Original French WWI Foug M1916 Inert Lemon Grenade with Wood Top Plug - Citron modèle 1916
Original Item: Only One Available. This is totally inert BATF compliant genuine World War One French Foug Mle 1916 "Citron" (Lemon) grenade in good condition. Unfortunately, it no longer has the galvanized steel fuze cover or impact fuze, but it does still have the wooden top plug where the fuze was held. The covers were especially easy ty lose, and often pressed into service elsewhere.
The grenade is in very good condition, having just some light surface rust on the body, with the fragmentation shape still quite evident. The wooden plug has faired a bit worse, and is now cracked from age. It has been wrapped with tape to make it stay in the top hole better.
These were made in large numbers, but very few survived until this day, due to the relative danger the design posed. Most that were not used in combat were destroyed, so finding them in any condition is quite rare. Ready to display!
World War I was a time of rapid development of explosive technologies, as well as a very large demand. Beginning around April of 1915, early in the conflict, French arms manufacturer Foug, in Meurthe et Moselle near Toul, began to produce simple grenade models for use in the war. These included copies of the famous German stick grenade, and two 'asparagus' grenades, a long and a short version, with pre-fragmented bodies and rudimentary wooden percussion ignition fuzes.
The Foug modèle 1916 citron grenade is an evolution of the 'asparagus' grenade design, mainly designed to reduce the weight and improve the fragmentation properties. The shape of the body was modified, as it had been found that the shape was more important than the grooves on the outside when related to proper fragmentation.
The ignition system on all of these grenades was rudimentary, with a percussion block moving inside a wooden plug equipped with a primer, and linked to a detonator. With no other safety device than a simple spring, the grenade was actually quite dangerous to handle. To prevent accidental detonation, relatively heavy fuse cap was installed.
The 'citron' (lemon) nickname was a common one for grenades, as the profile was easy to handle and exploded well. Despite the dangers involved with the ease detonation, this type of grenade was manufactured in large numbers. This was due more to ease of manufacturing than to any particular increase in effectiveness. The war effort needed grenades, and simple grenades such as this were easy to mass produce. Additionally, the grenade was sometimes mounted on a wooden block, and launched with a 'fusil Guidetti de 65mm'.
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