By Rob Arndt





Under the designation Nipolit Handgranate (Hand grenade) the company WASAG starting developing from 1942 a lightweight stick hand grenade without a casing. Nipolit was the name of the new plastic explosive, derived from explosive shell powder.

A further development ran under the contraction DPS (detonating powder disks), later called ammunition disk shells. It concerned Nipolitscheiben (Nipolit Discs) for tank fighting - someone had originally thought of pushing an explosive disc into the Soviet tank observation slits, which were only 16mm thick with 80mm diameter. So, a 125g Disc was made consisting of approximately 87g of explosive. These disks could be built up for increased effect in layers of two or three. For  shelter fighting WASAG suggested a single toss “as into a mail box” with 20 mm thick disks of 134mm diameter, which carried 0.45 kg red phosphorus interspersed with 1 kg of Nipolit. The ignition fuse was from the standard-issue late-war egg hand grenade. A production run of the DPS is not provable, but reports from the front indicate that both stick and disc versions of the Nipolit fashioned explosive were used in combat.

There are several accounts of fashioning Nipolit into small to medium size discs which were then painted green or gray with an egg grenade fuse and detonator inserted. They were used along with the other standard grenades in fierce street fighting and against tanks with at least one “Frisbee-sized” flying disc thrown against a T-34/85 tank! Several Soviet soldiers also died when the strange objects landed near them, not easily recognizable as a grenade. Throwing the discs from the ground was not easy but launching them from heights such as buildings and fortifications proved deadly as the disc has some good flight characteristics similar to the finned PanzerWurfmine flying grenade!

Had the war lasted until January 1946 the German soldier would have carried Nipolit grenades as standard issue.    





Examples of the 1946 German soldiers armed with STG-45 assault rifles and carrying Nipolit caseless stick hand grenades

Disc grenades would have also been carried and preferred as they could be easily carried in pouches instead of stuffed in belts and boots like the ungainly stick grenade type!

German Schildkröte Disc Grenades of WW1




 The 1913 model "turtle" grenade was made of 2 cast iron halves, riveted together.

It was fragmented on the inside and the fuze was made of aluminum.

When the safety pin was pulled, a small rod fell out of the body (during flight) which held the 4 primers away from the 4 striker pins.

Opposite of the side on which the grenade landed, one or two primers were driven onto the striker pins, igniting it.

The detonator had to be inserted before use.

Diameter of body 80mm, total width 100mm.






The 1915 discus grenade functioned exactly the same as the first type.

Its body was made of pressed steel of about 1mm thick.

The fuze assembly was made of an alloy with 4 brass end screws.

Thrown like an Olympic-discus, the plungers were driven outwards by the centrifugal force.

Striker pins are uncovered as the safety pen falls out during flight.

On impact, one, or possibly two plungers (with primer) would drive itself onto one of the four striker pins.


(No date give)


The Zell and Loneghof Luftkreisel (Air Gyro) turbo (jet) missiles are a complete mystery. As the name suggests they were some form of gyrating disc missiles that were jet propelled. Whether they were design studies, experimental craft, or operational… who knows?




These were designs based on the AVA Gottingen K1253 circular wing tests studied by Dr. Alexander Lippisch and Messerschmitt. This may have some connection to the private venture of Arthur Sack who in 1939 impressed General Udet with a circular winged aero model and who was given permission and limited funding to build a full scale manned version. Sack was provided with wood and parts salvaged from both a Me Bf 108 Taifun and Bf 109B aircraft. While Sack was busy designing and building bigger aero models Messerschmitt was studying this type of wing in 1941.

When Sack’s A.S.6V-1 failed to fly in 1944 due to structural problems, inadequate Messerschmitt parts, and a low-hp Argus engine both the test pilot and a Me-163 Komet pilot recommended that Sack get help from Messerschmitt directly and wind tunnel test the craft.

In early 1945 preliminary design studies were made on the projected A.S.7 if such an aircraft could be improved over Sack’s failed A.S.6. The design was provisionally designated the Me-600. The Komet pilots jokingly dubbed the suggested combat aircraft the “Bussard” (Buzzard).

This would have mated a Me Bf 109 modified fuselage to a new Messerschmitt improved Sack wing aerodynamically tested for optimum flight performance and armed for combat.

Whether or not this design bore any resemblance to the 1941 K1253 designs is not known, other than that the Me Bf 109 of 1945 was a K-4 model.


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