HELD 12 December 1940

ITEM 16330

GRENADE, HAND, INCENDIARY – Military Characteristics


     a. O.O. 471.621/14.

     b. O.C.M. Item 16163


     a. Reference a is a communication from the Chief of Infantry to the Chief of Ordnance indicating a need for an incendiary hand grenade having the following characteristics:

     a. Size: Capable of being carried in the soldiers pocket.

     b. Shape: Of such shape as to prevent rolling and to permit it to be placed between the cylinders of an engine (radial type).

     c. Safety: To be positively protected against ignition by accident, including shock.

     d. Simplicity: To be ignited quickly without the aid of any material or equipment.

     e. Capabilities: To be able to burn through a 1/8 inch steel plate.

     f. Weight: As light as other characteristics permit.


This communication was forwarded to the Adjutant General by 1st Indorsement suggesting that the tactical use of this incendiary grenade seemed to be similar to that for the special demolition block, requirements for which were laid down by reference b.  The reply to the Chief of Engineers, 3rd Indorsement, Reference A, is as follows:

     1. A study is being initiated at the Engineer Board to determine the advisability of using thermit or some other incendiary in place of explosives in certain types of demolitions as indicated in paragraph 1 of the basic communication.  This study is being carried on with the cooperation of the Chemical Warfare Service.

     2. It is believed desirable that a munition having the general characteristics listed in paragraph 2 of the basic letter be developed in addition to the development of a demolition block with a delay fuze.  Although the missions of these two munitions are identical in some respects, there appears to be a definite need for both.  The development of a suitable incendiary grenade would add to destructive ability of a parachute unit in as much as every man could carry one or two grenades.  Because of the inadequacy of incendiaries for all types of demolitions, the high explosive equipment would still be required.




     a. In view of the statements of the Chief of Infantry and the Chief of Engineers as to the need of an incendiary grenade in addition to the demolition type, the subcommittee recommends:

     1. That steps be taken to have an incendiary grenade designated as a required type – development type.

     2. That the military characteristics as outlined by the Chief of Infantry quoted above, be approved in principle.  It would be desirable with reference to the shape to eliminate the requirement as to a shape which does not roll since the simplest procedure would seem to be to use the standard chemical grenades M6, M7 and M8 which is suggested by the Chief of the Chemical Warfare Service in 4th Indorsement of Reference a.


     b. The subcommittee further recommends –

     1. That the development be carried out by the Ordnance Department, in cooperation with the Chemical Warfare Service, in accordance with existing regulations for this type of munition.  In the development, effort should be made to utilize one of the standard grenade fuzes, the Fuze M10 now standard for the Fragmentation Grenade or the M200 now standard for the M6, M7 and M8 Chemical Grenades.


Action by Ammunition Division, Technical Staff.