Man Stumbles Across 1200 Grenades
In a story that can only come from Russia, a man wandering through the forest bumped into a stash of what looked like World War 2 era grenades. Well it turned out that they looked that way for a very good reason: they were live WWII grenades.
Going for a walk in the Urals.
The Ural Mountains are the closest thing that Russia has to the Appalachians. This line of hills separate Europe from Asia, Western Russia from Siberia, and were only settled by Europeans about the same time the New World was. Things move at a different pace in the Urals. Even in Russia, there is a very back-woods feel to the region. This is where the last Tsar and his family were taken to for their infamous execution in 1918, the hard mountain locals having no qualms about getting their hands dirty. This is where Stalin hid his weapons factories and secret design bureaus over which CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down in his U-2 spy plane in 1960. You just never know what you are going to find there.
This is proven by the article that popped up in RIA Novosti this week posted from the city of Orenburg, square in the Urals. It seems a local man appeared at the city police station with a few bags of things he found in the woods. These things turned out to be F1 fragmentation hand grenades. About 1200 of them. That is one-thousand two-hundred live grenades.
According to the man, he found them stacked up in the woods and brought them in for a reward. "In line with a resolution of the Orenburg Region's government, a monetary reward is envisioned for voluntary surrender of illegally kept armament supplies," an Interior Ministry official said. "The man is in line to receive 1.2 million rubles ($36,500) as a reward under Russian law"
The Russian Interior Ministry controls a large 200,000-man paramilitary group known as the Internal Troops of the Ministry for Internal Affairs (MVD). These groups are the first line in fighting local terrorists, organized crime, and the like and would be very appreciative to get their hands on 1200 grenades that would have been no-doubt put to use by the Chechens or Russian mob.
Of course, the best thing to do if you stumble across unexploded military ordnance is to leave it alone, get a safe distance from it, and report it, rather than throw it in some bags and bring it into town! But of course, its Russia, and not only that, but the Urals...
About the F1
Designed in 1941 by the Soviet military, the F1 hand grenade was based on a French design of the 1930s. Called the limonka (lemon) by Soviet troops for obvious reasons, the 5-inch long, 2-inch wide notched pot-steel grenade weighed about 19-ounces and was filled with enough old-school Acme company TNT to send fragments out to 100-feet when it went off. The UZRGM model time delay fuse lasted 'about' 3.5 seconds and is the same familiar spoon-and-pin type used on US/NATO grenades.
We estimate from the above information that 1200 F1s would weigh along the lines of 1500-pounds, of which no less than 150 of it would be unstable TNT.
So much for a quiet walk in the woods.