American, British & German Grenades
There were far fewer types of hand grenade used during WW2 than in WW1, but even so, the variety of grenades used during the conflict is still quite broad.
The British and Americans had a similar breadth of grenade types, utilising them as not only offensive and defensive anti-personnel devices, but also for specific functions like smoke production or as anti-tank ordnance. The use of launcher devices enabled some types of hand grenade to be used as rifle grenades, with a much greater range, but while still using a standard grenade type. This meant production could concentrate on a few types, allowing for greater production volumes than if there were multiple types. However, it lead to limitations on the battlefield, with one or two grenade types being used for multiple roles, some of which they weren’t suited to or particularly effective at.
This is where the German grenade design and utilisation in combat varies considerably to the Allied designs and uses. German rifle grenades came in a multitude of different designs, all with specific functions and uses on the battlefield. This gave the German soldier a much wider range of options when faced with specific battlefield situations. The German designers also came up with anti-tank grenades that were more effective than the Allied equivalents.
Use the links below to find a plethora of information posters, schematics and diagrams that are useful in identification and understanding how these grenades functioned.