M26 hand grenade

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M26 High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade
M26 High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade as used in the Vietnam War
M61 High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade, improved version of the M26

The M26 hand grenade was developed in the years right after World War II. This was the first model of hand grenade which still used a cast iron body, but which enclosed either notched wire or shot to serve as the lethal fragments rather than the grenade body itself. This new type of grenade was much more reliable than the old Mk 2 "Pineapple" grenades.

Contents


Background Information

The Korean War and the 1950s

The M26 was developed and adopted by the U.S. Army just before the Korean War (1950-1953). However, since most units still had huge inventories of Mk 2 "Pineapple" grenades left over after World War II, the M26 rarely saw action in the Korean War. Throughout the 1950s it was the issued hand grenade for all Army units, despite the fact that we still had huge leftover inventories of the Mk 2 as well.

The Vietnam War and the 1960s

In the early 1960s, another improved version of the M26 was adopted, the M61. The M61 had a thin sheet metal body with a notched coiled flat wire and improved fuse. Though the M61 was now the official new hand grenade of the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. shipped tens of thousands of existing stock of Mk 2 Pineapple and M26 grenades to South Vietnam, for use by the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam). These were stored in huge military warehouses throughout the country and many M26s were provided to American troops in the field as well, despite the fact that all new grenade production was supposed to supply only the M61.

The massive increase in munitions requests resulted in a fast retooling of the older M26 line producing an updated grenade. The M26A1 had a better fuse and a different explosive compound. Eventually the M26A1 slowed production and halted, as did the M61 when production of the newer M67 ramped up.

During the conflict, a mix of M26/M26A1 and M61 hand grenades was in use by American forces in Vietnam. Most authors of war books or military articles never bother to reveal the complicated munitions supply issues of the conflict, and most only refer to the M26 as the hand grenade of choice, despite the fact that it is more likely that the virtually identical M61 is really the hand grenade that was used.

The M26 hand grenade and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

M26 Hand Grenade

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
The Heat Sandra Bullock FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn 2013
Battleground 2012
Get the Gringo 2012
Rise of the Zombies Mariel Hemingway Dr. Lynn Snyder 2012
LeVar Burton Dr. Dan Halpern
Tomorrow, When the War Began Ashleigh Cummings Robyn Mathers 2010
Inception Ken Watanabe Saito With white paint 2010
Invisible Target Ka Wah Lam Senior Superintendent Cheung Man Yi 2007
Mercenary for Justice Langley Kirkwood Kruger 2006
Vivian Bieldt Dekerk
Mercenaries
We Were Soldiers Jsu Garcia Cpt. Tony Nadal 2002
U.S. Army soldiers
The Siege Terrorist 1998
Free Money Thomas Haden Church Larry 1998
Recoil Gary Daniels Det. Ray Morgan 1998
Recoil Marcus Sloan and other robbers 1998
Tomorrow Never Dies Used as part of IED 1997
Mercenary Olivier Gruner 'Hawk' 1996
Forrest Gump Gary Sinise 2nd Lt. Dan Taylor 1994
U.S. Army soldiers
Never Say Die Billy Drago Reverend James 1994
Hard Hunted pilot 1992
Hard Boiled Chow Yun-Fat Tequila Yuen 1992
Do or Die Dona Speir Donna Hamilton 1991
Die Hard 2 William Sadler Col. Stuart 1990
Terrorists
L. A. Bounty Sybil Danning Ruger 1989
Red Scorpion Kallunda taken off Russian soldier 1989
Casualties of War U.S. Army soldiers 1989
Bulletproof Darlanne Fluegel Captain Devon Shepard 1988
Lethal Weapon Danny Glover Roger Murtaugh Disguised smoke grenade 1987
Seen in crashed car
In Country US troops 1987
Platoon Robert "Rock" Galotti Huffmeister 1986
Kevin Dillon Bunny
U.S. Army soldiers

Television

Title Actor Character Note/Episode Date
Criminal Minds Michael Cudlitz Francis Goehring "Identity" (S3E07) 2007
Tour of Duty U.S. soldiers 1987-1990

Anime

Title Character Note Air Date
Violence Jack: Hell's Wind Hen Hell's Wind biker 1990
New Dream Hunter Rem: Massacre in the Phantasmic Labyrinth is seen in the Geppetto base 1992
Hyper Police Mobster 1997
Amazing Nurse Nanako Soldier 1999
Najica Blitz Tactics Lila 2001
Gunslinger Girl Enrico Beldini 2003
Elfen Lied Sato 2004
The Strange Case Files of Ryoko Yakushiji Marianne 2008
Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino Franco 2008
Mob Bodyguard

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Art of Murder: The Secret Files Non-playable 2010
Crysis Without pins or spoons 2007
Operation Flashpoint 2001
Grand Theft Auto IV With detonation warning tone 2008
Ghost Recon As the "FRAG" 2001
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter M61 2006
007: The World Is Not Enough As the "Fragmentation Grenade" 2000
As the "Stun Grenade" flash-bang instead of HE-Frag With blue body
Max Payne 2001
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames 2008
7.62 High Calibre M61 2008
Counter-Strike: Source 2004
Black 2006
Resident Evil 5 not usable 2009
Battle: Los Angeles 2011
WWII G.I. As the "Grenade" Becomes Mk 2 Hand Grenade when picked up 1999
War Inc. Battlezone 2011
Rogue Warrior 2009
Project Reality: Vietnam M61 version 2012
Far Cry 3 2012
Arctic Combat 2012
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 2013
Far Cry 4 2014
Elite Warriors Vietnam 2005

L2A2 Hand Grenade

L2A2 High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade (Note different fuze design)

A variant of the M26 used by the British military, prior to the adoption of the L109 hand grenade. Aside from the markings, the other distinguishing feature is the fuze design, which is notably different from that of its American counterpart.

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Royal Warriors Hing-Yin Kam Wong Han aka Cock 1986
Wai-Man Chan Roy Lee aka Tiger
Hiroyuki Sanada Kenji Yamamoto

Television

Title/Episode Actor Character Note Date
Soldier Soldier British Army soldiers 1991-1997

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Project Reality: Falklands 2012
Killing Floor Explosions can be "stacked" 2009
IGI 2: Covert Strike 2003
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix 2002
Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror HE Grenade 2002
Project IGI: I'm Going In 2000

Anime

Title Character Note Air Date
New Dream Hunter Rem: Massacre in the Phantasmic Labyrinth is seen in the Geppetto base 1992



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