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Here’s exactly how not to throw a hand grenade

Don’t do what this man does.
Max Hauptman Avatar
Nope. Nope. Nope. (Twitter)

Among the many tools of war available to the average infantryman, or really, anyone in combat, is the hand grenade. The grenade, though, does not exist in a vacuum. It travels through the air, and like any other object, it can be knocked down by the branches of a tree. Which is to say, maybe look up for a second before you throw this small munition toward your target. 

A recent video on social media demonstrates what happens when you don’t do that.

The video, which was posted to Twitter on Monday, shows a pair of men in mismatched uniforms practicing the simple act of pulling the pin on a grenade and tossing it toward the enemy only for everything to go spectacularly wrong. The original post suggests that the individuals in the clip are Russian soldiers, though it’s unclear.

What is clear is that this is not the right way to toss a frag grenade. For a breakdown of the correct technique, one need only consult Chapter 2 of the U.S. Army’s guide on employing grenades and pyrotechnic symbols, TC 3.23.30, a 236-page long tome on all manner of throwing grenades, handling grenades and just generally being around grenades. 

“The Soldier must maintain situational understanding of friendly forces, the status of the device, and be able to evaluate the environment to properly handle any device. Smart, adaptive, and disciplined Soldiers are the primary safety mechanism for all hand grenades and pyrotechnics under their control.”

Now, back to the video, which begins with one man going through the motions of throwing a grenade, which doesn’t seem entirely unsound. The trainee seems initially hesitant, and there is about a minute of bickering between everyone involved. The instructor once again walks over to coach the trainee through the motions of throwing a grenade. After a second round of discussion, the trainee pulls the pin, and tosses the munition, only for it to bounce off the many overhead branches and land what looks to be about ten or so feet in front of him and detonate. The video ends there, shortly after the would-be grenadier emerges from a crouch after the smoke clears, and everyone seems to have survived. 

As a comparison, this is a demonstration of a grenade toss from the U.S. Army. 

This is a bit more professional, although the accompanying soundtrack of funky beats is much appreciated.

Here’s some future hapless second lieutenants — and at the date of this article probably pinning on captain’s bars — doing the same thing. 

Now, the training in the first video isn’t entirely wrong. That camo overalls-clad soldier basically follows through with the exact same motion described back in that extensive Army publication on how to throw a grenade. The problem is, of course, throwing that grenade directly into a bunch of tree branches. 

(U.S. Army)

Like with just about every supposed combat video from the war in Ukraine, the particulars of this one are hard to verify. But the lesson is simple: if you find yourself throwing a grenade, move out of the treeline, so it doesn’t hit something and bounce back toward you. 

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