Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Wehrmacht soldiers fight in Poland at the beginning of WWII. Usually they crop out the lug on the left and just have a very dramatic, balanced, diagonal composition--a young soldier, sleeves rolled up, in action with his eyes in the shade of the distinctive helmet and a look of steely determination in the rest of his face. This was for years my favorite photo of the war.

The Model 24 Stielhandgranate "stick grenade" he is throwing was a decent weapon, but, later in the war, they developed the oval shaped grenades like the ones we used, so maybe it was not ideal. There was an anti-personnel metal sleeve (Splitterring) you could slide over the working end that would send out a spray of steel splinters when it exploded. Nasty addition that.


I guess maybe the stick part of the grenade gave them a bit more distance on the throw?
You would think so, kind of like an atlatl helps a spear. The end of the wood had a screw cap which, removed, revealed a string with a ring; pulling that was like striking a match and a 5.5 second fuse started. You could also hang the thing carefully from a fence or any wire; hit the wire hard enough and the grenade dropped with its fuse lit. That seems a little dangerous to me.
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