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Hand grenade

Hand grenade

Overview

A hand grenade is any small bomb that can be thrown by hand. Hand grenades are classified into three categories, explosive grenades, chemical and gas grenades. Explosive grenades are the most commonly used in modern warfare, and are designed to detonate after impact or after a set amount of time. Chemical and gas grenades are designed not to explode, but to burn or release a gas.

Grenadiers were originally soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s who specialized in throwing grenades.

"Small explosive shell", 1590s, from Modern U.S.
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Encyclopedia

A hand grenade is any small bomb that can be thrown by hand. Hand grenades are classified into three categories, explosive grenades, chemical and gas grenades. Explosive grenades are the most commonly used in modern warfare, and are designed to detonate after impact or after a set amount of time. Chemical and gas grenades are designed not to explode, but to burn or release a gas.

Grenadiers were originally soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s who specialized in throwing grenades.

Etymology


"Small explosive shell", 1590s, from Modern U.S. grenade, meaning "pomegranate
Pomegranate
The pomegranate , Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as...

", and from Old French pomegrenate (influenced by Spanish granada). So called because the many-seeded fruit suggested the powder-filled, fragmenting bomb, or from similarity of shape.http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=grenade

Chemical and gas grenades


Chemical and gas grenades include smoke grenades and incendiary grenades. Unlike explosive grenades, chemical and gas grenades are designed to burn or to release a gas, not to explode.

Smoke



Smoke grenades are used as ground-to-ground or ground-to-air signaling devices, target or landing zone marking devices, and screening
Smoke-screen
thumb|right|205px|A [[U.S. Army]] [[Humvee]] laying a smoke screenA smoke screen is smoke released to mask the movement or location of military units such as infantry, tanks, aircraft or ships....

 devices for unit movement. The body is a sheet-steel cylinder with emission holes in the top and bottom. These allow the smoke to be released when the grenade is ignited. Two main types exist, colored smoke (for signaling) and screening smoke. In colored smoke grenades, the filler consists of 250 to 350 grams of colored smoke
Colored smoke
Colored smoke is a kind of smoke created by an aerosol of small particles of a suitable pigment or dye.Colored smoke can be used for smoke signals, often in a military context. It can be produced by smoke grenades, or by various other pyrotechnical devices...

 mixture (mostly potassium chlorate
Potassium chlorate
Potassium chlorate is a compound containing potassium, chlorine and oxygen atoms, with the molecular formula KClO3. In its pure form, it is a white crystalline substance. It is the most common chlorate in industrial use...

, lactose and a dye). Screening smoke grenades usually contain HC (hexachloroethane
Hexachloroethane
Hexachloroethane, also known as perchloroethanes , C2Cl6, is a colorless solid at room temperature which is used by the US Military in smoke compositions, e.g...

/zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

) smoke mixture or TA (terephthalic acid
Terephthalic acid
Terephthalic acid is the organic compound with formula C6H42. This colourless solid is a commodity chemical, used principally as a precursor to the polyester PET, used to make clothing and plastic bottles. Several billion kilograms are produced annually...

) smoke mixture. HC smoke is harmful to breathe, since it contains hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride in water, that is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. It is found naturally in gastric acid....

. Whilst not intended as a primary effect, these grenades can generate enough heat to scald or burn unprotected skin and the spent casing should not be touched until it has cooled.

Riot control


Tear gas grenades are similar to smoke grenades in terms of shape and operation. In tear gas grenades the filler is generally 80 to 120 grams of CS gas
CS gas
2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is the defining component of a "tear gas" commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent...

 combined with a pyrotechnic composition which burns to generate an aerosol of CS-laden smoke. This causes extreme irritation to the eyes and, if inhaled, to the nose and throat. (See also the Waco Siege
Waco Siege
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

). Occasionally CR gas
CR gas
CR gas or dibenzoxazepine, chemically dibenz[b,f][1,4]oxazepine, is an incapacitating agent and a lachrymatory agent. CR was developed by the British Ministry of Defence as a riot control agent in the late 1950s and early 1960s....

 is used instead of CS.

Incendiary



Incendiary grenades (or thermite grenades) produce intense heat by means of a chemical reaction
Chemical reaction
A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Chemical reactions can be either spontaneous, requiring no input of energy, or non-spontaneous, typically following the input of some type of energy, such as heat, light or electricity...

. Greek Fire
Greek fire
Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines typically used it in naval battles to great effect as it could continue burning while floating on water....

 could be considered the earliest form of an incendiary grenade, which could be lit on fire and thrown in breakable pottery. The weapon was first used by the Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

.

Modern incendiary grenades (or thermite grenades) produce intense heat by means of a chemical reaction
Chemical reaction
A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Chemical reactions can be either spontaneous, requiring no input of energy, or non-spontaneous, typically following the input of some type of energy, such as heat, light or electricity...

. The body is practically the same as that of a smoke grenade. The filler is 600 to 800 grams of thermate
Thermate
Thermate is a variation of thermite and is an incendiary pyrotechnic composition that can generate short bursts of very high temperatures focused on a small area for a short period of time. It is used primarily in incendiary grenades....

, which is an improved version of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

-era thermite
Thermite
Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of a metal powder and a metal oxide that produces an exothermic oxidation-reduction reaction known as a thermite reaction. If aluminium is the reducing agent it is called an aluminothermic reaction...

. The chemical reaction that produces the heat is called a thermite reaction. In this reaction, powdered aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 metal and iron oxide
Iron oxide
Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen. All together, there are sixteen known iron oxides and oxyhydroxides.Iron oxides and oxide-hydroxides are widespread in nature, play an important role in many geological and biological processes, and are widely utilized by humans, e.g.,...

 react to produce a stream of molten
Mölten
Mölten is a comune in South Tyrol in the Italian region Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, located about 60 km north of Trento and about 12 km northwest of Bolzano .-Geography:...

 iron and aluminium oxide. This reaction produces a tremendous amount of heat, burning at 2200 °C (3,992 °F). This makes incendiary grenades useful for destroying weapons caches, artillery, and vehicles. Other advantages include its ability to function without an external oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

 source, allowing it to burn underwater. Because they are not intended to be thrown, thermite incendiary grenades generally have a shorter delay fuse
Fuse (explosives)
In an explosive, pyrotechnic device or military munition, a fuse is the part of the device that initiates function. In common usage, the word fuse is used indiscriminately...

 than other grenades (e.g. two seconds).

White phosphorus (also used in smoke grenades; see above) can also be used as an incendiary agent. It burns at a temperature of 2800 °C (5,072 °F). White phosphorus was notably used in the No 76 Special Incendiary Grenade by the British Home Guard during World War II.

Thermite and white phosphorus cause some of the worst and most painful burn injuries
Burn (injury)
A burn is a type of injury to flesh caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation or friction. Most burns affect only the skin . Rarely, deeper tissues, such as muscle, bone, and blood vessels can also be injured...

 because they burn so quickly and at such a high temperature. In addition, white phosphorus is very poisonous: a dose of 50-100 milligrams is lethal to the average human.

A common improvised incendiary grenade is the Molotov cocktail
Molotov cocktail
The Molotov cocktail, also known as the petrol bomb, gasoline bomb, Molotov bomb, fire bottle, fire bomb, or simply Molotov, is a generic name used for a variety of improvised incendiary weapons...

.

Byzantine Empire


The first incendiary grenades appeared in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, not long after the reign of Leo III
Leo III the Isaurian
Leo III the Isaurian or the Syrian , was Byzantine emperor from 717 until his death in 741...

 (717-741). Byzantine soldiers learned that Greek fire
Greek fire
Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines typically used it in naval battles to great effect as it could continue burning while floating on water....

, a Byzantine invention of the previous century, could not only be thrown by flamethrower
Flamethrower
A flamethrower is a mechanical device designed to project a long controllable stream of fire.Some flamethrowers project a stream of ignited flammable liquid; some project a long gas flame. Most military flamethrowers use liquids, but commercial flamethrowers tend to use high-pressure propane and...

s at the enemy, but also in stone and ceramic jars. Later, glass containers were employed. Byzantine hand grenades with Greek fire in the 10th to 12th centuries are on display in the National Museum at Athens
Old Parliament House, Athens
The Old Parliament building at Stadiou Street in Athens, housed the Greek Parliament between 1875 and 1932. It now houses the country's National Historical Museum .-History:...

. The use of Greek fire, or rather variants thereof, spread to Muslim armies in the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

, from where it reached China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 by the 10th century.

World War II


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 used incendiary grenades based on white phosphorus. The grenade, called the No. 76 Special Incendiary Grenade
No. 76 Special Incendiary Grenade
The No. 76 Special Incendiary Grenade also commonly known as the A.W. bomb or SIP Grenade was an incendiary grenade based on white phosphorus used during World War II....

, was mainly issued to the Home Guard
British Home Guard
The Home Guard was a defence organisation of the British Army during the Second World War...

 as an anti-tank weapon. It was produced in vast numbers; by August 1941 well over 6,000,000 had been manufactured.

The grenade could either be thrown by hand, or fired from the Northover projector
Northover projector
The Projector, 2.5 inch—more commonly known as the Northover Projector—was an ad hoc anti-tank weapon used by the British Army and Home Guard during the Second World War...

, a simple mortar
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

; a stronger container was needed for the latter and the two types were colour-coded. As any breakage of the flask would be dangerous, storage under water was recommended.

Molotov cocktail


The Molotov cocktail
Molotov cocktail
The Molotov cocktail, also known as the petrol bomb, gasoline bomb, Molotov bomb, fire bottle, fire bomb, or simply Molotov, is a generic name used for a variety of improvised incendiary weapons...

 is an improvised incendiary grenade prepared from a glass bottle filled with gasoline
Gasoline
Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...

 (petrol) ignited by a burning strip of cloth when the thrown bottle bursts against its target. The Molotov cocktail received its name during the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939 Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

, but had been in use earlier in the decade when used by Franco's troops during the Spanish Civil War. The name originated from Finnish troops during the Winter War. It was named after former Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin, to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev...

 whom they deemed responsible for the war, and a humorous reference to the Soviet bombs known as "Molotov bread basket
Molotov bread basket
The RRAB-3, nicknamed the Molotov bread basket , was a Soviet-made droppable bomb dispenser that combined a large high-explosive charge with a cluster of incendiary bombs. It was used against the cities of Finland during the Winter War of 1939–1940...

s" in Finland.

Explosive grenades


Explosive grenades are designed to detonate after impact or after a set amount of time.

Fragmentation



The fragmentation grenade (commonly known as a frag) is an anti-personnel weapon
Anti-personnel weapon
An anti-personnel weapon is one primarily used to incapacitate people, as opposed to attacking structures or vehicles.The development of defensive fortification and combat vehicles gave rise to weapons designed specifically to attack them, and thus a need to distinguish between those systems and...

 that is designed to disperse shrapnel
Fragmentation (weaponry)
Fragmentation is the process by which the casing of an artillery shell, bomb, grenade, etc. is shattered by the detonating high explosive filling. The correct technical terminology for these casing pieces is fragments , although shards or splinters can be used for non-preformed fragments...

 upon exploding. The body is made of hard plastic or steel. Flechettes, notched wire, ball bearings or the case itself provide the fragments. When the word grenade is used without specification, and context does not suggest otherwise, it is generally assumed to refer to a fragmentation grenade.

These grenades were sometimes classed as defensive grenades because the effective casualty radius of some matched or exceeded the distance they could be thrown, thus necessitating them being thrown from behind cover. The Mills bomb
Mills bomb
Mills bomb is the popular name for a series of prominent British hand grenades. They were the first modern fragmentation grenades in the world.-Overview:...

 or F1 grenade are examples of defensive grenades where the 30–45 m casualty radius matched or exceeded the 30 m that a grenade could reasonably be thrown.

Modern fragmentation grenades such as the United States M67 grenade
M67 grenade
The M67 grenade is a fragmentation hand grenade used by the United States Military and Canadian Forces, where it is referred to as the C13. The M67 is a replacement for the M61 grenade used during Vietnam and the older Mk 2 "pineapple" grenade used since World War II.-Composition:The M67 Grenade...

 have a wounding radius of 15 m (half that of older style grenades, which can still be encountered) and can be thrown about 40 m. Fragments may travel more than 200 m.

Concussion



The concussion grenade is an anti-personnel device that is designed to damage its target with explosive power alone. Compared to fragmentation grenades, the explosive filler is usually of a greater weight and volume. The case is far thinner and is designed to fragment as little as possible. The overpressure
Overpressure
The term Overpressure is applied to a pressure difference, relative to a "normal" or "ambient" pressure, in various circumstances:* In engineering: the pressure difference over the wall thickness of a pressure vessel...

 produced by this grenade when used in enclosed areas is greater than that produced by the fragmentation grenade. Therefore, it is especially effective in enclosed areas.

Thousands of concussion grenades were dropped into the rivers of Vietnam by sailors of the Brown Water boats. Landing Craft Utility (LCU) or Yard Freight Utility (YFU) boats always kept several cases of concussion grenades aboard to discourage sapper teams from swimming down the river and attaching or placing mines under the boats. Patrol Boat River (PBR) and other armed river boats could provide some sentry protection above water, but concussion grenades could disable an enemy approaching underwater. A swimmer would be immediately disabled by breaking ear drums and blood vessels in the eyes if within range of the concussion grenade. Common practice was to drop concussion grenades all night at irregular times (four or five per hour) to discourage swimmers from timing the interval between drops.

These grenades are usually classed as offensive weapons because the effective casualty radius is smaller than the distance it can be thrown on land. The concussion effect is more lethal than fragmentation, but its power drops more rapidly with range on land as well. The effective range to disable a swimmer under water in a shallow river is about 10-20 meters.

The US MK3A2
MK3A2
The MK3 offensive hand grenade is a concussion grenade designed to produce casualties during close combat while minimizing danger to friendly personnel. The grenade is also used for concussion effects in enclosed areas, for blasting, or for demolition tasks...

 concussion grenade is filled with TNT and has a body made of tarred cardboard. It came with a "spoon" on the top—a spring-loaded arming device that was activated by pulling a ring on a cotter pin that held the spoon to the grenade's side. Once the pin was removed, the thrower had to keep the spoon in place by holding it against the grenade. Once the spoon was released, the spring flipped it away from the grenade and a timed fuse chemical reaction started that would usually set the grenade off within four seconds. Holding the grenade to the count of two might be an advantage over tossing it overboard immediately into shallow water. If the concussion grenade sank to the bottom and penetrated into the mud, it was less effective than detonating at the depth that an enemy sapper would be swimming.

The term concussion is often erroneously applied to stun grenades. This is not descriptive of the effects caused by the grenade. The term concussion is used because the grenade relies on its explosive power to create casualties. The Mk 40 is a TNT filled concussion grenade specifically for use against enemy divers and frogmen. The grenade is designed to be employed essentially as an anti-personnel depth charge
Depth charge
A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon intended to destroy or cripple a target submarine by the shock of exploding near it. Most use explosives and a fuze set to go off at a preselected depth in the ocean. Depth charges can be dropped by either surface ships, patrol aircraft, or from...

, killing or otherwise incapacitating the target by creating a lethal shockwave underwater, similar to that of a full-size depth charge.

Anti-tank


The first anti-tank grenades were improvised devices. The Germans were the first during World War I to come up with an improvised anti-tank grenade, taking their "potato masher
Model 24 grenade
The Model 24 Stielhandgranate was the standard hand grenade of the German Army from the end of World War I until the end of World War II. The very distinctive appearance led to its being called a "stick grenade", or a "potato masher" in British Army slang, and is today one of the most easily...

" and taping two to three more of the explosive heads without the handle to create one complete grenade. In combat, after arming, the grenade was lobbed on top of the vehicle where the armor was thin.

During World War II, various nations made improvised anti-tank grenades by putting a number of defensive high explosive grenades into a sandbag. Due to their weight, these were normally thrown from very close range or directly placed in vulnerable spots onto an enemy vehicle. Another method used by the British Home Guard in 1940 was to place a high explosive in a thick sock and cover the lower part with axle grease and then place the grease covered part in a suitable size tin can. The anti-tank sock was pulled out, the fuse lit and the sock thrown against the side of the vehicle where it would adhere until the explosion. It caused internal spalling
Spall
Spall are flakes of a material that are broken off a larger solid body and can be produced by a variety of mechanisms, including as a result of projectile impact, corrosion, weathering, cavitation, or excessive rolling pressure...

 of the armor plate, killing or injuring the tank crew inside. By late 1940, the British had brought into production a purpose-built adhesive anti-tank grenade - known as the sticky bomb
Sticky bomb
The Grenade, Hand, Anti-Tank No. 74, commonly known as the sticky bomb, was a British hand grenade designed and produced during the Second World War. The grenade was one of a number of anti-tank weapons developed for use by the British Army and Home Guard as an ad hoc solution to a lack of...

.

During World War II, when tanks overran entrenchments, hand grenades could be and were used by infantry as improvised anti-tank mine
Anti-tank mine
An anti-tank mine, , is a type of land mine designed to damage or destroy vehicles including tanks and armored fighting vehicles....

s by placing or throwing them in the path of a tank in the hope of disabling a track. While this method was used in desperation, it usually proved more dangerous to the soldier on the ground than to the crew of the tank.

Purpose-designed anti-tank grenades invariably use the shaped charge
Shaped charge
A shaped charge is an explosive charge shaped to focus the effect of the explosive's energy. Various types are used to cut and form metal, to initiate nuclear weapons, to penetrate armor, and in the oil and gas industry...

 principle to penetrate tank armor. In military terminology, warheads employing shape charges are called high explosive anti-tank (HEAT
Heat
In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact or thermal radiation when the systems are at different temperatures. It is often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between...

) warheads. Because of the way shaped charges function, the grenade must hit the vehicle at an exact right angle for the effect to work most efficiently. The grenade facilitates this by deploying a small drogue parachute
Drogue parachute
A drogue parachute is a parachute designed to be deployed from a rapidly moving object in order to slow the object, or to provide control and stability, or as a pilot parachute to deploy a larger parachute...

 or fabric streamer
Streamer
Streamer or streamers may refer to:* Pennon, a small pointed flag* Campaign streamer, flag used by military units* Paper streamer* Positive streamer, lightning bolt* Streamer moth, the geometer moth Anticlea derivata...

s after being thrown.

Britain developed the No 74 ST Grenade, popularly known as a sticky bomb, in which the main charge was held in a sphere covered in adhesive. In anticipation of a German invasion, the British Army asked for ideas for a simple, easy to use, ready for production and cheap close-in antitank weapon. The ST Grenade was a government sponsored initiative, by , a group tasked with developing weapons for use in German and Italian occupied territory, and they placed the ST Grenade into mass production at Churchill's insistence, but seeing how it was operated, the British Army rejected it for the Home Guard much less their regular forces. The No 74 Grenade was later issued to troops as an emergency stop-gap measure against Italian tanks in North Africa, where it proved—to the surprise of many—highly effective. Later in the war, French partisans
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 used the No 74 effectively in sabotage work against German installations.

Shortly after the German invasion
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 of Russia in 1941, the Germans introduced the Panzerwurfmine(L), a HEAT grenade that could destroy even the heaviest tanks. The grenade was tossed overhand to land atop the tank. After release by the thrower, spring-out canvas fins stabilized it during its short flight. The Panzerwurfmine(L) was lethal, and inexpensive to manufacture, but required considerable skill to throw accurately and was issued only to specially trained infantry tank-killer teams. It did not take long after the Russians captured the German Panzerwurfmine(L) to come out with their own HEAT grenade. In 1940, they developed a crude anti-tank grenade that used the simple blast effect of a large high explosive charge, designated RPG-40
RPG-40
The RPG-40 was an anti-tank hand grenade developed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Its anti-tank capability came from blast effect produced by the detonation upon contact of 760 grams of explosive contained in it. This effect enabled about 20 mm of armour to be penetrated, and secondary damage,...

, which was stabilized in flight by a ribbon released after it was thrown. The RPG-43
RPG-43
The RPG-43 was a high explosive anti-tank hand grenade used by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. It entered service in 1943, replacing the earlier model RPG-40. The RPG-43 used a shaped charge HEAT warhead, whereas the RPG-40 used the simpler HE warhead...

 of 1943 was a modified RPG-40 with a cone liner and a large number of fabric ribbons for flight stabilization after release. In the last year of the war, they introduced the RPG-6
RPG-6
The RPG-6 was a Soviet anti-tank hand-grenade operating on the shaped charge principle, developed during World War II...

, a total redesign of the RPG-43 with an improved kite-tail drogue in the handle and a standoff for the HEAT warhead, drastically increasing both accuracy and penetration causing catastrophic damage to any tank if it impacted the top. The Russian RPG-43 and RPG-6 were far simpler to use in combat than the German Panzerwurfmine(L)and did not require extensive training.

After the end of World War II, many eastern European nations engineered their own versions of the RPG-6, such as the East German AZ-58-K-100. These were manufactured in the tens of thousands and given to 'armies of national liberation', seeing combat worldwide, including with the Egyptian Army
Egyptian Army
The Egyptian Army is the largest service branch within the Egyptian Armed Forces and holds power in the current Egyptian government. It is estimated to number around 379,000, in addition to 479,000 reservists for a total of 858,000 strong. The modern army was created in the 1820s, and during the...

 during 1967 and 1973.Denis H.R. Archer "Jane's Infantry Weapons" page 464-465

In the final two years of World War II, the Japanese developed a crude HEAT hand grenade. The grenade had a simple 100 mm diameter cone HEAT warhead with a simple "all the way" fuse system in the base. It had what looked like the end of a mop head on the tail end of the warhead. A soldier would remove the anti-tank grenade from its sack, pull the pin, and throw it gripping the mop-head as the handle. This was dangerous, as there was no arming safety after release. Penetration was reported only around 50mm.

In the late 1970s, the U.S. Army was worried about the lack of emergency anti-tank weapons for issue to its rear area units, to counter isolated enemy armored vehicles infiltrating or being air dropped. When the US Army asked for ideas, engineers at the U.S. Army laboratories suggested designing a derivative of the East German AZ-58-K-100 HEAT antitank grenade. This concept was called "HAG" for High-explosive Anti-armor Grenade. While the civilian engineers working for the US Army thought it was a great idea, it was rejected out of hand by almost all senior US Army officers who had in the past commanded troops in the field as being more dangerous to the troops who used them than the enemy vehicles that would be targeted, so, the idea was shelved by 1985.

The most widely-distributed anti-tank grenades today are the Cold War era Russian designs of the 1950s and 1960s, mainly the RKG-3
RKG-3 anti-tank grenade
RKG-3 is the designation of Russian series of anti-tank hand grenades. It superseded the RPG-43, RPG-40 and RPG-6 series of grenades.-Design:RKG stands for Ruchnaya Kumulyativnaya Granata . When the pin is pulled and the grenade is thrown a four-panelled drogue parachute is deployed by a spring...

.

Due to improvements in modern tank armor, anti-tank hand grenades are generally considered obsolete. However, in the recent Iraq War, the RKG-3 made a reappearance with Iraqi insurgents who use them primarily against U.S. light vehicles. This has led the U.S. to apply additional armor.

China



In China during the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 (960–1279AD), weapons known as Zhen Tian Lei
Zhen Tian Lei
Zhen Tian Lei is an early type of hand grenade developed in 10th century China. Its shell was made of cast iron and filled with gunpowder. The length of the fuse could be adjusted according to the intended throwing distance....

 were created when Chinese soldiers packed gunpowder
Gunpowder
Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

 into ceramic or metal containers. In 1044, a military book Wujing Zongyao
Wujing Zongyao
The Wujing Zongyao was a Chinese military compendium written in 1044 AD, during the Northern Song Dynasty. Its authors were the prominent scholars Zeng Gongliang , Ding Du , and Yang Weide , whose writing influenced many later Chinese military writers. The book covered a wide range of subjects,...

("Compilation of Military Classics") described various gunpowder recipes in which one can find, according to Joseph Needham
Joseph Needham
Noel Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham, CH, FRS, FBA , also known as Li Yuese , was a British scientist, historian and sinologist known for his scientific research and writing on the history of Chinese science. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1941, and as a fellow of the British...

, the prototype of the modern hand grenade.

The first cast iron
Cast iron
Cast iron is derived from pig iron, and while it usually refers to gray iron, it also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys which solidify with a eutectic. The color of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due...

 bombshells and grenades did not appear in Europe until 1467. Within a couple centuries of this, the Chinese had discovered the explosive potential of packing hollowed cannonball shells with gunpowder. Written later by Jiao Yu
Jiao Yu
Jiao Yu was a Chinese military officer loyal to Zhu Yuanzhang , the founder of the Ming Dynasty . He was entrusted by Emperor Hongwu as a leading artillery officer for the rebel army that overthrew the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, and established the Ming Dynasty...

 (焦玉) in the mid 14th century book of the Huolongjing
Huolongjing
The Huolongjing is a 14th century military treatise that was compiled and edited by Jiao Yu and Liu Ji of the early Ming Dynasty in China...

 (火龙经, "Fire Drake Manual")
, this manuscript recorded an earlier Song-era cast iron cannon known as the "flying-cloud thunderclap cannon" (飞云霹雳炮; feiyun pili pao). The manuscript stated that (Needham's modified Wade-Giles
Wade-Giles
Wade–Giles , sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a romanization system for the Mandarin Chinese language. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Wade during the mid-19th century , and was given completed form with Herbert Giles' Chinese–English dictionary of 1892.Wade–Giles was the most...

 spelling):
This text of the Huolongjing was also important for the understanding of the Chinese hand grenade in the 14th century, as it provided much more detailed descriptions and even printed illustrations of the grenade bombs used.

Europe


In 1643, it is possible that "Grenados" were thrown amongst the Welsh at Holt Bridge during the English Civil War. The word "grenade" originated in the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 (1688), where cricket ball-sized iron spheres packed with gunpowder and fitted with slow-burning wicks were first used against the Jacobites
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 in the battles of Killiecrankie
Battle of Killiecrankie
-References:*Reid, Stuart, The Battle of Kiellliecrankkie -External links:* *...

 and Glen Shiel
Battle of Glen Shiel
The Battle of Glen Shiel was a battle in Glen Shiel, in the West Highlands of Scotland on 10 June 1719, between British government troops and an alliance of Jacobites and Spaniards, resulting in a victory for the government forces. It was the last close engagement of British and foreign troops on...

. These grenades were not very effective (probably because a direct hit would be necessary for the grenade to have effect) and, as a result, saw little use.


However, trench warfare
Trench warfare
Trench warfare is a form of occupied fighting lines, consisting largely of trenches, in which troops are largely immune to the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery...

 favored the grenade. In a letter to his sister, Colonel Hugh Robert Hibbert, described an improvised grenade employed during the Crimea War (1854–1856):

A hand grenade is any small bomb that can be thrown by hand. Hand grenades are classified into three categories, explosive grenades, chemical and gas grenades. Explosive grenades are the most commonly used in modern warfare, and are designed to detonate after impact or after a set amount of time. Chemical and gas grenades are designed not to explode, but to burn or release a gas.

Grenadiers were originally soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s who specialized in throwing grenades.

Etymology


"Small explosive shell", 1590s, from Modern U.S. grenade, meaning "pomegranate
Pomegranate
The pomegranate , Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as...

", and from Old French pomegrenate (influenced by Spanish granada). So called because the many-seeded fruit suggested the powder-filled, fragmenting bomb, or from similarity of shape.http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=grenade

Chemical and gas grenades


Chemical and gas grenades include smoke grenades and incendiary grenades. Unlike explosive grenades, chemical and gas grenades are designed to burn or to release a gas, not to explode.
{{Double image|right|M18 grenade.gif|200|ABC-M7A2 A3 grenade.gif|200|M18
AN M18
The AN-M18 Colored Smoke Grenade is a US Army grenade used as a ground-to-ground or ground-to-air signaling device, a target or landing zone marking device, or a screening device for unit movements.-Warning:...

 smoke grenade|M7A2 CS gas
CS gas
2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is the defining component of a "tear gas" commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent...

 grenade}}

Smoke


{{Main|Smoke grenade}}
Smoke grenades are used as ground-to-ground or ground-to-air signaling devices, target or landing zone marking devices, and screening
Smoke-screen
thumb|right|205px|A [[U.S. Army]] [[Humvee]] laying a smoke screenA smoke screen is smoke released to mask the movement or location of military units such as infantry, tanks, aircraft or ships....

 devices for unit movement. The body is a sheet-steel cylinder with emission holes in the top and bottom. These allow the smoke to be released when the grenade is ignited. Two main types exist, colored smoke (for signaling) and screening smoke. In colored smoke grenades, the filler consists of 250 to 350 grams of colored smoke
Colored smoke
Colored smoke is a kind of smoke created by an aerosol of small particles of a suitable pigment or dye.Colored smoke can be used for smoke signals, often in a military context. It can be produced by smoke grenades, or by various other pyrotechnical devices...

 mixture (mostly potassium chlorate
Potassium chlorate
Potassium chlorate is a compound containing potassium, chlorine and oxygen atoms, with the molecular formula KClO3. In its pure form, it is a white crystalline substance. It is the most common chlorate in industrial use...

, lactose and a dye). Screening smoke grenades usually contain HC (hexachloroethane
Hexachloroethane
Hexachloroethane, also known as perchloroethanes , C2Cl6, is a colorless solid at room temperature which is used by the US Military in smoke compositions, e.g...

/zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

) smoke mixture or TA (terephthalic acid
Terephthalic acid
Terephthalic acid is the organic compound with formula C6H42. This colourless solid is a commodity chemical, used principally as a precursor to the polyester PET, used to make clothing and plastic bottles. Several billion kilograms are produced annually...

) smoke mixture. HC smoke is harmful to breathe, since it contains hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride in water, that is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. It is found naturally in gastric acid....

. Whilst not intended as a primary effect, these grenades can generate enough heat to scald or burn unprotected skin and the spent casing should not be touched until it has cooled.

Riot control


Tear gas grenades are similar to smoke grenades in terms of shape and operation. In tear gas grenades the filler is generally 80 to 120 grams of CS gas
CS gas
2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is the defining component of a "tear gas" commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent...

 combined with a pyrotechnic composition which burns to generate an aerosol of CS-laden smoke. This causes extreme irritation to the eyes and, if inhaled, to the nose and throat. (See also the Waco Siege
Waco Siege
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

). Occasionally CR gas
CR gas
CR gas or dibenzoxazepine, chemically dibenz[b,f][1,4]oxazepine, is an incapacitating agent and a lachrymatory agent. CR was developed by the British Ministry of Defence as a riot control agent in the late 1950s and early 1960s....

 is used instead of CS.

Incendiary


{{main|Incendiary device}}
Incendiary grenades (or thermite grenades) produce intense heat by means of a chemical reaction
Chemical reaction
A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Chemical reactions can be either spontaneous, requiring no input of energy, or non-spontaneous, typically following the input of some type of energy, such as heat, light or electricity...

. Greek Fire
Greek fire
Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines typically used it in naval battles to great effect as it could continue burning while floating on water....

 could be considered the earliest form of an incendiary grenade, which could be lit on fire and thrown in breakable pottery. The weapon was first used by the Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

.

Modern incendiary grenades (or thermite grenades) produce intense heat by means of a chemical reaction
Chemical reaction
A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Chemical reactions can be either spontaneous, requiring no input of energy, or non-spontaneous, typically following the input of some type of energy, such as heat, light or electricity...

. The body is practically the same as that of a smoke grenade. The filler is 600 to 800 grams of thermate
Thermate
Thermate is a variation of thermite and is an incendiary pyrotechnic composition that can generate short bursts of very high temperatures focused on a small area for a short period of time. It is used primarily in incendiary grenades....

, which is an improved version of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

-era thermite
Thermite
Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of a metal powder and a metal oxide that produces an exothermic oxidation-reduction reaction known as a thermite reaction. If aluminium is the reducing agent it is called an aluminothermic reaction...

. The chemical reaction that produces the heat is called a thermite reaction. In this reaction, powdered aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 metal and iron oxide
Iron oxide
Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen. All together, there are sixteen known iron oxides and oxyhydroxides.Iron oxides and oxide-hydroxides are widespread in nature, play an important role in many geological and biological processes, and are widely utilized by humans, e.g.,...

 react to produce a stream of molten
Mölten
Mölten is a comune in South Tyrol in the Italian region Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, located about 60 km north of Trento and about 12 km northwest of Bolzano .-Geography:...

 iron and aluminium oxide. This reaction produces a tremendous amount of heat, burning at 2200 °C (3,992 °F). This makes incendiary grenades useful for destroying weapons caches, artillery, and vehicles. Other advantages include its ability to function without an external oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

 source, allowing it to burn underwater. Because they are not intended to be thrown, thermite incendiary grenades generally have a shorter delay fuse
Fuse (explosives)
In an explosive, pyrotechnic device or military munition, a fuse is the part of the device that initiates function. In common usage, the word fuse is used indiscriminately...

 than other grenades (e.g. two seconds).

White phosphorus (also used in smoke grenades; see above) can also be used as an incendiary agent. It burns at a temperature of 2800 °C (5,072 °F). White phosphorus was notably used in the No 76 Special Incendiary Grenade by the British Home Guard during World War II.

Thermite and white phosphorus cause some of the worst and most painful burn injuries
Burn (injury)
A burn is a type of injury to flesh caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation or friction. Most burns affect only the skin . Rarely, deeper tissues, such as muscle, bone, and blood vessels can also be injured...

 because they burn so quickly and at such a high temperature. In addition, white phosphorus is very poisonous: a dose of 50-100 milligrams is lethal to the average human.

A common improvised incendiary grenade is the Molotov cocktail
Molotov cocktail
The Molotov cocktail, also known as the petrol bomb, gasoline bomb, Molotov bomb, fire bottle, fire bomb, or simply Molotov, is a generic name used for a variety of improvised incendiary weapons...

.

Byzantine Empire


The first incendiary grenades appeared in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, not long after the reign of Leo III
Leo III the Isaurian
Leo III the Isaurian or the Syrian , was Byzantine emperor from 717 until his death in 741...

 (717-741). Byzantine soldiers learned that Greek fire
Greek fire
Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines typically used it in naval battles to great effect as it could continue burning while floating on water....

, a Byzantine invention of the previous century, could not only be thrown by flamethrower
Flamethrower
A flamethrower is a mechanical device designed to project a long controllable stream of fire.Some flamethrowers project a stream of ignited flammable liquid; some project a long gas flame. Most military flamethrowers use liquids, but commercial flamethrowers tend to use high-pressure propane and...

s at the enemy, but also in stone and ceramic jars. Later, glass containers were employed. Byzantine hand grenades with Greek fire in the 10th to 12th centuries are on display in the National Museum at Athens
Old Parliament House, Athens
The Old Parliament building at Stadiou Street in Athens, housed the Greek Parliament between 1875 and 1932. It now houses the country's National Historical Museum .-History:...

. The use of Greek fire, or rather variants thereof, spread to Muslim armies in the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

, from where it reached China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 by the 10th century.

World War II


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 used incendiary grenades based on white phosphorus. The grenade, called the No. 76 Special Incendiary Grenade
No. 76 Special Incendiary Grenade
The No. 76 Special Incendiary Grenade also commonly known as the A.W. bomb or SIP Grenade was an incendiary grenade based on white phosphorus used during World War II....

, was mainly issued to the Home Guard
British Home Guard
The Home Guard was a defence organisation of the British Army during the Second World War...

 as an anti-tank weapon. It was produced in vast numbers; by August 1941 well over 6,000,000 had been manufactured.

The grenade could either be thrown by hand, or fired from the Northover projector
Northover projector
The Projector, 2.5 inch—more commonly known as the Northover Projector—was an ad hoc anti-tank weapon used by the British Army and Home Guard during the Second World War...

, a simple mortar
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

; a stronger container was needed for the latter and the two types were colour-coded. As any breakage of the flask would be dangerous, storage under water was recommended.

Molotov cocktail


The Molotov cocktail
Molotov cocktail
The Molotov cocktail, also known as the petrol bomb, gasoline bomb, Molotov bomb, fire bottle, fire bomb, or simply Molotov, is a generic name used for a variety of improvised incendiary weapons...

 is an improvised incendiary grenade prepared from a glass bottle filled with gasoline
Gasoline
Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...

 (petrol) ignited by a burning strip of cloth when the thrown bottle bursts against its target. The Molotov cocktail received its name during the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939 Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

, but had been in use earlier in the decade when used by Franco's troops during the Spanish Civil War. The name originated from Finnish troops during the Winter War. It was named after former Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin, to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev...

 whom they deemed responsible for the war, and a humorous reference to the Soviet bombs known as "Molotov bread basket
Molotov bread basket
The RRAB-3, nicknamed the Molotov bread basket , was a Soviet-made droppable bomb dispenser that combined a large high-explosive charge with a cluster of incendiary bombs. It was used against the cities of Finland during the Winter War of 1939–1940...

s" in Finland.

Explosive grenades


Explosive grenades are designed to detonate after impact or after a set amount of time.

Fragmentation


{{Main|Fragmentation grenade}}
The fragmentation grenade (commonly known as a frag) is an anti-personnel weapon
Anti-personnel weapon
An anti-personnel weapon is one primarily used to incapacitate people, as opposed to attacking structures or vehicles.The development of defensive fortification and combat vehicles gave rise to weapons designed specifically to attack them, and thus a need to distinguish between those systems and...

 that is designed to disperse shrapnel
Fragmentation (weaponry)
Fragmentation is the process by which the casing of an artillery shell, bomb, grenade, etc. is shattered by the detonating high explosive filling. The correct technical terminology for these casing pieces is fragments , although shards or splinters can be used for non-preformed fragments...

 upon exploding. The body is made of hard plastic or steel. Flechettes, notched wire, ball bearings or the case itself provide the fragments. When the word grenade is used without specification, and context does not suggest otherwise, it is generally assumed to refer to a fragmentation grenade.

These grenades were sometimes classed as defensive grenades because the effective casualty radius of some matched or exceeded the distance they could be thrown, thus necessitating them being thrown from behind cover. The Mills bomb
Mills bomb
Mills bomb is the popular name for a series of prominent British hand grenades. They were the first modern fragmentation grenades in the world.-Overview:...

 or F1 grenade are examples of defensive grenades where the 30–45 m casualty radius matched or exceeded the 30 m that a grenade could reasonably be thrown.

Modern fragmentation grenades such as the United States M67 grenade
M67 grenade
The M67 grenade is a fragmentation hand grenade used by the United States Military and Canadian Forces, where it is referred to as the C13. The M67 is a replacement for the M61 grenade used during Vietnam and the older Mk 2 "pineapple" grenade used since World War II.-Composition:The M67 Grenade...

 have a wounding radius of 15 m (half that of older style grenades, which can still be encountered) and can be thrown about 40 m. Fragments may travel more than 200 m.

Concussion



The concussion grenade is an anti-personnel device that is designed to damage its target with explosive power alone. Compared to fragmentation grenades, the explosive filler is usually of a greater weight and volume. The case is far thinner and is designed to fragment as little as possible. The overpressure
Overpressure
The term Overpressure is applied to a pressure difference, relative to a "normal" or "ambient" pressure, in various circumstances:* In engineering: the pressure difference over the wall thickness of a pressure vessel...

 produced by this grenade when used in enclosed areas is greater than that produced by the fragmentation grenade. Therefore, it is especially effective in enclosed areas.

Thousands of concussion grenades were dropped into the rivers of Vietnam by sailors of the Brown Water boats. Landing Craft Utility (LCU) or Yard Freight Utility (YFU) boats always kept several cases of concussion grenades aboard to discourage sapper teams from swimming down the river and attaching or placing mines under the boats. Patrol Boat River (PBR) and other armed river boats could provide some sentry protection above water, but concussion grenades could disable an enemy approaching underwater. A swimmer would be immediately disabled by breaking ear drums and blood vessels in the eyes if within range of the concussion grenade. Common practice was to drop concussion grenades all night at irregular times (four or five per hour) to discourage swimmers from timing the interval between drops.

These grenades are usually classed as offensive weapons because the effective casualty radius is smaller than the distance it can be thrown on land. The concussion effect is more lethal than fragmentation, but its power drops more rapidly with range on land as well. The effective range to disable a swimmer under water in a shallow river is about 10-20 meters.

The US MK3A2
MK3A2
The MK3 offensive hand grenade is a concussion grenade designed to produce casualties during close combat while minimizing danger to friendly personnel. The grenade is also used for concussion effects in enclosed areas, for blasting, or for demolition tasks...

 concussion grenade is filled with TNT and has a body made of tarred cardboard. It came with a "spoon" on the top—a spring-loaded arming device that was activated by pulling a ring on a cotter pin that held the spoon to the grenade's side. Once the pin was removed, the thrower had to keep the spoon in place by holding it against the grenade. Once the spoon was released, the spring flipped it away from the grenade and a timed fuse chemical reaction started that would usually set the grenade off within four seconds. Holding the grenade to the count of two might be an advantage over tossing it overboard immediately into shallow water. If the concussion grenade sank to the bottom and penetrated into the mud, it was less effective than detonating at the depth that an enemy sapper would be swimming.

The term concussion is often erroneously applied to stun grenades. This is not descriptive of the effects caused by the grenade. The term concussion is used because the grenade relies on its explosive power to create casualties. The Mk 40 is a TNT filled concussion grenade specifically for use against enemy divers and frogmen. The grenade is designed to be employed essentially as an anti-personnel depth charge
Depth charge
A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon intended to destroy or cripple a target submarine by the shock of exploding near it. Most use explosives and a fuze set to go off at a preselected depth in the ocean. Depth charges can be dropped by either surface ships, patrol aircraft, or from...

, killing or otherwise incapacitating the target by creating a lethal shockwave underwater, similar to that of a full-size depth charge.

Anti-tank


{{Very long|section|date=January 2011}}
{{Main|Anti-tank grenade}}

The first anti-tank grenades were improvised devices. The Germans were the first during World War I to come up with an improvised anti-tank grenade, taking their "potato masher
Model 24 grenade
The Model 24 Stielhandgranate was the standard hand grenade of the German Army from the end of World War I until the end of World War II. The very distinctive appearance led to its being called a "stick grenade", or a "potato masher" in British Army slang, and is today one of the most easily...

" and taping two to three more of the explosive heads without the handle to create one complete grenade. In combat, after arming, the grenade was lobbed on top of the vehicle where the armor was thin.

During World War II, various nations made improvised anti-tank grenades by putting a number of defensive high explosive grenades into a sandbag. Due to their weight, these were normally thrown from very close range or directly placed in vulnerable spots onto an enemy vehicle.{{Citation needed|date=January 2011}} Another method used by the British Home Guard in 1940 was to place a high explosive in a thick sock and cover the lower part with axle grease and then place the grease covered part in a suitable size tin can. The anti-tank sock was pulled out, the fuse lit and the sock thrown against the side of the vehicle where it would adhere until the explosion. It caused internal spalling
Spall
Spall are flakes of a material that are broken off a larger solid body and can be produced by a variety of mechanisms, including as a result of projectile impact, corrosion, weathering, cavitation, or excessive rolling pressure...

 of the armor plate, killing or injuring the tank crew inside. By late 1940, the British had brought into production a purpose-built adhesive anti-tank grenade - known as the sticky bomb
Sticky bomb
The Grenade, Hand, Anti-Tank No. 74, commonly known as the sticky bomb, was a British hand grenade designed and produced during the Second World War. The grenade was one of a number of anti-tank weapons developed for use by the British Army and Home Guard as an ad hoc solution to a lack of...

.

During World War II, when tanks overran entrenchments, hand grenades could be and were used by infantry as improvised anti-tank mine
Anti-tank mine
An anti-tank mine, , is a type of land mine designed to damage or destroy vehicles including tanks and armored fighting vehicles....

s by placing or throwing them in the path of a tank in the hope of disabling a track. While this method was used in desperation, it usually proved more dangerous to the soldier on the ground than to the crew of the tank.

Purpose-designed anti-tank grenades invariably use the shaped charge
Shaped charge
A shaped charge is an explosive charge shaped to focus the effect of the explosive's energy. Various types are used to cut and form metal, to initiate nuclear weapons, to penetrate armor, and in the oil and gas industry...

 principle to penetrate tank armor. In military terminology, warheads employing shape charges are called high explosive anti-tank (HEAT
Heat
In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact or thermal radiation when the systems are at different temperatures. It is often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between...

) warheads. Because of the way shaped charges function, the grenade must hit the vehicle at an exact right angle for the effect to work most efficiently. The grenade facilitates this by deploying a small drogue parachute
Drogue parachute
A drogue parachute is a parachute designed to be deployed from a rapidly moving object in order to slow the object, or to provide control and stability, or as a pilot parachute to deploy a larger parachute...

 or fabric streamer
Streamer
Streamer or streamers may refer to:* Pennon, a small pointed flag* Campaign streamer, flag used by military units* Paper streamer* Positive streamer, lightning bolt* Streamer moth, the geometer moth Anticlea derivata...

s after being thrown.

Britain developed the No 74 ST Grenade, popularly known as a sticky bomb, in which the main charge was held in a sphere covered in adhesive. In anticipation of a German invasion, the British Army asked for ideas for a simple, easy to use, ready for production and cheap close-in antitank weapon. The ST Grenade was a government sponsored initiative, by {{nowrap|MIR(c)
MD1
Ministry of Defence 1 , also known as "Churchill's Toyshop" was a British weapon research and development organisation of the Second World War....

}}, a group tasked with developing weapons for use in German and Italian occupied territory, and they placed the ST Grenade into mass production at Churchill's insistence, but seeing how it was operated, the British Army rejected it for the Home Guard much less their regular forces. The No 74 Grenade was later issued to troops as an emergency stop-gap measure against Italian tanks in North Africa, where it proved—to the surprise of many—highly effective. Later in the war, French partisans
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 used the No 74 effectively in sabotage work against German installations.

Shortly after the German invasion
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 of Russia in 1941, the Germans introduced the Panzerwurfmine(L), a HEAT grenade that could destroy even the heaviest tanks. The grenade was tossed overhand to land atop the tank. After release by the thrower, spring-out canvas fins stabilized it during its short flight. The Panzerwurfmine(L) was lethal, and inexpensive to manufacture, but required considerable skill to throw accurately and was issued only to specially trained infantry tank-killer teams. It did not take long after the Russians captured the German Panzerwurfmine(L) to come out with their own HEAT grenade. In 1940, they developed a crude anti-tank grenade that used the simple blast effect of a large high explosive charge, designated RPG-40
RPG-40
The RPG-40 was an anti-tank hand grenade developed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Its anti-tank capability came from blast effect produced by the detonation upon contact of 760 grams of explosive contained in it. This effect enabled about 20 mm of armour to be penetrated, and secondary damage,...

, which was stabilized in flight by a ribbon released after it was thrown. The RPG-43
RPG-43
The RPG-43 was a high explosive anti-tank hand grenade used by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. It entered service in 1943, replacing the earlier model RPG-40. The RPG-43 used a shaped charge HEAT warhead, whereas the RPG-40 used the simpler HE warhead...

 of 1943 was a modified RPG-40 with a cone liner and a large number of fabric ribbons for flight stabilization after release. In the last year of the war, they introduced the RPG-6
RPG-6
The RPG-6 was a Soviet anti-tank hand-grenade operating on the shaped charge principle, developed during World War II...

, a total redesign of the RPG-43 with an improved kite-tail drogue in the handle and a standoff for the HEAT warhead, drastically increasing both accuracy and penetration causing catastrophic damage to any tank if it impacted the top. The Russian RPG-43 and RPG-6 were far simpler to use in combat than the German Panzerwurfmine(L)and did not require extensive training.

After the end of World War II, many eastern European nations engineered their own versions of the RPG-6, such as the East German AZ-58-K-100. These were manufactured in the tens of thousands and given to 'armies of national liberation', seeing combat worldwide, including with the Egyptian Army
Egyptian Army
The Egyptian Army is the largest service branch within the Egyptian Armed Forces and holds power in the current Egyptian government. It is estimated to number around 379,000, in addition to 479,000 reservists for a total of 858,000 strong. The modern army was created in the 1820s, and during the...

 during 1967 and 1973.Denis H.R. Archer "Jane's Infantry Weapons" page 464-465

In the final two years of World War II, the Japanese developed a crude HEAT hand grenade. The grenade had a simple 100 mm diameter cone HEAT warhead with a simple "all the way" fuse system in the base. It had what looked like the end of a mop head on the tail end of the warhead. A soldier would remove the anti-tank grenade from its sack, pull the pin, and throw it gripping the mop-head as the handle. This was dangerous, as there was no arming safety after release. Penetration was reported only around 50mm.{{Citation needed|date=January 2011}}

In the late 1970s, the U.S. Army was worried about the lack of emergency anti-tank weapons for issue to its rear area units, to counter isolated enemy armored vehicles infiltrating or being air dropped. When the US Army asked for ideas, engineers at the U.S. Army laboratories suggested designing a derivative of the East German AZ-58-K-100 HEAT antitank grenade. This concept was called "HAG" for High-explosive Anti-armor Grenade. While the civilian engineers working for the US Army thought it was a great idea, it was rejected out of hand by almost all senior US Army officers who had in the past commanded troops in the field as being more dangerous to the troops who used them than the enemy vehicles that would be targeted, so, the idea was shelved by 1985.

The most widely-distributed anti-tank grenades today are the Cold War era Russian designs of the 1950s and 1960s, mainly the RKG-3
RKG-3 anti-tank grenade
RKG-3 is the designation of Russian series of anti-tank hand grenades. It superseded the RPG-43, RPG-40 and RPG-6 series of grenades.-Design:RKG stands for Ruchnaya Kumulyativnaya Granata . When the pin is pulled and the grenade is thrown a four-panelled drogue parachute is deployed by a spring...

.

Due to improvements in modern tank armor, anti-tank hand grenades are generally considered obsolete. However, in the recent Iraq War, the RKG-3 made a reappearance with Iraqi insurgents who use them primarily against U.S. light vehicles. This has led the U.S. to apply additional armor.

China



In China during the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 (960–1279AD), weapons known as Zhen Tian Lei
Zhen Tian Lei
Zhen Tian Lei is an early type of hand grenade developed in 10th century China. Its shell was made of cast iron and filled with gunpowder. The length of the fuse could be adjusted according to the intended throwing distance....

 were created when Chinese soldiers packed gunpowder
Gunpowder
Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

 into ceramic or metal containers. In 1044, a military book Wujing Zongyao
Wujing Zongyao
The Wujing Zongyao was a Chinese military compendium written in 1044 AD, during the Northern Song Dynasty. Its authors were the prominent scholars Zeng Gongliang , Ding Du , and Yang Weide , whose writing influenced many later Chinese military writers. The book covered a wide range of subjects,...

("Compilation of Military Classics") described various gunpowder recipes in which one can find, according to Joseph Needham
Joseph Needham
Noel Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham, CH, FRS, FBA , also known as Li Yuese , was a British scientist, historian and sinologist known for his scientific research and writing on the history of Chinese science. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1941, and as a fellow of the British...

, the prototype of the modern hand grenade.

The first cast iron
Cast iron
Cast iron is derived from pig iron, and while it usually refers to gray iron, it also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys which solidify with a eutectic. The color of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due...

 bombshells and grenades did not appear in Europe until 1467. Within a couple centuries of this, the Chinese had discovered the explosive potential of packing hollowed cannonball shells with gunpowder. Written later by Jiao Yu
Jiao Yu
Jiao Yu was a Chinese military officer loyal to Zhu Yuanzhang , the founder of the Ming Dynasty . He was entrusted by Emperor Hongwu as a leading artillery officer for the rebel army that overthrew the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, and established the Ming Dynasty...

 (焦玉) in the mid 14th century book of the Huolongjing
Huolongjing
The Huolongjing is a 14th century military treatise that was compiled and edited by Jiao Yu and Liu Ji of the early Ming Dynasty in China...

 (火龙经, "Fire Drake Manual")
, this manuscript recorded an earlier Song-era cast iron cannon known as the "flying-cloud thunderclap cannon" (飞云霹雳炮; feiyun pili pao). The manuscript stated that (Needham's modified Wade-Giles
Wade-Giles
Wade–Giles , sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a romanization system for the Mandarin Chinese language. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Wade during the mid-19th century , and was given completed form with Herbert Giles' Chinese–English dictionary of 1892.Wade–Giles was the most...

 spelling):

{{quote|The shells (pào) are made of cast iron, as large as a bowl and shaped like a ball. Inside they contain half a pound of 'divine fire' (shén huǒ, gunpowder). They are sent flying towards the enemy camp from an eruptor (mu pào); and when they get there a sound like a thunder-clap is heard, and flashes of light appear. If ten of these shells are fired successfully into the enemy camp, the whole place will be set ablaze...|}}
This text of the Huolongjing was also important for the understanding of the Chinese hand grenade in the 14th century, as it provided much more detailed descriptions and even printed illustrations of the grenade bombs used.

Europe


In 1643, it is possible that "Grenados" were thrown amongst the Welsh at Holt Bridge during the English Civil War. The word "grenade" originated in the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 (1688), where cricket ball-sized iron spheres packed with gunpowder and fitted with slow-burning wicks were first used against the Jacobites
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 in the battles of Killiecrankie
Battle of Killiecrankie
-References:*Reid, Stuart, The Battle of Kiellliecrankkie -External links:* *...

 and Glen Shiel
Battle of Glen Shiel
The Battle of Glen Shiel was a battle in Glen Shiel, in the West Highlands of Scotland on 10 June 1719, between British government troops and an alliance of Jacobites and Spaniards, resulting in a victory for the government forces. It was the last close engagement of British and foreign troops on...

. These grenades were not very effective (probably because a direct hit would be necessary for the grenade to have effect) and, as a result, saw little use.


However, trench warfare
Trench warfare
Trench warfare is a form of occupied fighting lines, consisting largely of trenches, in which troops are largely immune to the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery...

 favored the grenade. In a letter to his sister, Colonel Hugh Robert Hibbert, described an improvised grenade employed during the Crimea War (1854–1856):

A hand grenade is any small bomb that can be thrown by hand. Hand grenades are classified into three categories, explosive grenades, chemical and gas grenades. Explosive grenades are the most commonly used in modern warfare, and are designed to detonate after impact or after a set amount of time. Chemical and gas grenades are designed not to explode, but to burn or release a gas.

Grenadiers were originally soldier
Soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s who specialized in throwing grenades.

Etymology


"Small explosive shell", 1590s, from Modern U.S. grenade, meaning "pomegranate
Pomegranate
The pomegranate , Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall.Native to the area of modern day Iran, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as...

", and from Old French pomegrenate (influenced by Spanish granada). So called because the many-seeded fruit suggested the powder-filled, fragmenting bomb, or from similarity of shape.http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=grenade

Chemical and gas grenades


Chemical and gas grenades include smoke grenades and incendiary grenades. Unlike explosive grenades, chemical and gas grenades are designed to burn or to release a gas, not to explode.
{{Double image|right|M18 grenade.gif|200|ABC-M7A2 A3 grenade.gif|200|M18
AN M18
The AN-M18 Colored Smoke Grenade is a US Army grenade used as a ground-to-ground or ground-to-air signaling device, a target or landing zone marking device, or a screening device for unit movements.-Warning:...

 smoke grenade|M7A2 CS gas
CS gas
2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is the defining component of a "tear gas" commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent...

 grenade}}

Smoke


{{Main|Smoke grenade}}
Smoke grenades are used as ground-to-ground or ground-to-air signaling devices, target or landing zone marking devices, and screening
Smoke-screen
thumb|right|205px|A [[U.S. Army]] [[Humvee]] laying a smoke screenA smoke screen is smoke released to mask the movement or location of military units such as infantry, tanks, aircraft or ships....

 devices for unit movement. The body is a sheet-steel cylinder with emission holes in the top and bottom. These allow the smoke to be released when the grenade is ignited. Two main types exist, colored smoke (for signaling) and screening smoke. In colored smoke grenades, the filler consists of 250 to 350 grams of colored smoke
Colored smoke
Colored smoke is a kind of smoke created by an aerosol of small particles of a suitable pigment or dye.Colored smoke can be used for smoke signals, often in a military context. It can be produced by smoke grenades, or by various other pyrotechnical devices...

 mixture (mostly potassium chlorate
Potassium chlorate
Potassium chlorate is a compound containing potassium, chlorine and oxygen atoms, with the molecular formula KClO3. In its pure form, it is a white crystalline substance. It is the most common chlorate in industrial use...

, lactose and a dye). Screening smoke grenades usually contain HC (hexachloroethane
Hexachloroethane
Hexachloroethane, also known as perchloroethanes , C2Cl6, is a colorless solid at room temperature which is used by the US Military in smoke compositions, e.g...

/zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

) smoke mixture or TA (terephthalic acid
Terephthalic acid
Terephthalic acid is the organic compound with formula C6H42. This colourless solid is a commodity chemical, used principally as a precursor to the polyester PET, used to make clothing and plastic bottles. Several billion kilograms are produced annually...

) smoke mixture. HC smoke is harmful to breathe, since it contains hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride in water, that is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. It is found naturally in gastric acid....

. Whilst not intended as a primary effect, these grenades can generate enough heat to scald or burn unprotected skin and the spent casing should not be touched until it has cooled.

Riot control


Tear gas grenades are similar to smoke grenades in terms of shape and operation. In tear gas grenades the filler is generally 80 to 120 grams of CS gas
CS gas
2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is the defining component of a "tear gas" commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent...

 combined with a pyrotechnic composition which burns to generate an aerosol of CS-laden smoke. This causes extreme irritation to the eyes and, if inhaled, to the nose and throat. (See also the Waco Siege
Waco Siege
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

). Occasionally CR gas
CR gas
CR gas or dibenzoxazepine, chemically dibenz[b,f][1,4]oxazepine, is an incapacitating agent and a lachrymatory agent. CR was developed by the British Ministry of Defence as a riot control agent in the late 1950s and early 1960s....

 is used instead of CS.

Incendiary


{{main|Incendiary device}}
Incendiary grenades (or thermite grenades) produce intense heat by means of a chemical reaction
Chemical reaction
A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Chemical reactions can be either spontaneous, requiring no input of energy, or non-spontaneous, typically following the input of some type of energy, such as heat, light or electricity...

. Greek Fire
Greek fire
Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines typically used it in naval battles to great effect as it could continue burning while floating on water....

 could be considered the earliest form of an incendiary grenade, which could be lit on fire and thrown in breakable pottery. The weapon was first used by the Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

.

Modern incendiary grenades (or thermite grenades) produce intense heat by means of a chemical reaction
Chemical reaction
A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Chemical reactions can be either spontaneous, requiring no input of energy, or non-spontaneous, typically following the input of some type of energy, such as heat, light or electricity...

. The body is practically the same as that of a smoke grenade. The filler is 600 to 800 grams of thermate
Thermate
Thermate is a variation of thermite and is an incendiary pyrotechnic composition that can generate short bursts of very high temperatures focused on a small area for a short period of time. It is used primarily in incendiary grenades....

, which is an improved version of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

-era thermite
Thermite
Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of a metal powder and a metal oxide that produces an exothermic oxidation-reduction reaction known as a thermite reaction. If aluminium is the reducing agent it is called an aluminothermic reaction...

. The chemical reaction that produces the heat is called a thermite reaction. In this reaction, powdered aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 metal and iron oxide
Iron oxide
Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen. All together, there are sixteen known iron oxides and oxyhydroxides.Iron oxides and oxide-hydroxides are widespread in nature, play an important role in many geological and biological processes, and are widely utilized by humans, e.g.,...

 react to produce a stream of molten
Mölten
Mölten is a comune in South Tyrol in the Italian region Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, located about 60 km north of Trento and about 12 km northwest of Bolzano .-Geography:...

 iron and aluminium oxide. This reaction produces a tremendous amount of heat, burning at 2200 °C (3,992 °F). This makes incendiary grenades useful for destroying weapons caches, artillery, and vehicles. Other advantages include its ability to function without an external oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

 source, allowing it to burn underwater. Because they are not intended to be thrown, thermite incendiary grenades generally have a shorter delay fuse
Fuse (explosives)
In an explosive, pyrotechnic device or military munition, a fuse is the part of the device that initiates function. In common usage, the word fuse is used indiscriminately...

 than other grenades (e.g. two seconds).

White phosphorus (also used in smoke grenades; see above) can also be used as an incendiary agent. It burns at a temperature of 2800 °C (5,072 °F). White phosphorus was notably used in the No 76 Special Incendiary Grenade by the British Home Guard during World War II.

Thermite and white phosphorus cause some of the worst and most painful burn injuries
Burn (injury)
A burn is a type of injury to flesh caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation or friction. Most burns affect only the skin . Rarely, deeper tissues, such as muscle, bone, and blood vessels can also be injured...

 because they burn so quickly and at such a high temperature. In addition, white phosphorus is very poisonous: a dose of 50-100 milligrams is lethal to the average human.

A common improvised incendiary grenade is the Molotov cocktail
Molotov cocktail
The Molotov cocktail, also known as the petrol bomb, gasoline bomb, Molotov bomb, fire bottle, fire bomb, or simply Molotov, is a generic name used for a variety of improvised incendiary weapons...

.

Byzantine Empire


The first incendiary grenades appeared in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, not long after the reign of Leo III
Leo III the Isaurian
Leo III the Isaurian or the Syrian , was Byzantine emperor from 717 until his death in 741...

 (717-741). Byzantine soldiers learned that Greek fire
Greek fire
Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines typically used it in naval battles to great effect as it could continue burning while floating on water....

, a Byzantine invention of the previous century, could not only be thrown by flamethrower
Flamethrower
A flamethrower is a mechanical device designed to project a long controllable stream of fire.Some flamethrowers project a stream of ignited flammable liquid; some project a long gas flame. Most military flamethrowers use liquids, but commercial flamethrowers tend to use high-pressure propane and...

s at the enemy, but also in stone and ceramic jars. Later, glass containers were employed. Byzantine hand grenades with Greek fire in the 10th to 12th centuries are on display in the National Museum at Athens
Old Parliament House, Athens
The Old Parliament building at Stadiou Street in Athens, housed the Greek Parliament between 1875 and 1932. It now houses the country's National Historical Museum .-History:...

. The use of Greek fire, or rather variants thereof, spread to Muslim armies in the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

, from where it reached China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 by the 10th century.

World War II


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 used incendiary grenades based on white phosphorus. The grenade, called the No. 76 Special Incendiary Grenade
No. 76 Special Incendiary Grenade
The No. 76 Special Incendiary Grenade also commonly known as the A.W. bomb or SIP Grenade was an incendiary grenade based on white phosphorus used during World War II....

, was mainly issued to the Home Guard
British Home Guard
The Home Guard was a defence organisation of the British Army during the Second World War...

 as an anti-tank weapon. It was produced in vast numbers; by August 1941 well over 6,000,000 had been manufactured.

The grenade could either be thrown by hand, or fired from the Northover projector
Northover projector
The Projector, 2.5 inch—more commonly known as the Northover Projector—was an ad hoc anti-tank weapon used by the British Army and Home Guard during the Second World War...

, a simple mortar
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

; a stronger container was needed for the latter and the two types were colour-coded. As any breakage of the flask would be dangerous, storage under water was recommended.

Molotov cocktail


The Molotov cocktail
Molotov cocktail
The Molotov cocktail, also known as the petrol bomb, gasoline bomb, Molotov bomb, fire bottle, fire bomb, or simply Molotov, is a generic name used for a variety of improvised incendiary weapons...

 is an improvised incendiary grenade prepared from a glass bottle filled with gasoline
Gasoline
Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...

 (petrol) ignited by a burning strip of cloth when the thrown bottle bursts against its target. The Molotov cocktail received its name during the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939 Winter War
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

, but had been in use earlier in the decade when used by Franco's troops during the Spanish Civil War. The name originated from Finnish troops during the Winter War. It was named after former Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Molotov
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin, to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev...

 whom they deemed responsible for the war, and a humorous reference to the Soviet bombs known as "Molotov bread basket
Molotov bread basket
The RRAB-3, nicknamed the Molotov bread basket , was a Soviet-made droppable bomb dispenser that combined a large high-explosive charge with a cluster of incendiary bombs. It was used against the cities of Finland during the Winter War of 1939–1940...

s" in Finland.

Explosive grenades


Explosive grenades are designed to detonate after impact or after a set amount of time.

Fragmentation


{{Main|Fragmentation grenade}}
The fragmentation grenade (commonly known as a frag) is an anti-personnel weapon
Anti-personnel weapon
An anti-personnel weapon is one primarily used to incapacitate people, as opposed to attacking structures or vehicles.The development of defensive fortification and combat vehicles gave rise to weapons designed specifically to attack them, and thus a need to distinguish between those systems and...

 that is designed to disperse shrapnel
Fragmentation (weaponry)
Fragmentation is the process by which the casing of an artillery shell, bomb, grenade, etc. is shattered by the detonating high explosive filling. The correct technical terminology for these casing pieces is fragments , although shards or splinters can be used for non-preformed fragments...

 upon exploding. The body is made of hard plastic or steel. Flechettes, notched wire, ball bearings or the case itself provide the fragments. When the word grenade is used without specification, and context does not suggest otherwise, it is generally assumed to refer to a fragmentation grenade.

These grenades were sometimes classed as defensive grenades because the effective casualty radius of some matched or exceeded the distance they could be thrown, thus necessitating them being thrown from behind cover. The Mills bomb
Mills bomb
Mills bomb is the popular name for a series of prominent British hand grenades. They were the first modern fragmentation grenades in the world.-Overview:...

 or F1 grenade are examples of defensive grenades where the 30–45 m casualty radius matched or exceeded the 30 m that a grenade could reasonably be thrown.

Modern fragmentation grenades such as the United States M67 grenade
M67 grenade
The M67 grenade is a fragmentation hand grenade used by the United States Military and Canadian Forces, where it is referred to as the C13. The M67 is a replacement for the M61 grenade used during Vietnam and the older Mk 2 "pineapple" grenade used since World War II.-Composition:The M67 Grenade...

 have a wounding radius of 15 m (half that of older style grenades, which can still be encountered) and can be thrown about 40 m. Fragments may travel more than 200 m.

Concussion



The concussion grenade is an anti-personnel device that is designed to damage its target with explosive power alone. Compared to fragmentation grenades, the explosive filler is usually of a greater weight and volume. The case is far thinner and is designed to fragment as little as possible. The overpressure
Overpressure
The term Overpressure is applied to a pressure difference, relative to a "normal" or "ambient" pressure, in various circumstances:* In engineering: the pressure difference over the wall thickness of a pressure vessel...

 produced by this grenade when used in enclosed areas is greater than that produced by the fragmentation grenade. Therefore, it is especially effective in enclosed areas.

Thousands of concussion grenades were dropped into the rivers of Vietnam by sailors of the Brown Water boats. Landing Craft Utility (LCU) or Yard Freight Utility (YFU) boats always kept several cases of concussion grenades aboard to discourage sapper teams from swimming down the river and attaching or placing mines under the boats. Patrol Boat River (PBR) and other armed river boats could provide some sentry protection above water, but concussion grenades could disable an enemy approaching underwater. A swimmer would be immediately disabled by breaking ear drums and blood vessels in the eyes if within range of the concussion grenade. Common practice was to drop concussion grenades all night at irregular times (four or five per hour) to discourage swimmers from timing the interval between drops.

These grenades are usually classed as offensive weapons because the effective casualty radius is smaller than the distance it can be thrown on land. The concussion effect is more lethal than fragmentation, but its power drops more rapidly with range on land as well. The effective range to disable a swimmer under water in a shallow river is about 10-20 meters.

The US MK3A2
MK3A2
The MK3 offensive hand grenade is a concussion grenade designed to produce casualties during close combat while minimizing danger to friendly personnel. The grenade is also used for concussion effects in enclosed areas, for blasting, or for demolition tasks...

 concussion grenade is filled with TNT and has a body made of tarred cardboard. It came with a "spoon" on the top—a spring-loaded arming device that was activated by pulling a ring on a cotter pin that held the spoon to the grenade's side. Once the pin was removed, the thrower had to keep the spoon in place by holding it against the grenade. Once the spoon was released, the spring flipped it away from the grenade and a timed fuse chemical reaction started that would usually set the grenade off within four seconds. Holding the grenade to the count of two might be an advantage over tossing it overboard immediately into shallow water. If the concussion grenade sank to the bottom and penetrated into the mud, it was less effective than detonating at the depth that an enemy sapper would be swimming.

The term concussion is often erroneously applied to stun grenades. This is not descriptive of the effects caused by the grenade. The term concussion is used because the grenade relies on its explosive power to create casualties. The Mk 40 is a TNT filled concussion grenade specifically for use against enemy divers and frogmen. The grenade is designed to be employed essentially as an anti-personnel depth charge
Depth charge
A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon intended to destroy or cripple a target submarine by the shock of exploding near it. Most use explosives and a fuze set to go off at a preselected depth in the ocean. Depth charges can be dropped by either surface ships, patrol aircraft, or from...

, killing or otherwise incapacitating the target by creating a lethal shockwave underwater, similar to that of a full-size depth charge.

Anti-tank


{{Very long|section|date=January 2011}}
{{Main|Anti-tank grenade}}

The first anti-tank grenades were improvised devices. The Germans were the first during World War I to come up with an improvised anti-tank grenade, taking their "potato masher
Model 24 grenade
The Model 24 Stielhandgranate was the standard hand grenade of the German Army from the end of World War I until the end of World War II. The very distinctive appearance led to its being called a "stick grenade", or a "potato masher" in British Army slang, and is today one of the most easily...

" and taping two to three more of the explosive heads without the handle to create one complete grenade. In combat, after arming, the grenade was lobbed on top of the vehicle where the armor was thin.

During World War II, various nations made improvised anti-tank grenades by putting a number of defensive high explosive grenades into a sandbag. Due to their weight, these were normally thrown from very close range or directly placed in vulnerable spots onto an enemy vehicle.{{Citation needed|date=January 2011}} Another method used by the British Home Guard in 1940 was to place a high explosive in a thick sock and cover the lower part with axle grease and then place the grease covered part in a suitable size tin can. The anti-tank sock was pulled out, the fuse lit and the sock thrown against the side of the vehicle where it would adhere until the explosion. It caused internal spalling
Spall
Spall are flakes of a material that are broken off a larger solid body and can be produced by a variety of mechanisms, including as a result of projectile impact, corrosion, weathering, cavitation, or excessive rolling pressure...

 of the armor plate, killing or injuring the tank crew inside. By late 1940, the British had brought into production a purpose-built adhesive anti-tank grenade - known as the sticky bomb
Sticky bomb
The Grenade, Hand, Anti-Tank No. 74, commonly known as the sticky bomb, was a British hand grenade designed and produced during the Second World War. The grenade was one of a number of anti-tank weapons developed for use by the British Army and Home Guard as an ad hoc solution to a lack of...

.

During World War II, when tanks overran entrenchments, hand grenades could be and were used by infantry as improvised anti-tank mine
Anti-tank mine
An anti-tank mine, , is a type of land mine designed to damage or destroy vehicles including tanks and armored fighting vehicles....

s by placing or throwing them in the path of a tank in the hope of disabling a track. While this method was used in desperation, it usually proved more dangerous to the soldier on the ground than to the crew of the tank.

Purpose-designed anti-tank grenades invariably use the shaped charge
Shaped charge
A shaped charge is an explosive charge shaped to focus the effect of the explosive's energy. Various types are used to cut and form metal, to initiate nuclear weapons, to penetrate armor, and in the oil and gas industry...

 principle to penetrate tank armor. In military terminology, warheads employing shape charges are called high explosive anti-tank (HEAT
Heat
In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact or thermal radiation when the systems are at different temperatures. It is often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between...

) warheads. Because of the way shaped charges function, the grenade must hit the vehicle at an exact right angle for the effect to work most efficiently. The grenade facilitates this by deploying a small drogue parachute
Drogue parachute
A drogue parachute is a parachute designed to be deployed from a rapidly moving object in order to slow the object, or to provide control and stability, or as a pilot parachute to deploy a larger parachute...

 or fabric streamer
Streamer
Streamer or streamers may refer to:* Pennon, a small pointed flag* Campaign streamer, flag used by military units* Paper streamer* Positive streamer, lightning bolt* Streamer moth, the geometer moth Anticlea derivata...

s after being thrown.

Britain developed the No 74 ST Grenade, popularly known as a sticky bomb, in which the main charge was held in a sphere covered in adhesive. In anticipation of a German invasion, the British Army asked for ideas for a simple, easy to use, ready for production and cheap close-in antitank weapon. The ST Grenade was a government sponsored initiative, by {{nowrap|MIR(c)
MD1
Ministry of Defence 1 , also known as "Churchill's Toyshop" was a British weapon research and development organisation of the Second World War....

}}, a group tasked with developing weapons for use in German and Italian occupied territory, and they placed the ST Grenade into mass production at Churchill's insistence, but seeing how it was operated, the British Army rejected it for the Home Guard much less their regular forces. The No 74 Grenade was later issued to troops as an emergency stop-gap measure against Italian tanks in North Africa, where it proved—to the surprise of many—highly effective. Later in the war, French partisans
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 used the No 74 effectively in sabotage work against German installations.

Shortly after the German invasion
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 of Russia in 1941, the Germans introduced the Panzerwurfmine(L), a HEAT grenade that could destroy even the heaviest tanks. The grenade was tossed overhand to land atop the tank. After release by the thrower, spring-out canvas fins stabilized it during its short flight. The Panzerwurfmine(L) was lethal, and inexpensive to manufacture, but required considerable skill to throw accurately and was issued only to specially trained infantry tank-killer teams. It did not take long after the Russians captured the German Panzerwurfmine(L) to come out with their own HEAT grenade. In 1940, they developed a crude anti-tank grenade that used the simple blast effect of a large high explosive charge, designated RPG-40
RPG-40
The RPG-40 was an anti-tank hand grenade developed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Its anti-tank capability came from blast effect produced by the detonation upon contact of 760 grams of explosive contained in it. This effect enabled about 20 mm of armour to be penetrated, and secondary damage,...

, which was stabilized in flight by a ribbon released after it was thrown. The RPG-43
RPG-43
The RPG-43 was a high explosive anti-tank hand grenade used by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. It entered service in 1943, replacing the earlier model RPG-40. The RPG-43 used a shaped charge HEAT warhead, whereas the RPG-40 used the simpler HE warhead...

 of 1943 was a modified RPG-40 with a cone liner and a large number of fabric ribbons for flight stabilization after release. In the last year of the war, they introduced the RPG-6
RPG-6
The RPG-6 was a Soviet anti-tank hand-grenade operating on the shaped charge principle, developed during World War II...

, a total redesign of the RPG-43 with an improved kite-tail drogue in the handle and a standoff for the HEAT warhead, drastically increasing both accuracy and penetration causing catastrophic damage to any tank if it impacted the top. The Russian RPG-43 and RPG-6 were far simpler to use in combat than the German Panzerwurfmine(L)and did not require extensive training.

After the end of World War II, many eastern European nations engineered their own versions of the RPG-6, such as the East German AZ-58-K-100. These were manufactured in the tens of thousands and given to 'armies of national liberation', seeing combat worldwide, including with the Egyptian Army
Egyptian Army
The Egyptian Army is the largest service branch within the Egyptian Armed Forces and holds power in the current Egyptian government. It is estimated to number around 379,000, in addition to 479,000 reservists for a total of 858,000 strong. The modern army was created in the 1820s, and during the...

 during 1967 and 1973.Denis H.R. Archer "Jane's Infantry Weapons" page 464-465

In the final two years of World War II, the Japanese developed a crude HEAT hand grenade. The grenade had a simple 100 mm diameter cone HEAT warhead with a simple "all the way" fuse system in the base. It had what looked like the end of a mop head on the tail end of the warhead. A soldier would remove the anti-tank grenade from its sack, pull the pin, and throw it gripping the mop-head as the handle. This was dangerous, as there was no arming safety after release. Penetration was reported only around 50mm.{{Citation needed|date=January 2011}}

In the late 1970s, the U.S. Army was worried about the lack of emergency anti-tank weapons for issue to its rear area units, to counter isolated enemy armored vehicles infiltrating or being air dropped. When the US Army asked for ideas, engineers at the U.S. Army laboratories suggested designing a derivative of the East German AZ-58-K-100 HEAT antitank grenade. This concept was called "HAG" for High-explosive Anti-armor Grenade. While the civilian engineers working for the US Army thought it was a great idea, it was rejected out of hand by almost all senior US Army officers who had in the past commanded troops in the field as being more dangerous to the troops who used them than the enemy vehicles that would be targeted, so, the idea was shelved by 1985.

The most widely-distributed anti-tank grenades today are the Cold War era Russian designs of the 1950s and 1960s, mainly the RKG-3
RKG-3 anti-tank grenade
RKG-3 is the designation of Russian series of anti-tank hand grenades. It superseded the RPG-43, RPG-40 and RPG-6 series of grenades.-Design:RKG stands for Ruchnaya Kumulyativnaya Granata . When the pin is pulled and the grenade is thrown a four-panelled drogue parachute is deployed by a spring...

.

Due to improvements in modern tank armor, anti-tank hand grenades are generally considered obsolete. However, in the recent Iraq War, the RKG-3 made a reappearance with Iraqi insurgents who use them primarily against U.S. light vehicles. This has led the U.S. to apply additional armor.

China



In China during the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 (960–1279AD), weapons known as Zhen Tian Lei
Zhen Tian Lei
Zhen Tian Lei is an early type of hand grenade developed in 10th century China. Its shell was made of cast iron and filled with gunpowder. The length of the fuse could be adjusted according to the intended throwing distance....

 were created when Chinese soldiers packed gunpowder
Gunpowder
Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

 into ceramic or metal containers. In 1044, a military book Wujing Zongyao
Wujing Zongyao
The Wujing Zongyao was a Chinese military compendium written in 1044 AD, during the Northern Song Dynasty. Its authors were the prominent scholars Zeng Gongliang , Ding Du , and Yang Weide , whose writing influenced many later Chinese military writers. The book covered a wide range of subjects,...

("Compilation of Military Classics") described various gunpowder recipes in which one can find, according to Joseph Needham
Joseph Needham
Noel Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham, CH, FRS, FBA , also known as Li Yuese , was a British scientist, historian and sinologist known for his scientific research and writing on the history of Chinese science. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1941, and as a fellow of the British...

, the prototype of the modern hand grenade.

The first cast iron
Cast iron
Cast iron is derived from pig iron, and while it usually refers to gray iron, it also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys which solidify with a eutectic. The color of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due...

 bombshells and grenades did not appear in Europe until 1467. Within a couple centuries of this, the Chinese had discovered the explosive potential of packing hollowed cannonball shells with gunpowder. Written later by Jiao Yu
Jiao Yu
Jiao Yu was a Chinese military officer loyal to Zhu Yuanzhang , the founder of the Ming Dynasty . He was entrusted by Emperor Hongwu as a leading artillery officer for the rebel army that overthrew the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, and established the Ming Dynasty...

 (焦玉) in the mid 14th century book of the Huolongjing
Huolongjing
The Huolongjing is a 14th century military treatise that was compiled and edited by Jiao Yu and Liu Ji of the early Ming Dynasty in China...

 (火龙经, "Fire Drake Manual")
, this manuscript recorded an earlier Song-era cast iron cannon known as the "flying-cloud thunderclap cannon" (飞云霹雳炮; feiyun pili pao). The manuscript stated that (Needham's modified Wade-Giles
Wade-Giles
Wade–Giles , sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a romanization system for the Mandarin Chinese language. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Wade during the mid-19th century , and was given completed form with Herbert Giles' Chinese–English dictionary of 1892.Wade–Giles was the most...

 spelling):

{{quote|The shells (pào) are made of cast iron, as large as a bowl and shaped like a ball. Inside they contain half a pound of 'divine fire' (shén huǒ, gunpowder). They are sent flying towards the enemy camp from an eruptor (mu pào); and when they get there a sound like a thunder-clap is heard, and flashes of light appear. If ten of these shells are fired successfully into the enemy camp, the whole place will be set ablaze...|}}
This text of the Huolongjing was also important for the understanding of the Chinese hand grenade in the 14th century, as it provided much more detailed descriptions and even printed illustrations of the grenade bombs used.

Europe


In 1643, it is possible that "Grenados" were thrown amongst the Welsh at Holt Bridge during the English Civil War. The word "grenade" originated in the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

 (1688), where cricket ball-sized iron spheres packed with gunpowder and fitted with slow-burning wicks were first used against the Jacobites
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 in the battles of Killiecrankie
Battle of Killiecrankie
-References:*Reid, Stuart, The Battle of Kiellliecrankkie -External links:* *...

 and Glen Shiel
Battle of Glen Shiel
The Battle of Glen Shiel was a battle in Glen Shiel, in the West Highlands of Scotland on 10 June 1719, between British government troops and an alliance of Jacobites and Spaniards, resulting in a victory for the government forces. It was the last close engagement of British and foreign troops on...

. These grenades were not very effective (probably because a direct hit would be necessary for the grenade to have effect) and, as a result, saw little use.


However, trench warfare
Trench warfare
Trench warfare is a form of occupied fighting lines, consisting largely of trenches, in which troops are largely immune to the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery...

 favored the grenade. In a letter to his sister, Colonel Hugh Robert Hibbert, described an improvised grenade employed during the Crimea War (1854–1856):

{{quote|We have a new invention to annoy our friends in their pits. It consists in filling empty soda water bottles full of powder, old twisted nails and any other sharp or cutting thing we can find at the time, sticking a bit of tow in for a fuse then lighting it and throwing it quickly into our neighbours pit where it bursts, to their great annoyance. You may imagine their rage at seeing a soda water bottle come tumbling into a hole full of men with a little fuse burning away as proud as a real shell exploding and burying itself into soft parts of the flesh.{{cite web
|title=The National Archives, records of the UK government
|work=Letters of Hibbert, Hugh Robert, 1828-1895, Colonel, ref. DHB/57 - date: 14 June 1855
|url=http://www.a2a.org.uk/search/records.asp?cat=017-dhb&cid=3-1-3#3-1-3
|accessdate=2006-08-09
}}

American Civil War


In the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, both sides used hand grenades equipped with a plunger that detonated the device upon impact. The North relied on experimental Ketchum Grenade
Ketchum Grenade
The Ketchum Hand Grenade was a grenade used in the American Civil War. It was patented on August 20, 1861 by William F. Ketchum, and was partially adopted in the Union Army...

s, with a tail to ensure the nose would strike the target and start the fuse. The Confederacy used spherical hand grenades that weighed about six pounds, sometimes with a paper fuse. They also used Rains and Adams grenades, which were similar to the Ketchum in appearance and mechanism.

1900s


One of the first widely used percussion hand grenades was designed about 1903 by a colonel of the Serbian army, Miloš Vasić. In 1912, Colonel Vasić further redesigned his hand grenade into "Vasić" M.12 model. They were adopted by the Serbian army in 1912, just in time to be used in the 1st and 2nd Balkan War (1912–1913) and extensively used by Serbian infantry in World War I.{{cite web
|url=http://www.zastava-arms.co.rs/english/zastava.htm
|title=Istorijat |publisher=Zastava-arms.co.yu |date= |accessdate=2008-12-26
}} {{Dead link|date=October 2010|bot=H3llBot}}
That grenade was popular under name of "Vasićka" (by its designers name), or "Kragujevka" (by its place of manufacture, the military-technical works in Kragujevac, Serbia). The Vasić design was further developed into a series of new hand grenades that lasted until far after the end of World War II.{{cite web
|author=LEXPEV |url=http://www.lexpev.nl/grenades/sovietbalkan/yugoslavia/index.html |title=Yugoslavian hand- and riflegrenades |publisher=Lexpev.nl |date= |accessdate=2008-12-26 |archiveurl = http://web.archive.org/web/20080804042526/http://www.lexpev.nl/grenades/sovietbalkan/yugoslavia/index.html |archivedate = 2008-08-04
}}


The most infamous employment of the "Vasić" hand grenade occurred not long before the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo, by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group of six Bosnian Serb assassins coordinated by Danilo Ilić...

 in Sarajevo in 1914, when a conspirator threw one at the Archduke's car. The grenade bounced off and exploded under a following vehicle, wounding about 20 people. Franz Ferdinand and his wife were shot to death by another conspirator later that day. Austro-Hungarian authorities confiscated a couple of "Vasić" grenades from would-be assassins, using them to support accusations that Serbia was a participant in the murderous plot—the act that led to the outbreak of WWI.{{Citation needed|date=December 2009}}

World War I



Early in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, both sides only had small grenades of a pre-war design. For example, in Italy, the Besozzi grenade had a five-second fuse with a match-tip that was ignited by striking on a ring on the soldier's hand. As an interim measure, the troops often improvised their own, such as the Jam Tin Grenade
Jam Tin Grenade
The Double Cylinder, No 8 and No 9 hand grenades, also known as the "Jam Tin", were early designs used by the British Army in World War I.The Double Cylinder was one of the many grenades designed for British use in the early part of the First World War in response to the failings of the No 1...

. These were replaced when manufactured versions such as the Mills bomb
Mills bomb
Mills bomb is the popular name for a series of prominent British hand grenades. They were the first modern fragmentation grenades in the world.-Overview:...

, the first modern fragmentation grenade, became available to British front-line troops.

Mills bomb
{{Main|Mills bomb}}

The Mills bomb was developed at the Mills Munitions Factory in Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, England and was described as the first "safe grenade." Approximately 75,000,000 grenades were made during World War I. They were explosive-filled steel canisters with a triggering pin and a distinctive deeply notched surface. This segmentation was thought to aid fragmentation
Fragmentation (weaponry)
Fragmentation is the process by which the casing of an artillery shell, bomb, grenade, etc. is shattered by the detonating high explosive filling. The correct technical terminology for these casing pieces is fragments , although shards or splinters can be used for non-preformed fragments...

 and increase the grenade's deadliness. Later research showed that the segmentation did not improve fragmentation. Improved-fragmentation designs would later be made with the notches on the inside, but at the time, this would have been too expensive to produce. The external segmentation of the original Mills bomb was retained, since it did provide a positive grip surface. This basic "pin-and-pineapple" design is still used in some modern grenades. On the other hand, the U.S. M67
M67 grenade
The M67 grenade is a fragmentation hand grenade used by the United States Military and Canadian Forces, where it is referred to as the C13. The M67 is a replacement for the M61 grenade used during Vietnam and the older Mk 2 "pineapple" grenade used since World War II.-Composition:The M67 Grenade...

 fragmentation grenade has a smooth exterior, which is more suitable for being rolled or for throwing in a flat arc.

George Orwell in Homage to CataloniaPub. 1952; cf. Chap VII used the word “bomb” to denote hand grenades used during 1936-37 trench warfare when he was a militia soldier in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

. He noted their similarity to the "Mills bomb" [see above]. Only once did he use the word “hand-grenade", describing street fighting in Barcelona, May 1937: {{quote|“The din was so loud that I made sure someone must be firing at us with a field gun. Actually it was only hand-grenades, which made double their usual noise when they burst among stone buildings.”}}

Parallel to the Mills bomb and its similar counterparts, the Germans issued the "stick hand grenade" (Stielhandgranate Modell 24
Model 24 grenade
The Model 24 Stielhandgranate was the standard hand grenade of the German Army from the end of World War I until the end of World War II. The very distinctive appearance led to its being called a "stick grenade", or a "potato masher" in British Army slang, and is today one of the most easily...

), which featured an explosive charge encased in a metal can and mounted on a wooden shaft for throwing. This simple design continued to evolve throughout the First and Second World Wars, with the Model 24 grenade (popularly known as the "potato masher") becoming one of the most easily recognized of all small arms, and synonymous with the German soldier.

Design


{{double image|right|Schema Grenade-en.svg|200|IDET2007-grenades-cutaway-detail.jpg|200|Hand grenade fuse system|Modern Israeli grenade cutaway. Note the lack of ball-bearing and explosive filler in the practice grenade (right).}}
Most grenades explode, projecting shrapnel
Fragmentation (weaponry)
Fragmentation is the process by which the casing of an artillery shell, bomb, grenade, etc. is shattered by the detonating high explosive filling. The correct technical terminology for these casing pieces is fragments , although shards or splinters can be used for non-preformed fragments...

, i.e., pieces of the casing, serrated
Serration
Serration generally refers to a saw-like appearance or a row of sharp or tooth-like projections. A serrated cutting edge has many small points of contact with the material being cut. By having less contact area than a smooth blade or other edge, the applied force at each point of contact is...

 wire, or an incendiary
Incendiary device
Incendiary weapons, incendiary devices or incendiary bombs are bombs designed to start fires or destroy sensitive equipment using materials such as napalm, thermite, chlorine trifluoride, or white phosphorus....

 material. Some, such as smoke grenades, merely burn, releasing smoke for masking, marking, or signaling. CS
CS gas
2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is the defining component of a "tear gas" commonly referred to as CS gas, which is used as a riot control agent...

 riot grenades function the same way. Grenades contain an explosive or chemical filler and have a small opening for a fuse
Fuse (explosives)
In an explosive, pyrotechnic device or military munition, a fuse is the part of the device that initiates function. In common usage, the word fuse is used indiscriminately...

. In modern hand grenades, the fuse is lit by an internal device rather than an external flame.

Hand grenades have five characteristics:
  • Short range
  • Small effective kill radius, roughly 8 meters
  • Large effective casualty radius, roughly 15 meters
  • Delay element that permits safe throwing
  • Hard shell that lets them ricochet
    Ricochet
    A ricochet is a rebound, bounce or skip off a surface, particularly in the case of a projectile. The possibility of ricochet is one of the reasons for the common firearms safety rule "Never shoot at a flat, hard surface."-Variables:...

     off hard surfaces, like walls, before detonating


Hand grenades have:
  • A body that contains the filler
  • A filler, the chemical or explosive for fragmentation
  • A fuse that ignites or detonates the grenade

Detonation mechanism


Percussion
A percussion grenade detonates upon impact with the target. Classic examples of percussion grenades are the British Gammon bomb
Gammon bomb
The Gammon bomb, officially known as the No. 82 grenade was a British hand grenade used during World War II.-Overview:Designed by Capt. R.S. Gammon MC of the 1st Parachute Regiment, the Gammon bomb was developed as a replacement for the temperamental and highly dangerous "sticky bomb" grenade...

 and No 69 grenade. Some percussion grenades have a conventional pyrotechnic fuse fitted as a backup detonation device.

Timed fuse
In a timed fuse grenade, the fuse is ignited upon release of the safety lever. Timed fuse grenades are generally preferred to hand-thrown percussion grenades because their fuzing mechanisms are safer and more robust than those used in percussion grenades.

Manufacturing


Modern manufacturers of hand grenades include:
  • Diehl
    Diehl BGT Defence
    Diehl BGT Defence GmbH & Ko KG is a German arms manufacturer and a subsidiary of the Diehl Stiftung GmbH with headquarters in Überlingen. Diehl BGT Defence produces mainly missiles and ammunition....

     (Germany)
  • Mecar (Belgium)
  • Rheinmetall
    Rheinmetall
    Rheinmetall AG is a German automotive and defence company with factories in Düsseldorf, Kassel and Unterlüß. The company has a long tradition of making guns and artillery pieces...

     (Germany, formerly Arges, Austria)
  • Ruag
    RUAG
    RUAG is a Swiss technology company, with its headquarters in Bern. It has production sites in Switzerland , Germany , Sweden , Hungary and Austria .-Structure:The RUAG has following subsidiaries:*RUAG Aerospace RUAG is a Swiss technology company, with its headquarters in Bern. It has production...

     (Switzerland)

Using grenades


{{multiple image
|align= right
|width= 150
|image1= Throwing a Grenade.jpg
|width1=
|caption1= 1944: An American soldier throwing a live "pineapple" hand grenade at the training range of Fort Belvoir
Fort Belvoir
Fort Belvoir is a United States Army installation and a census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. Originally, it was the site of the Belvoir plantation. Today, Fort Belvoir is home to a number of important United States military organizations...


|image2= Grenade training with dummy.jpg
|width2=
|caption2= 2005: U.S. Army grenade training during initial entry training includes throwing both dummy and live hand grenades, range instructor at right observes an M67 grenade
M67 grenade
The M67 grenade is a fragmentation hand grenade used by the United States Military and Canadian Forces, where it is referred to as the C13. The M67 is a replacement for the M61 grenade used during Vietnam and the older Mk 2 "pineapple" grenade used since World War II.-Composition:The M67 Grenade...

 in flight. The Grenade as well as the safety lever can be seen}}

A classic hand grenade has a safety handle or lever (known colloquially as the spoon, due to its size and shape) and a removable safety pin that prevents the handle from being released. Some grenade types also have a safety clip to further prevent the handle from coming off in transit.

To use a grenade, the soldier grips it with the throwing hand, ensuring that his thumb holds the safety lever in place. This is called the death grip, because releasing the lever could (and probably would) make the grenade detonate, killing the thrower. Left-handed soldiers are advised to invert the grenade, so the thumb is still the digit that holds the safety lever. The soldier then grabs the safety pin's pull ring with the index or middle finger of the other hand and removes it with a pulling and twisting motion. He then throws the grenade towards the target. An over-arm throw is recommended but may not be suitable for every combat situation. Soldiers are trained to throw grenades in standing, prone-to-standing, kneeling, prone-to-kneeling, and alternate prone positions and in under- or side-arm throws. If the grenade is thrown from a standing position the thrower must then immediately seek cover or lie prone if no cover is nearby.

Once the soldier throws the grenade, the safety lever releases, the striker throws the safety lever away from the grenade body as it rotates to detonate the primer. The primer explodes and ignites the fuse (sometimes called the delay element). The fuse burns down to the detonator, which explodes the main charge.

When using an antipersonnel grenade, the objective is to have the grenade explode so that the target is within its effective radius. For the M67 fragmentation grenade used by several NATO nations, the effective kill zone has a five meter radius, while the casualty-inducing radius is approximately fifteen meters.United States Army Field Manual 3-23.30, Grenades and Pyrotechnic Signals (2005 revision), page 1-6 Fragments can fly as far as 230 meters. Usually people in a 15 meter radius are injured enough to effectively render them harmless.

Cooking off
Cooking off
Cooking off refers to ammunition exploding prematurely due to heat in the surrounding environment. It can also refer to a technique used when throwing grenades to achieve a controlled, predictable explosion....

is a term referring to intentionally holding onto an armed grenade after the pin has been pulled and the handle released; allowing the fuse to burn partially to decrease the time to detonation after throwing. This technique is used to reduce the ability of the enemy to take cover or throw the grenade back. It is also used to allow the grenade to burst in the air over defensive positions. This technique is inherently dangerous, since fuses may vary from grenade to grenade. Because of this the U.S. Marines (MCWP 3-35) describe cooking-off as the "least preferred technique," recommending a "hard throw, skip/bounce technique" to prevent an enemy returning a grenade.

A call is usually given upon deploying a grenade, to warn friendly forces. Some yells, such as frag out or fire in the hole
Fire in the hole
"Fire in the hole" is a warning used in English-speaking countries to indicate that an explosive detonation in a confined space is imminent. It originated with miners, who needed to warn their fellows that a charge had been set....

, signal that a grenade has been deployed. In any instance the purpose is to warn fellow soldiers to take cover. In the U.S. Military, when a grenade is dropped into an enclosed space like a tunnel, room, or trench, the person dropping the grenade yells fire in the hole to warn that an explosion is about to occur. Standard U.S. military procedure includes calling frag out to indicate that a fragmentation grenade has been deployed. Yelling the word "Grenade!" is used to warn others to seek cover from an enemy grenade that has landed in the immediate vicinity.

Grenades are often used in the field to construct booby trap
Booby trap
A booby trap is a device designed to harm or surprise a person, unknowingly triggered by the presence or actions of the victim. As the word trap implies, they often have some form of bait designed to lure the victim towards it. However, in other cases the device is placed on busy roads or is...

s, using some action of the intended target (such as opening a door, or starting a car) to trigger the grenade. These grenade-based booby traps are simple to construct in the field using readily available materials. The most basic technique involves wedging a grenade in a tight spot so the safety lever does not leave the grenade when the pin is pulled. A string is then tied from the head assembly to another stationary object. When a soldier steps on the string, the grenade is pulled out of the narrow passageway, the safety lever is released, and the grenade detonates.

Abandoned booby traps and discarded grenades contribute to the problem of unexploded ordnance
Unexploded ordnance
Unexploded ordnance are explosive weapons that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were used or discarded.While "UXO" is widely and informally used, munitions and explosives of...

. The use of trip wire-triggered grenades (along with land mine
Land mine
A land mine is usually a weight-triggered explosive device which is intended to damage a target—either human or inanimate—by means of a blast and/or fragment impact....

s in general) is banned under the Ottawa Treaty
Ottawa Treaty
The Ottawa Treaty or the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, officially known as the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, aims at eliminating anti-personnel landmines around the world. , there were 158...

 and may be treated as a war crime wherever it is ratified. India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 have not signed the treaty despite international pressure, citing self-defense needs.

Grenades have also been made to release smoke
Smoke
Smoke is a collection of airborne solid and liquid particulates and gases emitted when a material undergoes combustion or pyrolysis, together with the quantity of air that is entrained or otherwise mixed into the mass. It is commonly an unwanted by-product of fires , but may also be used for pest...

, tear gas and other gases, as well as illumination. Special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

 often use stun grenades to disorient people during entry into a room.

Some grenades are designed to be thrown longer distances. The German "potato-masher" grenade
Model 24 grenade
The Model 24 Stielhandgranate was the standard hand grenade of the German Army from the end of World War I until the end of World War II. The very distinctive appearance led to its being called a "stick grenade", or a "potato masher" in British Army slang, and is today one of the most easily...

 had a long wooden handle that extended its range by fifty percent.{{Citation needed|date=September 2007}} The potato-masher was fired by a friction igniter in the head, activated by a pull string threaded through the hollow handle. Immediately before throwing the grenade, the soldier pulled a small porcelain ball at the end of a string attached to the friction igniter. This started the time fuse, which fired the detonator after a delay. The potato-masher is often incorrectly thought to have had an impact fuse. It did not, but the superficially similar British stick grenade design of 1908 did.

Stun



{{Main|Stun grenade}}
A stun grenade, also known as a flash grenade or a flashbang, is a non-lethal weapon. The first devices like this were created in the 1960s at the order of the British Special Air Service
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

 as an incapacitant.

These grenades are designed to temporarily neutralize the combat effectiveness of enemies by disorienting their senses.
The flash of light momentarily activates all light sensitive cells in the eye, making vision impossible for approximately five seconds until the eye restores itself to its normal, unstimulated state. The extremely loud blast produced by the grenade adds to its incapacitating properties by disturbing the fluid in the ear.


When detonated
Detonation
Detonation involves a supersonic exothermic front accelerating through a medium that eventually drives a shock front propagating directly in front of it. Detonations are observed in both conventional solid and liquid explosives, as well as in reactive gases...

, the fuse/grenade body assembly remains intact. The body is a tube with holes along the sides that emit the light and sound of the explosion. The explosion does not cause shrapnel injury, but can still burn. The concussive blast of the detonation can injure and the heat created can ignite flammable materials such as fuel. The fires that occurred during the Iranian Embassy Siege
Iranian Embassy Siege
The Iranian Embassy siege took place from 30 April to 5 May 1980, after a group of six armed men stormed the Iranian embassy in South Kensington, London. The gunmen took 26 people hostage—mostly embassy staff, but several visitors and a police officer, who had been guarding the embassy, were also...

 in London were caused by stun grenades. The filler consists of about 4.5 grams of a pyrotechnic metal-oxidant mix of magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

 or aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 and an oxidizer such as ammonium perchlorate
Ammonium perchlorate
Ammonium perchlorate is an inorganic compound with the formula NH4ClO4. It is the salt of perchloric acid and ammonia. It is a powerful oxidizer, which is why its main use is in solid propellants...

 or potassium perchlorate
Potassium perchlorate
Potassium perchlorate is the inorganic salt with the chemical formula KClO4. Like other perchlorates, this salt is a strong oxidizer and potentially reacts with many organic substances...

.

Sting


{{Original research|section|date=January 2009}}
Sting grenades (also called rubber ball grenades or hornet's nest grenades) are based on the design of the fragmentation grenade. But instead of using a metal casing to produce shrapnel, they are made from two spheres of hard rubber. The smaller, inner sphere houses the explosive charge, primer, and detonator, and the outer sphere is the grenade casing. The space between the two spheres is filled with many small, hard rubber balls. Upon detonation the rubber balls explode outward in all directions, each one packing a sting. The balls bounce off hard surfaces so can appear to come from all sides, and can thus be likened to a swarm of hornets. Any people in the way will receive a series of fast, painful stings. The subject is forced to take cover from the blunt force of the projectiles. Some types have an additional payload of chemical agents like CS gas.

The advantages compared to a flashbang are:
  • The subject does not need to be looking at the grenade for it to take full effect in outdoor areas.
  • Sting grenades are much more likely to cause a subject to either fall or lower themselves in pain, thus providing good sight lines to unaffected targets in the area.


This makes sting grenades ideal for containing small groups of rowdy prisoners, providing a shooting opportunity when a suspect is hiding behind cover, or in allowing SWAT
SWAT
A SWAT team is an elite tactical unit in various national law enforcement departments. They are trained to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities of regular officers...

 teams to clear small rooms.

A disadvantage of using sting grenades is that they are not sure to incapacitate a subject, so they are dangerous to use with armed subjects. This is because sting grenades rely on the body's reaction to adverse stimuli (pain and blunt force trauma) rather than denial of sensory input. A person with sufficient mental focus can concentrate enough to ignore being hit by a sting grenade's payload, whereas a stun grenade will physically affect vision and sense of orientation. The effective range of a sting grenade is limited compared to a stun grenade. In addition, there is the risk of serious physical injury as the target is being pelted with actual objects capable of inflicting harm, and not just being deafened/blinded.{{Clarification needed|date=June 2011|Can one add "temporarily", here?}}

Sting grenades are sometimes called "stinger grenades," which is a genericized trademark
Genericized trademark
A genericized trademark is a trademark or brand name that has become the colloquial or generic description for, or synonymous with, a general class of product or service, rather than as an indicator of source or affiliation as intended by the trademark's holder...

 as "Stinger" is trademarked by Defense Technology
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 for its own line of sting grenades.

Impact stun


A more recent development is the blank-firing impact grenade (BFIG). Preferred in many situations, especially training, for two main reasons; they are re-usable, and therefore more economical, because the charge is a standard ammunition blank
Blank (cartridge)
A blank is a type of cartridge for a firearm that contains gunpowder but no bullet or shot. When fired, the blank makes a flash and an explosive sound . Blanks are often used for simulation , training, and for signaling...

, and they are subject to very few transport restrictions when unloaded. The BFIG contains a mechanism to fire a blank cartridge when dropped at any angle onto a hard surface from a height of a metre or more. Firing will occur in any combination of positions only on impact.

Grenades as ornamentation



Stylized pictures of early grenades, emitting a flame, are used as ornaments on military uniform
Military uniform
Military uniforms comprises standardised dress worn by members of the armed forces and paramilitaries of various nations. Military dress and military styles have gone through great changes over the centuries from colourful and elaborate to extremely utilitarian...

s, particularly in Britain, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 (esp. French Gendarmerie and the French Army
French Army
The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre , is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces.As of 2010, the army employs 123,100 regulars, 18,350 part-time reservists and 7,700 Legionnaires. All soldiers are professionals, following the suspension of conscription, voted in...

), and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 (Carabinieri
Carabinieri
The Carabinieri is the national gendarmerie of Italy, policing both military and civilian populations, and is a branch of the armed forces.-Early history:...

). Fusilier regiments in the British and Commonwealth tradition (e.g., the Princess Louise Fusiliers, Canadian Army) wear a cap-badge depicting flaming grenade, reflecting their historic use of grenades in the assault. The British Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...

 took their name and cap badge of a burning grenade from repelling an attack of French Grenadiers at Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

. The Spanish artillery arm uses a flaming grenade as its badge. The flag of the Russian Ground Forces
Russian Ground Forces
The Russian Ground Forces are the land forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. The formation of these forces posed economic challenges after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and required reforms to professionalize the force...

 also bears a flaming grenade device. The branch insignia of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps
Ordnance Corps
The United States Army Ordnance Corps is a Sustainment branch of the United States Army, headquartered at Fort Lee, Virginia.-Mission Statement:The U.S...

 also uses this symbol, the grenade being symbolic of explosive ordnance in general. The United States Marine Corps also uses the grenade on their uniforms: the rank insignia for master gunnery sergeant has three chevrons pointing up, with four rockers on the bottom. In the middle of this is a bursting bomb, or grenade. U.S. Navy Aviation Ordnanceman
Aviation Ordnanceman
Aviation Ordnanceman is a United States Navy occupational rating.-Overview:Aviation Ordnancemen operate and handle aviation ordnance equipment. They are responsible for the maintenance of guns, bombs, torpedoes, rockets, and missiles. Their duties include the stowing, issuing, and loading of...

's rating badge features a winged device of similar design. Ukrainian mechanized infantry
Mechanized Infantry (Ukraine)
Mechanized Infantry are the basis of the Ukrainian Ground Forces. They execute tasks of holding the occupied areas, lines and positions tasks of enemy’s impacts repelling, of penetrating enemy’s defense lines, of defeating the enemy forces, of capturing the important areas, lines and objects,...

 and engineers use a flaming grenade in their branch insignia. The Finnish Army
Finnish Army
The Finnish Army is the land forces branch of the Finnish Defence Forces.Today's Army is divided into six branches: the infantry , field artillery, anti-aircraft artillery, engineers, signals, and materiel troops.-History of the Finnish Army:Between 1809 and 1917 Finland was an autonomous part of...

 Corps of Engineers' emblem consists of a stick hand grenade (symbolizing demolition) and a shovel (symbolizing construction) in saltire.

See also

  • Nils Waltersen Aasen
    Nils Waltersen Aasen
    Nils Waltersen Aasen was a Norwegian arms inventor; he is credited with having created the modern hand grenade and land mine just prior to World War I.-Biography:...

    , the creator of the modern hand grenade
  • Rocket-propelled grenade
  • Rifle grenade
    Rifle grenade
    A rifle grenade is a grenade that uses a rifle-based launcher to permit a longer effective range than would be possible if the grenade was thrown by hand...

  • Grenade launcher
    Grenade launcher
    A grenade launcher or grenade discharger is a weapon that launches a grenade with more accuracy, higher velocity, and to greater distances than a soldier could throw it by hand....

  • Satchel charge
    Satchel charge
    thumb|right|250px|Weapons used in [[Winter War]]. The original Finnish satchel charge at left.A satchel charge is a demolition device, primarily intended for combat, whose primary components are a charge of dynamite or a more potent explosive such as C-4 plastic explosive, a carrying device...

  • Technology of the Song Dynasty
    Technology of the Song Dynasty
    The Song Dynasty provided some of the most significant technological advances in Chinese history, many of which came from talented statesmen drafted by the government through imperial examinations....


External links


{{Commons category|Hand grenades}}
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{{DEFAULTSORT:Hand Grenade}}