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German EKZ 16 Fuze

Article about: Hereís a fuze I picked up recently, apparently this type is quite common but this is the first time Iíve seen and handled one. It a German EKZ 16, empfindlicher Kanonen-Zuender 16 or sensiti

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    Default German EKZ 16 Fuze

    Hereís a fuze I picked up recently, apparently this type is quite common but this is the first time Iíve seen and handled one.

    It a German EKZ 16, empfindlicher Kanonen-Zuender 16 or sensitive gun fuze 1916 to give it my version of its English translation, made of brass, aluminium and with a steel outer body.

    This one is obviously in a used condition, when new its steel body would have been painted grey and had a safety cap for transportation over the nose cone, before the shell was loaded into the German 77mm field gun the cap was removed and an aluminium nose pin or rod was pushed into nose. When fully inserted it protruded by about 2.5cm.

    When fired, the spinning motion of the shell released two spring loaded centrifugal pins, the pins freed up a pathway enabling the rod upon impact to make contact with a pin which was pushed into the percussion cap causing an instant explosion.

    The EKZ 16 fuze was used for firing high explosive and blue cross gas shells, those used for gas shells had a cross stamped on the fuze body. As far as I know blue cross shells contained a glass bottle with powder inside, this was supposed to cause irritation to the sinuses, coughing and sneezing with the goal being the removal of the gas mask, whereby the soldier would breath in the diphosgene which caused breathing difficulties, choking and death however, if Commonwealth troops were lucky enough to already be wearing their masks, the irritant had a hard time getting through the gas mask particle filter.

    This fuze can be found with a zinc or steel outer body and steel or aluminium rod.

    There are some markings other than EKZ 16 visible however, I canít make them out.

    Tony
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