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No. 76 Special Incendiary Grenade: Wikis

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No 76, Self Igniting Phosphorus
Type Incendiary grenade
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Production history
Number built 6,000,000.[1]
Specifications
Filling phosphorus, benzene
Detonation
mechanism
Impact

The No. 76 was an incendiary grenade based on white phosphorus used during World War II.

The design was the suggestion of the British phosphorus manufacturing firm of Albright and Wilson at a time when the UK faced possible invasion by Germany. As such it would be used by the Home Guard and organised resistance units as part of a last ditch defence.

The grenade comprised a glass bottle with a total volume of approximately one pint. It was filled with white phosphorus, benzene, a piece of rubber and water. Over time the rubber dissolved to create a sticky fluid which would self ignite when the bottle broke. The grenade could either be thrown by hand, or fired from the Northover projector, a simple mortar; a stronger container was needed for the latter and the two types were colour-coded. As any breakage of the flask would be dangerous, storage under water was recommended. Like the Sticky bomb, it did not inspire much confidence in its users.

The Home Guard hid caches of these grenades during the war for use in the event of an invasion. Not all locations were officially recorded and some caches were lost.[2] Occasionally, the caches are discovered by builders digging foundations. In all cases, the grenades are still found to be dangerous and typically are destroyed via a controlled explosion.

Notes

  1. ^ MacKenzie, 1995, p92: gives a figure of "more than 6,000,000 by August 1941"
  2. ^ BBC NEWS | Wales | Mid Wales | Bomb team tackles WWII grenades

See also

References

  • MacKenzie, S P. The Home Guard: A Military and Political History. Oxford University Press, 1995 ISBN 0-19-820577-5.

External links

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