Military History | 28 March 2013
A Rare De-activated Second World War British 'Sticky Bomb' ST Grenade, Hand,...
A Rare De-activated Second World War British 'Sticky Bomb' ST Grenade, Hand, Anti-Tank No. 74 by RD & S.
The ST grenade was one of a number of anti-tank weapons developed for use by the British Army and Home Guard as an ad hoc solution to a lack of sufficient anti-tank guns in the aftermath of the Dunkirk evacuation. Designed by a team from MIR including Major Millis Jefferis and Stuart MacRae, the grenade consisted of a glass sphere containing nitroglycerin covered in a powerful adhesive, and surrounded by a sheet-metal casing. When the user pulled a pin on the handle of the grenade, the casing would fall away and expose the sphere; another pin would activate the firing mechanism, and the user would then attempt to attach the grenade to an enemy tank or other vehicle with sufficient force to break the sphere. After it was attached, releasing the lever on the handle would activate a five-second fuse, which would then detonate the nitroglycerin.
The grenade had several faults with its design. In tests, it failed to adhere to dusty or muddy tanks and, if the user was not careful after freeing the grenade from its casing, it could easily stick to his uniform. The Ordnance Board of the War Department did not approve the grenade for use by the British Army, but personal intervention by the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, led to the grenade going into production. Between 1940 and 1943, approximately 2.5 million were produced. It was primarily issued to the Home Guard, but was also used by British and Commonwealth forces in North Africa, accounting for six German tanks, as well as by Australian Army units during the New Guinea campaign. The French Resistance were also issued a quantity of the grenades.
Thursday 28 March 2013, 10.00am
Bristol Auction Room
Wednesday 27th March 10.30am - 6.00pm
Morning of sale from 9.00am