I have had a few .30” (7.62 x 63mm) blanks lying around in a junk box for years. These have the common headstamp: F A 33, almost certainly from the ammunition supplied to the Home Guard in the UK in World War 2 for use in their .30” Model 1917 rifles. Apparently ball ammo for the HG was plentiful, blank scarce or non-existent and these have been converted from ball by pulling the bullet and crudely crimping the case neck with pliers or similar to produce a four petal crimp. They look crude but probably worked.
As these are not “proper” blanks and I don’t really collect this calibre I sawed the neck crimp off one to see what was inside. Beneath the crimp was a wad of tightly screwed up newspaper and the powder looked like the normal charge for a ball round.
Then I found a surprise, on carefully opening out the paper wadding I found that some of the newsprint was still legible including:
…….Hotel Bristol was burned. The destruction in the Potsdammerplatz is so extensive that one eye-witness described the square as “levelled to the ground”.
The Zeughaus military museum, containing the coach in which the Armistice was signed in 1918 and with France in 1940 was nearly all destroyed.
Smoke drifted 300 miles to………
Most of the rest is in partial sentences and fragments but include words such as: Roosevelt; Goering; Raids; Berlin; aircraft; Oeland? Etc. So, these cartridges seem to be genuine WW2 artefacts so I will not cut any more up.