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Mills bomb is the popular name for a series of prominent British hand grenades.
William Mills - a golf club designer from Sunderland - patented, developed and manufactured the 'Mills bomb' at the Mills Munition Factory in Birmingham, England in 1915.
The Mills bomb was adopted by the British Army as its standard hand grenade in 1915, and designated as the No. 5. It was also used by the Irish Republican Army.
The Mills was a classic design; a grooved cast iron 'pineapple' with a central striker held by a close hand lever and secured with a pin.
Although the segmented body helps to create fragments when the grenade explodes, according to Mills' notes, the casing was grooved to make it easier to grip and not as an aid to fragmentation.
The Mills was a defensive grenade: after throwing the user had to take cover immediately.
A competent thrower could manage 30 meters with reasonable accuracy, but the grenade could throw lethal fragments further than this.
It could be fitted with a flat base and fired with a blank cartridge from a rifle with a 'cup' attachment, giving it a range of around 150 m.
The Stielhandgranate (English: "stick hand grenade") 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 it being called a "stick grenade", or "Potato Masher" in British Army slang, and is today one of the most easily recognized infantry weapons of the 20th Century.
The stick grenade was introduced in 1915 and the design developed throughout World War I.
A friction igniter was used - this method was uncommon in other countries but widely used for German grenades.
A pull cord ran down the hollow handle from the detonator within the explosive head, terminating in a porcelain ball held in place by a detachable base closing cap.
To use the grenade, the base cap was unscrewed, permitting the ball and cord to fall out.
Pulling the cord dragged a roughened steel rod through the igniter causing it to flare-up and start the five-second fuse burning.
This allowed the grenade to be hung from fences to prevent them from being climbed; any disturbance to the dangling grenade would cause it to fall and ignite the fuse.
The first stick grenades featured a permanently revealed pull cord which came out from the handle near the bottom (rather than tucked inside the removable screw-capped base).
These exposed pull cords had a tendency to accidentally snag and detonate the grenades while being carried, causing severe (usually fatal) injuries.
Stick grenades were stored in cases for transport, and their fuse assemblies inserted prior to going into combat - a reminder for the user was stenciled on each explosive charge ("VOR GEBRAUCH SPRENGKAPSEL EINSETZEN", in English: "Before use insert detonator").
* From Wikipedia: Mills bomb, Model 24 grenade * (No.5 Mills Bomb and Stielhandgranate 15 Made by: East)
* Medal of Honor: World War I Tentative Official Site: http://www7.atwiki.jp/giretsu/ *
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