Australian Angler Hooks 100-year-old German Grenade

   02.26.15

What is the most dangerous thing you have ever pulled in on a rod and reel? According to Western Australia Police, an angler fishing off the Applecross jetty in Perth pulled in a 100-year-old German grenade made during World War I. Although it is unknown exactly how the fisherman managed to snag the device, police immediately responded to the scene and cordoned off the area.

“Defense personnel were also called and determined the item was a 1915 World War 1 German Granatenwerfer grenade that had no fuse,” stated Western Australia Police on Facebook. “Defense personnel transported the grenade from the scene for disposal.”

Also known as a pineapple bomb, this type of grenade was adopted by the German Army during the middle of the First World War, when most of the fighting was still confined to the trenches. Designed to be fired out of a crew-operated grenade launcher, these kind of explosives were devastating in tight spaces.

“It weighs about two-and-a-half kilograms, and when it explodes, you can see the serrations on the outside of the casing, they will tend to make it break into small, jagged splinters which are obviously going to be quite lethal to anyone who was close to them,”¬†Australian War Memorial WWI gallery curator Nick Fletcher told ABC News.

How did a German grenade make it into Australian waters? Experts said that the grenade was likely brought back by an Australian soldier as a souvenir. Police spokespeople say that unexploded ordinance can be very dangerous, and should absolutely not be disturbed if found.

“This is a timely reminder that ammunition which has been fired, but has not gone off, is particularly dangerous as all the normal safety arrangements have been overcome,” stated police officials. “Very little handling may be needed to make the item of ammunition go off.”

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