[Lone Sentry: Egg-Type Hand Grenade, Model 39 (Eierhandgranate 39); WWII German Infantry Weapons]
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German Infantry Weapons
Military Intelligence Service, Special Series No. 14, May 25, 1943
[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from a WWII U.S. War Department Special Series publication. 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.]



a. How to Identify

The egg-type hand grenade may be identified by—

(1) Egg shape, of gray-green painted metal with a raised rib around the middle.

(2) Blue knob protruding from one end.

b. Characteristics

(1) General.—This is a small thin-cased "offensive"-type grenade with a high proportion of a low-grade high explosive (see fig. 27). It is ignited by a friction-type igniter and a 4- to 5-second delay fuze. (Fig. 28 illustrates the shaving-stick grenade, which has the same type of detonator as the egg-type.)

(2) Table of characteristics.

Over-all length    _ _ _ _ _ _ _    3 inches (approximately).
Weight    _ _ _ _ _ _ _    12 ounces.
Maximum diameter    _ _ _ _ _ _ _    2 inches.
Time of delay fuze    _ _ _ _ _ _ _    4 to 5 seconds.
Thickness of casing    _ _ _ _ _ _ _    .02 inch.

[Figure 27. Sketch of Eierhandgranate 39 (egg-type hand grenade, model 39).]
Figure 27.—Sketch of Eierhandgranate 39 (egg-type hand grenade, model 39).

c. How to Operate

(1) Safety.—The detonator is not assembled to the grenade until it is carried into combat.

(2) To arm and throw.—(a) To arm grenade.—Unscrew the knob from the grenade; be sure that the exposed pocket is clean; unscrew the protective cap from the detonator end of the knob; draw a detonator (standard No. 8) from its box and check the open end to see that it is dust free and not distorted (do not use a dusty or distorted detonator); carefully slip the detonator onto the detonator end of the knob, screw the armed fuze by hand, and then use the key supplied to tighten the fuze.

(b) To throw grenade.—Unscrew the blue13 knob, and pull. Throw the grenade, remembering that it has a 4- to 5-second delay.

(3) To disarm grenade.—(a) Unscrew the knob from the grenade; (b) remove the detonator from the end of the knob; and (c) replace the knob. To render the igniter inoperative, carefully unscrew the knob, taking care not to exert any pull on the cord. Then cut the cord with scissors and replace the knob with the cord inside.

[Figure 28. Cross section of shaving-stick grenade.]
Figure 28.—Cross section of shaving-stick grenade.

d. Method of Carrying

The egg-type grenades are carried in—

(1) The pockets.

(2) Any convenient container.

e. Use as a Booby Trap

Like all other matériel, these egg-shaped grenades can be used as booby traps. It has been reported that the Germans in Africa have put red primer caps on the grenades which are used as traps. If the red primer cap is unscrewed and the firing string pulled, the explosion occurs instantaneously rather than after a 4- to 5-second delay—the standard delay with the blue cap.

13 It has been reported that a red knob is used for those igniters having no delay element. Blue knobs have been reported on igniters having a 4- to 5-second delay. (See e, on the opposite page.)

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