Emergency currency by fuze manufacturer

Here a side note (or better bank note?) of history as it is related to ammunition.
With ending WW1 and well into the 1920s the inflation in Germany caused many institutions to issue it’s own emergency currencies.

Back when I found these they were new to me but definately caught my attention.

Here two notes (are these technically “bank notes” - guess not?) of the company “Gebrüder Thiel” (Thiel Bros.) of Ruhla (est. 1862) which were mainly a watch factory but by nature of their business also made mechanical time fuzes. To be correct the well known Zt. Z. S/30 (30 second) time fuze which became well known for it’s use with the 88mm AA gun. The fuze was designed by Paul Liebergeld who also worked for Krupp before and later worked for “Gebrüder Thiel”.
The Wehrmacht factory code was “drh” and “hhj” (this was the code used on fuzes).
Interestingly in parallel to the “hhj” also the two company logos were used, the one shown in the Wikipedia article (anchor) and also the one as used on the note (intertwined “GT”).
They kept existing in the GDR and there it was also planned to produce mechanical time fuzes based on the clockwork system of the said Zt. Z. S/30 but so far no specimen were found so it may only have been planned but not implemented.
Today they still exist and make quality watches.

Source internet:

Here some basic info on the company:

Here their website today:


Alex, very interesting, thanks for sharing. The Zt. Z. S/30 fuze is very common in my country and most of them are found in box and/or mint condition. Everybody knows them as “Thiel Fuzes”, because that is the way the Argentine contract boxes are identified, but I think that all of them were made by Oerlikon in 1944.



Fede, good to know. I actually saw some such fuzes in Argentinian auctions and with antiques dealers.
Do you happen to have photos of these export boxes?

I know the fuze was made in Switzerland also (like some other ordnance too) but I have not heard of Oerlikon in this regard. Is there info on used codes and images maybe?

Alex, fuzes are Swiss made and marked “guy”. I’ll post some pictures later.

Fede, “guy” would fit then.
Looking forward to the image.


Thiel were also well known for their machine tools, especially their milling machine. http://www.lathes.co.uk/thiel/index.html

It is interesting that their machine has been copied by so many others. I have a G.H. Alexander Master Toolmaker that is a license built copy of a German Deckel FP1, that was inspired/copied from the Thiel 58.

I’m sure you know that the mechanism of the the Zt. Z. S/30 can be traced back to the Dopp.Z.08 (Krupp) of WWI vintage which then became the Dopp.Z.16. (Krupp/Thiel)

Towards the end of WWI the British captured significant stocks of Dopp.Z. 16s and tested them and were very impressed. The fuze was reversed engineered and started the 200 series of British mechanical time fuzes.

As you say the Zt. Z. S/30 was used in the 8,8 cm AA projectile but in addition the British were using essentially the same mechanism with the 3.7" AA projectile. The mechanism was in use in all three British services upto at least 1990s. Army and Navy - projectile fuze, RAF bomb fuze for something like a target indicator. I think the Royal Navy’s N97 fuze is still in service.

I thought the mechanism was quite common in Eastern bloc fuzes. I’ve seen a number of Eastern bloc fuzes with a castellated ring which is normally indicative of the fuze containing a Krupp/Thiel mechanism.

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Yes, I know of the Thiel machines but thought noone would care here.

As mentioned Paul Liebergeld was related to Krupp before he went to Thiel.

The timing mechanism of the said fuze is going back to WW1 and was developed further since. It matured in the 1930s and from there became the basis for almost all German made mechanical fuzes which evolved into many different models and run times.

Before 1945 few countries were using the Zt. Z. S/30 but after the war was over, German patents were made available for free to the whole world (!!!) many countries started an own production. Some of them like the USSR even used German machinery which was taken from Germany after the war had ended. The USSR also adopted the German fuze from captured stocks right as it was, even the markings remained unaltered. Just as per design the Soviets had to make up a new adaptor fuze well to fit a booster and the own thread. They used these fuzes on their 85mm AA gun ammo. When they started production of the fuze in the USSR they even retained the German thread and kept on using the adaptor. Just the designation had changed (finally) to TM-30. Then after some years they decided to finally make a copy with the Soviet thread and incorporated booster with an extra S&A device for it (taken from the Soviet T-5 if I remember correctly). This “new” fuze was then designated VM-30.
This fuze then was the first Soviet type of a whole array of time fuzes basing on the German Thiel design.
And there are plenty of these Soviet types still in service.

As you say the UK copied these fuzes and so did the US and I am sure quite some others.
The French for example were modifying these fuzes (adding a booster) and mounted them on their naval 100mm AA projs. which they then sold to the German military after 1945. And since the Germans were good people by then they launched a complaint to France for supplying them with fuzes with swastikas on (till then the WaA stamp had remained). This later lead to fuzes with milled off markings to please the dogooders.

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Hi Alex,

Here is a picture of the fuze variant found in Argentina. As far as I know, all of them are marked with a “cancelled” number 3.



And here is a picture of a “guy” label. However, I can’t confirm if it is the one supplied to my country.



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Fede, thanks! Now I wonder if these came to Argentina only after 1945.

Alex, yes, they purchased this after war.

Here is the Argentine contract container:

Thiel1 Thiel2

Fede, thanks! What a great container!!!