Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


This is coolbert:

Everyone is familiar with the conventional hand grenade.

Carried [four] as part of the basic fighting load by the common soldier.

Here, however, are some hand grenades that I classify in the curiosities and oddities category. Weapons having "dubious" value?

The "Sticky bomb".

British development from the early days of World War Two [WW2]. An anti-tank hand grenade that would "stick" to a tank, allowing the full force of the grenade's explosion to have the maximum effect.

"This was an early attempt at an anti-tank grenade. To get the explosive to detonate against the vehicle armour it relied upon an adhesive coating to hold the bomb in place, hence 'Sticky'."

But was very dangerous as well to the thrower.

"Inherently dangerous for the user"

"However, if the grenade stuck to something else, such as the thrower's clothing, then he was in mortal danger, with an armed or - worse - ignited grenade stuck to him."

The RKG-3 anti-tank grenade.

A Soviet/Russian anti-tank grenade possessing both a shaped-charge AND a parachute.

"When the pin is pulled and the grenade is thrown a four-panelled drogue parachute is deployed by a spring. This parachute stabilizes the grenade in flight and ensures that the grenade strikes the target at a 90 degree angle, maximising the effect of the shaped charge."

The RKG has been used in combat AND is being used by insurgents in Iraq, right now, as we speak.

"The RKG-3M was used extensively [presumably by the Egyptians and Syrians] during the 1973 Yom Kippur War."

"RKG-3 grenades have also been used by Iraqi insurgents against coalition forces."

"RKG-3 grenades have been intercepted en-route to Palestinian forces in Gaza."

The Gammon "bomb". Actually a hand grenade, but in British parlance, a "bomb". The British refer to hand grenades and mortar rounds both as "bombs".

"parlance - - noun - - a manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language"

A somewhat unique grenade in that it had a variable size explosive charge AND an impact fuse. Detonates when striking the target [when used against armored vehicles].

"a replacement for the temperamental and highly dangerous 'sticky bomb' grenade."

"the Gammon bomb was flexible in the amount and type of munition that could be delivered to a target."

"Detonation of a gammon grenade was instantaneous on impact [when used against an armored vehicle] with the target i.e. there was no time delay."

And of course, the German "stick grenade" of WW2 fame [WW1 also].

I have always wondered about the usefulness of that handle? For what reason was it included? Was there some advantage to having a hand grenade at the end of a "stick"?

"The stick provided a lever, significantly improving the throwing distance. The Model 24 could be thrown approximately 30-40 yards, whereas the British Mills bomb [a conventional hand grenade] could only be thrown about 15 yards."

Well, there you have it! MORE THAN TWICE AS FAR!! Should have been obvious.

Keep in mind, that at the time the Gammon grenade, the "sticky bomb", and probably the RKG were first developed, the infantryman did NOT have a reliable means at his disposal to defeat enemy tanks. Anti-tank grenades were just one response to the changing battlefield of the era. Such grenades are of course now passe', supplanted by much more effective shape-charged weapons delivered by anti-tank guided missiles [ATGM].




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