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First modern U.S. hand grenade?


bob lamoreaux
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bob lamoreaux

Since the forum has other than what I consider firearms, and finding no other category in which to place this inquiry, I'm posting it here.

It seems that the familiar Mk II "pineapple" grenade was not the first attempt of the U.S. Army in World War I to design a hand grenade. Both Crowell and the 1919 Ordnance Report state that the initial hand grenade was unsatisfactory and implied that both the grenade bodies and fuses had to be redesigned, suggesting that the Mk II was designed from scratch.

Does anyone have any drawings or other info on the original World War I (U.S.) hand grenade design?

Thanks!

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Charlie Flick
Does anyone have any drawings or other info on the original World War I (U.S.) hand grenade design?

Thanks!

 

Hi Bob:

 

I have a WW1 US "Hand Bombers" grenadier manual at home which, as I recall, has some line drawings of US grenades in it. I will check it out later and let you know.

 

Regards,

Charlie Flick

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First U.S. "pineapple" grenades were used in WWI; they had a lever that was attached, & had to be moved to one side to arm (don't think thay had a safety pin); believe they were fist used by flyers to drop to ground.

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post-535-1203815109.jpg

 

Here is the Model M1 Grenade used in WW1. It was in fact a failure and was discontinued in MAY of 1918 from complaints from front line officers. In fact it was simple to operate, however US doughboys were using French F1 and British No 5 Mills bombs before this time requiring that the solider to hold down the lever like the WW2 type grenade. The M1 required the user to flip the level with thier thumb, but in the heat of battle many forgot ,which of course German troops picked them up and thew them back. It was later replaced with the M2 which is very much like WW2 grenades,

Bob

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bob lamoreaux

Many thanks to all who helped clear this up! I note the Mk I (?) hand grenade has a different body than the Mk II. The fuse "looks" almost like that of the Mk II and really have to wonder why the activation of the fuse was made so complicated! BTW, it appears that we adopted a French designed fuse for the Mk II. I copied the patent and will attempt to post it later (forgot to write down the patent number).

 

Again, THANKS! I bet others, in addition to myself, are alot better informed now.

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Charlie Flick

Hi Bob:

 

I finally tracked down that Grenade Manual. It is entitled "Manual for hand Bombers and Rifle Grenadiers", published in July, 1918. The following scanned pages from the Manual discuss the Mark 1 grenade.

 

Hope this helps you.

 

Regards,

Charlie Flick

 

Manual_for_Hand_Bombers.jpg

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Charlie Flick

Bob:

 

The Manual goes on to describe the Mark II, the "new American Grenade". It says:

 

The lever mechanism of the American Hand Grenade (Mark I) was considered too safe and cause many malfunctions. In some cases where 40 student officers took part in throwing a live barrage from a trench (each student having 10 grenades to throw in quick succession) it was found that at least 30% of the grenades were not armed when they left the trench. Therefore new lever was adopted and the new grenade is called the American Hand Grenade (Mark II).

 

An interesting subject. Just goes to prove that any successful weapons system rarely gets it right the first time, and is subject to an evolutionary process that finally leads to a successful design.

 

Regards,

Charlie Flick

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