Original British WWII British No 69 I Bakelite High Explosive Inert Hand Grenade - dated 1942

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent original inert example of a very hard to find British ordnance piece from WWII!

The British No. 69 I was a hand grenade developed and used during the Second World War. It was adopted into service due to the need for a grenade with smaller destructive radius than the No 36M "Mills bomb". This allowed the thrower to use a grenade even when there was little in the way of defensive cover. In contrast, the much greater destructive radius of the Mills bomb than its throwing range forced users to choose their throwing point carefully, in order to ensure that they would not be wounded by their own grenade.

Externals and internals- The shell of the Number 69 grenade was composed entirely of the hard plastic, Bakelite, which shattered without producing fragments like a metal-bodied grenade. Metal fragmenting sleeves were available to increase the grenade's lethality.

Using the No 69 bomb was very simple: the screw-off cap was removed and discarded, and the grenade was then thrown. When the grenade was thrown, a linen tape with a curved lead weight on the end automatically unwrapped in flight, freeing a ball bearing inside the fuse. In this manner the all-ways fuze was armed in flight and the grenade exploded on impact; and like the Gammon grenade, which used the same fuse design, it was withdrawn from service soon after the Second World War ended.

This example is nicely marked on the bottom:

No. 69 I
RC    1942

The interlocked "R C" logo is a known maker of this grenade, but we unfortunately have not been able to identify the company.

This example still retains the original ball bearing and inner fuse assembly, though it cannot be removed. The closing cap and linen tape are present, holding the fuse assembly in place. The faded green ring painted around the grenade indicates that it is "High Explosive", and could have been filled with Amatol or Baratol explosive.

The red "X"s around the top of the grenade would indicate that it was filled with Amatol 80/20 filling. However, it appears that the filling was later changed, as the green ring has a clear BAR - 20 / 80 marking, for the Baratol 20/80 filling. All of the explosive has been removed, so there may be no way to know the true story, but it certainly is interesting!

A great display piece from WWII, in very attractive red bakelite. Ready to display!

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