File Under: Classification to Obfuscate Liability

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The OSS T-13 “Beano” hand grenade was designed by the Office of Strategic Service c.1944 for general issue to American recruits, briefly manufactured by the Eastman Kodak Corp. in time for D-Day.
The T-13 was an experimental grenade design meant to mimic the weight, size and handling of a baseball, making it easy for new recruits to handle and throw them.
Instead of a safety lever, the T-13 had a knurled weighted cap held in place by the pin, which was, in turn, held in place before throwing by the soldier throwing the grenade like a knuckle ball with two or three fingers pressed on it. 
When thrown, the cap was released and dragged a nylon string behind it that pulled on a pressure sensitive arming device, at which point any shock would instantly set off the explosive charge.
Although its basic principle was sound, the T-13′s percussive design proved to be its downfall. 
As with literally all other similar designs, which were common in the early days of WW1, accidental/premature detonations were very common in the field, and it is believed this grenade killed more GI’s than enemy soldiers. 
After that brief episode of disastrous field testing, all accounted for T-13 grenades were recalled and destroyed and all the documents pertaining to its design and use were classified – for the protection of the US Government. It’s difficult to show liability if the details of that liability are classified.
I know that many of you veterans out there are shocked that equipment defects are hidden by the Department of Defense.

12 thoughts on “File Under: Classification to Obfuscate Liability

  1. shocked that equipment defects are hidden by the Department of Defense.

    Say it isn't so!

  2. Grenades… I remember chucking one out at a target from the concrete pen and looking over the parapet to see the result. "Get down, idiot!" exclaimed the NCO. I obeyed, chastened but alive.

  3. Unlike the early US WW2 torpedoes, these might has a secondary use for fishing in some Asian river. Get them in the water ASAP- Just need a couple guys with nets downstream. Fish fry!

    OT, OK? Time to get weird. Use the double strength tin foil, wind up your underwear and pucker the sphincters. There is a case for hoping the Chinese gov did have an accidental release of a bio-agent- they would know about it, hopefully- Suppose, for a second, the Chinese actually DON'T know where the Wu-flu came from, and end up thinking it was a bio attack on THEM.
    That could lead to all sorts of complications.

  4. I know, it must be a lie – maybe Russian propaganda. Though their stick grenades were even more unreliable.

  5. I suspect that the Chinese know what they were working on. But as a what if? Yes, it could cause a war.

    They had a LOT of interest in SARS and it's a coronavirus. Enter COVID-19, a bigger and better version of SARS.

  6. For those who are not as literate as you are: Remo Williams was an NYPD police officer who woke up from a mysterious accident with a new identity. He found himself in the employ of a secret unit which was set up to investigate a dangerous industrialist who may be Eastman Kodak… or may not be. The series didn't last too long.

  7. Sometimes the enemy is out there. Sometimes the enemy is us. It's good not to be too trusting. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they're NOT out to get you.

  8. What I've never understood about that damned thing, is why they didn't just make it with a regular arming device, instead of turning it into "The Yo-Yo of Death" ?

    People get too clever for anybody's good, sometimes.

    -Kle.

    P.S. – yeah, we made those garbage torpedoes here in Newport, R.I. At one point, we blew the factory up, too… about the only thing that junk ever blew up.

    At least the later war ones worked.

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