No. 5 'Mills bomb' Grenade
|Country of Origin||United Kingdom|
Contributor: Alan Chanterww2dbaseThe British army introduced the Grenade, Hand, No. 1 into service in June 1908. This was a stick type grenade not unlike the German "potato masher" but rather slimmer and with a longer throwing handle. It is not known whether these were much used during the mobile warfare in 1914 and had been generally replaced by the Grenade, Hand, No. 5 from May 1915.
The Grenade, Hand, No. 5 was designed by a Mr. W. Mills of Birmingham and thus would become more commonly known as the "Mills bomb". The Mills bomb was very much a defensive grenade (the lethal zone being greater than the distance it could be thrown), and thus the thrower needed to take shelter after throwing it. They were filled with baratol as the explosive, and the detonation mechanism was set at a 7-second delay (later reduced to 4 seconds). To achieve greater range a modified version (Grenade, Hand and Rifle, No. 23) was produced from 1916. This model was a standard Mills bomb adapted to take a 5½-rifle rod so that it could be fired from the issue Lee Enfield Rifle. Later still an improved Rifle grenade (Grenade, Hand and Rifle, No. 36) was introduced fitted with a 2½-inch diameter base-plate so that it could be fired by a cup-dispenser method.
The Mills bomb would be the British army's favoured hand thrown grenade throughout both world wars and would not be retired until the 1970s. In view of the need to counter armoured vehicles however, during the Second World War the Mills rifle grenade was considered ineffective and was quickly replaced by more advanced types such as the Grenade, Rifle, No. 68/AT.
Over 70,000,000 Mills bomb hand grenades were made. ww2dbase
Last Major Revision: Jul 2011
Did you enjoy this article? Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.
Share this article with your friends:
Stay updated with WW2DB:
Visitor Submitted Comments
All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.
- » WW2-era bomb defused in Frankfurt (9 Jul 2019)
- » Birthday Celebration for WAAF Teleprinter Operator (7 Jul 2019)
- » Passing of Richard Cole, Doolittle Raider (10 Apr 2019)
- » Wreck of Wasp Found (13 Mar 2019)
- » Wreck of Hornet Found (12 Feb 2019)
- » Wreck of Hiei Found (11 Feb 2019)
- » See all news
- » 1,062 biographies
- » 331 events
- » 36,844 timeline entries
- » 1,034 ships
- » 332 aircraft models
- » 185 vehicle models
- » 344 weapon models
- » 104 historical documents
- » 190 facilities
- » 462 book reviews
- » 25,708 photos
- » 297 maps
Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943