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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

WW1-era flotsam still being washed up.....!


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Apparently, blocks of 'gutta-percha' are being washed up regularly along the coast of northern europe and scandinavia - they're suspected to be coming from the wreck of a Japanese merchant ship that was torpedoed by U-88 off the Scilly Isles in May1917, and that salavage operations on the wreck have caused them to be released onto the ocean currents.

HERE'S the link...

Anyone know anything about the incident? Or what is being salvaged off the wreck...?

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A substance with military applications in the artillery field. The breech blocks of OBLs included a ring of gutta percha which completed the obturation. Also the tool for measuring the degree of erosion of barrels, a screw operated device device which when inserted in the barrel forced a piece of gutta percha into the eroded area and when withdrawn allowed the degree of erosion to be assessed. Its many years since I saw either, no doubt one of our Gunners will confirm or say my memory has failed.

Old Tom

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