An Eight-year-old Italian boy holding a handful of detonators he had removed from German hand grenades. Italy, 1944.

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I showed up here late, but I wanted to add to the discussion that they’re not detonators, they’re fuzes.

Specifically, it’s a friction fuze. By pulling out the wire sticking out of its end, via a cloth cord, it ignites the fuze by friction, just like striking a match. Once it burns down after a few seconds (I can’t remember the exact time for this fuze.), it sets off the detonator, which sets off the main charge.

The fuze is installed inside the wood handle. A cord is attached to it, which has a ceramic ball on the end. When you unscrew the cap on the end of the handle, the ball drops out so you can pull it. The detonator, which is another small metal tube, is fixed to the top of the fuze and fits inside a cavity in the grenade head.

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