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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Artillery Message Shells


Doc2
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On another post, a member posted an extract of a newspaper article which referenced "one of the artillery shells the Germans used to fire messages between battlefields.'' Never heard about these before-- what were they, and how were they used? I can't imagine they would be of very much use on a battlefield. Thanks. Doc2

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Proparganda shells were used in the Second World War, I can find nothing about their use in the Great War.

John

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I have no knowledge of artillery message shells. Regarding grenades, if of interest I can find no reference to use of a British message grenade in 14-18. However, the French did use a variant of the VB (Viven Bessiere) rifle grenade to convey messages. Range was 350 metres with a smoke discharge of 40 seconds for location purposes.

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Max

I have dug up out of one of my publication that there was a Rocket Message Carrying MK1 maximum range 1,600 yards see attached.

John

post-1365-1192214028.jpg

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I just saw a cut-away illustration of a Nachrichtengeschoss a few days ago. I'll be dam#$ed if I can remember where it was though...let me poke around my books.

Paul

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The introduction of the message shell was due to the hope that it would still be possible to send a message in a light Minenwerfer shell, when all other means of communication had broken down.

Designation.—Light Minenwerfer message shell = leichte Nachrichten-Mine (I.N.M.). ' .

Maximum range.—1,422 yards. This shell is fired from the

(7.6 cm.) new light Minenwerfer (1916 pattern). Distinctive! marking.—The letters l.N.M. and 3 black rings round

the cylindrical portion.

Description.—The message shell consists of the following parts: A light Minenwerfer shell case, a flare in which there is a compartment to take a message, a burster and a time fuse.

Action.—As the shell bursts open in the air, the flare is lighted and so heralds the approach of the message shell. The flare continues to burn for several seconds after the shell has struck the ground. The shell apparently becomes so hot that a pair of pincers is supplied for extracting the flare. The cover of the message compartment has then to be unscrewed with a special key.

Employment.—The message shell provides a means of communication between battalion, headquarters and regimental H. Q.'s and from these to the artillery, the brigade or to a report center. For forwarding reports to the division, etc., this system is linked tip with the. telephone and wireless stations behind the front. At receiving stations, the observer should be posted in a dug-out, with a loop-hole giving on to a well-defined target. This target will have been previously registered. It must be concealed from the enemy, otherwise the receipt of the projectile will be observed and will draw hostile fire. Reports forwarded by this means should always be sent in duplicate by two successive rounds.

Edited to add from Field Artillery notes 8

post-8694-1192215556.gif

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I have been reading several German accounts recently, at the same time. I did see a mention of a message shell. I can't find it now. I think it may have been Sulzbach, With the German Guns. Almost definitely a German reference anyway. Sorry to be so wooly. A bad habit of mine to read various accounts concurrently to try to get a feeling for what was going on generally.

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I have been reading several German accounts recently, at the same time. I did see a mention of a message shell. I can't find it now. I think it may have been Sulzbach, With the German Guns. Almost definitely a German reference anyway. Sorry to be so wooly. A bad habit of mine to read various accounts concurrently to try to get a feeling for what was going on generally.

Tom,

I'm in the same boat. I saw a drawing of a Nachrichtengeschoss (vs Nachrichtenmine) within the past two weeks, but I have no idea where...ah well, so the memory goes with age!

Paul

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One can see a leichte Nachrichten-Mine in the museum in Albert - Somme - France in one of the show-cases in the basement. :blink:

regards Arie

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The German 7.6 CM Trench mortar fired the following types of round "HE, gas, and a special message shell designed to burst in the air over the addressee's position when all other means of delivering it had failed or for delivering propaganda."

I've seen some references to messages regarding local temporary truces and the like being delivered to British lines by this method. Apparently the Hotchkis 37mm Pom Pom also had a message shell.

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