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Cutaway instructional Mills Grenade

Article about: I have recently bought a cutaway Mills N 34 instructional grenade. Since it was only a cutaway shell, cutaway center piece, base plug and safety lever, I have decide to complete it with repr

  1. #1

    Default Cutaway instructional Mills Grenade

    I have recently bought a cutaway Mills N 34 instructional grenade. Since it was only a cutaway shell, cutaway center piece, base plug and safety lever, I have decide to complete it with repro retaining pin, striker, striker spring and a dummy inert cap, fuze and detonator. I would say that the result is rather satisfactory.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Cutaway instructional Mills Grenade   Cutaway instructional Mills Grenade  

    Cutaway instructional Mills Grenade  

  2. #2

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    Yep, there is a certain aesthetic to having these on the "shelf"

    Cutaway instructional Mills Grenade

    I'm just about old enough to have seen one of these training aids in weapon training lessons.

    Because the Enfield spike bayonet was long gone (no, I'm not that old!) we were taught to "cock" the No36 using a screwdriver placed against the waistbelt.

    I have to say that preparing these for use was a little "sobering".

    I still find the cutaway as fascinating as I did back then

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  3. #3

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    Mark,

    But do you remember having to remove the wool grease from around the striker hole? Oh, and the cutaways shown here all appear to be home made versions and not the issue 'Inert Instructional' items.

    R

  4. #4

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    Nice addition, Brilliant thing to look & play with for hours on end! Thanks for showing!
    Regards
    René

  5. #5

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    Quote by vegetius View Post
    Mark,

    But do you remember having to remove the wool grease from around the striker hole? Oh, and the cutaways shown here all appear to be home made versions and not the issue 'Inert Instructional' items.

    R
    Yes mate, plus inspecting the body for cracks and looking down the central tube to check for obstruction just like a rifle!

    Of course you will know better about manufactured versus locally made but I imagine that there was always a requirement for more training aids as there always is so I don't suppose one can tell whether it was a unit armourer or some bloke in a shed that did it

    The first of the two I show came directly from military possession, somwehow it was missed in the bottom of a pouch at the end of a traing period

    We trained with these in tandem to the L2A2 (UK version of US M26) then referred to a an "offensive" grenade, now obsolete itself (I always considered grenades as fairly offensive if not downright hostile ) as opposed to the No 36 being dubbed "defensive". I don't think that distinction is made much these days?

    The part I found the most alarming on the range was practising the "dropped live grenade" drill when the instructor would physically heave the "dropper" into the adjacent shelter bay and fall on top of him. That was a great wakener

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  6. #6

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    Quote by vegetius View Post
    Mark,

    But do you remember having to remove the wool grease from around the striker hole? Oh, and the cutaways shown here all appear to be home made versions and not the issue 'Inert Instructional' items.

    R
    I remember preparing Mills Bombs on the ranges at Mourmelon le Grande in 1970... They were all wartime dates, and I distinctly remember having to scrape away what I thought was protective wax. We were all responsible for priming our own grenades, and once on the firing point, God help the man who threw one without a fuse in it. The officer in charge wouldn't be a happy bunny!
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  7. #7

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    I disposed of about half a dozen boxes of No36's in 1982 that were the last remaining in service as a young Cpl. We did debate weather throwing them would be acceptable but for some unfathomable reason common sense prevailed!

    However I have disposed of so many hundreds of No 5, 23, 36's over the years usually in old Mr smith's garden that I do wonder if any were ever thrown in battle! Nowadays the troops have to photograph all items prior to disposal ! If we had to do that I must admit the quantity of 2" Mortar HE Blinds would have gone down considerably!

    Mark,

    The L2 was never a great grenade. Not really an Offensive Grenade but ineffective so usable in an offensive mode. The new grenade is a different matter entirely, very effective and taking cover is essential not optional!

  8. #8

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    Quote by vegetius View Post
    I disposed of about half a dozen boxes of No36's in 1982 that were the last remaining in service as a young Cpl. We did debate weather throwing them would be acceptable but for some unfathomable reason common sense prevailed!

    However I have disposed of so many hundreds of No 5, 23, 36's over the years usually in old Mr smith's garden that I do wonder if any were ever thrown in battle! Nowadays the troops have to photograph all items prior to disposal ! If we had to do that I must admit the quantity of 2" Mortar HE Blinds would have gone down considerably!

    Mark,

    The L2 was never a great grenade. Not really an Offensive Grenade but ineffective so usable in an offensive mode. The new grenade is a different matter entirely, very effective and taking cover is essential not optional!
    It would have been fun to have chucked a couple though but even better to have deactivated them

    Over the years the "bomb under a bush" scenario was a fairly common occurrence particularly in Cyprus where during the Turkish invasion and the earlier EOKA troubles many people had carried one in a pocket or handbag "just in case" then when things settled down they just casually tossed them in a field. In the first instance within the Sovereign Base Areas when Farmer Costas dug one up under his olive trees, my colleagues and I would be called to look and say "yep that's a bomb" then call ATO
    There was one ATO Major who used to casually pick up an old Mills 36 or US Mk2, casually inspect it then put it in his pocket and stroll off with it to his truck. Part of me thought this was for our benefit, part of me wasn't so sure

    Yes, the L2A2 was nowhere near as impressive as the Mills 36 and I was always happy to hear the 36 go off because it was policy at that time for the thrower to show ATO where his blind had landed!

    The L109A1 came in just after I retired but I have heard good things about it.

    I love it when these threads develop from an exhibit into a greater discourse putting the artifacts into context

    Regards

    Mark
    Last edited by Watchdog; 10-19-2020 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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