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"Three Japanese Lacrimatory Weapons" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following U.S. military intelligence report on Japanese lacrimatory candles and grenades in WWII was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 21, March 25, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. 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.]


The Japanese have at least two types of lacrimatory candles, and at least one type of lacrimatory grenade. The agent employed in all three is CN (chloracetophenone), a tear gas.

a. Lacrimatory Candle, Type "89"

This lacrimatory candle, 7 1/16 inches in length, weighs approximately 8.5 ounces, including the chemical filling weighing 4.6 ounces. The lacrimatory filling consists of collodion flakes impregnated with 25 percent CN. The container is painted a greenish-gray color.

[Japanese Lacrimatory Candle, Type 89]
Key to Sketch
1. Adhesive tape      9. Vents
2. Lid (metal)10. Fuse
3. Abrasive surface11. Fuse tube (copper)
4. Scratch block (wood)12. Starter mixture
5. Cotton wad13. Impregnated flakes
6. Match head14. Container
7. Inner cover15. Base
8. Gauze16. Label

The label had the following printed instructions:

(1) Uses

(a) On maneuvers, to represent non-persistent gas;

(b) For dispersing crowds, riots, etc.

(2) Method of Using

(a) Tear off the waterproof adhesive tape (1) and remove the lid (2);

(b) Take out the scratch block (4) and rub it on the top of the match head (6); after ignition, place the candle in position or throw it;

(c) Gas is emitted 4 seconds after ignition.

(3) Special Caution

(a) Before ignition, put on gas mask; the gas vents (9) must face away from the body;

(b) Do not use the candle near inflammable substances;

(c) After all gas has been emitted, do not touch the candle for several minutes, because of the heat generated;

(d) If the chemical comes into contact with the skin, use soap and water (warm water alone will also do) as soon as possible.

(4) Effective Life

One year after manufacture; thereafter, to be examined for effectiveness every 6 months.

b. Green Lacrimatory Candle, Type "A"

The total weight of this candle is 5.9 ounces, including the chemical filling which weighs 1.9 ounces. It is 2.3 inches in diameter and 5.2 inches in length. The lacrimatory filling consists of collodion flakes impregnated with CN.

The label on this candle is essentially the same as the one under paragraph a. above, except that the period of effective life is six months after the date of manufacture.

[Green Lacrimatory Candle, Type A</U>]
Key to Sketch
1. Lid (metal)     10. Starter mixture
2. Abrasive surface11. Impregnated flakes
3. Scratch block (wood)12. Outer container
4. Cotton wad13. Inner container (cardboard)
5. Match head14. Base
6. Three layers of gauze15. Cord for removing tape
7. Vents16. Adhesive tape
8. Fuse17. Label
9. Fuse tube (brass)18. Vents (sealed with oil
     paper or tinfoil)

c. Lacrimatory Grenade, Type "89," Type "C"

The total weight of this grenade is approximately 11 ounces, including the lacrimatory filling which weighs 4.84 ounces. It is 2.1 inches in diameter and 5.1 inches long. The label (17) on the body gives the details of its use and method of operation. It is painted a silver-gray color.

When the grenade is removed from the outer container (8), a match head (5) forming the top of the fuse (9) is exposed. This is ignited with the abrasive surface (2) of the scratch block (3) and after a delay of 4 to 5 seconds the burster charge (13) becomes ignited. On exploding, the grenade is shattered and the lacrimatory filling (14) scattered. The lacrimatory filling is ON dissolved in carbon tetrachloride. The container for the fuse (10), the insulating tube (11), and the container for the lacrimatory (12) may be vulcanite, celluloid, or some plastic material which would not be corroded by the liquid filling.

[Lacrimatory Grenade, Type 89, Type C]
Key to Sketch
1. Lid (metal)      9. Fuse
2. Abrasive surface10. Container for fuse
3. Scratch block (wood)11. Insulating tube
4. Cotton wad12. Container for lacrimatory
5. Match head13. Burster (gun powder)
6. Cement stopper14. Liquid lacrimator
7. Adhesive tape15. Cotton packing
8. Outer container (metal)16. Base
17. Label


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