You’ll probably never throw a hand grenade, but even so you should check out this short explanation of how the grenade works. Grenades are an amazingly effective weapon on the battlefield.
When fighting in the trenches during World War I, soldiers used hand grenades to dispose machine gunners without ever showing themselves to the enemy. Learn what happens when a soldier removes the pin and throws one of these grenades at the enemy.
Hand Grenades – One of the Oldest Weapons
By Joel Baglole
One of the oldest and most reliable combat weapons is the hand grenade.
Origins and History
Hand grenades remain in use today by soldiers around the world. Militaries define hand grenades as any anti-personnel device that explodes on release. Over the years, the U.S. military has used a variety of different hand grenades. The M67 is the current fragmentation or “frag” grenade used by American and Canadian soldiers.
The term “grenade” was coined by the French Army in reference to the weapons shape, which resembles a pomegranate fruit that is also called “grenade” in the French language. In past wars, various armed forces employed soldiers known as “Grenadiers” who specialized in throwing hand grenades at enemy positions.
Hand grenades are one of the oldest weapons in the world – predating the invention of gun powder. The first grenades were used by soldiers in the Byzantine Empire, who threw ceramic jars filled with fire at their enemies. Grenades were also used by soldiers during the American Civil War – though they weighed more than five pounds and were lit with paper fuses.
Modern Grenades – Variety and Efficiency
Today there are a wide variety of hand grenades in use by soldiers. And the grenades serve a variety of different functions. Grenades used in modern warfare are safer, more reliable, and more accurate than in previous incarnations. Below is a list of some of the more common hand grenades and the role they play on the battlefield:
Fragmentation Grenade – An anti-personnel device used to disperse shrapnel when it explodes. Typically, these grenades are comprised of hard plastic or steel. Flechettes or ball bearings often provide the fragments on explosion.
Incendiary Grenade – Similar in appearance to a smoke grenade, this device produces intense heat through a chemical reaction. Incendiary grenades have been known to burn as high as 3,992 degrees Fahrenheit. The extreme heat makes this weapon good for destroying weapons caches and vehicles.
Stun Grenade – Also called a “flash bang,” these grenades are not lethal. Instead, they are used to disorient soldiers and disrupt their ability to fight. Stun grenades were first developed by the British Special Air Force.
Concussion Grenade – One of most deadly grenades, it provides more explosive power than a fragmentation grenade. Classified as an anti-personnel weapon, the concussion grenade contains more explosive filler and is heavier than most other grenades. It is most effective in enclosed areas.
Article Source: About.com
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