||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. Target areas were hatches, air vents or other openings leading to the main crew compartment. The caustic 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.
There apparently are two slightly different style variations that can be found for the BK-2H (click image)
|In both cases the large cap is made of Bakelite. There is a cork type ring
on the smaller glass vial which seals the larger glass bottle when the Bakelite
cap is screwed tight.
In the first variation the smaller cap is made of an ersatz rubber which over the years have dried hard and become brittle, easily breaking. Because of this, original examples of the BK-2H are typically missing that part.
The second variation, which have surfaced in recent years from Europe, have a small cap apparently made of bakelite. It is easily identified by its octagon shape. It is not clear if this is a modern substitute or an original component.
(Can anyone help with documentation on this?)
The cork seal on the small vial is also often missing. In the above photo a modern o-ring provides a convenient replacement part.
|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.