Shell shock: Japanese mortar fuzes revisited!


Hi guys,

After extensive ploughing through documentation, and pictures of actual specimens, I have put together a debatable theory.

In my opinion, it cannot be dismissed too easily, and when doing true research at times one should step off the beaten track and ask critical questions, otherwise new facts and theories will never evolve.

Having made the above note, please consider a scrutinous dissertation of mine as to a theory I have been developing regarding valid usage of various different types of fuzes on Japanese mortar rounds (particularly on the 81mm mortar rounds).

I pose this at the risk of taking flak, or ridicule even, for it. Yet, I feel these questions need to be posed, and I am anxiously awaiting reactions from those knowledgeable in the area of Japanese ordnance, and/or fuzes. Particularly, I am hoping someone to have sectioned one of (or more) of the Type 88 instantaneous or short delay fuzes that carry the ‘Howitzer Mortar’ markings on them.

I hope to have tempted all of you enough to indulge in reading the following illustrated dissertation of mine:



Dear Olafo,
I have read your article, and can only agree with your line of reasoning. The Japanese are inscrutable at the best of times ( “They do things differently there, it’s a foreign country” applies big time)
and your analysis of the Fuze situation is spot on for this type of conundrum.

The “minimalist” or “abbreviated text” identification of military items is common in Japanese markinbgs on all sorts of Ordnance.

As to the interchangeabiltiy of Fuzes, that is common to a lot of Artillery services, not just the Japanese. The lesser number of Fuze types one has to manufacture, the better. ( Japan is well known for the plethora of ammunition, shells, and other items of ordnance it used…)

GO to it, Man…by setting up a Thesis for disputation is how knowledge is advanced…I “rattle the cage” of percieved knowledge in my own little areas of Military Industrial History and ammunition etc…

May the Force be with you.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics


Any news about this subject?- the mortar fuzes didnt use any collar or segments,bur simply a sheer wire.

The normal T88 could be converted by removing the segments and add an shear wire. Simply needs the dismantling of some “Mortar” marked fuzes.
They could be unscrewed easily.