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Remembered Today:

'K' Shells


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In the book The Master of Belhaven, on page 155 Hamilton makes reference to "vile K Shells". The internet only tells me about atomic K shells! Can anyone please help in describing what these were and why he might have described them as 'vile'?

Many thanks

Bob

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K rounds were armour piercing bullets fired by rifles and machine guns, initially as an anti sniper shield measure but latterly as an anti tank round.

Edit However I suspect that he is referring to shells filled with K-Stoff an asphyxiating gas

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Centurion

I agree in an artillery context he was most probably referring to K-Stoff shells, or he could have been refering to shells containing Stannic Chloride, referred to in British publications as KJ Shells.

Phil

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K-Stoff was Methyl chloroformate (methyl chlorocarbonate) possibly the same as or related to Sannic Chloride?

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Thanks to Centurion and Phil. No wonder he referred to them as 'vile'. Do you happen to know the physical effect of this gas?

Bob

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IIRC K-Stoff released phosgene in reaction to atmospheric water vapour. Phosgene is a "non-persistent" "choking agent" in the classification of chemical weapons. It acts by blocking oxygen transfer in the lungs, thus causing symptoms of suffocation.

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IIRC K-Stoff released phosgene in reaction to atmospheric water vapour. Phosgene is a "non-persistent" "choking agent" in the classification of chemical weapons. It acts by blocking oxygen transfer in the lungs, thus causing symptoms of suffocation.

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IIRC K-Stoff released phosgene in reaction to atmospheric water vapour. Phosgene is a "non-persistent" "choking agent" in the classification of chemical weapons. It acts by blocking oxygen transfer in the lungs, thus causing symptoms of suffocation.

Vividly described by Wilfred Owen in "Dulce et Decorum"

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KJ was designation for stannic (tin iv) chloride, SnCl4. It is a smoke producing agent - when released in the atmosphere

reacts with moisture forming tin oxides/hydoxides and hydrocloric acid which gives it a irritant property.

Was loaded into artillery shells, mortar bombs and grenades.as a smoke producing agent

Often used in conjuction with other chemical agents, both lethal and non lethal (harassing) to "weight" the chemical cloud

to prevent from dispersing or evaporating too quickly

Another thing was that german gas masks did not filter it out so could penetrate the mask and cause irritation to eyes and

respiratory system forcing user to pull mask off

Tin is scare and expensive so substitutes in form of silicon tetrachloride or titanium tetrachloride were used as replacements

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Tin was especially scarce in Germany which pre war had been an importer. From the description above I get the impression that KJ shells would be an Allied weapon whilst K shells would be German. Nasty stuff either way.

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KJ was an Allied (British) chemical agent

If can see if can find copy of "CHEMICALS IN WAR" ny Lt Col (later Brig Gen) A M Prentiss of US Army Chemical Corps published in 1937

Gives in detail all the Chemical agents of WWI and their usage

College library might have copy

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IIRC K-Stoff released phosgene in reaction to atmospheric water vapour. Phosgene is a "non-persistent" "choking agent" in the classification of chemical weapons. It acts by blocking oxygen transfer in the lungs, thus causing symptoms of suffocation.
Phosgene is described as a 'suffocating' agent but I don't think K-Stoff worked this way. Chlormethyl-chloroformate worked as a tearing agent, making it very hard for gunners to see. There is one reference to K-Stoff turning into phosgene but I am not sure how accurate this reference is.

Robert

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There is a definition of the various stoffs and K stoff (Methyl chloroformate) is defined as a suffocating agent.

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