1942 British 2" bomb thrower smoke cartridge box


ANY info about it shall be greatly appreciated.


Vlad, these are 2" (51mm) smoke rounds for mortars. To what I see typical British pattern.
Seeing the lot number would tell us more.

Here example images.

From inside:

Nice briefing on the gun and accessories:



So, this is British? How common are these in Europe? I grabbed it since I never saw such a kind before.


At the risk of being pedantic, the contents were not 2" mortars but rounds for the 2" Bomb Thrower. Although essentially identical, the early versions of the latter had a reduced propelling charge.

The 2" Bomb Thrower was fitted to most British Tanks and gave the crew, when the need arose, ability to put down screening smoke. It was the forerunner of the smoke discharger.



Tim, I was not aware there was a special load for the vehicle based launchers. Thanks a lot for these details!

Vlad, in Europe they should be easier to find than in the US but I can not tell much about likelyness etc.
As large boxes are taking a lot of room most people do not collect them, just like with large boxes/crates for small arms ammo. I know even many people who do not care for the regular “small” cardboard boxes.


The box appears to have been manufactured by Flexible Shaft Co (Canada). The parent company being Chicago Flexible Shaft Co. Better known for their “Sunbeam” range of items. (food mixers etc.)

The markings show the the cartridges were filled 18 grains Hercules 81 mm mortar powder, which was an appoved substitute for Ballistite B.16.

The bombs with a reduced charge ranged at about 150 yards.

The early bombs were also equipped with a lifting ring on the nose. In due course when production was rationalised, all smoke bombs were equipped with the lifting ring and the bomb thrower used the same cartridge as the 2" Mortar, Smoke (47 or 55 grain).



So the box is Canadian (not British)?


A British box (B.167 Mk I) made in Canada, assuming I’ve identified the correct manufacturer.

A couple of images re the Bomb Thrower


Here in the UK these boxes can still be sometimes found in use by construction workers and other tradesmen as tool boxes. Most are usually post-war dated, but occasionally WW2 dates are seen. They sometimes turn up at flea markets, but are normally well used and have been painted over several times. Your box is in very good condition with the original markings.

My work place (engineering) still has a few sets of custom made tooling stored in WW2 era naval boxes. This is so that they can be quickly loaded into vans when needed to be transported for use elsewhere.

I also once saw a box similar to yours in the scrap metal section at the local authority run tip (garabge dump). This was when I helping my father unload the car aged around ten years old. Unfortunately he didn’t allow me to bring it home.


Thanks. I wish someone could post a pic of one of 3 carriers which went inside the main box. So I can look for them at shows.


See - http://www.bocn.co.uk/vbforum/threads/96815-British-2-in-mortar-carrying-tubes-and-frame