Original WWI Italian 1915 Besozzi Fragmentation Grenade - Inert

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Totally inert and demilitarized according to BATF guidelines with hollow body and inert fuse. This greande cannot be converted to an explosive devise and is not available for export.

During World War One the French military ordnance from various nations including Model 1915 Besozzi Fragmentation Grenades from Italy. This allowed the French soldiers a supply of relatively modern hand grenades, without requiring additional effort to an already over burdened French war industry.

In 1915, Italy joined the Allies in the Great War and some of the production of the Besozzi grenade was transferred to French manufacturers under license so that the Italian manufacturers could dedicate fly supply to their own army.

This Besozzi grenade is considered an important step on the road to the development of modern grenades. It's shape, the external fragmentation and ability to hold it easily in one had was a precursor for grenades to come. However, the realities primitive ignition system utilized a wick with a phosphorated head which needed to be rubbed across a friction brush, but was more successfully ignited with a match or a pipe.

Constructed of 2 cast iron hemispheres, the French produced had a side throat exit for the wick, while the wick exited from the top for the models imported from Italy. Once assembled, the grenades were dipped into paraffin for waterproofing.

This example is an early Great War Italian produced grenade. It retains the original wick and both half unscrew easily.

This is an exceptionally rare grenade offered in very good but aged condition.
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