Showalter, Dennis E.
January 1996
Reader's Companion to Military History;1996, p190
Book Chapter
The earliest grenadiers were often volunteers whose specialization logically fitted them to lead forlorn hopes and storming parties. Their accompanying reputation as shock troops survived the eclipse of the grenade as an infantry weapon. Grenadiers were usually not the biggest soldiers, but they boasted the best ones--long-service veterans with solid combat records. The twelve senior regiments of Prussia's infantry were also dubbed grenadiers without any improvement in the quality of their recruits. Halfway through World War II, Adolf Hitler took this process to its logical conclusion by rechristening most German infantry as grenadiers.


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