Most people are familiar with the Stielhandgranate that appeared in 1915, and saw use in both world wars. The question I have, is whether it was the first of its kind, a stick-grenade? Were there no stick-grenade designs before it?

This would be very surprising if it was the first of its kind, as stick-grenades seem like a simple technology (that is, an explosive attached to a long handle, for the purpose of throwing it farther). In particular, I could see it having great use to the grenadiers in the 17th century.

Was it perhaps, because grenades in the earlier days of powder warfare were too heavy to make use of this design?

2 Answers 2


The first modern stick grenade appears to have been the British No. 1, developed in 1908. It had an impact fuse, and was a liability in trench warfare, being replaced by the time-fused Mills Bomb.

I can't find any reference to stick grenades in the black-powder era.


Grenades have been around since the 13th Century. China, especially used gunpowder in their grenades, which some people argue was the first grenade. Stick grenades were first introduced during World War 1 by the Germans, which was lighter, cheaper and more convenient. This Grenade revolutionised the future of grenades.

There's no proof that stick grenades existed before the Model 24 Stielhandgranate but it is very possible there could have been similar designs in China from the 10-20th Century.

Another grenade used developed was the Russian-Made RGD-33 and the British No. 1 grenade also used in WW1.

The Answer to your question is yes, probably, as the Stielhandgranate was the first documented and used stick grenade.

EDIT: The British No.1 grenade was, at its time unreliable and little known. Production for it only started in WW1, which makes the Stielhandgranate the first used and reliable stick grenade.

  • 2
    Sources would improve this answer. You mention the British number 1, which according to the source mentioned in the other answer was developed in 1908. Can you explain or show sources explaining why you consider the Stielhandgranate to be first?
    – justCal
    Jan 1, 2018 at 17:57
  • The British number 1 was quite unknown and unreliable in contrast to the Stirlhandgranate, and production for them didn’t start until the dawn of WW1
    – Jake
    Jan 1, 2018 at 18:30
  • 1
    Better. Now if you can and some sources backing your answer up, it'll be looking much better. By the way you might research the Russian grenades back a little also, the RGD-33 was later, but it did have a WW1 predecessor as well.
    – justCal
    Jan 1, 2018 at 18:49
  • My mistake, the RGD-33 was in 1933
    – Jake
    Jan 1, 2018 at 18:59
  • Upvoting, because it includes some background about other grenades. Tragically, no one seems to know if ancient stick grenades existed or are possible.
    – Johnny
    Jan 3, 2018 at 16:54

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