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The Bilboquet

1915 saw, in both camps, the appearance of an entire gamut of grenades which burst on impact; for the brief distance separarting the opposing trenches (sometimes less than 10 meters) made using fused grenades risky, the 5 second delay being sufficient to allow them to be thrown back. When, moreover, the confines of trench warfare forbade the full extension of ones arm, plans were made to create a percussion grenade which could be thrown like a ball in a childs game of "Ball in the cup". This system provided for both models of the "Kugelhandgranate", incendiary grenades, and asphyxiant grenades; it consisted of a cover of sheet metal, cut out to make a handle which contained the ignition system. The last ws made up of a cocked striker held by a lever which was weighed by a large ball; there was also a safety pin to which was tied a five or six meter long string which was wrapped around the igniter. The thrower held the cover in his hand and threw the grenade with a sharp vertical movement, the string unwound and pulled the safety pin and, upon striking the ground or a solid object, the lever tripped, releasing the striker


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