A British Shrapnel Grenade (Trench Warfare, 1917)
During the earliest days of the war the British and Empire armies were seldom issued grenades, but the need for such weaponry became apparent once it was clear to all that trench warfare was going to be the norm. The earliest grenades (improvised by both sides) were simply food tins that were jam-packed with an explosive mixed with nails, glass shards and bits of iron. By 1915 grenade production was in full swing and British historians have estimated that throughout the course of the war on the Western Front, British and Commonwealth forces had used fifteen million hand-grenades.
The following article concern a British shrapnel grenade that is of the heavy friction pattern.
*Watch a Film Clip About the British Jam Tin Bomb*
Instructions for Building Trench Shelters (Trench Warfare, 1917)
It was the preferred plan on both sides that their troops sleep in fields and forests as they briskly marched forward to the terror-struck cities of their timid and surrendering foes - but other sleeping arrangements had to be made when it was decided that trenches were necessary. Officers in forward trenches would sleep in shifts within muddy little rooms called "dugouts" and the enlisted men would get something worse; dubbed, "shelters", these holes were simply rectangular caves carved into the walls of the trench:
Click here to see a 1915 ad for British Army military camp furniture.
The British Ball Grenade (Trench Warfare, 1917)
The attached mechanical drawing depicts one of the most common ignition grenades that were put to use by British and Commonwealth forces during World War One. The Ball grenade was essentially a cast-iron sphere that measured three inches in diameter and it was one of any number of British grenades that used the Brock lighter.
The Mills Bomb (Trench Warfare, 1917)
A black and white mechanical drawing illustrating the most famous of British hand grenades that was ever used by British and Commonwealth forces during the course of World War One.