|“||The Stielhandgranate M24 is an offensive grenade. It contains 170g of TNT in a thin metal casing attached to a wooden stick. It creates a powerful concentrated blast while producing a minimum amount of fragmentation.||”|
|― Heroes & Generals|
The Model 24 Stielhandgranate also called Potato Masher in British army slang served as the grenade of choice for Germany throughout World Wars I and II, and is one of the most recognizable weapons of the 20th century.
The wooden handle of the M24 serves as a physical lever, allowing greater throw range than traditional pineapple-shaped grenades. Its shape made it less likely to roll very far from the site of impact, making it a weapon of precision. A pull cord runs the hollow length of the handle, ending at the bottom. A soldier need only twist the bottom cap and pull the cord free to arm the grenade before throwing. The M24 is exclusively a concussive grenade, relying on blast effect to do its damage. This proved ineffective for a defensive role. Rather than devise a new type of grenade, German engineers devised a frag sleeve, which could be fastened over the explosive charge. This added a powerful wave of shrapnel to the M24's detonation.
Toward the end of World War II, this grenade was phased out and replaced with the M43, which combined the arming mechanism and explosive charge into the head of the grenade. This allowed the charge to be removed from its stick and placed as a booby trap. The grenade was otherwise identical in function, and retained its fit for standard frag sleeves.
The M24 has the greatest throwing distance out of any of the available grenades, but sacrifices power to do so. Due to its greater range, this weapon is capable of assaulting entrenched enemy positions where other grenades would fall short. The low equip cost makes the M24 a fine choice to complement any standard offensive kit. It is the most difficult grenade to throw through a window due its long size unlike the RDG-33 and Mk. II.