Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   An howitzer shell (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18831)

fernando 29th July 2014 08:23 PM

An howitzer shell
 
2 Attachment(s)
With a 14,8 cms. diameter, this beast fits the 6" howitzer, used (for one) in the Peninsular War. Some field regiments had one of those. The interior looks very neat; might have never been loaded (?). This material must have been made in the end of the 18th century.
It weighs 7,3 Kgs; should it be a massive ball, it would weigh 11,8 Kgs and used in 24 pounder cannon.
The fuze hole measures 24 m/m. Taking some measurements, i find that the wall in the fuze hole área is thicker than in the opposite side (bottom); i wonder whether this is intentional, or just an irregularity.

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adrian 30th July 2014 10:54 AM

An interesting projectile, it raises a few questions:
Any idea of its provenance or origins?
Does it have a rivet hole at its base - directly opposite the fuze hole - a picture of this area perhaps?
Is the fuze hole properly threaded or just "roughed" - any chance of a close up looking side on at the fuze hole?
Regards, Adrian

PS in British military use a 6 inch shell would be for a 32pr. (5 1/2 inch being 24pr)

fernando 30th July 2014 04:45 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian
An interesting projectile, it raises a few questions:
Any idea of its provenance or origins?
Does it have a rivet hole at its base - directly opposite the fuze hole - a picture of this area perhaps?
Is the fuze hole properly threaded or just "roughed" - any chance of a close up looking side on at the fuze hole?
Regards, Adrian

PS in British military use a 6 inch shell would be for a 32pr. (5 1/2 inch being 24pr)

Thanks a lot for your input,Adrian.
The guy who sold it to me told me the provenance was a street fair in Lisbon. For this and other reasons, i conclude (?) it is Portuguese. During the Peninsular war, forts and redoubts were equiped with 5 1/2" howitzers, whereas Campaign (field) Regiments were equiped with the 6". We know that massive quantities of material were provided by the Brits for the purpose, but also some artillery came from the Portuguese arsenals, made during the realm of King Dom José (end 1777) and Queen Dona Maria (1777-1799). There are examples of both (identical) howitzer versions in Oporto Military Museum ... and most naturally in Lisbon.
No relevant traces at its base, as per picture included.
The fuze hole is plain ... not threaded, also as per picture.


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adrian 31st July 2014 11:30 AM

If it had those features, rivet holes or threaded fuze hole, then it would post date the 1850s. So it is earlier than that but therefore very difficult to date as shells followed a simple design for very many decades. Likewise it is difficult to state what type of ordnance it was for, as guns, howitzers, carronades & mortars all fired shells. Though British mortars were not 6 inch so that one could be ruled out. It would have been strapped to a wood bottom to keep it properly orientated in the bore - fuze up.

Matchlock 31st July 2014 10:14 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Hi Adrian,


As this item of yours seems to consist of iron I define it as an 18th c. grenade.

Please refer to my thread:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...endiary+grenade

Attached find images of a perfectly preserved, and quite heavy, specimen in
The Michael Trömner Collection.


Best,
Michael

Matchlock 31st July 2014 10:16 PM

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fernando 1st August 2014 12:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock

Hi Adrian,

As this item of yours ...


???

adrian 2nd August 2014 06:56 AM

The item is of course Fernando's, though I would indeed be very happy if it was mine as I do not have one like it in that size. The term "grenade" during the period in which this item was most likely made, lets say 1790 to 1840, (though it could be argued to extend beyond these) was generally used to describe an explosive shell that was thrown by hand. The largest diameter hand grenade that I am aware of is the British Sea Service 6pr which is about 3 inches (75mm) in diameter. Therefore I would term the projectile, generally, as a Common Shell, there being nothing to distinguish it as a particular type of shell, such as for example Spherical Case Shot (later called Shrapnel). There were of course many different types of Common Shell.

fernando 3rd August 2014 01:42 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thank you for your input, Adrian.
This item was also a good addition to my litlle collection ... which includes an example that came all the way from Austrália ;).
I tend to forget that my emprical conversation in english is sometimes a bit unorthodox.
Having learnt the language outside school (self taught), i favour terms that are idiomaticaly valid in both languages; which sometimes doesn't work.
Apparently the attribution of the term grenade differs between languages.
The term shell, meaning originaly the hard outside covering (cuirasse) of an animal, had its idiomatic attribution extended to military lexicon in the english language , but not to others, i would say.
Over here, and not only, howitzers and mortars throw explosive projectiles which, in period military terminology, were called bombs, later called grenades, a term still used nowadays. Mortar greanades and hand grenades are terms dealt separately.
And a shell remains the cover of a clam, a crustacean, a mollusc, etc.
On the other hand, a solid shot is called here bala (bullit) a term derived from ball (french balle, italian palla).
In a way that an artillery force doesn't shell a position but, instead, bombards it.
I hope i have made myself understood :o.

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