British No. 1 Hand Grenade WWI
The No. 1 Hand Grenade, as the name may suggest, was the first hand grenade designed by the British, and was the first grenade used in World War I. Unlike later grenades, which operate on timed fuses activated by pulling a pin, this grenade uses an impact fuse, meaning it detonates when it strikes the ground. To ensure it was thrown and activated properly, a long handle was included for easier throwing, and the cloth streamers on the tail stabilized its flight and made sure it impacted on its nose. The long handle, however, was dangerous in trenches, and resulted in several accidents when the grenade would be detonated as its nose knocked against the backs of trenches when soldiers were reaching back to throw. In addition, German prisoners informed their captors that it was possible to deflect the grenade with wooden boards, and, if it did not detonate, could also be thrown back. It was soon replaced by the No. 3 in 1915, which had a shorter handle. Eventually, the introduction of the timed fuse grenade in the form of the Mills Bomb would see the end of impact fuse hand grenades in the British military.
Text and image via the Ontario Regiment Museum