Mills 36 grenade

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by puzzledgrunt, Jun 30, 2007.

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  1. Has anyone used the 36M? I've heard that it was a fearsome weapon-safety distance 190 mtrs on hard ground. The M26 was * useless- I saw a report on the deficiencies of issue eqpt.wpns etc which used words to the effect that "we know the M26 is inefficient in causing cas because so few people are being killed in range accidents"

    Charming... 8O
  2. You would have to go back many years to find someone who had actually used the No36M.

    The No36M was designed as an offensive grenade, its biggest drawback being that the pre-notched casing would break into large lumps on detonation, so was not fantastically effective.

    The L2 which replaced the No36M overcame this problem by incorporating a prenotched coil within the grenade body which provided for a greater shrapnel radius.
  3. I threw the 36 grenade in training. Pulled the pin, threw it, it went bang.

    I've no idea how effective it was as my head was below the parapet. The "wrong" side of the parapet was riddled with bits of metal from previous grenades, but whether this was an indication of the shrapnel range or evidence of short throws, I don't know.

    Apart from the physical dimensions and weight, the No36 and the L2 differed in the throwing technique. The Mills was bowled (cricket style), the L2 was pitched (baseball style). Some said that the overarm bowling action was used to reduce tiredness of the arm muscles when throwing lots of grenades. Could this be an indication that it was necessary to throw a lot of No.36s to compensate for their ineffectiveness?
  4. I threw the 36 in training, it was a big lump of metal that gave a satisfying bang.

    They came packed in wax all of which had to be cleaned out of the centre for the mechanism to work. Muggins threw one which didn't go bang and because the platoon Sgt really liked me made me stand next to him while he prepared it for demolition. He made me walk slowly and calmly back to the shelter with him. Then it went bang ...

    Happy days.
  5. Never used one but a bit of Trivia for you.

    Anorak on

    The M stands for Mesopotamia as this grenade was an adaption of the oringinal 36 Grenade designed for use in the Mesopotamia (ie Iraq) campaign in WW1.

    Anorak off
  6. I threw one years ago and then went, under instruction, into the tower to see how the range was conducted. The grenade was very heavy, hence the straight arm bowling style of throw. The casing never fragmented particularly well and the most lethal part was reputed to be the base plug, which blew out in a very forcible fashion. The replacement was a much easier throw and supposed to be much more the thing.
  7. I served in Aden in 1967, my Bn "The South Wales Borderers" had over 300 incidents of various genades (mostly Russian & Chinese) being thrown at our patrols.No one was ever killed but there were a few nasty casualties. The worst was a Cpl who had the base plug of a 36 grenade hit him right up the ARRSEHOLE (true) he lived to tell the tale. Makes me grimace just thinking about it.
  8. I threw the 36 in training, it came with two fuses, a 3 second and a 7 second I recall, there was what mey have been an urban myth that the Paras used to lie flat on the ground and lay the grenade at arms length and let them off. (Don't know of anyone who actually saw it happen).
  9. Remember several weekends throwing these, heavy lumps that usually went bang!! remember drill after priming in the bay, enter throwing bay, holding grenade in centre of chest look at instructor, 'ready' pull pin out extending arm, look at pin(to see that it had actually come out) throw over arm, watch grenade fall fizzing on the ground then 'down' only when instructed(seem to remember one lad ducking straight away bieng dragged up by the Sgt to llok where his grenade had fallen) large bang and scatter of shrapnel as it exploded, for some reason totally unknown to me why, the end cap always blew back towards the wall or over usually, if you look at the observation towers on any of the old ranges you will see where lumps of concrete are missing from the impacts over the years!!
  10. I got to throw a few 36 grenades. You'd wait in a shelter to the rear of the range and you'd regularly hear a low pitched droning sound as a baseplug passed overhead.

    I think they were inconsistent in that you could get killed 100m away, or you might survive a close one. The L2 was supposed to be less lethal, but distributed small bits of shrapnel evenly to all in the vicinity.

    Apparently they (36) smoked whilst the fuse was burning; I was told that by a SNCO who had been looking for a blind and had seen it resume smoking just in time.

    There was a SNCO killed by an L2 in a training accident soon after they were introduced. He got a posthumous GM for saving the recruit who had dropped it. I seem to recall the manual was amended as a result of that. They weren't liked.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017

  11. Urban myth I think.

    I was told there was German or SS party trick of standing with a potato-masher grenade on the steel helmet. If you stood still the blast and shrapnel went sideways. If you wobbled, it fell at your feet before exploding.
  12. Old Man Puttees used to tell me of the 3 and 7 second fuzes (some of his subjects of conversation are really rivetting!). The 3 second fuze was for throwing, the 7 second fuze was for firing from the rifle. His info dated from 1944.

    By 1976, the 3 second fuze had been changed for 4 seconds and the only reminder of the rifle-mounting capability of the grenade was the Energa pouch on the side of the '58 pattern webbing.

    edited to show piccy:

  13. I threw a couple in training in 1973.
  14. T'was the 36 for me as a young lad.
    Anyone ever hear the Myth that the Yanks in Nam would throw their L2 'equivelent' and then turn and crouch down allowing the Flack jacket to absorb the fragments.
  15. Yep, threw several of these things, pain in the arse to prep with wax n all.