This is the second model Blendkörper ("Blinding Devices") BK-2H, introduced in 1943 as an anti tank weapon. It consists of a heavy glass bottle with a smaller glass vial nested inside. The dual bottle arrangement kept two chemical solutions separated.
The Blendkörper were thrown against tanks, smashing the glass containers allowing the chemicals to mix, creating a spontaneous volatile reaction producing a dense caustic cloud. Target areas were hatches, air vents or other openings leading to the main crew compartment. The smoking mixture would penetrate to the interior of the tank incapacitating the crew, forcing them to abandon their vehicle.
Despite appearing to be a bizarre weapon, the Blendkörper were rather common in use. Over 5 million BK-2H were produced and practically all were used up by the end of the war.
|The cap-ring and small vial cap are made of Bakelite.
There are three seals, diferent shapes, materials unknown. One each, under the small cap, the large cap-ring and between the vial and the grenade body. These parts apparently have a tendancy to age poorly, and are prone to disintegration. The top seal is a loose fit.
A guess, residual chemical agents contaminated the parts and compromised the material integrity over time?
At any rate, grenade examples are often found missing the seals (top seal especially) and to varying degrees the small cap and cap-ring.
Continue for mechanical specifics and an o-ring substitute for missing seals.
Anti-tank greandes for infantry are in two basic forms; thrown or attached by hand. Of the attaching types, there were adhesive ("sticky bombs") and magnetic types. The family of Hafthohlladung ("Attach Hollow Charge") Grenades represent some of the most powerful hand-attached grenades fielded by any nation during WWII.
The Hafthohlladung 3kg (HHL-3) is shown here. This used a 1.5 kg shaped charge that could penetrate 14cm of armor. The diameter is 15cm and with its three magnets the weapon is 27.5 cm tall with a total loaded weight of 3kg. It used a long delay B.Z. fuze of 7.5 or 10 seconds. The 10 second version is shown here - painted grey.
In a later verison, the grenade was improved to a more effective tapered /conical shape with a slightly larger 1.7kg charge. A total of about 555,000 of all types were produced.
The body is of simple construction and consists of two nested thin steel cones, (the space between held the explosive), mounted on a Bakelite plate.
As with all hollow charge munitions, best performance is achieved when the shaped charge is detonated at a specifc distance from the surface of the armor. The magnets provide that ideal offset and held it secure to the tank.
However the use of anti-magnetic paste coatings, Zimmerit, was an effective protective measure applied to tanks to counter this threat.
An interesting side note - The Japanese copied this design but without magnets. Instead there were several wood dowels which provided the proper spacing, a long pole extended from the closing cap. A pull-lanyard was provided, attached to an instantaneous fuze.
Known as the "Lunge Mine", the soldier was to run up to the tank, place the warhead and while holding it firm detonate the grenade.
Saved iron otherwise used for the magnets I guess.