German grenade taken from home

A treasure salvaged from World War II will soon go up in smoke rather than find its way to a collector’s shelf.
Becky Vargo
May 21, 2014


Emergency officials said they planned to dispose of the German stick grenade taken Tuesday afternoon from the Eric Bitner home in Grand Haven Township’s Holcomb Hills neighborhood.

“We don’t want it to be re-circulated or repurposed,” said Sgt. Joe Roney of the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad.

The bomb technician responded to the home about two hours after Grand Haven Township firefighters and Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies were called to check on a possible live grenade.

Bitner said he’s had the device for 30 years and took it down from the attic after seeing an ad for a company coming into town this week to buy coins and collectibles.

“I had the artifact and I thought it might be fun for my son and I to see what it’s worth,” he said. “It was just going to be kind of a fun thing, but then I got a little nervous that it could still be live. I’m 99 percent sure it’s neutralized, but they want to make sure.”

Bitner said he received the stick grenade from a buddy back in high school. The friend’s father was a war veteran and had brought the grenade home with him.

“I traded him something, but I don’t remember what,” Bitner said. “I stuck it in a bag and put it away. It’s been in the attic for 20 years.”

Bitner said he made a call to try to find out what he should do with the grenade. That’s when the emergency process went into effect.

To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Sort of surprised that they wouldn't be able to make sure it was stable or make it so "back at the lab"... a dark, but, pretty cool little piece of history...


Those were referred to as "Potato Mashers" by many; some referred to them as "a can of hell on a stick", there is about 3 lbs. of explosive with a better kill range than our iron pineapples. The stick allowed the user a little extra throwing distance while concealed however the oddly long fuse meant that it may come back to a thrower whose timing was off a few seconds.


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