Unidentified german ww1 shell


#1

I got this from Col. Jarrett back in the salad days when he was still at APG and bringing home all the unwanted souvenirs. I have assume that this is a 75mm Erhardt for their field gun of the era but no proof. He said it was a German experimental round from pre WW1. Does anyone recognize this heavy fellow ?

75x 342 case dated 1901

Projectile has the thickest side walls of any nose fuzed HE which I have ever seen. The center cavity is not much more diameter than the fuze hole,only about 1/4 inch larger each side and straight to the bottom.

Rheinmetall logo near the top with large Os or Cs. Just above center 6,35 Ko

symbols on the side and bottom

Clearly fired into soft medium and recovered virtually undamaged. The lead shipping plug is undamaged and I doubt that it was fired .

Possibly a deep penetrating HE .


#2

Dr., From the look down the throat of the shell, it looks like that there is a step for a cover plate and the straight walled cavity could have contained shot and a base powder charge in a separate container like case shot. Not knowing much about early turn of the century rounds (yet), could this have possibly been an early German version of a Shrapnel?


#3

Schrapnel shells were perfected in the 1870-90 period and were standard field loads for most armies at the time. Either base or top charged they were THIN walled shells. This shell has extremely THICK walls. The cavity is far too small for a schrapnel load. My poor attempt at getting a photo of the inside is confusing. I could not get a good purchase on the flashlight , the camera and the computer mouse at ths same time. Too few hands.


#4

Dr., How thick is the base? And do you know if the shell is steel or iron? Just speculating, but since they knew that black powder could rupture a case shot cannon ball and later black powder shells, maybe they were trying to get what would be an acceptable or maximized fragmentation effect using thick walled iron in conjunction with the then new HE charges. As you well know, the fragmentation that WWII to present HE shells took a long time and a lot of metallurgical research to accomplish.


#5

Bacarnal, the Doc is right here. Many HE shells of that time followed this design. Also many of those had cast in “sprockets” which were supposed to increase fragmentation. These sprockets usually left only little space for the bursting charge which was considered sufficient since the projectile speed made up most of the impact energy of the shrapnel. If I find an image of those I will post it.


#6

Found an image:


#7

This is a much earlier shell but aside from the prefrag pattern that is about what the interior cavity looks like. No evidence of internal prefrag design. It could be that by 1901 they found that the prefrag work was not needed in light of the new explosives OR they were trying to figure that out.


#8

Thank you, some good points. The shell appears to be steel to me and the base is not as thick as the side walls.

In this case it appears that what they were trying to test did not involve the explosion. No evidence of that . It could have been a fuze test but there is no evidence of fuze function and ,of course, it could have been a dud fuze. There has never been any charge in this shell.
It could also have been a driving band test as they have to test those as well.

My two questions are 1) which gun was this case designed for- it has a factory mouth and does not fit any of the standard guns of the era.
2) why is this thing made with such thick walls.

If you look at the image which EOD added that is about how thick the walls are minus all the prefrag design. A loaded ball Schrapnel in 75mm is not this heavy.


#9

EOD, Neat shell.

Dr., Being new to the pre-WWI shells, I don’t know what gun could have fired it. The thickness of the case could be as simple as a simulated weight of the anticipated payload. Or possibly a practice shell. We currently do that with a lot of our rounds, the 105mm TP for the HEP comes immediately to mind. I hope someone can give you an answer to the gun it was used with.


#10

[quote=“bacarnal”]EOD, Neat shell.

Dr., Being new to the pre-WWI shells, I don’t know what gun could have fired it. The thickness of the case could be as simple as a simulated weight of the anticipated payload. Or possibly a practice shell. We currently do that with a lot of our rounds, the 105mm TP for the HEP comes immediately to mind. I hope someone can give you an answer to the gun it was used with.[/quote]

This is reasonable insight. We get so involved with looking at the ammo that we forget that many items are made to test the gun. This could well be a live weight slug for gun testing or practice as you say.

Is the 105 which you mention loaded to live weight or is the shell manufactured to live weight without an inert load ?


#11

The 105mm TP for the HEP has a thicker steel body (about 1/2" thick), an aluminum nose and base with no payload. I don’t have my TM 43-0001-28 on at the moment, but it might show a cut away there. The 105mm TP’s for the HEAT were the same way. Originally used a thick steel case with an aluminum nose and finned base, them simplified it by using a steel nose,case and base with no fins. Again, no payload.


#12

I used to know this but at my age sometimes I even forget to take my viagra. You think EOD is dangerous. Try ED and I don’t mean Mr. Ed the talking horse.


#13

It is a segment shell - the segments are resembling gear wheels. These segments are glas hardened and then embedded in cast iron. Krupp mostly used cast steel. That needs a somewhat thicker shell wall. This should have been an universal shell. Fragmentation was good, but the thick walls allowed only a limited explosive filling. In WW.1 these cast iron shells where a sort of substitue and the low quality explosives often didnt explode. Without segments the fragmentation was low- cast iron simply dusted.


#14

Do you have an image of this? Any idea what gun this case is for ?


#15

If it is 75mm it is a Krupp design for Krupp cannons - mostly for export.
The german army didnt use 75mm Krupp. The only 75mm Krupp cannon in use was a mountaine design with short case.


#16

How many land impressions are on the rotating band and what is the precise diameter?


#17


#18

Please note the new photos.


#19

How many land impressions are on the rotating band and what is the precise diameter?


#20

.John please simply count the impressions on the driving band and check
the diameter of the shellbody below the driving band.
We need to see if it is a 75mm ( dia. below driving band is 74,4 mm )
or 77mm shell ( 76,4 mm)