No.75 Hawkins Grenade
General Historical Information
Place of origin Great Britain
Produced In Great Britain
Type Anti-tank grenade
General Ingame Information
Used by Great Britain
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The Grenade, Hand, Anti-tank, No. 75, also known as the Hawkins grenade was a British anti-tank hand grenade used during World War II. It was one of a number of grenades developed for use by the British Army and Home Guard in the aftermath of the Dunkirk evacuation. The grenade first appeared in 1942, and was designed to be more versatile than previous grenades.


The grenade was rectangular in shape and approximately 150 millimetres (5.9 in) in length and 75 millimetres (3.0 in) in width, and weighed about 1.02 kilograms (2.2 lb). Its explosive content consisted of around 0.45 kilograms (0.99 lb) of blasting explosive, which was usually either ammonal or TNT. On the top of the grenade was a plate, under which the user would insert a chemical igniter, which would act as the weapon's fuse. When a vehicle drove over the grenade, its weight crushed the plate, which in turn cracked the igniter; this then leaked acid onto a sensitive chemical which detonated the charge. The grenade was designed so that it could either be thrown at a vehicle like an ordinary anti-tank grenade, or placed at a location when used as an anti-tank mine. It was also fitted with areas where blasting caps or cordtex could be placed, so that it could be used as a demolition charge. When the grenade was used, it was recommended that the user be within a short distance of their target, ideally concealed within a trench; if the target were an armoured vehicle, then the best areas to target were the sides and rear, where the engine compartment was located and armour was generally thinner.

It was rectangular in shape, about 150 millimetres (5.9 in) in length and 75 millimetres (3.0 in) in width, and contained approximately 0.45 kilograms (0.99 lb) of explosive. When a vehicle drove over the grenade, it cracked a chemical igniter and leaked acid onto a sensitive chemical, which detonated the explosive. Multiple grenades were often used to destroy tanks or disable their tracks, and the grenade could also be used as a demolition charge. It was used by the British Army and the United States Army, with the former using it until 1955.

Operational serviceEdit

Introduced in 1942, the grenade saw service with the British Army until 1955. The United States Army also used the grenade, as well as developing their own variant known as the M7 light anti-tank mine. When used in an anti-tank role, a number of the grenades could be strung together in a 'daisy chain' at intervals of around two feet, and then placed across a road to damage an armoured vehicle. It was particularly effective at damaging the tracks of a tank. When sufficient grenades were grouped together, they were capable of disabling a medium tank. The Hawkins was also used in other roles, such as breaching walls, and its small size also meant that it could easily be placed into the 'web' of a railway line and, when detonated, destroy a section of track.

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