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Fusante No.1 (F-1)

Infantry Fragmentation Hand Grenade

The French F1 served as the basis for the American Mk 1 and Mk 2 designs as well as the Soviet F1.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 11/1/2016
National Flag Graphic


Year: 1915
Manufacturer(s): State Factories - France
Roles: Area Effect;
Action: Manually-Actuated; Percussion Cap/Timed-Fuse; Thrown
Caliber(s): Not Applicable.
Sights: Not Applicable.
Overall Length: 100 mm (3.94 in)
Barrel Length: 100 mm (3.94 in)
Weight (Unloaded): 1.26 lb (0.57 kg)
Effective Range: 98 ft (30 m; 33 yd)
Operators: France; Finland; Imperial Russia; Soviet Union; United States
The F1 served the French Army through World War 1 and World War 2 as a standard anti-personnel fragmentation infantry hand grenade. The type served as the basis for other country's designs including both the United States (Mk 1) and the Soviet Union (F1). The French F1 was initially designed in 1915 with acceptance into French Army service being granted that same year. It served French forces until the fall of France in 1940 to the Germans.

The F1 originally relied on a percussion-based detonation cap system. This eventually gave way to the more conventional time-fused system utilized the world over. Her steel exterior was ribbed to ensure a solid single-hand hold when handling. The system was actuated by removal of the safety device and then thrown towards the enemy. Such a weapon proved useful in the trench warfare networks of World War 1 where dislodging prepared enemies was key to victory. In World War 2, the French Army and her Allies valiantly attempted the defense France and the F1 was fielded alongside the P1 and Citron type hand grenades until the fall of France. After the war in 1945, the F1 was discontinued from French Army use, eventually replaced by more modern types.

During World War 1, the F1 was selected by the United States Army as the basis for its new Mk 1 fragmentation grenade of 1917. At the time of America's involvement in World War 1, the nation held little in the way of an arms industry and relied largely on existing French systems. The Mk 1 proved a massive failure for the burgeoning American arms industry but paved the way for the fabled Mk 2 series of 1918 thereafter.

The Soviet Union also took to designing their new F1 hand grenade from the French F1, this based off of use of the French F1 during the rise of the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution. France delivered F1 grenades in support of "White Movement" forces combating the rise of the Bolsheviks to no avail.

Variants / Models

• F1 - Base Series Designation; initial production with percussion cap detonation, later changed to timed fuse.
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