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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Grenade

GRENADE (from the French word for a pomegranate, from a resemblance in shape to that fruit), a small spherical explosive vessel thrown by hand. Hand-grenades were used in war in the 16th century, but the word “grenade” was also from the first used to imply an explosive shell fired from a gun; this survives to the present day in the German Granate. These weapons were employed after about 1660, by special troops called “grenadiers” (q.v.), and in the wars of the 17th and 18th centuries they are continually met with. They became obsolete in the 19th century, but were given a new lease of life in the 20th, owing to their employment in the siege of Port Arthur in 1904, where hand-grenades of a modern type, and containing powerful modern explosives, proved very effective (see Ammunition, Shell). Hand-grenades filled with chemicals and made of glass are used as a method of fire-extinction, and similar vessels containing a liquid with a very strong smell are used to discover defects in a drain or sewer.