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"Japanese Equipment Found on Kiska" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following report on Japanese equipment captured on Kiska was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 37, November 4, 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.]


Recent searches over the area abandoned by the Japanese at Kiska, as indicated from American sources, have resulted in the location of many hand grenades Type 91*, with attachment on the base, permitting grenade to be fired from the Model 89 grenade thrower. Gun ammunition for the 13-mm machine gun having almost the same dimensions as our 50-mm caliber, was also recovered. What was described as a new lighter and smaller type grenade with no serrations being of the concussion type also was found. The oldest among these had a date of manufacture of August 1942.

Model 93 land mines at one particular spot were laid so that each mine was wired upside down and connected to a can containing 30 blocks of TNT. This method was said to increase the explosive force three or four times, and enlarged thereby the danger area.

The Model 91 (1931) hand grenade can be either thrown or fired from the Model 89 grenade discharger. It can also be modified for use as a rifle grenade by substituting a tubular tail fin assembly for the propelling charge. This type can be recognized by the serrated black body, the brass safety cover and the perforated shell propelling charge screwed to the base.

[Japanese Type 91 Hand Grenade - WWII]

The Model 97 hand grenade is believed to be carried by all Japanese front-line troops. This type hand grenade is easily recognized by its serrated black body as well as its brass fuze, which is identical with the fuze on the Model 91. The Model 97 can be used as a booby trap by pulling the safety pin and placing it under planks, chair seats, or the like. The weight of a man on the fuze is sufficient to function it.

*The Type 91 is practically identical with the Type 97 except that the latter has no propellant charge container.


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