Over time, grenades have been used globally, shaping the military history. These explosives are effectively dangerous; from obscuring visibility to disorienting enemies and starting fires, they can do it all. They have a significantly big blasting radius, and their effects can be catastrophic.
Here are some fascinating grenade facts to help you discover more about this destruction weapon.
1. RPG Doesn’t Stand for “Rocket-Propelled Grenade”
As opposed to the popular “rocket-propelled grenade,” RPG is a Russian Acronym standing for “Ruchnoi Protivotankovyi Granatomet,” which loosely translates to “handheld anti-tank grenade launcher. Even though the English version is reasonably descriptive, it remains a backronym. It has nothing to do with “RPG’s” literal translation.
2. Grenades Come In Different Sizes and Shapes
Spherical hand grenades are the most popular. However, different sizes and shapes of the explosives are available, depending on their intended use and the nature of the explosive charge they contain. Some are made of sticks, while others are cylindrical; no specific blueprint exists.
3. Canadians Tossed Grenades Rather Than Tinned Corned Beef to the German Soldiers
During World War 1, the Germans had befriended and somewhat trusted the Canadians. However, the Canadians exploited this trust: they threw a few tins of corned beef to the Germans, and when they asked for more, they tossed a bunch of grenades instead.
4. Grenades Were First Used as Siege Weapons
Before they became war weapons, grenades were purely siege items during medieval times. Their versions varied, most filled with fiery substances, including Greek fire.
5. A Former United States Army Soldier Refused Evacuation After Surviving a Grenade Blast
During a mission, a former United States Army soldier, Michael Fitzmaurice, saved his comrades by throwing himself onto a live grenade hurled by the enemy into their bunker. Somehow, he survived the impact even though he suffered massive injuries, including partial blindness.
Interestingly, Michael refused evacuation and continued to fight the enemies, overwhelming several in hand to hand combat thereby giving his team a massive advantage. He was awarded a Medal of Honor for his heroism.
6. Russians Attached Hooks to Their Grenades to Improve Efficiency
The battle of Stalingrad pitted the German soldiers against the Russians. To protect themselves from the endless grenade attacks, the Germans created wire nets on windows to repel the explosives. The Russians countered this by attaching fish hooks to their grenades so they wouldn’t bounce off the nets.
7. A Convict Once Painted Oranges As Grenades to Escape Prison
A prisoner, Michael Vaujour, painted oranges as grenades and used them to escape prison. Following a well-laid-out strategy, the convict wielded the orange-themed “explosives” to the police, then escaped using a helicopter piloted by his wife. They landed in a nearby soccer field and then drove away.
8. President George W. Bush Survived a Grenade Attack in Georgia
In 2005, President George W. Bush survived a grenade attack in Georgia. Orchestrated by Vladimir Arutyunian, the attempt proved futile after the handkerchief-wrapped hand grenade failed to detonate. Experts say the cloth was caught in the firing system, so the fuse wasn’t struck hard enough to ignite.
9. The Australians Invented the Boomerang Grenade
During World War 1, an Australian designed a boomerang-shaped grenade and submitted the Idea to the Australian Grenade Training School. The weapon was meant to break the target’s neck and wasn’t as precise – it was rejected.
10. A Villager in China Unknowingly Used a Hand Grenade to Crack Walnuts
For about 25 years, a villager in China unknowingly used a hand grenade to crack walnuts. It wasn’t until he saw a similar item (a grenade) on a government flyer that he realized how lucky it was. Another aspect that probably saved him was that it was a stick grenade.
11. A Grenade was Once Mistaken for a Potato
Workers in a Hong Kong-based potato chip factory were shocked to find a grenade packaged in a shipment of French-grown potatoes. In the event that happened in 2019, the employees found the unwanted visitor while placing real potatoes into the plant’s processing machines.