Wars bring out the best and worst of people; that’s what Major Richard Winters of Easy Company said. Another thing that war brings out is humanity’s creativity that was sadly used to destroy and kill each other. One proof of this was how people came up with different designs and structures of our weaponry— different types of tanks, rocket launchers, flamethrowers, booby traps, bombs. Some weapons were purely improvised affairs made in the thick of battle out of desperation. One of which was the sticky bomb that we’ve seen during WWII.

Originally produced by the United Kingdom, this anti-tank weapon was a solution to the shortage of anti-tank guns.

The Brain Behind

Sir Millis Rowland Jefferis by Walter Stoneman. © National Portrait Gallery, London

It is said that Major Millis Jefferis designed the sticky bomb along with his team. This grenade called Number 74 Mk. 2 “consisted of a glass sphere containing an explosive made of nitroglycerin and additives which added stability to the mixture and gave it a squash-head-like effect, where the explosive charge deformed and spread outward on the target,” like a disc according to Google Arts and Culture. The glass shattered once the bomb hit the tank and deformed against the surface, allowing enough of the sticky fabric to stay on the armor. A five-second fuse would countdown to the detonation once the handle was released.

Nobody’s Perfect

This design had many flaws. One of them is that it failed to do its job to stick on surfaces, especially to muddy or dusty tanks. Also, since the charge was covered in a strong adhesive made of a fabric of woven wood fibers and surrounded by a sheet metal casing, throwers who were not careful enough could accidentally stick the grenade to their uniform. Now that’s not a cool way to die in a war.