Grenades and helmets....

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Lucky13, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    1. Which grenade packed the biggest punch?
    2. Which helmet offered the best protection?

    Short and sweet, eh? :lol:
     
  2. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    I want to say the Patato Masher packed the biggest punch..

    Then the American Helmet gave the Most protection...I went to an airshow and bought one....it is a very thick and heavy duty helmet....especially with the liner which is a hard plastic helmet on the inside of the big helmet
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I think the US M1 "Steel Pot" helmet was a good helmet, but I think the German Steel Helmet was good as well. Modern America kevlar helmets have a look similar to the German steel design of WWII, so they must have been doing something right.

    While looking at that kind of thing recently, I cam across a dealer of militaria from the Civil War (US) to Vietnam. Neat stuff here:
    Time Traveler - Quality Authentic Historical Militaria
     
  4. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Wasn't the German helmet so easy to manufacture where as the British helmets took a long time to make?
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Of the four grenades that I know the most about, (the british Mills Bomb, the german M-24 "Potato Masher", the US M-61 and the US M-67), there is very little to choose from in terms of their lethality. All are rated as having a kill zone of 5 metres, and an injusry radious of between 10 and 20 metres though they are capable of hurting someone out to about 50 metres.

    The M-24 is no more lethal than the US grenades, but they are much bulkier, and somewhat clumsy in operation. Thei big advantages were their relative accuracy and range. The stick seemed to give the germans the ability to "lob" grenades with greater accuracy than the allied "egg" grenades, and they were able to throw grenades about 25 metres ofr so, whereas the US and british types could only be thrown about 12-15 metres, under combat conditions. on the other hand, the average allied soldier could carry roughly twice as many grenades as the germans soldier because the M-24 was very bulky and space consuming.
     
  6. TenGunTerror

    TenGunTerror Member

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    I thought it was the German helmet because the shape helped deflect bullets...
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    The Geballte Ladung which was basically a number of heads from potato masher wired around one with the handle still on is the strongest one I know about.

    [​IMG]

    I'd probably have to go with the German Helmet as it seemed to cover more of the head. I assumed they were all metal and about the same thickness, but I really have no idea.
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Most helmets, including the U.S. M1 helmet, weren't able to stop a bullet, although there were a few instances where they did.

    The German helmet did offer better protection against shrapnel in the neck and temple areas so it's no surprise that it's made a come-back in recent years.
     
  9. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    #9 Soren, Jun 26, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
    There was a report on both helmets posted on the forum a few years ago. It was a US test of both helmets, and the German helmet was found to be significantly superior, featuring better steel quality and protection against shrapnel. But as GrauGeist rightly points out, both helmets were unlikely to stop even a pistol round up close.

    As for the grenades. Well I dunno, they all have their advantages. The British US grenades are what we call defensive grenades, or frag grenades, while the German grenade is an offensive concussion grenade. The great thing about the German Soviet design was that you could quickly turn them from offensive into defensive grenades by putting on the fragmentation sleeves which were supplied to put over the top of the explosive container. And then there was the double throwing range, which in many situations can prove to very very useful. The disadvantage was the size. But the egg grenade was developed as-well to solve that issue.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    I vote for German helmet, it offered probably the best protection. Having carried one, or a Finnish version of it, in 11 months during my military service, I can say that it sits comfortably on one's head.
    Handgrenades, in offensive German Potato smasher was probably best. In defensive, maybe I would take a British/US one but difference was not a big one. And its surprisingly easy to hit a target with even a egg type hand granate.

    Juha
     
  11. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    I like the German helmet. It was ahead of the others. I have to go with the US grenade though. It was simply more lethal then the potato masher. The US grenade held more explosives and was much more reliable.
     
  12. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    How heavy was that and how far did you have to throw it in order to avoid hurting your troops as well?
     
  13. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Colin
    Finns developed a SATCHEL CHARGE ("Kasapanos" in Finnish) in 1936, it was designed to use as A/T weapon, but was commonly used also against log and earth bunkers etc. How far one could toss one, maybe 8-10m. The tosser could expect to loss his hearing for a while. I’d not delve its long term effects on one’s hearing. You can see a photo of one here: Kasapanos ? Wikipedia
    It is the big one, you can see also the Potato smasher next to it.

    Juha
     
  14. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I'd say for helmets, the German one. It gives the best all around protection and it covers the neck. I cannot comment on grenades though, as I don't know much about them.
     
  15. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    The Stielhandgranate actually packed a larger explosive charge than both the US pineapple British Mills grenades. And adding the fragmentation sleeve gave it a slightly larger lethal shrapnel range than both.
     
  16. Junkers88A1

    Junkers88A1 Active Member

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    to B-17 engineer.. the english helmat has it distinctiv look because the english did not know how to stretch the steel further without making it thinner and thinner the further you stretched the "headpit" and that would make it pretty useless if it was as thin as it woudl have been on top with the technic used by the english and if they had made it as deep as the german ( couldent stop a finger poking thru it ), but the germans had found a way to stretch the steel without thinning it and make it the same thickness all over even when they made it as deep as they did ( dont ask me how..i saw a long tv-program about just this issue on discovery and how they made it..but i dont remeber how he germans did it..pretty advanced and still used today when making steelparts with deep bowls. the english helmet was MUCH faster to produce than the german helmet

    about the grenades..i really dont know..i just love the "bang" :) but the potatomasher from the germans was easier to throw further :)
     
  17. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    I have read in several places that the potato masher's were not as lethal and sometimes faulty according to some GI's in Normandy. One author attributed it to a smaller explosive charge and the use of slave labor in the German armaments industry. I will read more about it though because it is interesting and the slave labor issue probably needs a thread of its own.
     
  18. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Amsel, I am reading Citizen Soldiers by Ambrose, and several GI's are quoted that the potato mashers were not as powerful as the pineapple. I do not know the specifics as far ar weight, and amount of powder used in either. Specific info would be great to find. Anyone have it?
     
  19. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I really could not say or find it. THe only real data I could find was it could blow the tracks off a tank or penetrate up to 60mm of armour. WWII Infantry Anti-Tank Tactics
     
  20. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I agree about the slave labor thread idea, the laborers risked thier lives to do what they could to fight the Germans. For example, I've read info on how they urinated on the guidance systems on the V1 rockets during assembly, which caused them to fly off course.

    You would think that the Nazi leadership would have learned from the Romans about slave labor.
     
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