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The BK-2H Blendkörper was an anti-tank grenade that was used by Germany during World War II.

Description

The Blendkörper used a two bottle mechanism for releasing its caustic chemicals. The inside bottle contained 36 grams of an aqueous solution of calcium chloride while the outer bottle contained 270 grams of titanium tetrachloride.[1] When mixed, the otherwise red solution would generate clouds of thick white smoke. Ideally, the grenade was smashed against the ventilation system of an enemy tank and thus the smoke would force the crew to abandon the vehicle. However, in practice the crew of a tank was often able to drive away from the limited area affected before too much smoke entered the fighting compartment.

The BK-2H weighed about 400 grams while having a total length of 128mm.[2] To seal the weapon, the BK-2H used a sulphur and cement plug, though some later variations have been found to have a plug made of bakelite.[3] Distribution of the BK-2H was handled via the use of a specialized cardboard box with separate compartments per grenade. A total of four could be stored in each box with a notice describing their use being placed on the front of the box. This also contained the other use for the BK-2H which was to act as a smoke grenade to supplement larger screens.[4]

History

The BK-2H was initially developed after the first BK-1H Blendkörper design, to be a more effective anti-tank weapon and began mass-production in 1943. In practice, the BK-2H had managed to overcome some of the difficulties faced by its predecessor and thus had a far longer service life. In fact, the BK-2H design was produced all the way until the end of the war, with some five million being produced during that time. Few survived the war intact as many of these grenades were quickly used up in combat.

References

  1. http://www.lexpev.nl/grenades/europe/germany/blendkoerper2h.html
  2. http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Waffen/handgranaten.htm
  3. http://inert-ord.net/ger03a/gerat/index.html
  4. http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ttt/german-glass-smoke-grenades.html


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