Clash of Steel
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First World War Trench Warfare


This collection of items from World War 1 illustrates the nature of life and war in the the trenches. Water bottles and a Very pistol for firing signal flares sit alongside items from the offensive side of trench warfare. From left to right, a trench club, a bayonet, a British No.2 Hale's percussion grenade, three types of rifle grenade, a British No.36 hand grenade (also known as a Mills Bomb) and an early gas mask. The No.2 Hales grenade has cloth streamers fitted to the rear of the handle to make sure that the front end of the grenade, where the percussion fuse is located, hits the target first, so setting it off. The rifle grenades are of the rod type. By fiting the rod into the muzzle of a rifle and firing a blank cartridge, it could be launched a considerable distance, again with a percussion fuse. The Mills bomb is time fused, triggered by pulling out the safety pin and releasing the lever.


The Museum of Manchester's Regiment, Ashton-under-Lyne, UK. March 2004

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