Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Why could using discarded grenades be dangerous?

In my entry for Leadership Lessons and Remembrances from Vietnam, I claim you can answer the question “Why could using discarded grenades be dangerous?” with this resource. Here’s how:

  1. Visit the resource and click on “fullscreen” under the book.
  2. Type in “grenade” in the book’s search box. This will give you three indicators at the bottom of the online book reader:

search result indicators

Mousing over these dots will show some text. You want the section where you see “Just after the Marine picks up the grenade, a fire fight starts …” Here you’ll read:

A Marine on an operation in a jungle area picks up an M-26 fragmentation grenade, “dropped by some guy in the squad,** he thinks. A member of a patrol steps through a hole in a hedgerow. An Army engineer on a morning sweep of Highway 1 begins to check the same 10 potholes in the blacktop road he’s been sweeping for a week, when somebody in the waiting column of trucks honks his horn impatiently. What do all of these men have in common? They’ll all be dead in a matter of minutes.

Just after the Marine picks up the grenade, a firefight starts. He pulls the pin and throws the grenade. He’ll never throw another. The enemy planted the grenade after removing the 4-7 second delay fuze and replacing it with a zero delay fuze.

The whole column is worth reading for an explanation of wartime mishaps and how one can try to avoid them.

Leadership Lessons and Remembrances from Vietnam is just one of many Marine Corps and Vietnam War related resources in Writer’s Guide to Government Information.


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