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Monday, July 11, 2005


Holding a live hand grenade is quite an unnerving experience at first. To be perfectly honest I've never quite got comfortable with them. The basic premise behind a modern hand grenade is that you grasp it firmly in your hand, pull the pin, throw the device, duck, wait for a bang, carry on.

The first time I threw a hand grenade was about 11 years ago. The first time you do this it is in a very controlled environment. That doesn't stop you from being nervous. You are holding in your hand a lump of metal and high explosive designed to maim and kill. The fact that there is a small piece of metal preventing this from happening isn't much comfort. You prime the grenade by placing the fuse into the grenade and screwing it in. You are lead up to the "throwing bay". You gulp, and on the word of command pull the pin. We had practiced the actual "throw" with suitably sized stones beforehand. As I stood there with a live hand grenade in my hand sans pin I suddenly realised that I had totally lost the ability to throw. Through a supreme effort of concentration I managed to launch the grenade the requisite distance beyond the throwing bay. We ducked. There was a bang that compared with what I had seen in the movies was distinctly disappointing.

I realised it was over. Actually it is a very overrated experience. The thing I have never liked about them is just walking around with one in my pouch. The pin might appear to be firmly wedged in but what if it is slowly working its way loose........


Blogger Jason Lomberg said...

Hey, you should have joined the Royal Airforce or Navy if you didn't want to handle grenades :)

10:21 pm  

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