The grenade is a primitive explosive weapon used during the Renaissance Era; a cast iron bomb filled with projectiles of death. It was the Musketeer's Special weapon.
The grenade was an iron ball packed with black powder and metal scraps, with a fuse sticking out of the top.
- Single detonation
- Weight: 2 lbs
- Cast iron, gunpowder, and shrapnel
Grenades existed as early as the 8th century in the Eastern Roman Empire and were primarily used to contain napalm to burn enemy ships and buildings; akin to a Molotov Cocktail.
The Yuan dynasty saw some of the earliest uses of blackpowder grenades. The Mongols managed to use grenades and other explosives effectively to both devastate and intimidate the Japanese during the 1274 Invasion of Japan. The 14th century military book the Huolongjing describes several different Chinese grenade designs; with various types of components including shrapnel, poison gas and smoke.
Ninjas frequently used Torinoko Smoke Bombs; which were simple and small paper balls filled with gunpowder. While not lethal; they functioned like a flashbang and allowed the Ninjas to hide in smoke in a technique known as Noroshi no Jutsu. This lead to the myth that Ninja could teleport.
European Grenades were first used in the 15th Century, but did not see widespread use until the 17th Century.
The Ming Dynasty frequently used grenades; including poison gas and incendiary. Ming Admiral Zheng He managed to sink many ships of the pirate Captain Chen Zuyi using these grenades.
European Grenades were made out of iron to increase the lethality of shrapnel. Ottoman armies by contrast had glass or clay grenades to be lighter and could be thrown farther than iron grenades.
The Grenadier was a soldier designed to carry and use multiple grenades in battle: mainly sent to sabotage or against trenches and walls. It was common for them to carry as many as 12 grenades each. These troops existed primarily in the 17th century, but the name 'Grenadier' was used for elite soldiers as previous Grenadiers required strength and bravery to carry out their dangerous missions. By the 18th century, muskets dominated the battlefield and made the short range of a thrown grenade obsolete as a major form of combat. Most Grenadiers used firearms to give themselves covering fire until they could get in range for their bombs.
One exception to this was the Bombaši: Yugoslavian guerillas who fought against the Axis Powers during WWII. The Bombaši would frequently attack at night to ambush bunkers or assassinate targets. Many Bombaši were women as well (most noticeably Marija Bursać), which made it difficult for the Axis soldiers to distinguish civilian from foe.
These early explosives had a tendency to prematurely detonate or get too dampened by water to function. Also the smooth-ball design, while effective at allowing the bomb to roll, wasn't efficient in spreading shrapnel compared to later Pineapple Bomb designs.
- The word 'Grenade' comes from the Spanish word 'Granada', which is the fruit Pomegranate. Grenades resembled Pomegranates, hence its name.