Item Description: Uprooted World War I German Stick Grenade, "Stielhandgranate M1917"

Introduction: On Sunday April 26th 2009 we visited the largest military show in Europe in Ciney, Belgium. There, we met several old friends. Among many, there was the friendly dealer in military relics who always mistakes us for "Bottle Detectives". And there was the webmaster of saw an abundance of battle related items on display and for sale. One item really amazed us. It was an unexploded German stick grenade of World War Two vintage with tree roots growing where once the throwing stick used to be.

The Story: On one of the many thousands of yards of display tables we found one battle relic for sale that stood out from the other items on the largest market for military collectors in Europe. On the display table of a Dutch relic hunter we found an unexploded German hand grenade with roots growing through it. The trader, Claus, explained us that he had dug the grenade up from the battlefields at Ypres, Belgium. Some bystanders suggested that the wooden throwing handle had started to grow again, thus explaining the winding wood through the grenade's body.

We knew better.

This is how the M1917 German grenade was put on display at the Ciney Military Show in Belgium:

This is what a "Stielhandgranate M1917" looks like. The diagram shows the various parts and its function.
Note the distinctive carrying hook for fastening the grenades to the soldier's uniform and equipment.
The carrying hook can still be seen on the battle relic featured here.

This is an impression of the battle relic, found on Belgium battlefields of World War One:

(click on pictures to enlarge)



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