The Danish M.1923 Handgranate designated the Haandbombe Model 1923 was developed by the Danish and produced in Denmark.
After the German occupation in April of 1940, the ordnance plants continued the production of the Haandbombe Model 1923 using the German nomenclature: Handgranate 342d (An Offensive Version) and Handgranate 343d (A Defensive Version). There were two color variations that can be found, one being Grey with a Black Band and a less common variation in Yellow with dates observed from 1940 to 1945. There are a variey of markings which include “23”; “K” inside a 12 pointed star; “AK/B 194x” (194x being the date); and “AMA” (AmMunitions Arsenalet).
Construction & Function
The body is sheet steel with a brass percussion delay fuse assembly and a spring type safety wire. A plunger on top acts as a striker mechanism and the bottom cap provides access to the detonator or a practice charge. There is a fuse interrupter safety on the side which separates and activates the grenade upon throwing. The defensive model is created by the addition of a fragmentation sleeve, consisting of two identical cast iron half shells attached to the offensive grenade and secured with wire, wrapped around the top and bottom.
The practice grenade is made using thick-wall steel, to simulate live weight and make it more robust for repeated use. The most obvious way to identify the practice from the service type (other than the color scheme) is the presence of two 2.5mm holes drilled in the body – one found just below the safety interrupter, the other is located on the top cone on the opposite side. The base end cap has a 6mm exhaust hole for the practice charge, which was inserted in the space that would have held the detonator in a service grenade.
After use, the grenade had to be returned to the factory for a new fuse. A string of indented dots may be found below the safety interrupter, each indicating a re-load cycle by the factory. This example was apparently reloaded EIGHT times. It still has almost all of the original grey paint, and a great patina.