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Dunkirk1940 Museum
Official profile of the Dunkirk 1940 Museum based at Fort Luton, Chatham Kent. Dedicated to the full and real events of 1939-1940.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum 7h
Apologies over the last minute notice here. Part of the team will be attending for their open day tomorrow.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum 20h
Comparatively speaking, the Germans were better prepared than here in the UK.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 22
Good morning Twitter! We are curious as to what you would like us to feature in our posts, so asking what you would like to see?
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 22
We have a number of these in our collection and they are truly wonderful books to explore.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 22
Replying to @ProfPeterDoyle
I take it the later finish was an acceptance of the reality of that the Russian campaign constituted a part of the same conflict?
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
The Germans opted for a new design in WW2 too. This was designed for use with the K98 rifle, but, with adaption could also be fired from flare guns if required. Launcher (left) Grenade (right)
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
In WW2 the British stopped using the rod grenades in favour of cup discharged grenades like the one shown here.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
The VB would go on to used by the French in WW2 and also extended the lifespan of the Lebel well beyond what would have been its usefulness. The MAS36 copied the layout of the Lebel and was also perfect for launching the VB's.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
The German version of the launcher is shown here. It features a completely unnecessary locking ring, the VB being launched successfully without the need for such. Again this is a waste of precious war materials.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
The Germans copied the system and here is the German 'inkpot' (left) compared to the French VB (right) essentially working on the same principle. The Germans did take every advantage to over engineer the simple system of the VB. It worked, just wasted metal.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
The grenade was placed into a cup discharger, which was placed over the muzzle of the gun. The Lebel was the perfect gun for firing the grenades as it has a substantial metal section at the breech. Making it better able to cope with the pressure.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
Messrs Vivien and Bessières came up with a solution to these issues. Here is a selectionalised example. The VB grenade was designed to be used with live rounds, As the bullet passes through the centre of the grenade it arms the grenade.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
Cup dischargers helped to solve the issue of the rifling damage, however they still required blank rounds and also, due to the design of the guns would still cause stress fractures in the wooden furniture.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
Additionally the stress placed on the rifle used would literally shake it to pieces over time. In order to avoid both aspects, older rifles were specified for use. Likewise, additional bracing was applied to the gun.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
This would ensure that the grenade would spin as it left the barrel and like a bullet have a stable flight. This likewise helped to prevent the grenade from tumbling in flight. The drawback is that it strips the rifling out of the barrel.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
In order to gain the maximum range, it was desired to ensure that the grenade was made as stable as possible in-flight. The addition of a small copper cap at the base of the road would expand from the blast of the blank and this enage with the rifling.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
Dealing with the rod system first, these have, as the name implies, a rod to the back of the grenade which is inserted into the muzzle of the rifle. The blank round is loaded and when fired the pressure propels the grenade in the direction desired.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
There are drawbacks to these systems. Both required blank rounds, and both placed extreme stresses on the rifles to be used. Likewise, it is unwise to attempt to fire either from the shoulder.
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
Likewise, we are only going to deal with examples of types we have in our collection, so apologies for any omissions. The means of delivery for rifle grenades were either by a rod grenade (shown) or by cup discharger
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Dunkirk1940 Museum Mar 21
Replying to @Dunkirk1940M
The easiest solution was to propel the grenade via use of the standard rifle. There are two main means of doing so. We obviously begin in the 14/18 period as context, context is of course everything.
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