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Sauterelle 1915.jpg
French soldiers with a Sauterelle c1915.
Type Crossbow
Place of origin France
Service history
In service 1915–1916
Used by France
United Kingdom
Wars World War I
Production history
Produced 1915-1916
Weight 24 kg (53 lb)
Crew 2

Effective firing range 110–140 m (120–150 yd)

The Arbalète sauterelle type A, or simply Sauterelle (French for grasshopper), was a bomb-throwing crossbow used by French and British forces on the Western Front during World War I. It was designed to throw a hand grenade in a high trajectory into enemy trenches. It was initially dismissed by the French Army but General Henri Berthelot thought it had practical value.[1]

It was lighter and more portable than the Leach Trench Catapult, but less powerful. It weighed 24 kg (53 lb) and could throw an F1 grenade or Mills bomb 110–140 m (120–150 yd).[2]

The Sauterelle replace the Leach Catapult in British service until they were replaced in 1916 by the 2 inch Medium Trench Mortar and Stokes mortar.[3]


  1. ^ Glenn E. Torrey (2001). Henri Mathias Berthelot: soldier of France, defender of Romania. Center for Romanian Studies. p. 119. ISBN 9739432158. 
  2. ^ The Royal Engineers Journal. The Institution of Royal Engineers. 39: 79. 1925.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Hugh Chisholm (1922). The Encyclopædia Britannica: The New Volumes, Constituting, in Combination with the Twenty-nine Volumes of the Eleventh Edition, the Twelfth Edition of that Work, and Also Supplying a New, Distinctive, and Independent Library of Reference Dealing with Events and Developments of the Period 1910 to 1921 Inclusive, Volume 1. Encyclopædia Britannica Company Limited. p. 470.