Analysing - extract two

A Moment of War by Laurie Lee

This extract is from a memoir by Laurie Lee, in which he describes arriving in Spain during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.

The people in the kitchen were a people stripped for war - the men smoking beech leaves, the soup reduced to near water; around us hand-grenades hanging on the walls like strings of onions, muskets and cartridge-belts piled in the corner, and open orange-boxes packed with silver bullets like fish. War was still so local then, it was like stepping into another room. And this was what I had come to re-visit. But I was now awash with sleep, hearing the blurred murmuring of voices and feeling the rocks of Spain under my feet. The men's eyes grew narrower, watching the unexpected stranger, and his lumpy belongings drying by the fire."

(a) Why is the expression "silver bullets like fish" particularly suitable in this situation?

(b) What other expression conveys a similar idea to silver bullets like fish?

(a) This simile is effective because the bullets are roughly the colour and shape of fish. They remind the writer of a crate of fish - something you might more usually find in a kitchen.

(b) ... hand-grenades ... like strings of onions .. This expression continues the idea of ammunition being linked with food, as in the first simile.