View Full Version : Interesting rare german grenade/explosive

02-15-2009, 04:20 AM
Hi fellas!
I found a book that describes a type of explosive called "nipolit"
used in the latter stages of ww2.
I'd never heard of it before so i'd thought i'd share it!

"One of the many outstanding technical innovations of the war was the development in Germany of a new explosive substance called Nipolit. It was developed by the Westfalische Anhaltische Spreng stoff AG (WASAG) , a prominent chemical and explosives concern, in an endeavor to put to some use large quantities of old gun propellant which was no longer ballistically suitable for its original purpose. Moreover, the process made considerable savings in the consumption of nitric acid; whereas 1000 tons of TNT required the use of 1100 tons of acid, 1000 tons of Nipolit could be produced for the consumption of only 430 tons of acid.

The most remarkable (and apparently unexpected) property of Nipolit was its high mechanical strength; it could be cut, shaped, milled, threaded or bored rather like a plastic material. The first result of this discovery seems to have been a proposal to produce pre-formed fillings for grenades and mines, but doubtless somebody pointed out that the metal portion of an offensive grenade or a mine does little more than hold everything together and protect the explosive. There seemed little point in putting a casing round Nipolit since it was waterproof and strong enough to hold all the necessary components of fuses or igniters. And so the Nipolit grenade was born; a lump of Nipolit, cast or cut to the desired shape, drilled and tapped for the igniter, and that was that.

The first model seems to have been a plain disc of Nipolit 85mm in diameter and 13mm thick, with a threaded hole in the circumference into which the egg grenade pull igniter was screwed. Then came two egg grenades, a large (95mm long) and a small (65mm long), again simply turned pieces of Nipolit with a central hole for the igniter. Next came a cylinder of Nipolit wrapped with a steel fragmentation sleeve, then a new head for the stick grenade, followed inevitably by a complete stick grenade in which the entire unit, stick and head, was of one piece of Nipolit. An egg grenade pull igniter was screwed into the bottom of the handle; it was no longer necessary to put the igniter in the head, since the entire grenade was now explosive."

Page 171 of The Encyclopedia of World War II Infantry Weapons by Ian V. Hogg

number nine
02-15-2009, 04:49 AM
Interesting stuff. Thanks for posting.

02-15-2009, 11:00 AM
I have to admit that the Germans during WWII were among the best at improvising new and dangerous weapons. Everything from the V1 and V2 to the ME262, the first assault rifle, the MG42, this grenade from solid explosives, their extra heavy duty helmets, their heavy tanks and the 88 gun for land to land use etc.

The German people have always been creative and on the tip of technological breakthroughs.

I can't think of a name
02-15-2009, 01:11 PM
The niploit was in the Forgotten Hope video game on the Fallschirmjager map on Crete.

That is where I first saw it.

02-15-2009, 05:00 PM
that book i found was really interesting!
there is some really great photos in there that i've never seen before, i could scan them but i may get in trouble!! i've got one infraction already!!!!

02-15-2009, 08:34 PM
Interesting stuff, I've never heard of it before

The Germans had some very innovative "Ersatz" devices by 44

Shu Mines, Concrete Grenades, Glassmines, etc.

02-15-2009, 10:00 PM
I wonder why the stuff is no longer used...perhaps it is, I just don't know about it...never heard of it before. But, it seems to me to be a great idea. Would make great land mines....practically impossible to detect.

02-16-2009, 11:29 AM
more stuff to wonder about:

The Miracle Explosive

The four items of literature appearing to relate to the explosive tested at Ohrdruf in March 1945 are as follows:

a. British Security Coordination (BSC) was the largest integrated intelligence network enterprise in history. Its Director was Sir William Stevenson, a Canadian industrialist. His code-name was "Intrepid". In his autobiography², Stevenson relates: "One of the BSC agents submitted a report, sealed and stamped THIS IS OF PARTICULAR SECRECY which told of "...liquid air bombs being developed in Germany... of terrific destructive effect."

The reader should not be misled into thinking that these were modern common-or-garden "liquid air bombs": Stevenson noted that they were "as powerful as rockets with atomic warheads".

b. The book "German Secret Weapons" was authored by Brian Ford, Barrie Pitt and Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart.³ At page 28, the text states:

The Whirlwind Bomb produced an artificial hurricane of fire and is absolutely authentic even though it may seem improbable. The explosive was developed and tested by Dr. Zippermayr at Lofer, an experimental Luftwaffe institute in the Tyrol. The explosive was pulverized coal dust and liquid air. Its effect was sufficient to create an artificial typhoon and was intended initially as an anti-aircraft weapon able to destroy aircraft by excessive turbulence. The effective radius of action was 914 metres...

c. This is a 4-page declassified US Intelligence document of the Zalzburg Detachment of the US Forces Austria Counter-Intelligence Corps, describing Dr. Zippermayr was interrogated at Lofer on August 3, 1945. His laboratories were established at Lofer with head office at Weimarerstrasse 87, Vienna. Staff was 35, work financed by RLM and under direction of Chef der Technischen Luftrüstung.

Zippermayr worked on three projects of which one was the Enzian/Schmetterling anti-aircraft rockets "charged with a coal dust explosive so strong that the concussion could break the wings of a bomber." This item "was proved successful by August 1943, but orders for its production were not issued until March 9, 1945..."

d. This item is an extract from BIOS (British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee) Final Report 142(g) "Information Obtained from Targets of Opportunity in the Sonthofen Area, (HMSO London).

The report states that during 1944, an explosive mixture of 60% liquid air and 40% finely powdered coal dust invented by Dr. Mario Zippermayr was tested at Doeberitz explosives ground near Berlin, and was found to be very destructive over a radius of up to 600 metres.

Waffen-SS scientists then became involved and added some kind of waxy substance to the explosive. The bombs had to be filled immediately prior to the aircraft taking off. Bombs of 25 and 50 kgs were dropped on Starnberger See and photos taken. Standartenführer Klemm showed these to Brandt (Himmler's scientific adviser). The intensive explosion covered an area up to 4.5 kms radius.

This waxy substance was a reagent of some kind which was said to interact with air during the development of the explosion, causing it to change its composition and so create meteorological change in the atmosphere. A lightning storm at ground level consumes all the available oxygen. Göering's statement upon his arrest in May 1945 is significant: he claimed to have led a revolt against Luftwaffe use of a bomb "which could have destroyed all civilisation." The bomb was not a nuclear weapon, and it appears to have been a conventional explosive which used a reagent or catalyst produced by Tesla methodology or similar for its inexplicable effect.


02-16-2009, 12:17 PM
By milled and bored i take it some lucky volunteer got to place a block of discarded and chemically treated explosives on a lathe and slice bits off with all that friction and heat? People must have been lining up for that job!

02-16-2009, 12:21 PM
And as for the Ordhruff fuel air explosive ive heard a few stories of them working on things like that such as the anti-aircraft whirlwind gun, whatever its proper name was but 4.5km? Sounds more like somebodies fantasies got the better of them and the idea of Herman Goering stopping a military project on humanitarian reasons when the youth of Germany was being chopped to pieces and the Reich was being demolished as the Red Army marched on Berlin is frankly laughable!

02-16-2009, 12:29 PM
what ever, this stuff escalateable:

02-16-2009, 06:48 PM
By milled and bored i take it some lucky volunteer got to place a block of discarded and chemically treated explosives on a lathe and slice bits off with all that friction and heat? People must have been lining up for that job!

Yup. Imagine the poor bastard who had to strap the LPO-50 on his back


Imagine getting the honor of strapping several Gallons of Gasoline to your back and then Firing Cartridges into the fuel to both ignite and Pressurize it

Screw dat....

02-17-2009, 03:04 AM
One of the advantages of nipolit were that you could fabricate thin discs of the explosive to slide under doors or in tank vision/engine slits,

02-17-2009, 10:22 AM
One of the advantages of nipolit were that you could fabricate thin discs of the explosive to slide under doors or in tank vision/engine slits,

Guess "Back Scratching" wasnt in vogue with Armor units then, Shame.

02-26-2009, 11:03 AM
surely a pure explosive grenade with no metal parts is going to be solely a blast weapon, and wont kill anything - compared to the effectiveness of shrapnel from an encased grenade.

things explode with more power when contained - its the basic principle of explosive and combustibles!

02-26-2009, 05:17 PM
Yes and no.
Its much more complicated. Shrapnel size, shape and weight, amount and type of explosives is usualy tailored to fit specific needs.
Several countries produced same kind of grenades with difrent kinds(and amount) of explosives inside to achieve similiar effect.
HE grenades are very effective in enclosed spaces like trenches, bunkers or for demolition purposes.
Making grenades from nipolit increased amount of explosives (propably a lot in potato masher design) If my memory is correct germans made a fragmentation sleves for them. Assuming that nipolit have similiar explosion strenght and it had similiar shape and size adding a splinter sleeve resulted in a weapon that had almost same anit personel properties and resulted in much stroneger HE blast. Can't say that with 100% because its difficult to judge without tac tech data or at last amount and type of explosives used in both grenades to calculate estimated blast characteristics.(pain in the a to do even with proper equations)