TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



2. Rifle Grenades

a. HIGH EXPLOSIVE RIFLE GRENADE (Gewehr Sprenggranate). (1) General description. This is a high explosive grenade which may be either fired from the standard rifle discharger cup (Schiessbecher) or thrown as a hand grenade. The projectile has a steel body containing a bursting charge, a base incorporating a flash pellet and delay train, and a point detonating fuze. The base is rifled to conform with the rifling of the discharger cup and fitted with a screwed-in base plug in which there is a flash hole communicating to a 6 1/2-second delay flash pellet.

(2) Characteristics.

Length over-all   . . . . .   5.5 inches.
Diameter   . . . . .   1.17 inches.
Weight of grenade   . . . . .   9 ounces.
Weight of bursting charge   . . . . .   1.1 ounces.
Type of bursting charge   . . . . .   Penthrite-Wax.
Detonator   . . . . .   Similar to No. 8 but slightly larger and perforated.
Maximum range   . . . . .   265 yards.

(3) Operation. (a) As rifle grenade. When the grenade is fired from the launcher it will be initiated normally by the point detonating fuze, which consists of a striker, primer, and detonator assembly of conventional design. Should the point detonating fuze fail to operate, a flash pellet in the base will ignite a friction composition in the lower end of the projectile body. This will in turn ignite a 4 1/2-second delay pellet which then initiates the detonator in the bursting charge.

(b) As hand grenade. A short cord located internally between the top of the base and the lower end of the body connects a friction wire below the 4 1/2-second delay pellet to a washer resting freely in the base. When the grenade is to be thrown by hand, the base is unscrewed and the washer pulled. This operates the friction igniter and sets off the delay train. The grenade is thrown and functions at the end of 4 1/2 seconds.

(4) Modifications. Modifications to this grenade have appeared. The pull igniter is sometimes omitted, permitting the grenade to be fired from the launcher but it cannot be thrown. The self-destroying device is sometimes omitted. An "all-ways" fuze is sometimes fitted instead of the standard point detonating fuze, setting off the charge no matter which way the grenade strikes.

b. HIGH EXPLOSIVE RIFLE GRENADE WITH INCREASED RANGE (Gewehr Sprenggranate mit Gesteigerter Reichweite). This is a later model of the standard rifle grenade. The self-destroying device has been eliminated and it is fired by a new propelling cartridge. It is claimed that the maximum range has been increased to 711 yards. The grenades may be identified by the box label (Gewehr Sprenggranate mit Gesteigerter Reichweite), by the unperforated base plate and fixed rifle base, or by the propelling cartridge with its bright yellow bullet.

c. ANTITANK RIFLE GRENADE (Gewehr Panzergranate 30). (1) General description. This is a rifle grenade incorporating the hollow-charge principle. It is fired from the 30-mm rifled discharger cup (Schiessbecher) which can be attached to most types of German rifles. The body of the grenade is in two parts. The forward section is made of steel and contains the bursting charge with the hollow charge cone, closed by a light metal cap. The rear portion is made of light aluminum alloy and contains the fuze and exploder system. A pre-rifled rotating band is located near the base of the grenade. The propellant is contained in a 7.92-mm blank cartridge, crimped at the mouth.

(2) Characteristics.

Total weight   . . . . .   8.8 ounces.
Length over-all   . . . . .   6.4 inches.
Weight of bursting charge   . . . . .   1.75 ounces.
Maximum accurate range   . . . . .   100 yards.

d. LARGE ANTITANK RIFLE GRENADE (Gross Gewehr Panzergranate 40). (1) General description. This is similar to the Gewehr Panzergranate 30 except that the front portion is enlarged to accommodate a greater bursting charge. The propellant is contained in a standard 7.92-mm cartridge with a wooden bullet.

(2) Characteristics.

Weight   . . . . .   13 1/2 ounces (approximately).
Length over-all   . . . . .   7 inches (approximately).
Weight of bursting charge   . . . . .   4 1/2 ounces.
Maximum accurate range   . . . . .   100 yards.

e. 46-mm HOLLOW-CHARGE RIFLE GRENADE (S.S. Gewehr Panzergranate 46). (1) General description. This rifle grenade has a streamlined body with a maximum diameter of 46 mm. The body is treated against corrosion and is closed by a conical unpainted impact cap. The stem is of steel and fits into the standard 30-mm discharger cup. It has a pre-rifled rotating band. The base plug is conical in shape. The propelling cartridge consists of a lacquered steel 7.92-mm cartridge case crimped at the neck and sealed with wax. The cap is yellow.

(2) Characteristics.

Weight   . . . . .   15 1/2 ounces (approximately).
Length over-all   . . . . .   7.7 inches.
Length of stem   . . . . .   4 inches.
Maximum diameter of head   . . . . .   1.8 inches.
Diameter of stem   . . . . .   1.2 inches.
Type of bursting charge   . . . . .   RDX-TNT.
Weight of bursting charge   . . . . .   4.8 ounces.

(3) Performance. Static test indicates that the penetration at long ranges is approximately 90 mm of homogeneous armor. At short range (approximately 18 feet) the penetration was 70 mm. A 1/4-inch mild steel plate, spaced 11 inches in front of the armor, completely nullified the effect on the armor.

f. 61-MM HOLLOW-CHARGE RIFLE GRENADE (S.S. Gewehr Panzergranate 61). (1) General description. This is a hollow-charge rifle grenade similar to the S.S. Gewehr Panzergranate 46 but having a streamlined body of larger dimensions.

(2) Characteristics.

Weight   . . . . .   19 ounces (approximately).
Length over-all   . . . . .   9.4 inches.
Length of stem   . . . . .   4 inches.
Maximum diameter of head   . . . . .   2.4 inches.
Diameter of stem   . . . . .   1.2 inches.
Type of bursting charge   . . . . .   RDX-TNT.
Weight of bursting charge   . . . . .   8.5 ounces.

(3) Performance. Static tests indicate that the maximum penetration of homogeneous armor at the extreme range of 220 yards will be approximately 126 mm. At a range of approximately 18 feet the penetration falls to 100 mm. A 1/4-inch mild steel plate, spaced 11 inches in front of the main armor, completely defeats the grenade.

g. HOLLOW-CHARGE RIFLE GRENADE. This late type hollow-charge rifle grenade is similar in appearance to the S.S. Gewehr Panzergranate 61. It differs, however, in having an impact cap that is approximately hemispherical and unpainted. The grenade is 9.61 inches long and its greatest diameter is 2.4 inches. The base is rifled for firing from the standard grenade launcher.

h. ILLUMINATING PARACHUTE RIFLE GRENADE (Gewehrfallschirmleuchtgranate). (1) General description. This illuminating parachute grenade has a cylindrical steel body. At the front is a conical cap with round tip, and at the rear a base rifled to engage the rifling in the standard grenade launcher. Within the body is a delay pellet, an ejection charge, and a container holding the parachute, rigging, and star flare. This container incorporates a second delay pellet, and a second ejection charge for the parachute and flare. The grenade is fired by a cartridge case containing 1.5 grams (0.05 ounce) of propelling charge. The cartridge is closed by a wooden bullet.

(2) Characteristics.

Diameter   . . . . .   1.18 inches.
Length   . . . . .   6.88 inches.
Weight   . . . . .   9.9 ounces.

(3) Operation. When the grenade is fired, the flash from the propellent gases ignites the delay pellet in the base of the grenade. After 6 1/2 seconds an ejection charge explodes and ejects the container holding the parachute and star. Simultaneously a second delay pellet in the container is initiated. Two seconds later, the parachute ejection charge is set off and the parachute and star are ejected.

i. PROPAGANDA RIFLE GRENADE (Gewehr Propagandagranate). (1) General description. This grenade, which weighs 8 ounces when filled, is fired from the standard launcher. The grenade body is a cylindrical steel tube, closed by a loose-fitting ballistic cap. The propaganda leaflets are enclosed in two semi-cylindrical steel covers within the body and rest on a cup-shaped platform. The tail element, with the usual pre-rifled base, contains the ejecting charge and a delay train. The propellant is contained in the usual type of blank cartridge, distinguished by a red band.

(2) Operation. The delay train is ignited by the flash from the propellant and detonates the ejecting charge. The platform, leaflets, leaflet covers, and ballistic cap are ejected during flight. The maximum range is approximately 500 yards.

j. HIGH EXPLOSIVE ANTITANK HoLLOw-CHARGE RIFLE GRENADE (Gewehr Granatpatrone 30). (1) General deseription. This grenade consists of a streamlined bell-shaped body, closed in front by a slightly convex closing disc of aluminm, a graze fuze screwed into a projection on the base of the body, and a finned tail unit screwed to the fuze base. It is fired from the standard rifle (Gewehr 98) fitted with a spigot type launcher and using blank cartridges with wooden bullets. The bursting charge is cast cyclonite wax with hemispherical cavity in the head. This cavity has an aluminum liner.

(2) Characteristics.

Length over-all   . . . . .   9.3 inches (approximately).
Maximum diameter   . . . . .   2.4 inches.
Length of body   . . . . .   3.15 inches.

(3) Operation. When the grenade is fired, the propellent gases shatter the wooden bullet and shear a safety pin by forcing forward a cutting member. In the armed position, the striker is withheld from the detonator by a creep spring and initiates the grenade when it hits or grazes a target.


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