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Soviet "Fireball"

Article about: Hi Guys, this is a new purchase of mine which I picked up at a show last weekend. The seller, Robert, was Polish and always has a good selection of relics from the Ostfront at UK shows. I am

  1. #1

    Default Soviet "Fireball"

    Hi Guys, this is a new purchase of mine which I picked up at a show last weekend. The seller, Robert, was Polish and always has a good selection of relics from the Ostfront at UK shows.

    I am not 100% certain of the correct wartime designation of these, but Dimas thinks it is an phosphorus AZh- 20 capsule? I would welcome confirmation. These were air dropped from aircraft.

    They come in two types, like mine, constructed from 2 parts, or another version made from 5 parts. Very lightweight and made of alloy. I had a choice of several, but picked this one due to the amount of original paint still intact. It is of course empty and inert. Robert mentioned these are very "dodgy" and should never be handled if discovered full. Robert found a small cache of these all empty.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  2. #2

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    An interesting and nasty little bugger!

  3. #3
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    I think these were also made of glass but not 100% sure of that. A very nice item indeed Ade

    Yes they are VERY dangerous if full. At least at one occasion a digger have rammed a shovel into these phosphorous contraptions, resulting in exposing the phosphor to oxygen and then it goes off. A dreaded digger item for sure. I am have heard some were also launches by mortars or howitzers.

    Regards, Lars

  4. #4

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    Not 100% sure but i think they were fired from this gadget, the "AZh-2 AMPOULE LAUNCHER" and i think the "fireball" was also made of glass!..Click image for larger version. 

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    Glass projectile!...

    Edit. just read the weapon was scrapped because it was "more dangerous to the crew than the enemy".
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  5. #5

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    Looks like a Russian version of the British WW1 Livens Projector.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  6. #6

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    I noticed the similarity to the Livens projector too Ned. There was one on 'four rooms' last night as it happens.

  7. #7
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    A nice find Adrian would these have been fitted with a threaded fuse or were they pressed in to the capsule ?
    They look quite small would they have been dropped singly or in lots from aircraft ? regardless I would not liked to have been on the receiving end as I can imagine they pack a lot of punch for there size.

    Regards Mark K

  8. #8

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    Hi Andy,

    Yes, I saw it. Paul E's old mate Andy Robertshaw in full officers uniform wasn't it??? He'd love that!!!

    Anyway, here's an interesting linkypoo with loads of info:

    International Ammunition Association {iaaforum.org} - View topic - SOVIET FIREBALL GUN AMMO

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  9. #9

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    Quote by kozowy1967 View Post
    A nice find Adrian would these have been fitted with a threaded fuse or were they pressed in to the capsule ?
    They look quite small would they have been dropped singly or in lots from aircraft ? regardless I would not liked to have been on the receiving end as I can imagine they pack a lot of punch for there size.

    Regards Mark K
    No fuse just a simple screw cap, these things broke on impact causing the Phosphorus to ignite spontaneously in air!....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  10. #10

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    TThe British had a similar thing in WW2, the Northover Projector, a bit of a lash up weapon. I'm sure there was a thread about it here a couple of years back. Here's a Wiki link to that.

    Northover Projector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

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