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'Sausages'


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Hello

Does anyone know what a Howitzer 'Sausage' is ? The phrase appears in a war diary i'm consulting, i guess its some kind of shell.

I have consulted John Brophy and Eric Partridges 'The Long Trail' and it says a sausage was an observation balloon.

Any ideas

Cheers

Bill

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Observation ballons were often used for artillary spotting so I presume this is where the term came from.

John :lol:

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Bill,

Could you give us some context for this usage of the phrase? I've a sneaky feeling that it might be a reference to cordite packages.

Dave.

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Guest stevebec

I agreed,

A number of batteries (Howitzer or Gun) would be under command of an Obsv Balloon and on call for fire.

When a target of opertunity was seen, fire could be brought down quickly onto it.

S.B

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Croonaert

The War Diary is the 9th Essex for 25th September 1915, they had just created a diversion at Plugstreet for events taking place further south at Loos.

'In the evening he {the Germans} fired another 30 shells, and in the early morning some trench howitzer 'sausages' to which our enemy replied'.

Hope this helps

Bill

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Observation ballons were often used for artillary spotting so I presume this is where the term came from.

John :lol:

Bill.

In the context you give, obviously my reply is incorrect :(

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Bill.

In that context, I'd say they were large calibre Trench Mortars, such as the 26 cm (9.84in.) Minenwerfer, or the 24cm. (9.45in.) "Flugelminwerfer". The projectiles are visible as they travel to their destination and could ,I suppose, be described as "sausages".

Dave.

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Bill.

I've been trying to find a photo of a "Flugelminwerfer" projectile or of the mortar itself (or of any of the other large calibre German trench mortars) to illustrate the above points. In this I've failed (though, if you're really interested, I'll look a little deeper).

However, this is the mortar of the one size down from it - the 17cm medium Minenwerfer- seen in action. The projectile resembled that of a standard artillery shell without the brass case. (quite long - hence "sausage"?)

Dave.

post-3-1056497151.jpg

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Thanks Dave

I see what you mean now, no need to dig deeper. Some of the terms used in the diaries throws me, if you can read them at all !!!

Cheers for taking time to illustrate your points

Bill

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  • 9 years later...

Reviving this thread after almost 10 years, but better late than never I suppose!

The "Sausage" as drawn in the war diary of the 10th Essex October 1916 -

post-38480-0-99961500-1366460964_thumb.j

John

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Croonaert

The War Diary is the 9th Essex for 25th September 1915, they had just created a diversion at Plugstreet for events taking place further south at Loos.

'In the evening he {the Germans} fired another 30 shells, and in the early morning some trench howitzer 'sausages' to which our enemy replied'.

Hope this helps

Bill

A Trench howitzer was another name for a trench mortar so they would be shells fired from something like these

post-9885-0-10202400-1366465341_thumb.jp

post-9885-0-70977700-1366465409_thumb.jp

post-9885-0-83222600-1366465484_thumb.jp

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"...a handle at each end...."

Sound unusual for something fired from a trench mortar? Maybe not, I'll leave that to the experts as I know absolutely nothing about the subject.

John

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Well the war diary calls them trench howitzer sausages and a trench howitzer is a trench mortar.. I agree that a handle at each end is odd for a trench mortar (the large calibre ones had a pointed shell) but it's even odder for any other kind of gun and I wonder if the sketch is in error. I can find one provisional (interim makeshift) mortar that fired a shell with a handle on one end but even then it was on a conical end not flat as shown in the sketch. However in 1915 the Germans were using a number of locally made 'one off' trench mortars and its quite possible that some have escaped description and photographs.

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Sounds odd alright. Perhaps the sketcher was wrong and there was only a handle at one end.

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  • 5 years later...

Fifteen years since this thread began, I suggest that "sausages" came from the Albrecht mortar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albrecht_Mortar).

 

Here's a photo of the Albrecht and its shell, which strongly resembles the one in the sketch posted five years ago by archangel9:

 

Albrecht.jpg.c260fa1c72ca3cf7583d42e85bb9f635.jpg

 

On 20/04/2013 at 08:30, archangel9 said:

Reviving this thread after almost 10 years, but better late than never I suppose!

The "Sausage" as drawn in the war diary of the 10th Essex October 1916 -

post-38480-0-99961500-1366460964_thumb.j

John

 

(Thanks, John. I've described this evidence at http://www.thomsonfielddiary.ca/arras.html#02-Jan-1917. If you like, I'd be happy to give you credit using your real name.)

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That 'shell' is reminiscent of the shell we used to fire from a Centurion AVRE in the 1970's and were last used in the first 'Desert Storm' in 1991 in Iraq.. The AVRE fired a 165mm demolition gun - the largest calibre then of any other British Army gun. It was used for destroying bridges , quickly, and the shells were also filled with high explosive. When fired you could actually see the shell in mid air - they were nicknamed 'The flying dustbin'.

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Yes, tfd that looks like a match alright. Thanks for crediting me with finding the picture.

 

John

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  • 1 year later...
Banstead100

I know it's an old thread but just to add a little more...The 6th Royal Berkshires (who were brigaded with the 10th Essex on the Somme in 1915-16) make almost daily mentions of bombardment by sausages while they were in the trenches at La Boiselle in 1915-early '16. They make a distinction between at least two different calibres of sausage (there being a "heavy" variant that gets a special mention) and describe them as being the "old oil-drum or 'sausage' and not the aerial torpedo" [WO-95-2037-1_01 10th January 1916] which fits with the sketch from the 10th Essex diary. They mention that several failed to explode in January '16, no duds being previously reported as far as I can see. Last mention of sausages is 7th February 1916, thereafter the references are usually just to trench mortar bombardments.

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