The Model 39 is often referred to as the "Egg" grenade due to its rounded oval shape as well as its size. Its size was in fact an intentional design so that German troops would be able to carry more and use the weapon in tighter spaces than the larger Model 24 Stielhandgranate. Another advantage of the Model 39 over the Model 24 was that it was smaller and harder to spot quickly, which reduced the likelihood of it being thrown back. The type's standard 4.5 second fuse ensured this.
However, if a longer or shorter amount of time was needed, special color coded caps could be used which had different fuse lengths and thus coded to show which. In this case, less than four seconds was red, default 4.5 seconds was blue, 7.5 seconds was yellow, and ten seconds was grey. For booby traps, the fuse was sometimes set to detonate immediately so Allied soldiers attempting to use the grenade would experience a premature detonation.
The total length of the Model 39 was about 76 mm while its total weight was 340 grams. To arm and use the grenade, the igniter on the top needed to be unscrewed and pulled, igniting the delay within the grenade, before then throwing the grenade. The grenade itself was constructed out of two pieces of metal crimped together around the weapon's equator.
Although not really a proper variant for the Model 39, a special fragmentation sleeve was developed in 1944 for use with the Eihandgranate. This sleeve would be fastened around the centerline of the grenade and would give the weapon far more damaging effects against infantry.
The Model 39 was introduced in 1939 as a further development of a World War I design which similarly was used in tandem with the Model 24 Stielhandgranate. Lighter and less cumbersome, the Model 39 was also noted for being easier to throw and be thrown farther, outcompeting the lever action of the Model 24. The Model 39 would be produced throughout the war until the German surrender in 1945.
- ↑ http://www.inert-ord.net/ger03a/gerhgr/m39/index.html
- ↑ http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=432
- ↑ http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/german-grenades/egg-type-hand-grenade.html