Home History When the Army Put Grenades Inside Footballs

When the Army Put Grenades Inside Footballs

by Enochadmin

In case you’ve thrown a Nerf soccer, you possibly can throw a grenade in opposition to invading Soviets.

No less than, that’s what the U.S. Military thought in 1973 — and put that concept to the take a look at.

“At first of the Chilly Warfare, NATO planners envisioned as many as 175 Soviet divisions advancing throughout Western Europe,” writes Blake Stilwell for Military.com. “Of their thoughts, NATO troops would discover themselves preventing the Purple Military’s new T-62 tanks in cities and cities, populated areas the place the collateral injury from anti-tank missiles may kill civilians.”

Shut-quarters preventing referred to as for close-quarter weaponry, and with that, the Military tried to meld People’ love of soccer with fight.

The Military’s Land Warfare Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland was tasked with making a football-shaped grenade.

However they rapidly discovered why the thought wasn’t going to fly.

“Since a regulation measurement soccer weighs 14 ounces, it was thought-about possible to make a formed cost grenade inside this weight limitation. As well as, most US troops are acquainted with throwing footballs,” in response to the Military’s take a look at report for the weapon.

So Military researchers merely hollowed out a Nerf soccer — sure, the froth balls you threw as a toddler — and positioned explosives inside.

Ingenious, certain. Sensible? Hardly.

Footballs fly by the air as a result of there’s an excellent distribution of weight surrounding the hole within the ball. However 14 ounces of explosives tended to make the trajectory of the Nerf grenade “unpredictable,” in response to the take a look at report.


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Military warfare planners had higher luck taking inspiration from baseball. In 1968, because the Vietnam Warfare was in full swing, the M-67 grenade — generally known as the baseball grenade — noticed widespread use within the warfare.

Regardless of its ubiquitous use, present Military manuals make no point out of sports activities or balls on the subject of grenades. “Since few troopers throw in the identical method, it’s tough to determine agency guidelines or strategies for throwing hand grenades,” one handbook factors out.

“If a soldier can obtain extra distance and accuracy utilizing his personal private fashion, he must be allowed to take action so long as his physique is dealing with sideways, in direction of the enemy’s place, and he throws mainly overhand,” the doc provides.

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