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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Last week at Pozieres


Stuart T

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On my first-ever trip to the Western Front, somebody thought they would leave me something interesting to look at (right against the front wall of the Cemetery.)  It was about a foot long.

Any ID please (and indication of potential danger)?

 

Thanks.

P1310476.JPG

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Looks like a British 18pdr. Fuze looks like a 100 series at firsy glance, so probably High Explosive or gas rather than shrapnel. Though after another look it could be an 80 or 85.

Potential danger? It looks to have been fired as the drive band appears grooved (the copper band near the base engages with the rifling in the barrel to both give spin and create a gas seal) so any centrifugal or inertia arming features of the fuze may well have been activated, making it potentially very... tempremental. Underneath the top mm or two of rust its probably much as it was 100 years ago, but not so predictable! so in my unexpert opinion, best left alone.

Edited by ServiceRumDiluted
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Many thanks. I reported it to the CWGC, so hope it's gone by now.

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Hard to tell, mud encrusted and from a single photo without a scale. It does look more like an 18pr rather than anything else. The driving band is definitely rifled, and from the wide grooves and lands this looks British rather than German.  The shell is not stream lined so could be either HE or shrapnel. Expanding the photo I could not see enough detail of the fuze to identify the series, looks more like an HE fuse rather than shrapnel T&P type.   

 

I do know the French and Belgians are relatively cavalier with unexploded ordinance - they do it so often that they are expert, but good practice is to never touch anything if it can be avoided. The destructive power of an 18pr HE is spectacular.

 

Cheers

Ross

UXO.png.6dbebc7be48d5f2e23249f3a55ea76ac.png59070febcd817_UXO2.png.187051c88db34dde4e1c9b28b09da51d.png

 

 

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Correct. 18 Pound HE shell.

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Thanks for updates.  CWGC have today confirmed that the "local civil security force" had been informed immediately and have removed the item.

Sorry about lack of scale.  I moved in, took a shot and ran!  These two photos might help.  Which bit is the fuze?

P1310477cr.jpg

P1310475.JPG

Edited by Stuart T
correction
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The Fuze is the pointy bit at the front, again I'll stick with my original thoughts and say it looks like a 100/101 type which would be right for HE. The fuze is the bit of the shell that decides when the shell explodes, in this case a percussion fuze, so basically when the fuze hits something it sets off a small charge of very violent explosive in the middle of the shell which in turn sets off the main filling of the shell. It is this complexity and sequence of events, which accounts for the huge number of duds still found. The manufacturing was poorly quality controlled and many fuzes were not sensitive enough to function when hitting soft mud.

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I see, thanks.  I went to Dud Corner too but didn't find anything like this there!

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