Military Review

Sticky Anti-Tank Hand Grenade

45
Sticky Anti-Tank Hand Grenade

During the Second World War, a large number of unusual designs were created in Great Britain. weapons... Many of them were not created from a good life. After the defeat of the expeditionary force in France and the loss of a huge number of various weapons in Great Britain, they seriously feared a German invasion of the islands. To fend off the threat, a militia was massively created in the country, military training sessions were held and various samples of ersatz weapons were created. Among other things, the local volunteer defense forces armed with ampulamets, throwing Molotov cocktails (Type 76) at armored vehicles. The second brainchild of the British genius was sticky anti-tank hand grenades, also known as No. 74 anti-tank hand grenades.


If you thought that these sticky ammo only existed in video games or feature films, then you were wrong. A canon picture in this regard is the film "Saving Private Ryan", in which Captain Miller, played by Tom Hanks, creates sticky bombs from what is at hand not from a good life. Everything in life sometimes turns out to be even more interesting than in the movies. UK-made # 74 Anti-Tank Hand Grenades were a glass ball on a Bakelite handle. An unusual sample of anti-tank weapons was produced from 1940 to 1943, in total, about 2,5 million of these grenades were fired.

Prerequisites for a sticky bomb


New British anti-tank grenade, created in 1940, was named "sticky bomb" (from the English Sticky Bomb). It was also known as the ST grenade, or Anti-Tank No. 74. The anti-tank hand grenade was created for use in the British army and militia as one solution to the problem of the lack of anti-tank weapons in the army.

Such weapons were not created from a good life. Great Britain did not have a strong land army, relying on its own fleet and island location. The defeat of the British Expeditionary Force after the German attack on France in May-June 1940 was a serious shock for all the armed forces of the United Kingdom. After the evacuation from Dunkirk, where a huge amount of various weapons and military equipment had to be abandoned, the British army faced serious problems.


After the disaster at Dunkirk, only 167 anti-tank guns remained at the disposal of the British military. With this arsenal, London had to somehow defend the islands from a possible invasion of German troops. The prospects were extremely hazy and alarming, while tank the threat was obvious. The French campaign of 1940 showed everyone how successful German tank and motorized units can be and what success they can achieve.

In order to solve the problem with the shortage of anti-tank weapons as quickly as possible, various special anti-tank weapons were urgently developed in the UK. These include the previously mentioned Northover Projector ampulomet, and a specially created sticky anti-tank hand grenade. They were going to arm the militia with new weapons. It was planned to use grenades at roadblocks, in ambushes, as well as during hostilities in settlements, when grenades could be dropped onto armored vehicles from above from windows or from rooftops.

Sticky anti-tank grenade device


The grenade was developed by a team from the military research organization MD1 (abbreviation for Ministry of Defense 1). This British organization, which specialized in weapons research and development during the Second World War, was also known as Churchill's Toy Store. The unusual grenade was developed with the direct participation of Majors Millis Jeffers and Stuart McRae, who were key figures in MD1.

As conceived by the developers, the new grenade solved two problems at once. First, it made up for the shortage of standard anti-tank weapons. Secondly, it provided the "fixation" of the grenade on the armor of the enemy's military equipment. The development of a grenade began in 1938. One of those who then began to work on the creation of the "rebel anti-tank grenade" was Millis Jeffers. Even then, the goal of the development was the invention of such an anti-tank weapon that could be effectively used even by poorly trained people. In 1940, it became obvious that the development was prophetic, since a new, simple and cheap anti-tank weapon was required “yesterday”. It was at this stage that Stuart McRae joined the design.


Two military inventors were quick to figure out the details. The main principle of the grenade was to be the "squash head" effect, which implies the effect of plastic explosives on the armor. The designers understood that the effect of the explosive charge increases with a snug fit to a flat surface (armor). To achieve this, they turned to the unusual shape and content of the anti-tank grenade.

The British Army No.74 Sticky Anti-Tank Hand Grenade was a hollow glass ball or flask with a Bakelite (plastic) handle. The glass flask was covered from above by a special metal jacket-shell, which protected the grenade during transportation and had to be removed before use. The glass ball itself was completely covered with an adhesive mass. In the course of the tests carried out, it was found that the best effect is provided by "bird glue", which was used in bird traps. The designers stopped at it. A powerful explosive, nitroglycerin, was used as a filling in a glass flask, into which special additives were placed to increase viscosity and increase stability. In the end, an explosive was obtained, in its consistency comparable to petroleum jelly.

Outwardly, this "sticky bomb" looked like this: a light metal case, assembled from two halves, was attached to a bakelite handle. The casing was made of lightweight sheet metal. On all sides, he protected a glass sphere, inside which was placed approximately 1,25 pounds of explosive (0,57 kg). The sphere was covered with a cloth to which “bird glue” was applied. The handle had two pins and a safety lever. The first pin was pulled out to reveal the protective shell. After the cover was removed, the fighter could remove the second pin, which activated the firing mechanism of the anti-tank grenade. British # 74 Anti-Tank Hand Grenade weighed 2,25 pounds (a little over 1 kg) and was 230 mm long and 100 mm in diameter. It was believed that the grenade would be quite effective against armor up to one inch (25 mm) thick.

After the soldier released the safety lever, he had five seconds before the detonator detonated. It was planned to use the grenade primarily against light armored combat vehicles. At the same time, it was possible to both throw a grenade at the target and hit a grenade on the armor of a combat vehicle with such force that the glass shell broke and the viscous explosive filling stuck to the armor. Such a weapon seemed ideal for night sabotage and attacks by armored vehicles at dusk or at night, when visibility from the tank was seriously limited. Also, grenades could be used in urban areas and on narrow roads.


Disadvantages of the "sticky bomb"


Like any weapon, the sticky bomb had its drawbacks. Given the specificity of the weapon and the context of the launch into mass production, this is not surprising. The first problem was that the grenades adhered very poorly even to vertical armor plates. And if the armor of combat vehicles was covered with a layer of mud or was wet, then fastening became almost impossible. At the same time, dirt on tanks is their usual state in combat conditions.

The second problem was the danger of the grenade to the soldiers themselves. The hand-held anti-tank grenade could stick to uniforms, equipment, or various objects indoors or in a trench. With this development of events, the fighter found himself in an extremely unenviable position, especially if he had already removed the grenade from the fuse. He had five seconds to part with his equipment or the form to which the grenade had stuck, otherwise he could give up his life. Another problem that was revealed over time was that nitroglycerin began to deteriorate, becoming unstable. This fact further limited the possibilities of using a grenade.

In this regard, it is not surprising that the grenade practically never reached the advanced combat units of the British army and was used extremely limitedly. It is known that the British and the armies of the Commonwealth countries used this ammunition to a limited extent in North Africa, and the Australians also in battles with the Japanese. At the same time, from 1940 to 1943, British industry released 2,5 million "sticky bombs", which remained mostly on the islands and were intended to arm the local militia.
Author:
45 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. Theodore
    Theodore 13 October 2020 18: 10 New
    0
    How effective were they? Better or worse Lemon?
    1. AllBiBek
      AllBiBek 13 October 2020 18: 34 New
      0
      The "Voroshilovsky kilogram", which was used in large quantities, was extremely ineffective. The British counterpart weighs no less.
      If it came to mass use, the efficiency would be the same at best.
      1. Bormanxnumx
        Bormanxnumx 13 October 2020 19: 26 New
        +2
        Quote: AllBiBek
        The "Voroshilovsky kilogram", which was used in large quantities, was extremely ineffective. The British counterpart weighs no less.

        "Voroshilovsky kilogram" weighed 1.2 kg and was called RPG-40. The RPG-41 was an analogue of "glass" in terms of armor penetration, and its weight is already 2kg.
        1. CTABEP
          CTABEP 14 October 2020 08: 52 New
          +1
          But the RPG-41 was just unsuccessful - too heavy.
    2. Firelake
      Firelake 13 October 2020 18: 50 New
      +1
      I think worse. This is a grenade as a prototype of a mine hash
  2. Firelake
    Firelake 13 October 2020 18: 12 New
    +8
    The Britons always have their own way. It is very strange and often illogical ...
  3. polpot
    polpot 13 October 2020 18: 12 New
    +5
    Thanks, interesting article.
    1. RealPilot
      RealPilot 13 October 2020 20: 43 New
      +3
      The article is good!
      I heard about them, but did not know the details. Thanks to Aator. good
  4. Same lech
    Same lech 13 October 2020 18: 29 New
    +1
    nitroglycerin began to deteriorate, becoming unstable.

    Yeah ... very capricious explosives ... especially in liquid form ... any strong push and Allahu Akbar.
    1. avdkrd
      avdkrd 13 October 2020 20: 07 New
      0
      Quote: The same Lech
      nitroglycerin began to deteriorate, becoming unstable.

      Yeah ... very capricious explosives ... especially in liquid form ... any strong push and Allahu Akbar.

      Of course, God is great, but I did not understand at all about nitroglycerin. Nitroglycerin is an ersatz of normal explosives (the forerunner so to speak) and could have a negative effect on the system, provided that everything else worked. The system itself did not work.
  5. SaLaR
    SaLaR 13 October 2020 18: 31 New
    +6
    English scientists ... they are ... scientists ..)))))
    1. sevryuk
      sevryuk 13 October 2020 20: 22 New
      +2
      British! laughing
  6. Eugen alpine
    Eugen alpine 13 October 2020 18: 31 New
    +3
    I think the main problem was with the removal of the second pin when the grenade was already "sticky". Isn't it more logical to activate one pin with the shell being dropped in flight? Interesting article, thanks.
    1. AllBiBek
      AllBiBek 13 October 2020 18: 36 New
      +3
      The main problem would be not to suffer after the detonation yourself, even if it flew into the target.
      Throwing a kilogram fool, in which the nitroglycerin filling accounts for half the mass, at a distance from which you will not be hooked by an explosion is still a task.
  7. Vitaly Tsymbal
    Vitaly Tsymbal 13 October 2020 18: 34 New
    +2
    Now it is clear that not only in our time, but also in the years 2 MV, the title of the English scientist sounded proudly !!! Dear author, thanks for the article, maybe you can rummage through the archives to find something else of weapons in the "style of English scientists", and not only on the example of the British army ... Just don't write about the Molotov cocktail - this is sacred, this weapon is not only the past and present century, but also the century of the future)))
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 13 October 2020 19: 06 New
      10
      maybe digging through the archives you will find something else from weapons in the "style of English scientists"

      British ampulomet Northover Projector, 1940. Ersatz means against tanks.

      Soviet ampulomet 125 mm. 1941 year. Ersatz means against tanks.
    2. Reviews
      Reviews 13 October 2020 19: 06 New
      0
      Quote: Vitaliy Tsymbal
      Now it is clear that not only in our time, but also in the years 2 MV, the title of the English scientist sounded proudly !!! Dear author, thanks for the article, maybe after digging through the archives you will find something else of the weapons in the "style of English scientists"

      For example, Rotabuggy, "Little Joe" ...
      1. Reviews
        Reviews 13 October 2020 19: 09 New
        0
        Crossbow type (essentially a slingshot):


        Rotabaggi.



        They even drew a "company-churchill" (tank).
  8. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 13 October 2020 18: 56 New
    +1
    A strange sensation ... As if I had already read an article about a "sticky" grenade. Maybe not in a separate article, but in a complex ... But everything is correctly said - not the best example of weapons.
    1. militarist63
      militarist63 14 October 2020 00: 24 New
      0
      rightly said - not the best weapon

      You also spoke flatteringly about this miracle ... laughing
  9. Undecim
    Undecim 13 October 2020 18: 57 New
    +8
    Among other things, the local volunteer defense forces armed with ampulamets, throwing Molotov cocktails (Type 76) at armored vehicles. The second brainchild of the British genius was sticky anti-tank hand grenades, also known as No. 74 anti-tank hand grenades.
    To be honest, the author's sarcasm is incomprehensible. In a similar situation, exactly the same offspring were betrayed by the "geniuses" of other countries participating in hostilities. Even in the United States, despite the fact that the enemy could land on their territory only theoretically deeply, they were preparing to fight in conditions of a shortage of various materials.
    As for Grenade, Hand, Anti-Tank No. 74, then this is perhaps the world's first high-explosive armor-piercing ammunition, then what the British will later call the High Explosive Squash Head, and the Americans will call High Explosive Plastic.
    When such an ammunition strikes the armor, its warhead is deformed, and the plastic B B "spreads", increasing the contact surface
    "Shell - armor" 1,5-2 times. At this moment, the bottom fuse is triggered and the explosive is detonated. Explosion product pressure
    reaches tens of tons per cm2 of armor, then within 1-2 microseconds falls to atmospheric. A compression wave forms in the armor
    with a flat front, propagating at a speed of approx. 5000 m / s. Having reached the rear surface of the armor plate, the compression wave
    reflected from it and returned back as a wave of extension. As a result of wave interference, the armor spalls from the rear
    sides. Breakaway pieces of armor with high lethal energy hit the crew and internal equipment of the tank. The fragments formed during the explosion of the projectile are capable of inflicting damage on the manpower located on the tank or near it.
    The action of such an ammunition practically does not depend on the speed of its meeting with the armor and kinetic energy at the moment of impact.
    1. Catfish
      Catfish 13 October 2020 19: 44 New
      +7
      "They invented the Lepage glue gun, it sticks together a flight of aircraft in the air." (C) Joseph Heller "Catch-22".
  10. Slon_on
    Slon_on 13 October 2020 19: 21 New
    0
    They also had a Stan PP and a Heindley Page bomber. Misters know a lot about perversions.
    1. Reviews
      Reviews 13 October 2020 19: 32 New
      -1
      Quote: Slon_on
      They also had a Stan PP and a Heindley Page bomber. Misters know a lot about perversions.

      "Handley Page" is not a bomber, it is a firm. If you mean Hayford, then this is not a perversion, but a somewhat non-standard solution.
      1. Slon_on
        Slon_on 13 October 2020 19: 47 New
        0
        I mean it
        https://topwar.ru/107548-tyazhelyy-bombardirovschik-biplan-handley-page-hp50-heyford.html
        1. Reviews
          Reviews 13 October 2020 19: 52 New
          0
          Quote: Slon_on
          I mean it
          https://topwar.ru/107548-tyazhelyy-bombardirovschik-biplan-handley-page-hp50-heyford.html

          This is not a Handley Page bomber, but a Hayford. And no perversion. "Perversion" is the Northrop XP-79.
          1. Slon_on
            Slon_on 13 October 2020 19: 56 New
            +2
            The taste and color markers are different.
  11. garri-lin
    garri-lin 13 October 2020 22: 31 New
    -1
    It was not destiny to pour fire mixture into this ball. And it is not clear why the body of the grenade is glued to the armor if the body is cracking? Let the content be glued then.
  12. cat Rusich
    cat Rusich 13 October 2020 23: 25 New
    0
    The British were afraid of the "tank hordes" of the Wehrmacht ... They would "sow" their fields and arable lands with anti-tank mines.
    anti-tank mine britain mk 2
    EP Mk 2 (Egyptian version - made in Egypt). Anti-tank mines against the Panzerwaffe would be more useful. In the future, the mine was simplified
    mine Mk 5 Britain
    EP Mk 5, easier to manufacture.
    mine Mk 6 Britain
    EP Mk 6, more reliable in handling and storage.
    1. garri-lin
      garri-lin 13 October 2020 23: 33 New
      -1
      How can a mine replace a grenade?
      1. cat Rusich
        cat Rusich 13 October 2020 23: 54 New
        0
        Quote: garri-lin
        How can a mine replace a grenade?

        The EP Mk2-6 anti-tank mine can stop a tank, and the probability of stopping a tank with Anti-Tank # 74 is unlikely ... And only trained military personnel can use the "sticky bomb". Only trained sappers can lay a mine, but for this, sappers are trained and there is more sense from the "work" of sappers. And so we spent money, materials, time and production capacity ... and sent 2 Anti-Tank # 500 to the warehouse.
        1. garri-lin
          garri-lin 14 October 2020 00: 37 New
          +1
          A good dinner spoon. Mine is not a substitute for a grenade. And to do, instead of grenades, an incomprehensible ersatz in wartime is a crime. The gloomy small British genius has regularly proved that he is darker than the Teutonic. Therefore, there were several thousand tons of nitroglycerin in the warehouses. Well they haven’t been fucked yet.
          1. voyaka uh
            voyaka uh 14 October 2020 12: 06 New
            +1
            Nothing. They also stamped such cars for safety reasons. And they ironed out the Nazis.

            Avro Lancaster
          2. cat Rusich
            cat Rusich 14 October 2020 19: 49 New
            0
            Quote: garri-lin
            A good dinner spoon. Mine is not a substitute for a grenade. And to make an incomprehensible ersatz instead of grenades in wartime is a crime.

            History lesson. EP Mk 2 Brief Description - In April 1940 Italy began military operations against Britain. In Africa, Britain had few troops and had to defend itself. Specifically, the theater of operations in North Africa - the Nazis advanced along the sea coast in an offensive zone of about 100 km. The terrain was flat and the opponents of Britain had tanks, and there were not many anti-tank weapons ... What to do? - How do you defend yourself? ... The way out is to hide behind minefields. Where to get mines? ... The way out is to make mines on the spot. So they began to produce mines in Egypt right under the open sky - engineers "sketched a drawing" - the Egyptians began production ... Letters ER - Egyptian Option. What haven't started producing "sticky bombs"? - when the war is "in full swing on you" it is better to keep the enemy at a distance, and not to climb to him at the distance of a grenade throw. When the "tacticians" and "strategists" do not know how to defend themselves against tanks in an organized manner, they distribute anti-tank grenades to the soldiers ...
            1. garri-lin
              garri-lin 14 October 2020 20: 08 New
              -1
              Minefields are removed as easily as they are installed. It just takes time. And a mine will not replace a grenade. The fields will be removed and enemy tanks will still come close. And then the time for grenades will come. Only normal pomegranates.
              1. cat Rusich
                cat Rusich 14 October 2020 20: 46 New
                +1
                Quote: garri-lin
                Minefields are removed as easily as they are installed. It just takes time. And a mine will not replace a grenade. The fields will be removed and enemy tanks will still come close. And then the time for grenades will come. Only normal pomegranates.

                Then why were minefields used in the defense of the Kursk Bulge? - how many anti-tank mines were spent? ... according to your words, wasted ... The minefield is not needed in the form of a "fence" - I set it up and left. You need a minefield to hinder the enemy's maneuver, not to let him just go around your positions where he wants. In principle, a "minefield" can be "guarded" and enemy tanks and infantry will not be able to simply "approach" you and you will be able to keep the enemy under fire at a distance. Grenades are needed just in case of "firefighting", when the defense will be practically broken through and the tanks will come to your trench on their own. The minefield is set mainly to "gain time" - while the enemy makes a passage and carefully infiltrates through it - you get time to counter.
                1. garri-lin
                  garri-lin 14 October 2020 21: 15 New
                  -1
                  Grenades are one of the items of equipment. And every thing is good in its place.
                  1. cat Rusich
                    cat Rusich 14 October 2020 21: 40 New
                    0
                    Quote: garri-lin
                    Grenades are one of the items of equipment. And every thing is good in its place.

                    What grenades? - offensive (F-1), defensive (RGD-5), anti-tank (RPG-6). In the usual equipment of the F-1 and RGD-5 equipment (as an example). Anti-tank grenades are issued only when there is a threat of an offensive by tanks, as well as the RPG-18 Fly (also called a "grenade" by the name). The conversation began with a discussion of the dubious choice of the British anti-tank grenade design (Anti-Tank # 74). I suggested that it would be better to choose anti-tank mines for the "last line of defense" (British coast).
                    1. garri-lin
                      garri-lin 14 October 2020 23: 06 New
                      -1
                      Mines are not the last stage. Minefields will still be overcome. And then you need grenades. It is impossible to block everything with mines. It is impossible to guard all minefields. The last line of anti-tank defense at that time was definitely a grenade. Normal and not this sticky absurdity.
                      1. cat Rusich
                        cat Rusich 14 October 2020 23: 35 New
                        0
                        "Normal grenades" for 1940 (approximately) ...
                        No. 73 Mk 1 Britain
                        No. 73 Mk 1 Thermos - weight 2kg (BB - 1,6kg)
                        RPG-40 USSR
                        RPG-40 USSR - weight 1,2kg (BB 760gram)
                        bundle RGD-33
                        Bundle RGD-33 USSR - weight 0,5 kg each
                        bundle M-24
                        Bundle M-24 3 Reich - the weight of each 0,5 kg of explosives - 180 grams. It was not easy to "hit the tanks" of the enemy with a grenade ...
                      2. garri-lin
                        garri-lin 15 October 2020 00: 48 New
                        -1
                        Pocket artillery. Weapon of last chance. Effective when used correctly. Better when it is. And it's bad when he is not.
      2. Reviews
        Reviews 14 October 2020 06: 13 New
        +1
        Quote: cat Rusich
        Quote: garri-lin
        How can a mine replace a grenade?

        The EP Mk2-6 anti-tank mine can stop a tank, and the probability of stopping a tank with Anti-Tank # 74 is unlikely ...

        Which is better - a drilling machine or a flat awl-reamer on a quiz? I affirm - the awl, it is always in the place where you are. Refute.
        1. cat Rusich
          cat Rusich 14 October 2020 20: 26 New
          0
          Quote: Avis

          Which is better - a drilling machine or a flat awl-reamer on a quiz?
          rotor
          Brace ...
          The Japanese did not bother with anti-tank grenades (they had anti-tank grenades, even cumulative ones made from burlap) - they used Tensintai, specifically in the Quantum Army 132nd Special Brigade of General Onitake (4 "live bombs"). What I'm talking about is that the army maintains an organized defense and prepares anti-tank weapons and defense lines in advance.
          round 3 grenades
          Here is Ture 3 - a cumulative anti-tank grenade from Japan.
          pole mine japan
          A sixth anti-tank mine from Japan, 2kg of TNT - attached to the side of the tank on suction cups.
          pole high explosive mine japan
          A sixth mine from Japan, was placed under the track of a tank. And not organized defense boils down to shifting the responsibility of fighting tanks to ordinary soldiers - "just give an awl to everyone" ...
  • Petro_tut
    Petro_tut 14 October 2020 00: 20 New
    0
    Cool weapon, not effective, but cool, begs an analogy with the American "stink bomb" laughing
  • sen
    sen 14 October 2020 06: 29 New
    +3
    The British, in addition to the "sticky" grenade, created a lot that never went into action. For example, the Great Panjandrum ("Big Shot") self-propelled engineering English ammunition. It was created as a means for the destruction of German strongholds and the destruction of barriers and concrete walls 3 meters high and more than 2 meters thick during the Allied landing in Normandy with a launch from a ship.
    Externally, the structure looked like a large empty coil from under the cable - a central cylinder 1 m in diameter and 2 m high and two wheels at the edges of the cylinder 3 m in diameter.
    A warhead weighing 1 ton was located in the central cylinder, and the total weight of the "coil" was 1,8 tons. The warhead had an inertial fuse that was triggered when it stopped abruptly. The ammunition was set in motion by 72 powder jet engines mounted on the rims of the wheels.
    The ammunition was not accepted for service due to unresolved shortcomings: disruption from the attachment of jet engines and a large deviation of the "coil" from the specified trajectory.