77x169mm German artillery cases?


#1

I have a pair of cases obtained from a charity shop this week. Both are brass with an inside mouth diameter of approximately 76mm (they are not circular), one has a case length of 169mm, the other may have been shortened by 2-3mm. Head diameter is 80mm, rim diameter is 90mm and the rim thickness is 3.5mm.

The longer case has three pairs of notches, probably to form tabs to retain a wad of some sort, the other has lost these in the shortening.

Both cases had the original headstamp of simply JULI 1900 which looks like the German spelling. One of the cases has additional stamps of a broad arrow and C.F. The arrow and C.F. seem to indicate use by Britain, the arrow being the government property mark and the letters indicating Cordite, Full Charge.

What gun were these cases used in? Who made them? Who can explain the additional markings please?

gravelbelly


#2

These cases are original German ones for the 15 Pounder QF Field Guns, 108 of which were purchased from Erhardt in Germany. The initial stocks of ammunition were supplied with the guns.


#3

Hello Jim,

Is it likely that the cases were made by Erhardt too? Is the longer of my cases the correct full length?

gravelbelly


#4

Hi Gravelbelly,

The case with the tabs (169mm long) is correct and uncut. I don’t know if the Erhardt Company made ammunition or not, but believe that they did not. I have an original, unfired shrapnel projectile for this case and it was made by Rheinmettal. I suspect they made the cases also.

Jim


#5

[quote=“Jim O’Brien”]Hi Gravelbelly,

The case with the tabs (169mm long) is correct and uncut. I don’t know if the Erhardt Company made ammunition or not, but believe that they did not. I have an original, unfired shrapnel projectile for this case and it was made by Rheinmettal. I suspect they made the cases also.

Jim[/quote]

Thanks for that info Jim,

I assume that the three little tabs were folded over a closing plug of some sort and that the projectile was loaded seperately, followed by the cartridge.

gravelbelly


#6

[quote=“gravelbelly”][quote=“Jim O’Brien”]Hi Gravelbelly,

The case with the tabs (169mm long) is correct and uncut. I don’t know if the Erhardt Company made ammunition or not, but believe that they did not. I have an original, unfired shrapnel projectile for this case and it was made by Rheinmettal. I suspect they made the cases also.

Jim[/quote]

Thanks for that info Jim,

I assume that the three little tabs were folded over a closing plug of some sort and that the projectile was loaded seperately, followed by the cartridge.

gravelbelly[/quote]

the cases did not have these cut outs in military service, must be some private craftsmanship


#7

The cut-outs on this case are identical in form and number to those found on various other British seperated cases, such as that for the 12 Pdr 12 Cwt. If the original cases did not have cut-outs, could these have been officially modified at a later date? It seems unlikely that someone would add these in the exact form and number as done with the 12 Pdr cases, etc. for decorative purposes. Does anyone have an official drawing or document showing these cases as received from Germany?

Jim


#8

This I can not tell of course but the Germans have not done it for sure.
And why should one modify captured ammo this way? Would be a lot of work for no good reason or?


#9

The original ammunition was manufactured in Germany on contract for England, and was purchased with the guns. The two cases in question are the Mk.I model, the first type. The one with with the tabs is correct and uncut, while the other has been shortened, removing the tabs. The tabs were bent over a glazed board lid to secure it, sealing the case, as was done with other seperated British cases with these tabs. The details of the 15 Pdr cases can be found in the Treatise On Ammunition, 1905 edition, page 121, and the 1915 edition, page 449.

Jim


#10

[quote=“Jim O’Brien”]The original ammunition was manufactured in Germany on contract for England, and was purchased with the guns. The two cases in question are the Mk.I model, the first type. The one with with the tabs is correct and uncut, while the other has been shortened, removing the tabs. The tabs were bent over a glazed board lid to secure it, sealing the case, as was done with other seperated British cases with these tabs. The details of the 15 Pdr cases can be found in the Treatise On Ammunition, 1905 edition, page 121, and the 1915 edition, page 449.

Jim[/quote]

Jim,

We seem to have tied this identity down quite well now but, unfortunately I don’t have either of the Treatise On Ammunition which you refer to. Were these Erfurt guns a special design/calibre for export to Britain or were they an “Imperial” calibre of a standard German field gun. What I am trying to ask is, was there a German cartridge which used this same cartridge case?

gravelbelly


#11

Gravelbelly,

The 15 Pdr QF Field Guns were an Erhardt design, purchased from the Erhardt Company (Germany), as there was an immediate need for a modern field gun and nothing was available from British gunmakers at the time.  The details of this weapon can be found in "British Artillery Weapons & Ammunition  1914 - 1918" - Hogg & Thurston - 1972.  Your cases should be considered British, even though made in Germany, as they were made for England and have some proper British markings, such as the "CF" stamp.

Jim


#12

[quote=“Jim O’Brien”]Gravelbelly,

The 15 Pdr QF Field Guns were an Erhardt design, purchased from the Erhardt Company (Germany), as there was an immediate need for a modern field gun and nothing was available from British gunmakers at the time.  The details of this weapon can be found in "British Artillery Weapons & Ammunition  1914 - 1918" - Hogg & Thurston - 1972.  Your cases should be considered British, even though made in Germany, as they were made for England and have some proper British markings, such as the "CF" stamp.

Jim[/quote]

Thanks again Jim,

I made an error earlier in this thread by quoting Erfurt instead of Erhardt, not paying attention. That’s what my school reports used to say too.

gravelbelly