Could someone please help with an ID?


#1

I have a 77mm German(?) artillery shell, its in a German case, however it appears to be a German made for British contract Shrapnel shell.

Looking for an ID on the maker (BH?)

I bought it as a German WW1 shell, but it appears to be a German contract British, most likely pre-WW1… The fuze also looks to be British contract. No markings, just the numbers 0-18 on the timing ring.

Any help is greatly appreciated.



#2

Most likely a British 15 Pounder:

The fuze sort of looks like a version of-


Source.


#3

Actually this is a Rheinmetall made 77mm shrapnel with a typical Erhard time fuze. The fuze is not very common in land forces use though.

I would say it is a regualr WW1 production (1915) for the German military.


#4

Thanks EOD, you think German issue even though its marked 15 Pr? Would that be common for the period? What element would have used that fuze. It closely resembles a British No. 58 Time fuze.


#5

15 is the year and “Pr” is the type of steel used (manufacture procedure).

The Rheimetall logo (above the letters BH) speaks for it self and the fuze is also a Rheinmetall design.

Nothing British in this! Maybe it once was fired at British troops but that’s about it.


#6

Thanks for the clarification EOD. Its greatly appreciated. I have read that a bunch were sold to Britain prior to WW1 as they also bought guns from them. They are very similar to the British 15 Pounders of the era. After pulling the shell from the case and seeing the 15 Pr, I assumed it was the abbreviation for Pounds, Hence the questions… I am not as familiar with artillery shells and have no reference material on the markings of shells besides the basic reference material out there on paint colors and basic type marks.

As more stupid questions come to mind… What does the F and S stand for as well as the “BH” ? Are any of the other markings intact enough to give meaning?


#7

Who would have used this type of fuze?


#8

The full ID of the markings would be better told by an expert. I shall ask a friend to have a look at this thread and then maybe tell the full story.

The Erhardt fuze was used more by the navy but they did not have the 77mm caliber.
Also some went into export but that did not happen (i.e. is highly unlikely) in 1915 as we needed all capacities for the ongoing war.

In the maximum it could be really an export to the UK but then before the war. This would be a bit surprising but maybe possible.
But for a 15pdr the driving band looks incorrect.
As said I will ask an expert to chime in here.


#9

Thanks EOD :D


#10

I edited my last posting, see the last paragraph.


#11

I did some searching (as a result of my ignorance on the subject) and found this tid bit of info in a discussion on BOCN, posted by AE501:

http://www.bocn.co.uk/vbforum/threads/97293-British-15pdr-case?highlight=pounder
Quote AE501:
“Thank you for the improved photo.
I find it pays to read books that you have had for years.
All is now clear to me at least. Perhaps some already knew the answer. This is a genuine case.
The original British 15 pounder was a BL gun developed from the 12 pounder and both were the Field Artillery standard gun in 1899. These had bagged cordite charges.
News came in 1897 that the French had a revolutionary 75mm QF gun which had recoil and recuperator systems, on a slide principle.
The French at that time were perceived to be Britain’s potential main enemy.
We had nothing on the drawing board at that time with anything like that potential.
In 1900 the German public were very anti British, in part due to the Anglo Boer War, not to mention the naval arms race. The British public felt much the same about Germany.
But needs must, so in great secrecy on both sides, we purchased 18 artillery batteries worth of 15 pounder QF guns and equipment, from the engineering firm of Erhardt, Dusseldorf, which obviously included QF ammunition. Every reference to Erhardt was omitted from the ammunition and equipment. These guns also operated on a slide system and had recoil and recuperation…”

So it would seem your projectile is indeed of German manufacture, circa very early 1900’s , with the projectile base markings following British protocol! The above quote may also explains why there are no identification markings on the fuze.

Brian


#12

From a list of British artillery fuzes-

Fz time & perc No 58 1901/1909 Erhardt 15pr QF German designed model was aluminium but the British
Mk II was brass.


#13

Adding to the above, we purchased in the region of 54,000 complete rounds with the weapons.


#14

Got confirmation now: it is indeed German Rheinmetall production for the UK.


#15

Here is the case that came with the shell.


#16

Is this a case in the British 15pdr size?
I wonder as the year here is definately 1915 what would exclude any export to the UK.
Sowith it being a normal German 77mm case.


#17

About Pr. Is this is the abbreviation of Pounder? On what I did see and know, I noticed always Pdr?


#18

All I can tell you for sure is that its the same size as the 3 other 77mm German cases that I have. Does anyone have the case measurements for the British 15 Pdr. As far as I have read they were the same?


#19

From the image posted above:

“Pr” is used to designate “pounder”


#20

From Big Bore Ammunition 20mm to 80cm by Hawkinson, case measurements for the 15 Pdr Qf (Erhardt), English Field Gun are:

76.2 x 169mmR, rim diameter = 89.5mm, tapered case, brass.

No German 77mm case types are listed at or near this case length.

Brian