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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

shell case dated 1917


Alan24
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Found in an antique shop today a shell case

About 5 inch diameter but cut down to about 4 inch in height.

Cost was £15.

On the bottom was stamped the following.

399

POLTE

APRIL 1917

MAGDEBURG

SP405

Can anyone give me an idea of it's background?

Regards

Alan.

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Hi Alan,

A photo would help and without it and exact measurements I may be wrong. However, I suspect what you have is a 10.5cm howitzer cartridge made by Polte Werke, Magdeburg in April 1916. Lot number 399. SP405 is an acceptance mark. If I am correct the cartridge has not been cut down and is comparable to the British 4.5 howitzer cartridge.

The 10.5cm light field howitzer was accepted into service in 1910 and the entire Field Artillery's howitzer batteries had been rearmed with it by spring 1914. Two further patterns of 10.5cm howitzer were introduced during the war although they did not replace the earlier model.

Regards,

Michael.

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Thanks Michael,

I didn't actually buy it...but starting to regret it now!

On second thoughts probably closer to 105mm than 5".

I was expecting the length to be about 3 times the diameter, this one is more like a ratio of 1:1

It was labelled as "Trench Art" but no art was involved in my opinion, just assumed it was cut down to make a 'trinket pot'.

I now realise it a German shell cartridge, not realising that the German for April is April.

However, I did photo the bottom.

Does this look like a good buy?

Regards

Alan.

post-102890-0-78096600-1440579081_thumb.

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Alan,

Yes, think that you should buy, but haggle! Is quite a scarce cartridge case. As Michael has already pointed out, has not been cut down.

My British equivalent 4.5-inch Howitzer case is around 86mm/3-3/8" high.

Mike.

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Hi Alan,

I have just noticed I wrote "your" cartridge was made in 1916 instead of 1917. Apologies.

I attach a photo of the two cartridges in my collection in case it is of interest. One of the cartridges was made in Oct. 1914 and the other in March 1915. The height of each cartridge is just over 3.6 inches and the base (rim) is 4.8 inches. I can't advise as to value but don't disagree with what Mike has written above.

Regards,

Michael.

post-53132-0-50684100-1440605120_thumb.j

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Mine's from JAN 1916, also Polte of Magdeburg. It holds the odd-sized masonry- and wood drills in my workshop that have no other logical home... :D

Regards,

MikB

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Yesterday, after the wife had raised her eyebrows at me, I went back and bought it.

I can tell you that the dimensions are; Diameter of base rim 120mm, diameter at top 110mm, length 92mm.

Although sold to me as Trench Art, it is in original condition as far as I can tell.

My Great Grandfather was killed by a German counter battery operation in April 1917...of all the random dates it could have been, the one I found had to be April 1917!

Thanks to all of you who helped me indentify it.

Michael, what is the 'carrier' that you have your two stored in?

Regards

Alan.

post-102890-0-65411400-1440749898_thumb.

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