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Today we are showing off the venerable Lebel rifle and the model 1916 white phosphorus smoke grenade.

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Hello and welcome back to another Forgotten Hope 2 update.

The end of another year is closing in upon us again, and as usual, the team at ModDB have opened their voting for this year's Mod of the Year contest. We'd really appreciate if you could head on over and vote for us in the first round, which closes this Friday.

Mod of the Year Awards

With that out of the way, we move on to our renders this week: the venerable Lebel rifle and the Mle 1916 incendiary smoke grenade.

Fusil Lebel Mle 1886 M93

In 1884 French chemist Paul Vieille finished work on Poudre B, a nitrocellulose based explosive that was suitable for use in firearms. The military advantage of this new smokeless powder was clear - not only was the problem with smoke obscuring the battlefield gone, but it was also 3 times more powerful than blackpowder and thus bullets could get smaller and faster. Two years of secret work would go into finding the optimum bullet diameter for the new powder, but the same opportunity was not extended to the cartridge or rifle. In January 1886, War Minister General Boulanger ordered that a working system had to be ready within a year.

Hampered by this accelerated development time, the only option was to fall back on existing technology. The new 8mm bullet was awkwardly fitted into an extremely necked down 11mm Gras cartridge case, and the rifle was adapted from the Mle 1885 Kropatschek Infantry rifle. The rifle bolt from the Mle 1874 Gras was adapted with a pair of front locking lugs to deal with the significantly higher firing pressures of the new powder, and the new rifle entered production the next year.

The following 6 years saw over 2 million rifles produced, with a minor design modification made in 1893. The last new rifles would be assembled during the First World War, with major rifle production moving over to the Berthier. Officially declared obsolete in 1920, the Lebel would continue to see updates into the 30's, and was still in wide usage in 1940. It was the preferred rifle for launching rifle grenades due to the relative weakness of the Berthier's single piece wooden stock, and was also the more common choice for mounting the APX21 telescope. Our Lebel was made by Seth Soldier.

Incendiaire et Fumigène Mle 1916

This grenade consists of a smooth ovoid sheet metal case filled with 300g of white phosphorus. Upon detonation of the fuse the phosphorus would be thrown 15 to 20 metres, igniting on contact with the air and giving off distinctive white smoke. This smoke and incendiary grenade was made by Seth Soldier.

That's all for this week, but be sure to come back next time for another update. Until then, feel free to visit our Discord, our public forums, our Twitter, our subreddit, and/or Facebook pages to discuss this update and other news.

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