The New Zealanders at Gallipoli
The Bomb Factory
The Bomb Factory.
The hand-grenade position was often desperate. For the first few months no grenades were available, and the supply had to be improvized on shore. A “bomb” factory was instituted, and here, day and night, men toiled to make the weapon so effective in the short-range fights that burst with such fury around the devoted posts of Quinn's and Courtney's. The Turk had a plentiful supply of a round, cricket-ball hand-grenade, with a patent match-head ignition, and these he literally showered on Quinn's.
The Anzac factory retorted with several brands, but the most favoured one was made out of the green fuse tin from the 18-pr. guns. These tins were stout, and of the size of a condensed milk tin. Two holes were punched in the bottom for a wire to go through, and three holes in the lid—two for the wire and a larger one for the fuse. The wire came from hawsers salved from the wreckage of the trawlers off the beach. Into the centre of the tin was placed a dry gun-cotton primer or half a stick of gelignite, the detonator and a five-seconds fuse was fitted, and the remaining space packed with unexploded Turkish cartridges with the bullets cut off to let the lid close, after which the whole was secured across the top by joining the two ends of the wires. So, from the cast-off tins and wires, captured ammunition, and the engineers' stores of explosives, these grenades were manufactured to repel the apparently rejuvenated “Sick Man of Europe.”