Moschetto per Truppe Speciali con Tromboncino modello 91/28 - Carcano carbine with grenade discharger
Manufactured in Italy c.1928-34 as a Carcano-mounted assault mortar, but quickly phased out for a more conventional artillery piece. 6,5x52mm Carcano 6-round en-bloc clip, bolt action repeater, 45cm long specialist carbine barrel. 38,5mm 180g S.R.2 fin-stabilized fuse bomb, loaded through the muzzle in a spiggot mortar, propelled by a Carcano single-shot bolt action loaded with a live 6,5x52mm round, 100-200m range.
A very interesting weapon prefacing the development of under-barrel grenade launcher, but with obvious quirks that were common in such innovative designs of the era. The M91/28 used a single trigger linked to both Carcano action, but was used with only one bolt at a time to avoid accidental discharge - you could technically use two of them but the rifle’s bolt handle would interfere with the grenade discharger’s bolt. The sights are likewise used for both weapons, with their own sets of graduations. An interesting note to make is the use of the term blunderbuss to identify rifle-mounted cup mortars in both French and Italian armies of the early 20th century.
Imagine for a moment you’re a Chinese solder in the Korean war. This isn’t the Korean war of our universe. This is a longer, much more violent one.
The conflict has entered its fourth year now. You yourself, are storming a hill occupied by Australian forces. Or they may have been Canadian, you’re not entirely sure. Regardless, you grab your ‘burp’ gun, and start rushing up the hill. Fire is light, but quickens heavily, although you don’t have to worry too much, as you aren’t in the first wave. Luckily, enemy air power isn’t present so early in the morning, and their artillery crews seem off the ball. Your regiment presses hard once combat picks up, but it’s difficult as you’re fighting into the rising morning sun. You crawl into a shell hole, one of the many that dot the hill from your sides preparatory mortar barrage. Its not that deep, but every millimetre counts when you’re under Bren gun fire. You’re on your back, facing away, checking your kit, when you feel the sun crest the mountains in the distance, incredibly bright.
Then it hits you. You’re facing West on a crisp winter morning and the sun only rises in the east.
A mushroom cloud rises, kilometers in the distance, the fireball having just crested a hill from your line of sight. You wonder how the higher ups in your regiment will deal with having their logistics and command elements quite literally atomized. In the far distance, you can make out four contrails and a tiny bright dot flying west ward.
As the combined shockwave and boom of the bomb hit you, the firing on the hill dies down. In the silence, a new sound is picked up. You hear what can only be described as a cheer from the enemy lines, and more ominously, a buzzing. It gets louder and louder, the men around you nervous. One of them in a panic stands and charges, being cut down mercilessly from a burst of machine gun fire. The buzzing is extremely loud, and approaching rapidly.
There’s a flash of a black object, low and fast, followed by more. A small object lands a meter from you, but your eyes are on the objects flying past. Like bicycles, they have riders, but they move with the propellers of aircraft. The object on the hill rolls into your lap. Its what looks like grenade.
Picture of three French soldiers equipped for trench warfare, using metal skullcaps, body armor, a 1886 Lebel rifle, a MAS 1873 revolver and what appears to be a vast collection of captured German impact stick grenades. Notice the use of tactical moustaches, a staple of European powers.
U.S. Army Prototype Anti-Armor Hand Grenade from 1973 - A Shaped Charge Packed in a Hollowed-Out NERF Football
“Since a regulation size football weighs 14 ounces, it was considered feasible to make a shaped charge grenade within this weight limitation,” according to the official test report. “In addition, most U.S. troops are familiar with throwing footballs.”
Footballs, however, are not solid inside, making the prototype grenade unstable in flight. The project was cancelled and Parker Brothers (makers of the NERF footballs since 1969) were never officially involved.