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"My comrades tied a rope around my waist and lowered me on top of Nazi tanks. I'd stuff Molotovs under turret and cannon, and they pulled me up again. Eight years old! They called me Tank Boy. I took a lot of Nazi tanks. A lot."
Commander Daskal, The Beast of War

This is where the La Résistance fighters are facing an enemy tank on the battlefield and they have either used up all their anti-tank weapons or they never had any to begin with.

You run up to the tank (hopefully nobody sees you), jump on, kill the guy looking out of the hatch or open the hatch (it's never locked — just in case the crew does need to get out fast) and then toss down a few grenades before jumping clear of the resulting explosion. Often that last part of the plan doesn't work, making it a Heroic Sacrifice. Given that tank armor is usually tougher than grenade explosions, the effect is usually to reduce the crew inside to the consistency of chunky salsa.

Should be noted that this was more or less the original use of the Molotov Cocktail. In that case, though, you threw them onto the back deck in the hope that the burning gasoline would enter the engine compartment through the air intakes.

Fact of the matter is that second-generation (produced in the 1970-80s) "main battle tanks" can't be damaged from the outside by anything other than dedicated anti-tank weaponry, and earlier medium- and heavy-tanks could only be disabled or damaged by improvised weapons. Less heavily-armored vehicles such as light tanks and armored transports are, however, still vulnerable.

For blowing up organic enemies in a similar fashion, see Feed It a Bomb.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Appleseed:
    • Played fairly straight in the beginning, where Hitomi takes down Bluebeard and his crew while they're busy trying to kill Deunan and Briareos.
    • Followed up in the Prequel Appleseed Alpha where Iris jumps off a building onto of a tank that has Deunan pinned down; silently rolling in the only grenade they have and causing a big explosion in the process.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: King Bradley, instead of pulling open a tank's hatch, he breaks a hole in the viewing window, then shoves the grenade through there.
  • Subverted in Ghost in the Shell (1995). At the climax, the Major faces off against a Spider Tank using only an assault rifle. She manages to jump up on top of it, but fails to open the hatch despite pulling so hard that she rips one of her own arms off (and given that Motoko is a full-conversion Cyborg with more strength than the average human can muster, this is really not good). The tank then grabs her and is about to crush her skull when Batou shows up with actual anti-tank ordnance to save the day at the last second.
  • In the very first episode of Madlax, Action Girl Madlax takes on a light tank, tricks the driver by "disappearing", then when he opens the hatch to look for her, kills him and tosses a grenade down the now-open hatch. And that's just one of the impossibly awesome things she does during that battle sequence.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Char engulfs an enemy tank in smoke, sending his subordinate Lino to fly up with a Jet Pack, throw a flashbang in the cockpit, and hijack the intact vehicle (presumably after killing the crew). This was all a ploy by Char to get Lino in an enemy vehicle so he would be killed by his own allies.

    Comic Books 
  • In Combat Kelly and his Deadly Dozen #2, Jay Little Bear vaults over the top of a German armoured car, and drops a grenade inside it as he does so, with predictable results.
  • In G.I. Joe Special Missions #3, Leatherneck expertly pops a grenade from his underbarrel grenade launcher in through the open viewport of an APC. This being the comics and not the cartoon, it almost certainly kills the crew.
  • Kato does it to a tank using a smoke grenade in an issue of Dynamite's The Green Hornet series. Probably intended as a Shout-Out to the Live Action TV example below.
  • In Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja , John Doe manages to throw a grenade down the gun barrel of a tank at the exact moment the tank's gunner is opening the breach. He manages this feat by a combination of good hearing, good timing, and channeling his memories of zen concentration from playing baseball with his adopted father.
  • Sgt. Nick Fury did it, of course. See here.
  • This was a favorite tactic of SgtRock.
  • The Black Rider does this to an APC in Marvel Comics Six Guns mini-series.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Wrong Reflection, Eleya makes a surface landing with the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance and runs into a Terran tank, which, after finding out they're short Anti-Armor weapons, she destroys with a photon grenade down the access hatch.
    SCPO. Athezra Darrod: Showoff!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2022) features some of the earliest tanks ever built, probably the French Saint-Chamond. During a French counter attack on German positions, the tanks drive off the main German force from the trenches driving over them in pursuit, Kat comes out of a trench and catches up to a tank from the rear placing a grenade on the treads, which immobilizes it. Once the tank is stationary, he goes to a machine-gun slot, and inserts another grenade inside. After the grenade goes off inside the vehicle, the wounded tank crew crawls out of the smoking vehicle allowing Kat and Paul to gun them down with ease.
  • Subverted in All The Queens Men — at the start of the film, a Nazi tank is pursuing a double agent that hijacked a second tank. The Nazi tank fires a few shells at the agent's tank, and it stops — one of its crewmen then jumps out of the tank and runs over to the hijacked tank, throws a grenade in, and fires a few bursts into the crew quarters with his submachine gun. He then enters the crew quarters and after a few seconds comes out with a confused look on his face — just in time to see the double agent ride off in the other tank.
  • In Avatar, Jake does this with Quaritch's gunship, throwing grenades onto its outer vents. It's not a straight tank example, since it's a flying vehicle, and Jake gets on top of it by means of his Giant Flyer.
  • Battle of the Bulge (1965). Lt. Colonel Kiley (Henry Fonda) shoots the commander of a German tank, climbs up the tank and drops a grenade through the open hatch, killing everyone inside.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger: Captain America performs this on a three-story tall HYDRA tank, following it by jumping off of the tank as it explodes.
  • The same thing was done in Defiance, Zus arrived with The Cavalry, climbs up from behind the tank, guns down the German tank commander, and drops a grenade into the hatch.
  • Sometimes done in The Delta Force movies, one of them is done using a Molotov Cocktail.
  • The Expendables 3 does this in the final shootout when the Azmenistan army sends out tanks to take down the heroes. One of them on a stolen motorcycle destroys a tank by lobbing a grenade down the turret's tube.
  • In Fury, this is how the Germans finish off the crew of the eponymous tank. Not before said crew unleashed hell upon them for hours.
  • Megaforce has an awesome stunt (which unfortunately doesn't compensate for the awful plot) where a member of the eponymous force riding a Cool Bike does a stunt jump over a tank while dropping a grenade down the hatch. Subverted later when the commander of Megaforce raps on the turret hatch of the tank commanded by Duke Gurerra; when the hatch opens, instead of dropping a grenade inside he just exchanges friendly banter.
  • In Red Dawn when the group is pinned down by a tank (which doesn't see them) one of the main characters attempts this but gets hurt pretty badly and is unable to complete the task, instead he sets off a smoke grenade so that friendly fire can spot the tank and blow it (and him) up. The same scene also inverts this trope, as said character's injuries resulted from one of the tank's crew briefly opening the hatch and tossing a grenade onto the tank's exterior.
  • In Saving Private Ryan:
    • The Airborne soldiers trying to hold a bridge don't have much in the way of anti-tank weapons, but are faced with an armored convoy. To fight them, they come up with a Sticky Bomb: pitch-covered socks filled with explosives, designed to be slung onto tank treads from close range to disable them and block the road. Suffice to say, the results of the sticky bombs are... mixed. (This was Truth in Television, including the fairly "mixed" results.)
    • They also do the traditional 'climb on top and bung a grenade down the hatch' version once the sticky bombs have disabled the tank - it works perfectly, apart from the fact that there's an anti-aircraft gun pointed at the tank, which quickly shreds the soldiers who took it out.
  • A variant on this in the movie version of Starship Troopers: Johnny Rico jumps onto the back of a giant bug, blows a hole in its carapace with his gun, and then tosses in a grenade. Much orange and green paint ensues.
  • Star Wars:
  • Tobruk (1967) cleverly put this together with Fake in the Hole for an ingenius German tank heist. Antiheroic Maj. Donald Craig and his British squadmates empty a hand grenade for use against an approaching Nazi Panzer. Then, they approach the vehicle, kill its machinegunner, popped the hatch open and tossed the dud grenade in. In panic, the rest of the Panzer's crew climbed out of the hatch, only to meet the waiting submachineguns of Craig and company.

  • The Animorphs take out a tank this way when time-jumped back to D-Day. Since they were birds at the time, they even managed to bypass the "kill the lookout" step.
  • In The Dreamside Road, Orson destroys a Liberty Corps drop ship with some well-placed grenades after disabling it with his IF Maker.
  • The Executioner. In "Cambodia Clash", Mack Bolan does this with a tank, but the hatch is locked so he has to clamber up the main gun and drop the grenade down the barrel. The scene is depicted on the cover.
  • In the Gears of War novel, Aspho Fields Helena Stroud does this to help out the air-support but gets snagged on the gun turret while jumping away and ends up getting blow apart.
  • Happens all the time in the World War II Sven Hassel and Leo Kessler books, as the German protagonists seldom have a panzerfaust or anti-tank gun when they need one. There are frequent references to tying bundles of hand grenades together for this purpose.
    • Truth in Television. The bundles were known as Geballte Ladung (bundle charge), and were designed to defeat armor and fortifications.
  • The Tripods. The protagonists are being hauled up into the alien Tripod by its Combat Tentacles when one of them throws an Ancient Artifact they found in an abandoned weapons cache through the opening hatch. The damage causes the alien atmosphere to vent into the outside world. In the TV miniseries, the boys find themselves underneath the Tripod which is standing on loose slate. They use the grenade to cause a small avalanche that unbalances it, popping the hatch open so they can throw a second grenade inside.
  • Warhammer 40,000:

    Live-Action TV 
  • A variant shows up in Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, where Anders' resistance team come up with a tactic to lob a small bomb through a hatch, into a Centurion refueling station. Since the group is made of Pyramid players, they do the lobbing bit very well. It's dealing with the Centurions already present that they suck at.
    • It also highlights that the poor guys are really clueless in real tactics and, as Anders later admits, are just getting their ideas from movies. So, literally Hollywood err... Picon Tactics.
  • In one episode of The Green Hornet ("Seek, Stalk, and Destroy") Kato uses a "tear gas dart", which he throws into the open viewport of a stolen tank in order to force the tank thieves out of the tank and into the open.
  • The Mandalorian:
    • In the episode "Sanctuary" the Mandalorian throws a thermal detonator through the viewport of a former Imperial AT-ST. However given that these are nine meters off the ground, the problem lies in knocking the bipedal walker off its feet first: their plan to do so takes up a major part of the plot.
    • In "The Siege", a Scout Trooper gets on top of a troop transport stolen by our heroes and prepares to drop a grenade inside, but fails to see the gun turret turning towards him before he's blasted.
    • In "The Believer", "pirates"note  raiding an Imperial supply line attack Juggernauts transporting explosive materials by landing on them and planting charges on the stuff that goes boom. Din Djarin is forced to get out of the cab and fight them off mano a mano.
  • On one episode of The Unit, Jonas's father was very belatedly awarded the Silver Star for destroying a tank this way during the Korean War.
  • Used in the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead as Daryl casually rolls a grenade down the barrel of a tank to blow it up. The driver just manages to get out in time too, not that it increases his life-span much... Truth in Television in that unless his head is sticking up out of the hatch, the driver of an M-60 tank cannot see the ground for at least fifteen feet in front of his tank; Daryl's simply walking up around the corner and in front of the tank without drawing any notice was entirely possible. Also, given the timing of the tank's last shot, it's very likely that he caught the tank with the breech open for the next shell to be loaded, meaning that the grenade explosion actually would reach the tank's interior.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Anti-'Mech attacks in BattleTech are essentially this. A conventional or battle armor infantry unit in the same hex as an enemy 'Mech is basically safe from its weapons for the moment (although they still have to worry about its feet, as well as anything its buddies may send their way) and can then try to, rather than fire their own weapons at it normally, either wreck its moving leg joints with shaped charges or actually climb on top of it in an even more dangerous "swarm attack" that lets them keep applying their handheld weapons right up close and personal over successive turns as long as they can manage to hang on.
  • Happens all the time in Warhammer 40,000. Any close-combat hits on a vehicle (with the exception of walkers) automatically succeed, and are always resolved as being against the vehicle's rear armor to reflect infantry scrambling around it to find its weak points. While a standard close-combat attack by a typical infantryman will rarely do any damage to even a light vehicle, many can be issued anti-armor grenades specifically for this purpose, such as krak grenades, melta-bombs, and EMP grenades.

    Video Games 
  • 7554: Glorious Memories Revived have tanks in a few stages, where you can take them down without a rocket launcher by sneaking to their backs, climbing aboard, and drop a grenade into a designated spot. You then jump off as it blows up a few feet away.
  • Part of the Final Boss battle in Banjo-Tooie involves firing remote-controlled Clockwork Kazooies into the exhaust hatch of a Drill Tank and detonating them over its gearboxes.
  • In Bomberman 64, the Red Mountain boss is Hades the War Machine, a giant robot you fight in the heart of a volcano. If you smack it in the head with a fully-pumped bomb, a panel on the front opens up for a few seconds and reveals the cockpit; tossing a bomb in there gives the player a Gold Card.
  • Brothers in Arms:
    • Used as the third method of destroying tanks. The first being the far more intelligent "with other tanks", with the second being to find an anti-tank rocket launcher like a Panzerfaust or Bazooka.
    • Semi-subverted in Earned in Blood. You can no longer run up to the tank and 'nade it right off the bat, as apparently the Germans decided to start locking their hatches shut. But if you have a Panzerfaust ready and hit it in the rear, the commander's hatch will open, allowing a grenade to be dropped in.
    • Averted in Hell's Highway, where German tanks can only be destroyed by anti-tank weapons, allied tanks, or planting a Satchel Charge on the rear of the tank.
  • Call of Duty:
    • It happens frequently to tanks when the theater's in WWII. In the first game they precede the grenade with a few bursts from a tommy gun for good measure.
    • A flashback set during the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan in Call of Duty: Black Ops II has the player doing this to a twin-barreled Soviet tank with a mortar shell.
  • In the opening video of the original Dawn of War an Ork soldier sneaks behind a Dreadnought and manages to attach a limpet mine, blowing it up and turning the tide of battle in the Ork favor.
  • Fur Fighters has a level set in WW 2 with tanks, the only way to destroy them was to blow up the bridges to get them stuck and then lob in Grenades to blow them up. With the respawning enemies that level was hell, literally.
  • This is how Gordon Freeman deals with the Combine autogun in Half-Life 2: Episode Two. Originally he was meant to simply shut it off with a switch, but the designers decided it would be more satisfying to straight-up destroy it.
  • Halo:
    • Your Spartan (and Elite) can do this against any heavy vehicle (like Wraiths and Scorpions). If he jacks a vehicle from the rear, he can plant a grenade in the engine/turbine/etc. and destroy it. Or he can jack the front, kill the pilot, and then steal the vehicle for his own use. Or he can skip all that and literally punch the tank until it explodes.
    • Turns out super-soldiers like Master Chief aren't the only ones who can do this: ODSTs in their eponymous game can as well. They can't punch open tank covers, but they can just shoot them open and drop a grenade in. If you don't have any grenades? They improvise.
  • The second installment of the Heavy Gear mech-sim game has something like this as part of its opening. Tanks are treated as extremely dire threats to Gears as opposed to being Cannon Fodder as they usually are in Humongous Mecha titles, and after seeing a teammate go down, one pilot jumps up onto the offending hovertank, blows off the hatch, and empties his Gear's main gun into the crew cabin until both he and the tank explode. Ironically, Gears can carry grenades, so he could have just dropped one into the open hatch and jumped off...
  • MechWarrior Living Legends has completely enclosed cockpits for its BattleMechs, which makes tossing C8 sticky grenades onto the canopy one of the favorite tactics of BattleArmor users. Crippled battlemechs, however, are easy pickings, as cockpit canopies are destroyed if the pilot uses his Ejection Seat or someone cores through the canopy and kills the pilot to steal it; simply hurl an Inferno grenade onto the lap of the pilot and watch in glee as the pilot has about a quarter second to realize he's doomed.
  • In Mercenaries, you can hijack tanks this way. You'd assume the frag grenade would probably ruin in the inside... or at least make it very, very messy. Not to mention you can take the driver's sidearm and grenade on their chest multiple times, fail to put the grenade down the hatch, and have to do same thing all over again. Part of the animation involves, at least some of the time, headbutting a guy wearing a helmet with your mohawked, bare-headed idiot. You also protect yourself from the blast through the open hatch by putting a finger in one ear. Mercenaries runs on action film rules.
  • Metal Gear Solid:
    • Snake's first battle against Vulcan Raven in the first game was man against tank, so this trope was used to beat it, but without the jumping on the tank part. (One could soften the tank up first by careful Claymore and C4 placement, but that's not nearly as badass). If you call your support team (other than Campbell that is), they will comment on how ridiculous that was.
      Mei Ling: Snake, you just blew up a tank! On foot!
      Snake: ...and?
    • When you revisit the site in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, if you call Otacon at this point, he'll mention that he once asked an active-duty Army officer once about how one goes about fighting a tank on foot, and was told, "Don't." He then goes on to gush about how awesome Snake was for managing it.
  • In the first Metal Slug game, the enemy Mooks would climb onto your Metal Slug, and if not shaken off in time, they would drop a grenade in. Fortunately, it only damaged your slug and not the player. Sometimes they would also block the barrel of your 'Slug with their body, preventing you from firing your cannon properly with their lives.
  • The cinematic trailer for PlanetSide 2 shows a New Conglomerate light assault trooper killing the exposed gunner of a Terran Republic Prowler and then tossing a grenade down the tank's hatch to blow it up. However, Trailers Always Lie, as in-game, the secondary gun is controlled remotely (no exposed hatches), and regular grenades are harmless to tanks and other heavy vehicles.
  • Not quite a frag grenade, but in [PROTOTYPE], Alex Mercer wrenches the hatch open with his bare hands (or just Kill and Replace a soldier to make it easier) and jumps into the tank himself...followed by gratuitous amounts of blood spraying out the hatch. None of this at all bothers him as he proceeds to drive the tank.
  • Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike puts a twist on the Battle of Hoth level. Instead of how most Star Wars games have you do the tie-up-the-AT-AT-with-a-towcable thing, it's set up as a ground mission after Luke gets shot down. You have to kill the AT-ATs by doing Luke's little trick in the movie.
  • In the Salmon Run mode of Splatoon 2 and Splatoon 3, the only way to take out the missile-spewing Flyfish is by throwing a Splat Bomb into both of its missile pods.
  • In Star Wars: Battlefront, if you are driving a vehicle, you will notice grenades bouncing off your tank and doing very small amounts of damage. It does make it hard to pick up a copilot though.
    • The exception is if they toss concussion grenades, which stick to tanks and do more damage, or if you're playing the sequel, where the normal grenades are given the ability to stick, but are still individually weaker than a rocket.
  • Steel Panthers: World At War has this as an option for dealing with tanks at close range. Sometimes it works. Sometimes you lose the entire infantry squad.
  • In Titanfall 2, if you rodeo a Titan while already carrying a battery, your Pilot will drop a frag grenade down the Titan's empty battery socket.
  • In Valkyria Chronicles, this is a viable tactic for taking out the reactors of Maximilian's massive Batomys tank. While it would normally take three or four Lancer shots to disable one, a soldier who moves quickly enough can toss a grenade into the hatch and blow it up in a single hit.

  • Classical "shoot the machine-gunner, climb on top, drop in a charge" version done by the Reds against the Yellows in Gone with the Blastwave #52.

    Web Videos 
  • Dslyecxi of Shack Tactical did a variant of this in his video Dear Tank, Signed Infantry. Before the start of the video, Dslyecxi's infantry squad had been all but destroyed by a tank, and Dslyecxi decided to die by making a brave but useless gesture by charging at the tank while only holding his knife. Except... the crew of the tank don't see him even when he gets close enough to touch it. So Dslyecxi climbs on top of the tank... and discovers that the game designers didn't think to design it so he could drop a grenade down the hatch. However, right at that moment one of the tank crew comes out to man the .50 caliber machine gun on top of the tank, which allows Dslyecxi to gleefully gun the man down, and decide everything the infantry went through was Worth It just for that moment. (And for bonus points, the tank crewman that Dslyecxi killed was another player who was also recording what he saw in his last moments.)

    Western Animation 
  • The first of the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials parodied the instance from The Empire Strikes Back. It starts off depicting Luke grappling up to the AT-AT, cutting a hole in it, and tossing a grenade in... then cut to inside the AT-AT, where the grenade lands in the bathroom while one of the pilots is busy on the can. He wonders aloud "what in the fuck is—" before it explodes and takes out the entire AT-AT.
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars:
    • One of the ARC Troopers uses this tactic to take out a droid tank. However, he didn't have any grenades. So he blasted his way into the tank, then shot it up from the inside with his gun that fired explosions, and jumped out. It worked.
    • Yoda did it as well, and though he had a lightsaber, it worked even better.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In Season 5's Onderon arc, doing this to Separatist tanks is one of the techniques Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan and Rex teach the rebels. It then gets used in actual combat.

    Real Life 
  • After the German invasion of the Soviet Union failed to produce the intended immediate collapse of the Red Army, the Germans found themselves woefully short of infantry anti-tank weapons to counter the vast fleets of increasingly powerful Soviet armour. To solve this problem the Germans produced a number of training films that mostly consisted of ways individual soldiers could jump up on a tank and disable it with whatever materials and weapons they had at hand, including hand grenades.
    • One they did have was the Geballte Ladung, which was basically a standard stick grenade with the attachment of 6 additional grenade charges wired to the center one. It could destroy or disable light tanks through the force of its blast alone.
    • There's an example of a Soviet KV-2 heavy tank taking over a hundred hits from German weapons (and destroying two dozen German armored vehicles) before stopping, only to continue moving when infantry approached. The crew was killed only after someone managed to climb the tank and jam a grenade through a hole in the armor. At that stage in the war, the Germans had nothing that could penetrate a KV-2's armor except 88 and 105mm anti-aircraft guns.
  • This was the only way most Japanese soldiers could defeat Allied tanks late in war. The Sherman, although considered relatively mundane and underprotected in the European theater, was much stronger in the Pacific theater due to the Japanese military's shortage of anti-tank weapons. Extrapolating from the more successful Kamikaze program, Japanese soldiers employed nikudan (literally "meat bullet", Heroic Sacrifice with a bundle of grenades or other explosives) attacks. One famous example featured a Japanese soldier charge an American tank, which promptly drove away faster than he could run. The tank traversed its turret...
    • The Japanese standard became a simultaneous attack by ten men, most of whom would be killed in the attempt. The standard response was for tanks with coaxially-mounted machine guns to turn their turrets on each other.note  It was used by British Centurion tanks being 'hugged' by Chinese soldiers with similarly non-existent ranged anti-tank weaponry during the Korean War, and occasionally in Vietnam (though the Vietcong usually did not resort to such desperate measures against US or Australian tanks).
  • During Operation Barbarossa, the Soviets experimented with training dogs to associate the underside of tanks with food, then strapping mines to their backs and setting them loose when conducting counter-attacks against German panzer forces. Unfortunately for them, due to not having genuine German tanks to train them with (they used their own tanks mocked up to look like German ones - most of the following confusion likely came from the real deal running on petrol engines rather than diesel that they would have become familiar with the scent of), most of the dogs sought out their own tanks instead. The Germans caught on very quickly in any case, shooting all dogs on sight upon hearing of it.
  • The "Molotov cocktail across the engine grate" version is averted by the US M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. The engine runs hotter than a Molotov can burn. This does make it a beautiful target for anyone with even the most rudimentary thermal-imaging equipment, however; win some, lose some. Luckily, the Abrams is also tough enough to survive hits there - Made of Iron doesn't seem an adequate description.
    • A jihadi who tried to suicide bomb an M2 Bradley in Iraq and only managed to paint it a nasty shade of pink.
    • One (ageing) variant of an infantry-portable, disposable Light Antitank Weapon is meant to be fired at the engines, whereupon it ignites a thermal charge to burn out the engine. The basic mechanism works a bit like a high-tech RPG variant - however, as shown in a briefing video, this weapon has also proven to be extremely effective at cooking its crew alive if it managed to penetrate the crew cabin instead.
    • Thermite Grenades are designed for this. Not actually used in combat, they allow for combat engineers to disable allied equipment they have to abandon, or to permanently disable enemy equipment. One of these stuck in an engine block can melt it almost completely.
      • Such charges (they usually aren't thrown) are also used in sabotage missions against e.g. enemy artillery guns — scatter or kill the defenders and they can come back, but if you plant a thermite grenade in the breech or barrel of the gun it's never going to fire again.
  • Dedicated anti-armour hand grenades working on the shaped-charge principle (example) are becoming obsolete as main battle tank armour improves, though they'll still make a mess of a Humvee or a light APC, but the most effective ranged anti-infantry weapon tanks carry demands someone stand up in the roof hatch and swing a machine gun around. If you can get close enough without being spotted, a well-thrown fragmentation grenade can still kill the turret crew and trash the interior badly enough to take a week to fix, though this is very far from the end of your problems; there is a reason tank crews refer to enemy infantry as "crunchies".
    • This is also why nearly every tank out there today carries a "coaxial" machine gun - a secondary antipersonnel weapon that lets the tank stay buttoned up and still engage infantry. It's fixed parallel along the gun, and is relatively limited in where you can shoot it, and doesn't have the best visibility - hence the upper guns as well.
      • And some are even getting remote weapon mounts controlled by a joystick and screen from behind the armour. Think the machine gun mount from The Jackal but with a greater range of movement.
  • Tanks generally have a bolt on the inside and an external "lock" (two holes for a padlock).
    • In 1941 Stalin approved the formation of Red Army versions of the German 'Strafbataillons' (Punishment batallion) for deserters and cowards, with their discipline being ensured by close oversight from the NKVD (the fire service, police, secret police, and border-guard organisation). These weren't used for the exploitation or even the breakthrough phases of combat, but for the assault-phase alone - and to initiate it to boot. For uprooting the German defences they needed direct-fire artillery, provided by yet more Punishment Batallion troops crewing the requisite tanks and assault-guns. At least a few of the hatches on these, and the Punishment Batallion air-support aircraft (also reserved for the assault-phase), were padlocked from the outside.
    • Soviet WWII-era T-34 crews had to open the hatch when firing to vent the smoke from its powerful (for the time being) cannon until this problem was solved in T-34-85. Probably a lot of early tanks had similar problems.
    • Visibility from inside the tank was usually horrible, especially during World War II. Tank commanders (and sometimes drivers) usually preferred to operate "unbuttoned" to get a better view of the battlefield, even when fighting the tank and under enemy fire. The only time when the hatch was always shut was under enemy artillery fire; otherwise it depended on the whims of the TC, but accurate sniper fire or a machine gun usually qualified as reasons to close up. This made the commander more vulnerable and risked a grenade, but overall made the tank much less vulnerable on balance; you can't protect yourself against things you can't see. Modern tanks, with commander's cupolas as standard and much better optics, rarely even get near combat unbuttoned unless the TC wants to use his external machine gun.
  • Modern tanks are much faster, some of them able to travel at or near highway speeds (the British Challenger tank can travel up to 60 mph easily). On an open battlefield, good luck hopping on one of those. In an urban setting, the tank might have to slow down and also risks being blocked in somehow.
  • Modern tanks are built with remotely controlled turret-mounted machine guns and/or grenade launchers, and can fire various anti-infantry weapons without opening the hatch. Tanks can use Canister Shells (basically really big shotgun shells) to "scratch each others' backs" if enemy infantry swarms them. The tungsten balls fired by the shells can't do anything to the tanks' armor, but do plenty to squishy infantry trying to pry a hatch open.
    • The German JPz 38(t) 'Hetzer' had a remote MG turret in 1944. Many other German tanks mounted a Nahverteidigungswaffe grenade projector for close defense.
    • The famous German design for a gun that shot round corners was actually used this way - a machine-gun firing upwards from inside the tank through the ninety degrees bent barrel could be swivelled through 360 degrees to sweep a tank exterior. The bullet would fragment as it passed through the curve, making it even more effective at the extremely close ranges it was used for.
    • Designs for the M60A2 had such a cupola turret as well.
  • Don't have a grenade? Plenty of alternatives:
    • There is a story about how La Résistance in France managed to steal a German tank just by chucking a potato down the hatch. The crew thought it was a grenade and ran away, leaving the resistance fighters to assume command of it.
    • One unconventional tactic used by Allied troops during World War II against the German Panther tank (by both tanks and infantry) was to lob a smoke grenade on top of its engine compartment. While heavily armored and formidably armed compared to contemporary Allied tanks, the Panther was notoriously prone to engine fires due to design flaws. The grenade, which did produce significant heat, could at least convince the crew inside that the engine might be on fire (and had a small chance of actually starting an engine fire), causing them to bail out or at least panic enough to give the Allied soldiers the time to take further actions.
      • This tactic was far more universal and effective for a different reason: The smoke produce by smoke grenades is not breathable and able to displace air. Bind two together with a piece of rope and chuck at a tank: Odds are the rope will catch on the tank gun, leaving the smoke grenades close to the turret and a lot of air slits into the tank.
    • Much more recently, during a NATO field exercise in Denmark: a particularly pissed-off British Para managed to lob a thunderflash (pyrotechnic designed to simulate a grenade) right into the open hatch of a German Army APC with a full complement of uncharacteristically dozy Panzergrenadiers inside. In the confined space, it ruptured the eardrums of thirteen German soldiers. The Bundeswehr was not amused and compensation was paid. The errant Para was officially bollocked, but privately congratulated by his Colonel for the accuracy of his aim and for teaching the Jerries a good lesson — never drive in a combat zone with the lid open.
  • Subverted during Marvin Heemeyer's "Killdozer" rampage. A police officer threw a grenade into its exhaust pipe, but it detonated with no effect. Doesn't help that it was actually a flash-bang.
  • Even before the age of precision munitions, savvy warship designers were concerned about the possibility of a bomb or artillery shell going down a ship's smokestack through blind luck. What's at the bottom of the smokestack? The boilers which power the ship, and which are necessarily located very near the ship's coal or oil stores. The solution was simple enough: Install armored grates inside the funnels to block admission. A trick the Galactic Empire could have made good use of.


Video Example(s):


Taking out a tank with grenade

German soldier Kat catches up to a French tank and places a grenade on the treads, which immobilizes it. Once the tank is stationary, he goes to a machine-gun slot, and inserts another grenade inside. After the grenade goes off inside the vehicle, the wounded tank crew crawls out of the smoking vehicle allowing Kat and Paul to gun them down with ease.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / InsertGrenadeHere

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