WWI - WWII British Grenades & Ordnance
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British Battye Grenade
The 1915 Battye Grenade was introduced in 1915 from an idea by major Battye. It was an improvised greande, introduced when there was no standardised model and there was a desperate requirement to fullfil quotas. The design was a simple cylinder, filled with ammonal explosive and sealed with a wooden plug. Originally fitted with a simple wick fuse and later a percussion fuse. The Battye was manufactured in Bethune France but dropped from service at the end of 1915 and forbidden from usage because of the sheer number of accidents caused.
British No5 Mk1 Mills Bomb
The Mills bomb was adopted by the British Army as its standard hand grenade in 1915. It was designated the No. 5. This example was found near Longueval, well preserved and complete with brass end cap dated 7/16 with No5 mk1 and manufacurer M.M. Co Birmingham.
Sectionalised British No5 Mk1 Mills Bomb
Sectionalised exmaple, painted red on the inside, showing base cap, fuse, pin, ring, lever and sping.
British Rifle Grenade, No.23 MkII.
A variant of standard the No. 5 grenade with a rodded base plug which allowed it to be fired from a rifle. To fire the grenade, the rod would be inserted into the barrel and with the rifles butt placed on the ground and the gun fired with a special blank cartridge. It was eventually replaced with a cup launcher, as the rod would wear out the rifle barrel and also lessen the risk of the grenade exploding before launch.
British No36 Mills Bomb
The No. 36 and 36M, was introduced in 1917 and was a development of the No.5, designed for use in the hot climate of Mesopotamia. It was waterproofed with shellac and replaced the No5 and No23 at the end of WW1. It was the standard issue British grenade during the Second World War.
Stokes Mortar Bomb
Designed in 1915 by F.W.C. Stokes, it was brought immediately into service in France to counter the German minenwerfer. The weapon was ideally suited to trench warfare on account of being able to drop a shell at a very steep angle from the safety of a trench with low recoil. It proved to be a very effective weapon and skilled crews could drop approximately 20 rounds a minute. The Stokes remained in service till 1936. This example is 1917 dated and was found in the vicinity of the Somme.
British 18 Pounder Shell
Introduced in 1904, the British 18 pounder field gun was one of the primary mid-sized artilery pieces of the British army during the First World War. By the close of the war, there were nearing close to 9500 in service. The 18 pounder shells pictured below show the brass components, copper driving band, time & percussion fuse. The first shell fuse is 1915 dated and the case is dated July 1916. The second shell is 1918 dated and shows the shrapnell balls carried by the shell.