Model 1917 Eihandgranate (Egg Grenade / Mle 1917)
Fragmentation Hand Grenade
Development of this German Egg Grenade began in 1916, producing the Model 1917 a year later.
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The hand grenade truly came into its own as an infantry weapon during World War 1 (1914-1918). The Germans initially relied on their line of Model 24 Stielhandgranate ("stick grenade") from 1915 onwards until 1917 when the Model 1917 Eihandgranate ("Egg Grenade") was introduced. The new grenade model was given a much handier size and weight which allowed more to be carried and throw farther by the operator. It featured a smooth outer casing which housed the explosive filling and delay fuse with a pull wire loop protruding from its top. Overall length was 60mm with a diameter reaching 50mm. Different fuse types were experimented with.
The German Army eventually adopted two different forms of the Model 1917. The first featured a smooth cast body while the second was given a fragmenting ring across its diameter to improve fragmentation during detonation. The introduction of the Model 1917, and its usefulness in the field, prompted the British to develop and issue a similar egg-shaped grenade in the "No.34" series of 1917.