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German Hand & Rifle Grenades
Bulletin No. 59, March 7, 1944
[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from a U.S. wartime publication on enemy ordnance. As with all wartime material, the text may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the original contents. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]

Egg-Type Hand Grenade
Eierhandgranate 39


Overall length       3 inches.
Maximum diameter2 inches.
ColorBlack body with blue igniter head.
Weight12 ounces.
Delay4-5 seconds.


This is a small thin-cased offensive type grenade with a high proportion of a low-grade explosive. It is ignited by a friction type igniter and a 4 - 5 second delay pellet.

This grenade uses the B.Z.E. friction type igniter. The short body of this igniter is usually made of brass and contains a friction composition in which a friction pull wire is cast. The lower end of the friction wire is coiled to provide resistance which serves to ignite the friction composition when the wire is drawn through it. The upper end of the friction wire has a loop to which is fastened one end of a cord. The free end of the cord is attached to a disc which is within the head. The head screws on to the top of the body and a steel tube containing the delay pellet screws into the bottom of the body.

There has been found a practice hand grenade of this type containing a spotting charge with the B.Z.E. igniter. The German designation of this is the Eierhandgranate 39 (Ub).


The igniter head is unscrewed and pulled thus drawing the wire through the friction composition and igniting the delay pellet. The grenade is then thrown and after a delay of 4 - 5 seconds the delay pellet will initiate the detonator thus setting off the explosive filler.

[Egg-Type Hand Grenade Model 39 (Eierhandgranate 39)]


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