German 20 x 138 Solothurn Question


The attached picture shows what I believe to be a 2cm Panzersprenggrsanatpatrone L’spur mit Zerleger. (2 Cm AP/HE/T with self destruct). It has an aluminium tracer and a JZ 43 base fuze. The markings, which are in black stencilling, are ‘tko19/45 J’ with ‘120 gr’ beneath. The shell body is stamped ‘ctu 253 / 44’. In, German 2cm Cannon Ammunition 1935-1945, by Labbett and Brown it states that this was mainly used by the kreigsamarine and bore Naval rather than Luftwaffe codes. It then goes on to say that the main shell colour was blue with white stencilling. The colour scheme in the picture is nothing like this being a mix of yellow and green with the faint remains of a blue band. I thought that this might have been a repaint job, but recently saw a second projectile (pic 2) with very similar markings. Are they legitimate, and can anyone tell me what they mean?

Thanks in advance.



Buster, It is a Rheinmetall. Solothurn is a missleading designation often used by other countries than Germany. Too little questioned and too often used.

You are correct, this is a navy cartridge. The color was indeed blue and and particularly the late war production is (as your’s here from 1945) very prone to chemical instability and/or discoloration. The fuze is considered to be an “internal” fuze" as per German designation.


Thanks EOD, I must say I am amazed that there can be such discolouration. I can’t see how the original blue, some of which can be seen on the ogive, can deteriorate into such clear yellow and green. Equally the stencilling is black whereas the book says white.



Actually I have never seen any with white markings, not even those which retained the original color.