German ammunition?


#1

The caption for this photo says “GIs sitting on a pile of captured German artillery shells”. Does anyone else have a problem with this identification ?


#2

Maybe they were shells that the Germans had captured earlier and the Americans were just recapturing them. So “capturing the German shells” wouldn’t be totally untrue, plus it’s more heroic than recapturing the shells that you let the Germans steal - if that’s what’s going on there? Or are they just not artillery shells at all?


#3

This is a question for people who know artillery ammo.


#4

Okay, I’ll take a stab at it. The rounds that they’re sitting on look like 5" Common or Special Common, though the color codes don’t seem like late WWII. Possibly captured early WWII repatriated? Further stab, since I don’t have much in the way of pubs, I’d say they went with either the 5" 25 cal or the 5" 38 cal at the most. The round being held, 3", possibly a 3" 23 cal.

Palm trees in the background, maybe?


#5

I would rule out the USN 5"/25 or 5"/38.
The round they are holding looks to be in the 75mm-85mm range, relatively straight and long case, with a nose fuze.

The stacks seem to be in the 5"-6" (125mm-155mm) range. They seem to be armor piercing, with ballistic caps (note the groove where the ballistic cap is crimped to the nose of the projectile body.) Color appears too light to be normal OD of US Army, or various USN colors. There seems to be a crimping groove near the base of the projectile, on the section aft of the rotating band, so they may be from a fixed round, not separate loading.

Anyway, that’s my guess.


#6

The the Common and the Special common I referred to were Armor Piercing Capped rounds, (hence the base fuzing), with base cavities differing in the size of the HE charge. For the round being held, (and corrected) I meant to say the 3" 23 cal. The AA Common and the HC (High Capacity) for 5" rounds had both a base fuze and a nose fuse. But I’m also more used to US Ground Artillery than I am Naval.


#7

Not US ammo.


#8

Judging by the color of the projectiles, I am guessing maybe British ammo, possibly French or Italian?

I know Brit HE ammo used a lot of tannish yellow for body color, and they really had a thing for various color stripes…they have some of the “prettiest” ammo I ever saw…


#9

[quote=“pzjgr”]Judging by the color of the projectiles, I am guessing maybe British ammo, possibly French or Italian?

I know Brit HE ammo used a lot of tannish yellow for body color, and they really had a thing for various color stripes…they have some of the “prettiest” ammo I ever saw…[/quote]

I hoped that someone would at least get into the ball park. Good work. You have only 3 strikes there . Take one.


#10

I really have no clue but guess, German 57mm Flak :-)


#11

[quote=“JohnS”]I would rule out the USN 5"/25 or 5"/38.
The round they are holding looks to be in the 75mm-85mm range, relatively straight and long case, with a nose fuze.

The stacks seem to be in the 5"-6" (125mm-155mm) range. They seem to be armor piercing, with ballistic caps (note the groove where the ballistic cap is crimped to the nose of the projectile body.) Color appears too light to be normal OD of US Army, or various USN colors. There seems to be a crimping groove near the base of the projectile, on the section aft of the rotating band, so they may be from a fixed round, not separate loading.

Anyway, that’s my guess.[/quote]

John,

The UK 4.5" Naval guns of 1939/45 War vintage initially used fixed ammunition. Later guns used separate loading but using the same projectile. The 4.5" was still in service during my time and all proj’s retained the crimp groove. So you are right in saying that “There seems to be a crimping groove near the base of the projectile, on the section aft of the rotating band, so they may be from a fixed round, not separate loading.”

gravelbelly


#12

Here are a couple more to ponder.


#13

In that last pic it looks like some HE rounds are in the foreground, the paint scheme to me looks like British shellite filled 25pdr projectiles with green in front of the bourrelet, yellow/buff below…


#14

STRIKE ONE


#15

HINT.


#16

Ok, one more try here…could they possibly be Italian, mainly the 190MM APHE-base fuzed projectile, or possibly the 149mm/35 APC-HE-projectile mod. 32-38?

Its hard to judge the diameter…


#17

Yes, this is a large ammo dump of Italian shells captured in N. Africa. The Italians didn’t get much credit in that and it is not surprising that few recognize their artillery ammo.

Italian artillery ammo is rarely seen in US collections. They were very colorfull and changed their color codes just before WW2 so there are a large number of color variations.

Italian artillery ammo was quite advanced for the time and was well in advance of US ammo. They had HEAT rounds at the tactical stage when we were still thinking about it.

They were not prepared for the size of the war which they got in WW2. Rommel has been quoted as saying " no one counts in or on the Italians " when he commanded the Africa Corps. I question that but they certainly suffered in the battle for a number of reasons. There are some good Italian war movies which usually blame the problems on leadership and supply . They should know.

Here are some Italian ammo photos which were sent to me by someone on the British ord site.

I do not know who EK is but he(or she,who knows) takes some good photos.


#18

Jason, there is non such.


#19

German artillery ammo in WW2 was not very colorfull . It did have plenty of information on it anyway.


#20

I must admit, I had to do some quick research to find what it was, I have never seen any larger Italian ordnance other than some Red Devil grenades, and 45mm Brixia Mortars.

They are very colorful, almost as “pretty” as British ordnance…I would love to find more Brit stuff too, I had a nice British 6pdr APCBC round once, and an HC Smoke projectile for the Chieftan tank gun (but alas no cartridge case), but stupidly sold them off…

I will find some more someday…

ETA I agree with the German ordnance thought, not very colorful. Although the 20mm stuff is pretty nice, the bigger stuff pretty boring (I mainly collect German ordnance)