M18 smoke grenade

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M18 smoke grenade - Red.
M18 smoke grenade - Violet. Violet smoke grenades are no longer manufactured.
M18 smoke grenade - Yellow.
M18 smoke grenade - Green.

The M18 smoke grenade or AN/M18 was introduced in the early 1950s as a replacement for the WW2 M16 smoke grenade. It is a burning-type smoke grenade that produces a cloud of colored smoke (green, yellow, red or violet, dispensing with the blue, orange and black versions the M16 had) lasting 50-90 seconds with an average of 60, and is used primarily for signalling and as a marker for landing zones or air or artillery strikes, though it can also be used to produce obscurant smoke (less efficiently than the dedicated AN/M8 smoke grenade), and is also used as a substitute for chemical weapons in infantry training.

The smoke formula is the same type used in the M713, M715 and M716 40mm grenade rounds, being mostly a reaction of potassium chlorate with a fuel to disperse smoke loaded with a chemical dye. At some point in the late 80s or early 90s the smoke formula was changed to use sugar instead of sulfur as a fuel for safety, along with changing the composition of the dyes. It was quickly found that the new violet formulation was extremely toxic, and so newer-production M18s are only manufactured in green, yellow and red.

The M18 smoke grenade appears in the following films and video games used by the following actors:

NOTE: The M18 smoke grenade only produces colored smoke. If a smoke grenade releases white or grey smoke, it would in real life be an AN/M8 smoke grenade or M83 smoke grenade, though since in media the smoke is seldom the product of a live grenade being used (as military smoke is toxic) this is not necessarily proof of ID.


Title Actor Character Note Date
8 Million Ways to Die Jeff Bridges Matt Scudder 1986
Full Metal Jacket U.S. Marines 1987
Iron Eagle II Jason Blicker Technical Sergeant Hickman 1988
Forrest Gump Tom Hanks Forrest Gump 1994
Forrest Gump U.S. Army soldiers 1994
Léon (The Professional) NYPD ESU officers 1994
Operation Dumbo Drop Corin Nemec Specialist Lawrence Farley 1995
Se7en John C. McGinley Officer California 1995
Se7en SWAT officers 1995
Courage Under Fire Seth Gilliam Sergeant Steven Altemeyer 1996
Courage Under Fire Matt Damon Specialist Ilario 1996
The Rock Rogue Marine Inaccurately portrayed as High-Explosive grenade 1996
Rules of Engagement Samuel L. Jackson Lt. Terry Childers 2000
Rules of Engagement U.S. Marines 2000
We Were Soldiers Jsu Garcia Captain Tony Nadal 2002
S.W.A.T. Jeremy Renner Brian Gamble 2003
S.W.A.T. Gang members 2003
Tears of the Sun U.S. Navy SEALs 2003
Basic Cristián de la Fuente Castro 2003
Tropic Thunder Ben Stiller Tugg Speedman 2008
The Objective Sam Hunter SGT Tim Cole 2009
Battle: Los Angeles Will Rothhaar Cpl. Lee Imlay 2011
Battleground Seen in The Hunter's stockpile 2012

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Return to Castle Wolfenstein MP only 2001
Conflict: Desert Storm 2002
America's Army With green smoke Non-playable 2002
Medal of Honor: Frontline 2002
IGI 2: Covert Strike 2003
Call of Duty 2 2005
Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood 2005
Call of Duty 3 2006
Kane and Lynch: Dead Men 2007
Rainbow Six: Vegas 2006
Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 2008
Battlefield 2 With purple and orange smoke non-playable 2005
Project Reality With purple, yellow, green, orange, blue, and red smoke 2005
Darkest Hour: Europe '44-'45 With Red, White and Purple 2006
Alliance of Valiant Arms With purple, yellow, red, or blue smoke 2007
Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat With purple, blue, red, black and gray smoke 2007
Combat Arms 2008
Combat Arms "SA-18" Used to mark artillery strike location 2008
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots White smoke and yellow, green, blue and red "emotion" grenades 2008
Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising 2009
1968 Tunnel Rats (VG) 2009
Delta Force: Xtreme 2 2010
Medal of Honor (2010) M18 multiplayer only 2010
Bodycount Grenade Impact and timer modes HE grenades based on M18 2011
Vietcong 2 2005
Elite Warriors Vietnam 2005
Dead Island 2011
War Inc. Battlezone 2011
Project Reality: Falklands 2012
Project Reality: Vietnam As the "AN/M18 smoke grenade" With purple & orange smoke 2012
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action 2012
Arctic Combat 2012
Project Reality: Normandy As the "AN/M18 smoke grenade" Anachronistic: should be an M16 2013
Rainbow Six: Siege 2015
Squad Blue, white and red smoke 2015
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades 2016
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered 2016
Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex First Assault "Smokebomb" Futuristic model, previously available to purchase before being moved to Specialist characters with the "Renewal" update 2015
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 2017
Ironsight Smoke Grenade Fictional M19 model 2018


Actor Character Show Title / Episode Note Air Date
US Army soldiers Tour of Duty 1987-1990
Damian Lewis Lt. Richard "Dick" Winters Band of Brothers Repainted to look like a period-correct M16 2001

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