Dutch ''Grenade'' Launcher

  • General History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

This innovation in weapons (for a short time!), was developed in The Dutch Netherlands. Designed from the earlier Hand Cannons and Culverins of several hundred years prior, this model came about in the late 17th Century. Using the "newer method" of combining a rifle-type gun stock with a mini-mortar - this weapon requires 2 men to operate. Modernly called a "Grenade Launcher", in theory at least - it worked similarly. The Launcher has a 2.1 inch bore diameter and weights anywhere from 7 to 9 pounds. The barrel was made of brass. In deployment, a Firing Fork may have been used (although actual firing procedures are sketchy). A powder charge would be placed in the barrel. Next a "grenade" (or 1 to 2 pound hollow shot, filled with powder was added). The shot had a long slow match attached. One man would "light" the "grenade". When the match burn down to a suitable length, the secondary charge (activated by flintlock mechanism), would fire - sending the "grenade" skyward. A range of 20 to 30 meters was possible. Also possible was that the round could be shot in the air (creating an airburst). Obviously, this weapon misfired more than it fired - causing the immediate death or injury of the operators. The Dutch Grenade Launcher was used during The Anglo-Dutch War.