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No 36 grenade accessories


Well-Known Member
I just got this interesting accessory for the No. 36 grenade. Not something one would immediately associate with a 36 grenade and the truth is even stranger. So, what is it you say........ Well, apparently someone during the war decided that the Merchant Navy needed an antiaircraft gun that would fire 36 grenades at low flying aircraft.. So, they developed the "Holman Projector" and for a projectile developed this tin can that would fit a No.36 grenade. So, I can only assume that the grenade was put in the tin with the pin projecting out of the cutout in the side. Apparently a longer pin was required (which you can see in the photos) to allow it to project out of the tin. Also a special Naval igniter set for the grenade. So the German aircraft decides to get low and strafe the Merchant navy ship, aha, little do they know about this secret device called a Holman projector (launched by steam apparently). So the crew man the weapon, pull the pin on the grenade (the tin holding the lever down of course) drop it down the barrel, and let loose when the aircraft gets close, pop goes the projector and out pops this thing. I am assuming that the four holes in the bottom allowed steam to actually enter the projectile and pop the top off (don't think the hole in top is supposed to be there), meanwhile the projectile is travelling up the barrel of the Projector. As it leaves the barrel, the top falls away, the remainder keeps going, the tin being lighter falls off the grenade and allows the lever to operate. The grenade flys up and (flight of fancy here) smashed through the cockpit dropping a live grenade in the pilots lap and spoils his day........ Wonder if there are any instances of this thing ever actually shooting down an aircraft??? If nothing else, it certainly demonstrates the extraordinary lengths they went to in the early part of the war to provide some form of defense, something being better than nothing.....

Hopefully other people have more information, but I thought you might like to see it.


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I heard a lovely tale, albeit more than likely apocryphal regarding the Holman projector. Although the projector worked in trials the designers had overlooked one on mans' basic survival tactics namely 'flight' When a merchant man was attacked the Captain would invariably demand 'Full Steam ahead' or where ever. The consequence of this is that it robbed the projector of its steam pressure. Thus, when the projector was fired there was only enough head of steam for the grenade(s) to dribble out of the projector and roll around the deck until such time as it/they detonated - much to the consternation of the crew.


Tim. G.