Need help to identify, bomb or rocket head?

A friend of mine had this piece of shrapnel, and asked me if I knew what it was. He found it a long time ago while digging to build a fence. It seems like a part of a bomb or maybe rocket warhead. I’ve tried to search for pictures that look the same, but no luck:




Diameter is approx 8", and its quite heavy.

This is POSSIBLY the front portion of an APHE or SAPHE (Armor-Piercing High Explosive or a SAPHE Semi-Armor-Piercing High Explosive) land artillery or naval gun projectile. The recessed ring around the forward portion or nose of the projectile may have held in place a ballistic cap (cone shaped) which provided the projectile better flight characteristics and was easily crushed when a target was struck. The actual projectile nose is more blunt appearing which allowed for better interaction of the projectile with the target surface (reduced chance of ricochet off a hard target) and allow partial or full penetration of the target at which point the projectile’s explosive content was detonated by a delay action fuze located in the base of the projectile.

Or I could be completely wrong:-)


Also, where it was found would maybe help to determine what it is ! ( state, city, town, etc. ) M. rea

Thanks for your help so far. This was found in Norway, about 10 km away from a German WWII fortress.

Forgot to mention earlier the APCBC (Armor Piercing Capped Ballistic Cap) projectile with base fuze. The nose of the AP projectile is covered with a soft steel cap and the ballistic cap (cone nose) is attached to the soft steel cap.
The soft steel cap helps to prevent the AP portion of the projectile from bouncing off a harden target when the projectile hits the target at an oblique angle.

But the pictures of the overall projectile profile and metal fracture plane don’t seem to allow for this type of projectile, that is the nose of the AP portion of the APCBC project is typically more pointed and very thick in order to achieve target penetration.

Just looked in U.S. TM-9-1985-3 German Explosive Ordnance, there were a series of anticoncrete explosive projectiles employed by the Germans in WW2 including a 210mm (21cm or approximately 8.25 inches) version that had a projectile nose structure similar to the one shown above and used a thin wall ballistic cap (missing from the projectile fragment shown above, as expected with a fired/exploded projectile). Perhaps someone with more knowledge on the subject can provide more information.

See the drawing below. It clearly shows the three parts of the projectile.

BTW, the piece you have is correctly called a fragment, not shrapnel.


I must apology for my bad English, thanks for giving me the right terminology.

So could we guess that this fragment comes from an attack on the german fortress? I know the Royal Navy did fire a few shot at this fortress during the war. As I understand, the Germans did have some 21cm canons on another fortress in the area, so this may also be a possibility. But then they must have had some target practice shooting away from the coast.

There is no need to apologize. Using the term “shrapnel” when they mean “fragment” is a very common mistake made by many collectors.


It looks much like a fragment of a German 210mm “21cm Gr. 18 Be.” concrete piercing (SAPHE).