Smoke grenade

A Smoke grenade, also Fog Grenade, Fog candle, Smoke candle, Smoke bomb or Fog pot is a grenade that produces a strong smoke or fog and is used as a smoke or signaling device. An explosion usually does not take place, but the charge burns – under a strong smoke development – slowly (pyrotechnical) from.

Areas of application

Smoke grenades are used by infantrymen, airplanes and military vehicles (from special throwing devices) mainly against ground troops to make it difficult for the enemy to orientate and target their own units. Often an artillery strike or bombing raid is also accompanied by a smoke grenade attack to make it more difficult to repel a subsequent ground attack.

In the field of self-protection of military vehicles, special emphasis is placed on the fact that the fog is effective not only in the visible frequency spectrum, but also in the infrared range. Smoke grenades can also be used as target markers for air rescue or air strikes. Smoke kits are also used for this purpose, which produce intensely colored smoke. For the task of camouflage are also used nebulic acid grasping devices.

In the Bundeswehr, the use of smoke projectiles is regulated in ZDv 3/21 "Use of smoke agents". The following fogging agents are in use

  • The Fog Thrower DM15 can be ignited with electric ignition from a smoke agent dispenser (such as an armored vehicle) or manually with a friction igniter. It develops over 3.5 minutes of fog and contains 880 g Mist HC. This is a mixture of hexachloroethane, aluminum powder and zinc oxide. The smoke contains zinc chloride, which forms mist with the humidity of the air.
  • The Fast-moving smoke grenade DM35 Can only be fired from a fog pot. The litter is electrically ignited, disintegrates in 3 seconds and develops 1.5 minutes of fog. The projectile contains 630 g of red phosphor based Fog substance RP. The phosphorus burns to phosphorus pentoxide, which hydrolyzes to phosphoric acid when exposed to air.
  • The fog body DM15,HC (formerly fog candle,DM1,HC) contains 1.5 kg of fog substance HC, develops a 50-90 meter long, 10-20 meter wide and high fog wall and is ignited manually. Fog body DM25 is a larger version, it contains 9 kg of fog substance HC.

Non-military use

Smoke grenade

Smoke bombs are also occasionally burned by fans at sporting events (usually soccer) in stadiums or at concerts, often in conjunction with Bengal fires. Thereby mostly different smoke colors are used, like for example the club colors of the own team. Since the burning of fireworks in German stadiums is usually prohibited by stadium regulations, in contrast to military smoke grenades, usually no solid metal or plastic containers are used as sheathing for the smoke powder, but the powder is carried loosely in small bags and then burned on the ground.

Floating smoke devices are also used as distress signaling devices: In strong winds, the plume of smoke, visible for miles from the air, can point aircraft in the right direction.


The grenades produce mostly white to gray by the addition of various chemicals, such as saltpeter camouflage smoke, but also colored Signal smoke. A frequently used substance is white phosphorus, which burns in the air to form phosphoric acid mist, or titanium tetrachloride, tin tetrachloride or chlorosulfonic acid, which also hydrolyze to acid mist after spraying. The resulting mist can be harmful to health and should not be inhaled if possible.

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