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Help needed to identify flak fragments?

Article about: Those three horizontal lines are definitely not something you see every day; they're far, far too shallow and narrow to have anything to do with the driving bands. I have an 8,8cm Sprgr. 4,5

  1. #21
    ?

    Default Re: Help needed to identify flak fragments?

    Those three horizontal lines are definitely not something you see every day; they're far, far too shallow and narrow to have anything to do with the driving bands. I have an 8,8cm Sprgr. 4,5 Stg shell on my desk and it has nothing like that, so I can rule that one out for you. I've also looked at all the images I have in my database and there's not one German shell from 5cm to 12,8cm that has any such feature- even the controlled-fragmentataion 8,8cm shell has only one horizontal groove. So if this is a shell fragment and not a bomb fragment, it doesn't seem likely to be German.

    If kept by a member of the RAF, they could well be British as it'd be their AA guns defending that'd put a lot of fragments on the ground- far more easily collected than German pieces that'd have to be stuck in bombers that made it home (although maybe there wasn't any shortage of those either). But I'd suggest a British ordnance expert might be able to work with the lines as they are an identifying feature to be sure.

    Oh and what exactly is the wall thickness? The photos with the rule are certainly good, but since neither of the fragments is specifically on edge, it's hard to tell. Having been deformed by its detonation has surely affected the size somewhat, but perhaps it'll help rule something out at least.
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  2. #22
    mjw
    mjw is offline
    ?

    Default Re: Help needed to identify flak fragments?

    Simon/Matt,

    The thickness is approx: 12/13mm. I have noted a slight curve on the largest fragment which if imagined in the round would indicate a significant diameter. I think your ideas regarding a bomb casing look very possible.

    Kind regards, Malcolm.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Help needed to identify flak fragments?

    Matt,
    I agree the bands are very very thin, and compared to the thickness of these pieces makes it very unlikely that they are shell fragments.
    Regards to all, Simon.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Help needed to identify flak fragments?

    Well the main midline wall thickness of the 8,8cm Sprgr. 4,5 I have here is about 14mm and it thins to about 12mm closer to the fuse, so given that I'd expect some compression of the steel due to the detonation, 12-13mm really isn't unreasonable for an average fragment of a large-calibre shell like it I should think- if most are relatively similar that is.

    Bombs seem to be harder to pin down- I just read that an SC250, for example, had a wall thickness that varied from about 7.5mm all the way up to about 70mm (at the nose).
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  5. #25
    mjw
    mjw is offline
    ?

    Default Re: Help needed to identify flak fragments?

    Hello Matt,

    I have had another go at measuring the fragments. It is difficult to measure as some of the steel may have flaked off. But some areas are 14mm thick.

    Kind regards, Malcolm.

  6. #26
    ?

    Default Re: Help needed to identify flak fragments?

    Well then they still do fit with a large-calibre artillery shell- but as I said the lines probably rule out German origin; hopefully someone acquainted with Allied ammunition may be able to shed some light on whether or not the British or Americans had anything with such lines...
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

  7. #27
    Turtle
    ?

    Default Re: Help needed to identify flak fragments?

    First, I would like to point out that what you have photographed appears to be technically a shell fragment and not shrapnel. The term shrapnel applies to a specific munition element which was in general a small ball.

    Second, assuming the dark metal parts resulted from some type of powder burns, I would hypothesize that the three lines are exterior lines which can be found on some semi-fixed ammunition that would made contact with the metal casing. That places these pieces as coming off of a round below the rotating band.

    You would probably want to start by looking into any semi-fixed AA ammunition.

    Hope this helps!

    Tom

  8. #28
    mjw
    mjw is offline
    ?

    Default Re: Help needed to identify flak fragments?

    Matt / Tom

    Thank you for the updated information. It is very much appreciated.

    Kind regards, Malcolm.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Help needed to identify flak fragments?

    Hi Malcome
    there is one differance with your bits of shrapnel that may help. I think they are indeed from a shell not a bomb and from the drive band area. the differance is that drive bands have the rased groove to stop the band rotating in the bore, they are also usualy recessed into the shell yours is differant. what i would do is when you go to arms fairs etc you often find shells without drive bands going cheep look at these and one day you may come across a shell that matches what you have and when you do you will have a good candidate that you have found the type. I have a soft spot for shrapnel and will post some picks of what i have to show what i mean.
    hope this helps
    Andy
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #30

    Default Re: Help needed to identify flak fragments?

    the firs pick is a cooked off 40mm bofers and the second is a large call ww1 british drive band and the thickness shows that it has to be set inside the shell your bits dont have this and this is unusual and may help but you will have to play detective.
    Andy

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