Grenade Question

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by Tranter, Dec 27, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Apologies if in the wrong section, but can anyone who knows take a look at the paragraph below and give an opinion?

    I was taught the two are different types in use. The offensive grenade is one that can be used when on the offence, for example when advancing with minimal cover. It is the wire type and can be thrown far enough so the area included in the denser fragmentation field does not harm the thrower. The defensive grenade cannot be thrown far enough for the thrower to be safe. The large fragments of steel will go a long way. It must therefore be thrown from a protected location, a trench or around a corner.

    I am sure the serrations on the older type do not play a part in the size and shape of the fragments after detonation.

    Now, this is as I was told, and it was some time ago. I am keen to know if I was misinformed,
  2. We only use one HE grenade which is the L109.
  3. Soviets used offensive (RGD5) and defensive (F1 aomong others) grenades as described above.
  4. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    Fally he's on about WW2 Grenade types,out of date bollux
  5. Glad he made it quite clear then!
  6. I've read - can't remember where - that the pattern cast into the surface of the Mills 36 was to aid grip, not to assist in fragmentation. In any case, it was apparently wont to shatter into a few large pieces (especially the baseplate) and a lot of iron dust. Wasn't the safety distance something like 190 m on hard ground? Bloody long way for a grenade!
  7. With respect, you are partially right. The big old cast M36 or Mills Bombs are of course obsolete, but the Russians and some Eastern Europeans still make the same type as noted above.

    The current UK type is what might have been called offensive. Producing a couple of thousand small but very penetrative parts.

    So, the question is are there two distinct types, offensive and defensive? I imagine the current L109 splits the difference. Also, any one know if the serrations on the older 36s, or current Russian cast types relate to the break up. I am sure they dont.

    I should point out I only had brief instruction, being in Blue, not Green and long ago, and that I am arguing, sorry, 'discussing' this with some Yanks.

    Vastatio, yes exactly what I was told.....
  8. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    It was indeed and it took a very strong man to throw it more than about 20 metres, I took some photographs of a 36 going off and nearly shit myself when the pieces zipped past my head
  9. I think it was for fragmenation, but the grenade didn't always fragment along the lines of the grooves - grip was an added bonus. If you look at stake mines such as the POM-Z they have similar groove patterns yet there's no need to grip the mine.
  10. The German model 24 'stick' grenade was an offensive grenade, consisting of HE wrapped in a thin metal tin with little risk of shrapnel. Later in the War they developed a shrapnel jacket which could be slid over the HE container to create a defensive grenade.
  11. I read something similar, 30+ years ago, but it was nothing more than theory so far as the UK army was concerned. The practical reality was that one grenade type was available for all purposes and that was it. I think there were foreign types to which metal shrapnel rings could be added if required.

    I'd think the 36 grenade was probably sand cast in grey cast iron. Cast iron will shatter randomly, due to the carbon inclusions in the material and is useless for any structural duty involving tension. Old gutters, manhole covers, baths, machine frames, etc., could be broken with a sharp blow from a mallet.

    Modern ductile cast iron (speroidal graphite) was discovered in about 1948; many people don't appreciate how crappy pre-WW2 cast iron was.

    I do recall the sound of the base plugs whining far overhead when the 36 grenade was thrown; someone else had thrown it, we were waiting our turn 'a safe distance' in the rear. I thought it would be entertaining to get a stone and bounce it off the back of some nervous recruit's steel helmet when a grenade went off; it was.
  12. There was a modern type that did that too. Lightweight hexagonal design of HE only (ex the skin) with a plastic jacket of ballbearings that could be slid over it.

    Swiss design IIRC
  13. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Wasn't that a complaint in WW2
    The Germans could practically throw it and charge right behind it safely
    The British and U.S. grenades had to have a safe distance or you copped it yourself (as in BoB)
    By the time you threw it took cover yourself then charged the emnemy were back in their position
  14. Some basic info on the L109 can be seen here
  15. Many thanks for the replies.