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British Trench WarFare Department, Percussion Pattern, Hand Grenade No.19

No.19 w/Streamers

The No.19 Hand grenade was developed to supplement the short supply of No.1 and 2 grenades. It was a simplified design intended to be more easily manufactured. It had a simple direct-action impact fuze with a mushroom shaped plunger.
The pink band on this example indicates it was filled with Ammonal explosive.

One unfortunate feature of this grenade when throwing from a confined trench, care had to be given not to strike the back wall when moving the arm back. Once the safety pin is withdrawn only a thin shear wire held the plunger in place. Inadvertently dropping it on its nose would also detonate the grenade.

It is interesting to note the concept of hand genades with impact detonating fuzes was actively pursued by many nations early in WWI. It proved an elusive goal which even to modern times has never been achieved with widespread acceptance.

The last of the cane handle throwing types, the No.19 was in use by late 1915 and probably saw most service in 1916. It was quickly rendered obsolete by more effective grenades.

About 800,000 were manufactured.

Cross Section
Bombs & Hand Grenades, Bertram Smith, circa 1917
No.19 Components