Krupp balls


It is not widely known that the three “rings” on the KRUPP company logo are not cannon balls or cannon barrels they are TRAIN CAR WHEELS. Krupp had its first success with the production of running gear and later rails for the growing railroads of Europe. Later cannon production along with railroad gear culminated in the production of the largest railroad gun ever built; DORA. This is a slice of a KRUPP produced rail made as a souvenir. Maybe some Germans can advise the significance of the inscription.


It says:
Friedrich Krupp (the company)
Friedrich-Alfred steel Plant (name of plant for melting out the iron from the ore)
Rheinhausen (town)


Thank you.


My German language skills are pretty rusty. “A.G.” stands for “Am Gesellschaft” right? Does this literally mean “The Company” or does it have some more specific meaning?




AG in German Corporations Law is “Aktien Gesellshaft” ( a Company organised by Shares(Stock to you Americans).
Which means a “public” Corporation ( the shareholders can be numerous and from the general public. Of Course, the Krupp Family had the controlling Interest in the Company.

The corresponding term in French is "SA “( Societe Anonyme–” anonymous society, ie the names of the owners are on the Register of Stockholders, but not publicly known); in Italy, it is "SpA: Societa per Azioni…company for Shares; in the Slavic languages it is “AS” ( Akcioni Spolecnost in Czech);
in Swedish it is “AB” (Aktien Bolaget) and in British terminology it is “Ltd” (Limited).

The other “form” of company/corporation which is "Privately "owned, but by shares (ie, NOT a partnership or co-operative or sole trader) is the “GmbH” in German (don’t ask me to explain the detail), “SRL” in Italian ( “limited responsibility society) and " Pty.Ltd or Pvt.Ltd” in British/ Australian law.

The Krupp industries got their start in the Railroad supplies Industry: Rails, Fishplates(Joiners) Dogspikes, “Tyres” ( the forged steel rim which was “shrunk” onto the central, cast iron wheel) Axels and by the 1880s, Complete Locomotives.
By 1851, they had perfected casting Steel in a big way, and also began forging solid Steel Gunbarrels for Light field pieces, then large filed pieces, naval Guns and even rifle barrels.

Krupp also perfected the “Trepanning” system of Boring a cannon barrel, using a hollow drill,( concept the same as a “Hole” drill") which left a solid central bar of steel, and cut down on the Boring time for medium diameter and large diameter Canno tubes.

“Hutte” in German techspeak, is a “Steel Works” or “Iron Works”; it comprises the Blast furnace for the conversion of Iron ore into Raw iron, and the subsequent conversion of this into Raw Steel, with the accessory Rolling Mills to convert the Ingots into “Blooms” and then Plates, bars, and rails.

Krupp rails opened up most of the South American continent, a Large part of Australia and Africa, as well as Most of Europe, Russia and some parts of the USA, especially during the great railroad expansion in the 1860s-70s.

I regularly see Krupp marked 42 Pound rail on some of the older routes of the Queensland Railways, even if only as fence-posts and Cattle gratings.

Regards, Doc AV
AV ballistics ( and a Railway Historian/railfan/modellist as well)


How come Australia didn’t get rails from England ?


Well Doc, another detailed and informative reply. Many thanks for the clarification.



Australia did get a lot of Rails from the English Midlands, but States like Queensland got rails wherever the price was best, and one must also remember that a lot of “Cartel” arrangements existed back in the 1800s, whereby if one company, say in England, could not fill an order, it “farmed out” the supply to a related European Steel Mill. Krupp had such an arrangement with Vicker &Sons, and other Ordnance and Steel makers ( see the Licence Fees for a Krupp Fuze during WW I, Vickers losing a Patent Licence fees case in the early 1920s for all the medium calibre Field Gun Shells (Fuzes) used by the British Government against Germany. This resulted in Krupp receiving the equivalent of about 1 Shilling (10 cents) per German Soldier killed by British Shelling using Krupp-invented Fuzes during 1914-18.)

For more details on the Krupp family and Company History, read “The Arms of Krupp” published back in the 1960-70 period, can’t remember the Author, but he also wrote the history of the Romanoffs, the last Czar of Russia.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


“The Arms of Krupp” by William Manchester is the most widely known popular press publication about the family/firm. I have collected Krupp-ola for many years. The Krupp name was so important to German pride that Hitler made a non-Krupp a LEGAL Krupp so that a Krupp would be heading the Krupp firm when they ran out of male heirs. Great story. My favorite book on the subject is “The letters of Alfred Krupp” by Wilhelm Berdrow - at the request of the family and firm of Krupp. " A great business man seen through his letters" (1930). A correction to my previous post; the balls on the Krupp logo are not train wheels but as was said- the “tyres” of steel which go on the cast iron wheels.

The KRUPP headstamp is not common on WW2 era artillery cases. Here it is on an experimental 75mm AA gun case. " FK " and logo 1939 . The logo on the primer is from Rheinmetall.


The primer is from 1934 and the case from 1939. I wonder if these two belong together since Kupp made it’s own priming screws.
The “red zero” should be a Dutch marking for inert ammo.


This came from the Dutch War Museum- so anything is possible given the circumstances. Maybe this was a Dutch gun ?


The Dutch were experimenting with a new AA Gun, using German designed shells etc. , in 1938-39. I have heard the L57 notation mentioned in regards this experiment…it was also to be uised with a APDS type round as wqell, for A/T use? (or "squeezebore? from the look opf the two piuece projectile.

Anyway, all the detail comes out of the Dutch Museum.

BTW, Krupp maintained its “three tyres” Logo for Export Sales, whilst using typical German Codes for Reich sales.

regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics


[quote=“EOD”]The primer is from 1934 and the case from 1939. I wonder if these two belong together since Kupp made it’s own priming screws.
The “red zero” should be a Dutch marking for inert ammo.[/quote]

To me this primer screw looks like a blind dummy, not a working primer to fire the gun. Am I right?



It is a standard percussion priming screw which has the primer placed from inside to prevent gas leakages. So it is a version of the “protected ignition”.

The projectile looks like a APDS design, squeeze bore projectiles looked a bit different.
As mentioned elsewhere here in the forum the Dutch had the 75mm Vickers AA gun at this time. I wonder if they were looking for a replacement for this gun which was made only for them already and was also rather “new” as I understood.