Object Title

Modell 24 Stielhandgranate, second pattern

Modell 24 Stielhandgranate, second pattern


The Modell 24 Stielhandgranate, or 'stick grenade' was devised in 1915 and developed throughout the War. With its long handle and what resembled a cylindrical metal tin at the end of the handle, the Allies gave it the nickname of 'the potato masher'.

The first pattern of Stielhandgranate, had a permanently revealed pull cord protruding from the bottom of the handle. These cords occasionally caught and detonated the grenades whilst being carried, causing severe injuries and occasionally fatalities. The German army rectified this design flaw in 1916 with the second pattern by introducing a screw cap on the base of the stick. The hook on the tin allows the grenade to be fixed to a belt, ideal for raiding parties.

The Stielhandgranate, was used throughout the First and Second World Wars, with various refinements taking place. Cold climates could cause the Model 24 to fail to detonate. A special explosive powder was used in those destined for the Eastern Front, and these were marked with 'K' meaning 'Kalt' (which translates as cold) stencilled on the cylindrical tin. Gradually the Modell 24 was superseded by the Modell 43 in 1943 and eventually replaced in 1945.

Use and effect

Like the British Mills bomb, the stick grenade's fuses were inserted prior to action, usually at a safe distance from others. A reminder for the user to insert his detonator was written on the cylindrical tin which contained the explosive charge. It read 'Vor Gebrauch Sprengkapsel einsetzen', which translates to 'Before use insert detonator'. Once the detonator was in place the grenade was ready to take into combat. In order to detonate the grenade the base cap was unscrewed revealing the cord weighted down with a porcelain ball. Once the cord was pulled a friction wire was dragged through a chemical mixture, igniting the grenade.

The second pattern has a delay of 5.5 seconds before exploding. This gave the thrower ample time to produce sufficient distance. Most German bombers could throw a distance of around 35 yards (32 m), although from the prone position this range would be reduced. 
In the case of a 'dud' throw, the design of the stick grenade reduced the risk of it rolling back like a mills bomb would on slightly angled ground. A flaw in this design was the size of the grenade made it easier for the Allies to spot, and often throw back.


Country of manufacture Germany
Date entered service 1915
Manufacturer Unknown
Overall length 35.4 cm (13.9 in)
Primary operator Germany
Weight 350 g (12.3 oz)


Lisa Traynor