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German shell


Chris_Baker
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Posted on behalf of George Sayell:

George has a brass shell cartridge case marked as follows:

209

Plote

Jan 1914

Magdeburg

Sp197 MgB

It is diameter 105mm, length approx 500mm.

Could any expert out there identify the type and any other details about it?

Thanks in advance.

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Hello,

doesn't it say 'Polte'? That's an ammo factory in Magdeburg, if I'm not mistaken. So Polte in Magdeburg was the manufacturer of the cartridge case. 209 could be the lot number.

It looks like an ordinary 105 mm cartridge case to me...

The cartridge case was made in January 1914. To see when it was last used, you have to look to the central piece. The central round piece (don't know how this called in German) is normally also dated.

This type of cartridge cases was used with 105 mm shells of the light field howitzers lFH 98/09, lFH 16 or lFH Krupp.

I'll ask my brother if he knows anything about the two other abbreviations.

Jan

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Hello,

It seems my conclusion about Polte was wrong. According to my brother MgB is the manufacturer's mark. But untill now it is not known for what firm exactly this mark stands. Magdeburg is the town however in which the cartridge case was made and 209 is definitely the lot number.

Sp197 is an Inspection Mark.

I'll let you know if I can find something more.

Any possibility to send me scan of the bottom of the cartridge case?

Jan

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The mark POLTE is the manufacturer, the company was a munitions contractor in Magdeburg, rather than a state arsenal which would have maked its cases MUNITIONSFABRIK + the name of the arsenal. The small MgB is a Magdeburg inspectors mark.

Mike_H

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A quick and easy to use reference guide to small and large calibre headstamps is available on the Western Front Museum's website.

Regards, Chris Noble.

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The 'Sp1917' marking means it passed through the Spandau Works sometime in 1917. On a brass fuse this normally indicates it was made at Spandau.

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Now we have an enigma: Spandau is a suburb of Berlin, Magdeburg (which is imprinted in the casing)a big city in East Germany. I researched the Polke company in the web; its main ammunition facility in WW1 was in Magdeburg with more than 15.000 workers.

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According to me the Sp197 (and not 1917) is an inspection mark as was Sp255 (Inspection Mark from Karlsruhe).

Unless it says Sp1917? Chris, could you help us here?

Perhaps the Sp1917 could be then on the central part? The cartridge case could be reused (refilled). The central percussion-cap was a new one each time. These caps are also marked.

Jan

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Guys, I think we have a solution - the enigma is solved= costed me my today's lunch brake. When searching the web , I found the clue: sp197 is an inspection mark; sorry Paul, but we have to admit that Jan is right. The complete and comprehensive information is on the following website: http://claus.espeholt.dk/mediearkiv/WAAE.pdf

Although the facts described in the source mainly affect WWII issues, at least for Germany, one can state that there were not too much differences in comparison to WW1 ammunition issues. Quote:"

The inspection Officers and Officials of the Abnahme that were assigned to the various armament factories were originally Wehrmacht armourers, who were given civil service status and the rank (equivalent) of a Leutenant [W] (Waffenamt Second Lieutenat). In preparation for their duties the new personnel were sent to a four week Heereswaffenmeisterschule

(Army Ordnance Armourers School) in Berlin at Spandau. At the end of the training, a Technical Inspector test was given, and if it was successfully passed the applicant became an Oberleutenant [W] (Waffenamt First Lieutenant). By 1939 almost all of the personnel who had started in 1935 were promoted to Technical Inspector First Class with the equivalent rank of Hauptman [W] (Waffenamt Captain). As an example of how the system

worked, 98K rifle production plants had an average of ten Officials employed at each factory that made the rifle. Several Ordnance and Technical Sergeants would also be assigned to each of the rifle manufacturers, as well as the Abnahme Mannschaften, and factory

helpers as needed. At Mauser Werke, a very large factory, a Technical Administrator was assigned who had the rank of a Major [W]. In some cases, the acceptance location for a given area was used by surrounding factories as well, and was called an Heeres Bezirk Aaabnahamestelle, (Army Area Acceptance place).

When a Waffenamt Officer (Acceptance Inspector) assumed command of an inspection team, he received a commission number and a corresponding numbered set of Wehrmaschtabnahmestempel (common term: Waffenamt Stamps). When the Waffenamt Officer was transferred to another factory, he took his stamps with him, but left the rest of his his inspection team at the factory for the next Officer. The Waffenamt Officer in charge could move from one factory to another. Some examples are: (WaA214) at the J.P. Sauer in factory in Suhl in 1938, to the Berlin Lubecker Machinenfabriken in 1939, or (WaA63) Mauser-Werke in Oberndorf a.N. (Germany) to BRNO in Czechoslovakia in 1940. These transfers were not uncommon. The total possible Waffenamt numbers ranged from 1 to probably 999, and any gaps most likely indicate a situation where no Waffenamt Inspectorates

were activated. This is reflected in the actual number of known Waffenamt (Commission) numbers."

End of quote

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