This ejects the container holding the star and parachute.  At the same time, delay 2 is initiated.  During this part of the flight, the cap hands from the container by means of a cord.  After delay 2 has burned through (2 seconds), ejection charge 2 is initiated and the parachute and star eject.  It is stated that distances up to 650 meters may be illuminated.


Remarks: Each grenade is packed together with a propellent charge in a cardboard container.





Next Time: German Mines and Grenades (Part 17)


Source: German Explosive Ordnance Vol. 1: Bombs, Rockets, Grenades, Mines, Fuzes & Igniters 

Monday, 21 December 2020

German Explosive Ordnance - German Mines and Grenades (Part 15)

  








German Explosives






Anti-Tank Rifle Grenade (Gewehr Panzergranate)


Overall Length: 6.4 inches
Maximum Diameter: 1 and 3/16 inches
Filler: TNT
Weight of Filler: 1.75 ounces
Range: 50 yards
Total Weight: 8.8 ounces

Color: Front half is black and back half is aluminum


Description: This grenade is fired from the rifle 3cm discharger cup (Schiessbecher) which can be fitted to most types of German rifles.  It is constructed in two parts, the head and the stem.  The head is a seamless steel tube with the forward portion containing a hollow charge cone and the explosive filling, being closed at the forward end by a light ballistic cap.  The main filling of TNT is poured around the cone and there is a cavity formed in the after part of the main filling in which the exploder of penthrite wax is inserted.

The stem is made of light alloy or aluminum and is screwed onto the head of the grenade.  The stem is divided into two compartments, the lower containing the fuze, the upper the gaine.  In the septum is a small flash pellet held in place by a perforated screw plug.   The gaine consists of a light alloy case into which is inserted a light alloy top hat containing the detonator, the space between being filled with penthrite wax.  A preen-graved driving band is formed around the stem 6mm from the rear.

The fuze is in the after portion of the stem and consists of a striker over the top of which fits a retaining spring with four prongs bent downward into grooves in the striker body.  Around the striker body is an arming collar which has two grooves cut on the inside.  An arming spring is compressed between a lip on the arming collar and a second collar at the bottom of the striker body.  Around the inside of the arming collar and resting on the striker body is a steel tape which acts as an additional safety device and prevents any possibility of the fuze being accidentally armed when screwing on the base plug.

The entire assembly is closed by a base plug which positions the fuze by a stem which fits into a recess in the rear of the striker body.


Operation: On firing, the shock of discharge causes the arming sleeve to set back against its spring.  The four prongs of the retaining spring are forced out of the lower groove in the arming sleeve and engage in the upper groove, retaining the arming sleeve in its lower position.  This allows the steel tape to unwind and the striker is then free to move forward on impact firing the gaine.






37mm H.E. Anti-Tank Stick Grenade


Overall Length: 29 and 1/8 inches
Length of Stick: 16 and 7/16 inches
Length of Body: 12 and 1/4 inches
Total Weight: 18 pounds 12 ounces
Weight of Filler: 5 pounds 5 ounces
Explosive Filler: Dinitroanoline with TNT



Description: The complete round, which is made up of the hollow charge stick grenade and the propellant, is fired from the 3.7 PAK gun.

The stick grenade has a steel rod which fits into the bore, and a concentric perforated sleeve which fits around the barrel of the gun.  A pressed steel cap forms the nose of the grenade giving it the required stand-off distance.  The hollow charge is at the rear of the steel cone and consists of two blocks of dinitroanoline with TNT.  Two detonators are set in the base of the grenade, one facing in each direction.  A nose fuze of the instantaneous percussion type and a tail fuze, also instantaneous are present.

The steel rod which fits into the bore of the gun is a hollow tube closed at the base end.  The base fuze is a percussion type fuze very sensitive to shock.  It is armed by setback which releases a spring loaded detent allowing a steel ball to move away from the striker.  Upon impact the striker moves forward against the action of a very weak creep spring.

The nose fuze consists of a striker held away from the primer by a creep spring and a coiled spring.  Around the coiled spring is an inertia pellet resting on four fingers of a stirrup spring fixed in the base of a stirrup spring retainer.  The inertia pellet has a groove cut around its internal circumference.

Two detonators are located at the base of the main charge.  One detonator faces toward the nose fuze to receive the flash from there, and the other detonator faces the tail fuze to receive its flash.

The propelling charge is contained in a steel cartridge case.  The charge consists of diethylene glycol dinitrate tubular stick powder with an igniting charge of nitrocellulose granular powder, and a percussion type primer consisting of mercury fulminate and black powder.


Operation: On discharge, the inertia pellet of the nose fuze is driven downwards and the ends of the stirrup spring are forced into the groove of the inertia pellet thus holding it down.  The clock spring is now held in position by the collar of the striker pin and the stirrup spring retainer.  On deceleration, the clock spring flies outward, assisted by centrifugal force, into the recess in the fuze body in the fuze body.  At the same time the base fuze is being armed.  In the event of direct impact, the nose fuze will function the grenade, but in the event of graze action, the base fuze will function the grenade.





Large Anti-Tank Rifle Grenade (Gross Gewehr Panzergranate)


Overall Length: 7 inches
Maximum Diameter: 1 and 3/4 inches
Weight of Filler: 4 and 1/2 ounces
Filler: TNT
Range: 100 yards
Total Weight: 13 and 1/2 ounces


Color: Black overall


Description: This grenade is fired from the rifled 3cm discharger cup (Schiessbecher) which can be fitted to most types of German rifles.  It is of the hollow charge type and consists of a steel head containing the explosive and light alloy or steel and plastic stem containing the fuze and gaine.  The propelling cartridge contains a wooden bullet.

The body which is of pressed steel contains a steel cone around which the main filler of TNT is cast.  A steel washer with a small central hole rests on the open end of the cone and above the latter is a steel ballistic cap.  At the bottom of the TNT is an exploder pellet of penthrite wax.

Two varieties of the stem have been found, one entirely of light alloy, the other of plastic with a steel shank by which it is screwed on to the head of the grenade.  At the base of the stem is a rifled band which corresponds with the rifling in the discharger cup.  The stem is divided into compartments by a perforated septum, the  lower containing the fuze, the upper the gaine.  In the septum is a small flash pellet held in place by a perforated screw plug.  The gaine consists of a light alloy container into which is inserted a light alloy top hat containing the detonator, the space below being filled with penthrite wax.

The fuze is in the after portion of the stem and consists of a striker over the top of which fits a retaining spring with four prongs bent downward into grooves in the striker body.  Around the striker body is an arming collar which has two grooves cut on the inside.  An arming spring is compressed between a lip on the arming collar and a second collar at the bottom of the striker body.  Around the inside of the arming collar and resting on the striker body is a steel tape which acts as an additional safety device and prevents any possibility of the fuze being accidentally armed when screwing on the base plug. 

The entire assembly is closed by a base plug which positions the fuze by a stem which fits into a recess in the rear of the striker body.


Operation: On firing, the shock of discharge causes the arming sleeve to set back against its spring.  The four prongs of the retaining spring are forced out of the lower groove in the arming sleeve and engage in the upper groove, retaining the arming sleeve in its lower position.  This allows the steel tape to unwind and the striker is then free to move forward on impact, firing the gaine.





Next Time: German Mines and Grenades (Part 16)


Source: German Explosive Ordnance Vol. 1: Bombs, Rockets, Grenades, Mines, Fuzes & Igniters 

Monday, 7 December 2020

German Explosive Ordnance - German Mines and Grenades (Part 14)

 








German Explosives






Rifle Grenade (S.S. Gewehr Panzergranate 61 mm)


Overall Length: 9.4 inches
Length of Stem: 4 inches
Maximum Diameter of Head: 2.4 inches
Diameter of Stem: 1.2 inches
Total Weight: 9 ounces (approx.)


Description: This grenade consists of a streamlined, unpainted phosphated steel body closed at the head by a conical, black, pressed steel impact cup.  The stem is of steel and has the normal prerifled section to correspond with the rifling in the discharge cup.  The base plug is conical and is provided with two screw flats.

The propelling cartridge consists of a lacquered steel cartridge case, the extended neck of which encloses a small wooden pellet.  The cap is uncolored.







Rifle Grenade (Hollow Charge Type)


Overall Length: 244 millimeters
Maximum Diameter: 61 millimeters
Diameter of Stem: 30 millimeters
Weight : 9 ounces (approx.)



Description: This grenade is similar to the S.S. Gewehr Panzergranate 61 except that it is unpainted and that the impact cap is approximately hemispherical.  The stem is of steel and has the normal prerifled section to correspond with the rifling of the discharge cup.  The base plug is conical and is provided with two screw flats.

The propelling charge consists of a lacquered steel cartridge case, the end of which contains a light wooden pellet.  The cap is uncolored.





Anti-Personnel Rifle or Hand Grenade (Gewehr Sprenggranate)


Overall Length: 5.5 inches
Maximum Diameter: 1.2 inches
Total Weight: 9 ounces

Explosive Filler: PETN/Wax
Weight of Filler: 1.1 ounces
Maximum Range: 550 yards

Delay: 
-Self-destroying: 11 seconds
-Friction igniter: 4.5 seconds

Color: Black body, aluminum fuze and base.


Description: This grenade consists of a body with explosive filling and detonator, a fuze body carrying the direct action fuze, a friction igniter, and a base fitment carrying the delay of the self-destroying system.  The body is in the form of a steel tube having a diaphragm near the bottom.  It is screw-threaded at the nose to receive the fuze body and the base to receive the base fitment.  The diaphragm is screw-threaded centrally to receive the delay igniter.

The filling is penthrite wax contained in a cardboard container.  The explosive has a central cavity which holds the detonator encase in an aluminum container at one end, and receives the igniter delay pellet from the diaphragm at the other end.

The fuze is made of aluminum and is of the direct action type.  The base of the fuze body is threaded externally to enter the grenade body and internally to receive a detonator holder.  It consists of a striker held away from the primer by a creep spring and a coiled spring.  Around the coiled spring is an inertia pellet resting on four fingers of a stirrup spring fixed in the base of a stirrup spring retainer.  The inertia pellet has a groove cut on the inside of it.  The friction igniter which is similar to the B.Z. 24 used with stick hand grenades screws into the central channel of the diaphragm.  The igniter pellet has a delay of 4.5 seconds.

The rifled base fitment is screw threaded externally to screw into the base of the grenade and internally at the base to receive a closing plug.  A 6.5 second delay pellet contained in a brass holder is situated in the base.

The propelling cartridge is a 7.92mm cartridge closed at the shoulder by crimping.  The propellant consists of 0.9 grams of nitrocellulose flakes.


Operation:
1. Rifle Grenade -- On discharge, the inertia pellet of the fuze is driven downwards and the ends of the stirrup spring are forced into the grooves of the inertia pellet thus holding it down.  The clock spring is now held in position by the collar of the striker pin and the stirrup spring retainer.  On deceleration the clock spring flies outward, assisted by centrifugal force, into the recess in the fuze body.  On impact, the striker compresses the creep spring and penetrates the primer whose flash explodes the detonator.

Should the fuze not function, the grenade will be self-destructive.  On firing, the flash enters the hole in the closing plug and igniters the delay pellet which burns for 6.5 seconds.  This then fires the friction igniter which will give an additional delay of 4.5 seconds and then fires the detonator.

2. Hand Grenade -- The base fitment is unscrewed and the cord of the friction igniter pulled.  This gives a delay of 4.5 seconds and then fires the detonator.





Next Time: German Mines and Grenades (Part 15)


Source: German Explosive Ordnance Vol. 1: Bombs, Rockets, Grenades, Mines, Fuzes & Igniters 

Monday, 30 November 2020

German Explosive Ordnance - German Mines and Grenades (Part 13)








German Explosives






Hand Smoke Signal (Red) (Handrauchzeichen-Rot)


Overall Length: 4.9 inches
Maximum Diameter: 1.8 inches
Total Weight: 4.4 ounces

Filling:
-Red Dye-ortho methoxy phenylazo B-naphthol (55%)
-Potassium Chlorate (20%)
-Lactose (10%)
-Unidentified light oily material (15%)

Weight of Filling: 54 grams


Description: This signal is included as an example of many German colored smoke signals.  It is a cardboard cylinder with a cardboard pull tape lid at the fuze end and a glued-in cardboard disk with an emission hole at the other end.  The whole signal is wrapped in red paraffined paper upon which the name and instructions are printed.  Beneath the pull tape lid is a cardboard striker ring, one half the top side of which is coated with a red phosphorus abrasive mix.  A paper wad separates this and the match head.  Beneath the match head is a cardboard inner cover and a wire screen.  A perforated metal cylinder containing the quickmatch sheath is partitioned in the middle by a cardboard disk which is impregnated with gunpowder and has two diametrically opposite holes in it.  At the emission end is another wire screen and the cardboard disk with a tissue paper covered emission hole.


Operation: By striking the striker ring on the match head the quickmatch is ignited.  This burns its entire length and ignites the gun powder disk which is in direct contact with the inflammable smoke mixture.  Smoke is then emitted at both ends of the cylinder.  The signal may be placed or thrown.


Employment: It is used as a signal from the ground to an air observer.


Remarks: German smoke signals numbers 350, 160, and 80, which are orange, are analogous to this signal but differ in some respects.  There are also similar signals in yellow and violet.






Lachrymatory Grenade


Overall Length: 5 inches
Maximum Diameter: 1 and 1/2 inches
Filling: C.A.P.

Color: Aluminum



Description: The case is made of thin sheet aluminum.  Within the case, below the lid, is a cylindrical holder retained in position by four indentations in the case which correspond to four indentations in the holder.  This holder has a screwed projection to take the friction igniter.  The latter has a short piece of cord, 10 cm in length, attached to a wire loop.  Below the holder is a dish-shaped aluminum piece which contains a small compressed charge of black powder.  On the upper side of this charge is a thin disk of white powder.  The main filling consists of ten cylindrical pellets of a yellow compound and one pellet of a white substance wrapped in cellophane.   The charge is held between the two dish-shaped pieces.  The grenade generates a lachrymatory vapor when ignited and the vapor escapes through the holes in the holder.  The containers are unpainted aluminum, and the lid is secured by a piece of adhesive tape colored blue.  They are safe to handle when the lids are in place.  To disarm the grenade, the igniter may be unscrewed from the holder, taking care not to twist the wire in so doing.


Operation: The lid is removed and the friction igniter is pulled.  The vapor will be emitted through the holes in the holder.





Rifle Grenade (S.S. Gewehr Panzergranate 46 mm)


Overall Length: 7.7 inches
Maximum Diameter of Head: 1.8 inches
Length of Stem: 4 inches
Diameter of Stem: 1.2 inches


Description: This grenade has an unpainted, phosphate, streamline body and is closed by a conical, unpainted steel impact cap.  The stem has the normal pre-rifling to fit the rifled discharge cup.  The base plug is conical and provided with two screw flats.

The propelling cartridge consists of a lacquered steel cartridge case with a diameter of 7.92mm, crimped at the neck and sealed with wax.  The cap is colored yellow.





Next Time: German Mines and Grenades (Part 14)


Source: German Explosive Ordnance Vol. 1: Bombs, Rockets, Grenades, Mines, Fuzes & Igniters 

Monday, 23 November 2020

German Explosive Ordnance - German Mines and Grenades (Part 12)

           







German Explosives






Smoke Grenade (Blendkorper 14)


Overall Length: 6 inches
Maximum Diameter: 2 and 1/2 inches
Total Weight: 13.2 ounces
Filling: (FM) Titanium Tetrachloride
Weight of Filling: 10.6 ounces


Description: This grenade is a tear drop shaped glass flask sealed at the upper end by drawing out the flask.  The sealed tip is protected by a cardboard sleeve, sealed with a plaster of paris type material.


Operation: The munition is used by throwing against a hard surface which breaks the flask.  The titanium tetrachloride then vaporizes, forming an effective smoke cloud if relative humidity is high.  The smoke cloud is then at low relative humidity.


Employment: The grenade is used to produce a small smoke screen to blind the enemy.  It is also used to patch gaps in larger screens.






Smoke Grenade (Blendkorper 24)


Overall Length: 4.8 inches
Maximum Diameter: 2 and 1/2 inches
Total Weight: 17 ounces
Filling: Titanium Tetrachloride (Outer Flask), Aqueous solution of Calcium Chloride (Inner Flask)
Filling Weight: 270g (Outer Flask), 36g (Inner Flask)



Description: The grenade consists of an outer glass bulb of molded construction and an inner glass tube which seats and is sealed on the neck of the outer flask.  There is a white plastic washer at the junction.  The grenade is sealed by a sulphur and cement plug.  The solution of calcium chloride is supplied in the inner tube to provide water necessary for the reaction so that the grenade will cause an effective smoke at conditions of low relative humidity.  The calcium chloride has probably been added to lower the freezing point of the water, thus the grenade is practical in a cold, dry climate.


Operation: The grenade is thrown and upon impact with a hard object it breaks causing a smoke.


Employment: It is for use to blind the enemy and also to repair gaps in larger screens.





Smoke Hand Grenade (Egg Type)


Overall Length: 5.3 inches
Overall Diameter: 1.96 inches
Body Length: 4.1 inches
Body Diameter: 1.7 inches


Description: The grenade body is of thin metal and is of an elongated egg shape.  At the bottom, a small metal loop is welded or riveted on, and at the top there is a threaded hole to take the igniter.  Near the top are three holes in the body for smoke emission.

The igniter used with this grenade is a standard pull type ZDSCHN ANZ 29.  This igniter has a brass body and a steel ring at the top.  The igniter screws into the top of the grenade and functions when the ring is pulled.

The grenade is identified by three white bands stencilled around the body and the letters "NB Eihgr. 42."  A label near the bottom of the grenade warns that the fumes can be fatal in an enclosed space.





Next Time: German Mines and Grenades (Part 13)


Source: German Explosive Ordnance Vol. 1: Bombs, Rockets, Grenades, Mines, Fuzes & Igniters 

Monday, 9 November 2020

German Explosive Ordnance - German Mines and Grenades (Part 11)

          







German Explosives






AntiTank Grenade (Panzerwurfmine)


Overall Length: 21 inches
Length of Body: 9 inches
Length of Fins: 11 inches
Diameter of Body: 4 and 1/2 inches
Weight: 1 kilogram
Filling: Cast TNT


Color: Grey


Description: The grenade consists of a metal body and a wooden handle to which are attached four canvas fins.  The fins are held against the handle, before throwing, by a metal cap at the base of the handle.  The body is made in two pieces crimped together and attached to the handle by a metal band.

The fuze is located at the top of the handle and consists of a striker which is held away from the primer by a creep spring and two steel balls.  The two balls fit into a recess in the striker and are held outward by a safety pin fitting between them, thus causing them to bear against the top of the striker housing and prevent the striker from moving down.  Attached to the safety pin is a small length of tape which is held in by the metal cap and a semicircular clip attached to one fin and fitting around the handle.

Beneath the primer and in the base of the handle is a detonator and a picric acid gaine.  The main filler is cast around a cone in the body to give a hollow-charge effect.


Operation: Before throwing, the cap over the end of the handle is pulled off and the fins held against the handle.

When the grenade is thrown, the four fins fly out because of their spring ribs.  When the clip attached to one fin is pulled away from the housing, this releases the tape which unwinds and pulls the safety pin out of the striker.  During flight, the safety balls move in freeing the striker which compresses the creep spring on impact, setting off the primer, detonator, gaine, and main filling.






Smoke Hand Grenade 41 and Prototype Nebelhandgranate 41


Overall Length: 4.7 inches
Maximum Diameter: 2.3 inches
Total Weight: 21 ounces
Filling: (HC) Berger type mixture.  Zinc and Hexachlorethane.
Delay: (N4 Ignition Tube) 4.5 seconds


Color: Olive Drab


Description:
-Prototype: This grenade consists of a body which is the head of the smoke hand grenade 39 into which the B.Z.E. igniter is fitted by means of an adapter made of some synthetic resin.  The adapter is threaded externally to screw into the neck of the grenade body and internally to receive the igniter.  The closed end of the ignition tube is painted green.  Nb. Hgr. 39 is stenciled in white over a broken white band around the body.  Is has the eight smoke emission holes of the Model 39.


-Model 41: This grenade is of the same construction as the Nebelhandgranate 39 and the Nebelhandgranate 41 prototype.  However, the body has been modified so that in order to take the B.Z.E. igniter, an adapter is not necessary.  A dished plate with a small central neck in the top replaces the old wide screw neck plate which required the adapter.  There are only two smoke emission holes.  The letters Nb. Hgr. 41 and a broken line are stenciled in white on the grenade body.



Operation: The igniter and adapter are removed from the grenade body.  The N4 ignition tube is inserted, painted end first, into the central channel of the grenade head.  The adapter and igniter are then replaced.  The blue painted cap in the igniter is unscrewed and pulled.  This functions the igniter.  The grenade is then thrown and after the 4.5 second delay has elapsed, smoke is emitted through the emission holes for 2 minutes.  Because of the short duration of the smoke, this grenade is used when accuracy in placing a small screen is most important, such as screening machine gun nests and pillboxes.





Smoke Hand Grenade 39 (Nebelhandgranate 39)


Overall Length: 14 inches
Total Weight: 1 pound 14 ounces
Filling: (HC) Berger type mixture.  Zinc and Hexachlorethane.
Delay: (N4 Ignition Tube) 7 seconds


Color: Olive Drab

Markings: White band 8 inches wide around center of handle and lettering Nb. Hgr. 39 stenciled in white around the body above a broken white band.


Description: This grenade closely resembles the H.E. stick grenade 24 in external form and size.  However, instead of the H.E. filling this grenade is filled with a Berger smoke mixture.  There are eight holes in the base of the head through which the smoke escapes.  The handle has three horizontal corrugations at the screw cap end to assist in differentiation by touch.


Operation: Insert the friction igniter into the handle and then place the open end of the flash cap into the recess in the top of the friction igniter, finally screwing the head onto the handle.  Then, by removing the screw cap and pulling the igniter, the delay is ignited and the grenade may be thrown.  Smoke is emitted for two minutes.  Because of the short duration of the smoke, this grenade is used where accuracy in placing a small screen is most important, such as screening machine gun nests and pillboxes.





Next Time: German Mines and Grenades (Part 12)


Source: German Explosive Ordnance Vol. 1: Bombs, Rockets, Grenades, Mines, Fuzes & Igniters