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  • Potato mashers vs pineapples

    I was wondering what people thought about the different styles of grenade - specifically which one was the better all round weapon.

    On one hand you have the German stick grenade (potato masher) that was bulky and a fiddle to prime but had a longer throwing distance than other models, and on the other you have a conventional "cricket ball" type grenade (pinapple) that is smaller, easier to ready but has a lesser throwing distance.

    Was one better than the other or did both have a place depending on the style of fighting employed and the terrain they were used in?

    Thoughts?
    Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

    That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

  • #2
    It may well depend on what kind of sports your citizens play. Americans play Baseball, Basketball and Football. American kids thus practice more overhand throwing skills. A German student gets none of this type training growing up. A grenade on a stick might give them an advantage. While a "Potato Masher" can be thrown farther by individuals, I bet the average of throws even out.

    An extra advantage to the Potato Masher type is you can tie more explosive heads to the head. A disadvantage is you have to attach the fragmentation sleeve to the charge.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      Pineapples and oranges, I'm afraid. Mills bomb style ones are fragmentation grenades, normally used for posting. Due to their employment they normally have short Fuse's, around about 1 second. Stick grenades are blast offensive and have a longer fuse (about 7 seconds) for lugging a distance.
      Winnie says
      ---------------------------------
      "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

      It was an Accident."
      Herr Flick.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Listy View Post
        Pineapples and oranges, I'm afraid. Mills bomb style ones are fragmentation grenades, normally used for posting. Due to their employment they normally have short Fuse's, around about 1 second. Stick grenades are blast offensive and have a longer fuse (about 7 seconds) for lugging a distance.
        Pineapples and oranges, heh. I like that. That being the case which is the more useful version (obviously the mills bomb set up won that as the stick grenade is now a memory but why?).

        Was a frag grenade considered a better killer/disabler or was it the bulkiness of the stick grenade that killed it's use?

        Maybe I'm answering my own question but I was watching one of those "evolution of weapons" shows and when I saw the range of the stick vs the ball grenades I really wondered why the stick style has fallen out of use.
        Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

        That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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        • #5
          Germans also had both offensive and defensive hand grenades, of the potato masher and pineapple variety.
          "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rojik View Post
            Pineapples and oranges, heh. I like that. That being the case which is the more useful version (obviously the mills bomb set up won that as the stick grenade is now a memory but why?).

            Was a frag grenade considered a better killer/disabler or was it the bulkiness of the stick grenade that killed it's use?

            Maybe I'm answering my own question but I was watching one of those "evolution of weapons" shows and when I saw the range of the stick vs the ball grenades I really wondered why the stick style has fallen out of use.
            Well I remember seeing an illustration VC long handle grenade.

            As to the reason why you don't see that many Long handle jobs these days. I suspect its down to employment. For putting some HE on a target a distance away, most armies have some form of Rifle related grenade launcher at squad level (some use Rifle Grenades), LAW style weapon or small calibre mortar or the like. That fills the HE at range issue. So the only opening for grenades is the post-it type.


            At least that's my interpretation.
            Winnie says
            ---------------------------------
            "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

            It was an Accident."
            Herr Flick.

            Comment


            • #7
              A guy can cary more of the round variety, that in and of itself makes the choice a clear one for me. I suppose one might be able to get a bit more distance with a stick attatched to the thing, but I don't personally feel that makes up for the extra space they take up. Grenades get used up fast when the circumstances demand their use, and when one comes rolling nearby no one cares if its a frag, concussion, WP, or even smoke for that matter. Nobody really takes time to figure out what type it is, they just want to get the hell away from it. More is better.
              Last edited by llkinak; 13 May 10, 10:07.

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              • #8
                One thing to remember is both kinds were used by the combatants in the First World War. This rolled over into the Second World War, although I don't recall any handle grenades in the American arsenal. When the Sergeant got a box in, you took what he had.

                Pruitt
                Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                • #9
                  An old pal of mine who was a British Para during the Falkland Islands War told me that they taped broken hack saw blades to their grenades to greatly increase their lethality.
                  "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                  • #10
                    If you have guys hiding inside a house or a barn and you throw a potato masher inside everybody inside the building is likely to be killed by the shock wave because the German potato masher was a concussion grenade. This means it had a lot of explosive inside a thin can and it created a tremendous blast with lots of smoke and overpressure. However, a concussion grenade has few, if any useful fragments so outdoors it is most likely to stun rather than kill, unless you practically drop it between somebody's feet, which was very rare in combat conditions because people are not stupid so they will run away from the grenade and seek cover. On the other hand, it was deadly against people hiding in homes and confined spaces.

                    The American pineapple weapon produced a lot of fragments but had a very small explosive charge compared to the potato masher. This means the pineapple was less useful against people inside buildings but could hurt quite a few guys caught running outdoors, even if your aim was pretty bad. However, WWII cast iron grenades fragmented very badly and very unpredictably, with some enemies surviving without a scratch against all odds. This problem was not really solved until the modern ball bearing grenades which produce such a vicious and dense swarm of ball bearings and other pre-fabricated fragments that withing a certain radius your chances of getting hit by at least a few balls are like 100%.

                    Also, when the American pineapple detonated the large base plug, the fuse and other large elements could fly up to a quarter of a mile so this grenade was very dangerous to the thrower and other friendlies.
                    Last edited by MonsterZero; 14 May 10, 02:50.

                    "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
                    --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MonsterZero View Post
                      If you have guys hiding inside a house or a barn and you throw a potato masher inside everybody inside the building is likely to be killed by the shock wave because the German potato masher was a concussion grenade. This means it had a lot of explosive inside a thin can and it created a tremendous blast with lots of smoke and overpressure. However, a concussion grenade has few, if any useful fragments so outdoors it is most likely to stun rather than kill, unless you practically drop it between somebody's feet, which was very rare in combat conditions because people are not stupid so they will run away from the grenade and seek cover. On the other hand, it was deadly against people hiding in homes and confined spaces.

                      The American pineapple weapon produced a lot of fragments but had a very small explosive charge compared to the potato masher. This means the pineapple was less useful against people inside buildings but could hurt quite a few guys caught running outdoors, even if your aim was pretty bad. However, WWII cast iron grenades fragmented very badly and very unpredictably, with some enemies surviving without a scratch against all odds. This problem was not really solved until the modern ball bearing grenades which produce such a vicious and dense swarm of ball bearings and other pre-fabricated fragments that withing a certain radius your chances of getting hit by at least a few balls are like 100%.

                      Also, when the American pineapple detonated the large base plug, the fuse and other large elements could fly up to a quarter of a mile so this grenade was very dangerous to the thrower and other friendlies.
                      So essentially, toss the exploding stick if the SOBs on the other side are hunkered down in some building, and toss the exploding egg if said SOBs are outdoors.
                      Standing here, I realize you were just like me trying to make history.
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                      When our guard is down I think we'll both agree.
                      That violence breeds violence.
                      But in the end it has to be this way.

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                      • #12
                        As far as range of the two

                        In the late 60's in BTC and later for part of the annual PT test the Grenade throw was part of it. 40 meters was the most distant target and iirc one at 25 meter.

                        For the German stick grenade I can only offer this.

                        In the late 70's one of my neighbors had been in the HJ, engaged in combat at 14. During the earlier time the HJ had thier group summer camps, were of course mostly military type drills and training took place, to include a grenade throw. He had a certificate for winning the competition with a toss of 101.5 meters.

                        The German used the same grenade for both offense and defense. They did have a steel sleeve that could be slipped over the standard grenade to increase fragmentation.

                        Regardless, I don't care to be even some what close when either one goes of.
                        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                          Regardless, I don't care to be even some what close when either one goes of.
                          Thanks HPJ.

                          100+ meters is a pretty impressive effort. I guess that Listy answered my question by explaining that Rifle and RPG's took over but I've learnt more than I hoped by starting the thread. Keep 'em coming fellas.
                          Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                          That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Czin View Post
                            So essentially, toss the exploding stick if the SOBs on the other side are hunkered down in some building, and toss the exploding egg if said SOBs are outdoors.
                            I read somewhere that the difference between categorizing a grenade into offensive or defensive is that the defensive grenade's damage radius exceeds the range a person is able to throw it...?
                            Surrender? NutZ!
                            -Varro

                            Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. -Sun Tzu

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Intranetusa View Post
                              I read somewhere that the difference between categorizing a grenade into offensive or defensive is that the defensive grenade's damage radius exceeds the range a person is able to throw it...?
                              I don't know if you are familiar with the role playing game "Paranoia" but you can get a thermo-nuclear hand grenade that has a blast radius further than anyone can throw it.

                              On a serious note: The sleeve of the stick grenade - would it be common for an infantryman to carry such a thing or was it only issued on special occasions?
                              Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                              That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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