Ehrhardt Brisanzschrapnell



Brisanzschrapnell c/10 C. It was composed by two distinct parts : the Schrapnellteil, an ordinary shrapnel with rear burster (S), and the Granatteil, a thick-walled high explosive head (O). The cartridge was charged with smokeless powder and was equipped with a screw primer.


Granatteil. The head contained, besides a little bursting charge (o), the detonator (d) and a special quadruple acting fuze (f), which could work in four different ways : as time or percussion fuze for shrapnel, and as percussion fuze with or without delay for H.E. shell. The head was forced into the body and not screwed in it, to make easier and more regular its detachment from the shrapnel. The size of the H.E. shell was greatly reduced in order to make room for the shrapnel. The smoke-producing charge was removed, making impossible to observe the fall of the shrapnel. The bursting charge (o), composed by only 70 g of Trotyl, was intended only to cause the detonation of the explosive filled in the shrapnel body and the destruction of the fuze.


Schrapnellteil. The shrapnel was the main part of the projectile and was composed as usually by : steel body with copper driving band, steel diaphragm, steel central tube, lead bullets and the base bursting charge. The bullets were not packed in colophan, like in ordinary shrapnel, but in 1.5 kg of Trotyl. Firing with time fuze it burnt without detonating, serving as smoke-producing charge, but firing with percussion fuze the explosive detonated along with the bursting charge contained in the head. The bursting charge contained in the base (s) was composed by 70 g of fine-grain black powder. The standard Ehrhardt Brisanzschrapnell c/10 C contained 335 lead bullets weighting 9 g when equipped with aluminium fuze, 320 when equipped with steel fuze, but the Bulgarian Army preferred to retain the 10 g bullets used in its ordinary shrapnel. Their number is not clear : even if MUTHER stated 225 bullets (Der Gerät del leichten Artillerie…, p. 270), they should be more, probably about 300, like in Krupp Granatsschrapnell.


Doppel Zünder c/1907. The special quadruple acting fuze, [see Brisanzschrapnell c/10 B] introduced in 1907 (D.R.P. 200.313, 15 September 1907), was made of aluminium. It had control a plate (Schaltplatte) (I), mobile around the shell axis, inserted between the girdle of the fuze (G) and the bottom composition ring (a). It had a hole (e), filled with pressed black powder, drilled on it. Two channels were bored in the girdle : one (h) conducted to the central tube of the shrapnel, the other (k) to the detonator cup. With percussion fire, the percussion mechanism (P) acted directly on the detonator (d) and the projectile was employed as H.E. shell. With time fire, if the hole (e) of the plate was in front of the channel (h), the flame was transmitted to the shrapnel charge (s), if it was in front of the channel (k), it was transmitted to the shell charge (o) by means of the detonator (d). The fuze was also equipped with a delay mechanism. The fuze was equipped with a safety device against the bursting into the bore. It was composed by a pellet of black powder (q), placed in front of the firing pin of the time fuze. When the shell was fired, the firing pin ignited the primer, but the flame was transmitted to the bottom composition ring, only after the burning of the pellet of black powder.


Operation of the Brisanzschrapnell. When burst in air, the flash from the fuze was transmitted round the high explosive buster to the base charge of the shrapnel. The bullets were blown out in the usual way and the head went on and detonated on impact, affording a valuable means of observing and correcting the trajectory of the shell.

When burst as percussion shrapnel the high explosive charge stored in the head detonated and the bullets and the splinters were blown out laterally. The Trotyl filled between the bullets simply exploded, but if the shell hit anything, the detonation of the high explosive buster in the head was transmitted to Trotyl and the shell acted as a mine shell. The head buster served also to keep the bullets off the ground and rendered the projectile more effective than the ordinary shrapnel when it burst on graze.

With percussion fire, when the Brisanzschrapnell burst, the Schrapnellteil produced on the average 68 splinters weighting more than 5 g, and the Granatteil 49 more. The fragmentation of the wall was not uniform, since the base of the shell, being distant from the H.E. charge placed in the head, produced big splinters that were almost ineffective. The angle of the cone of dispersion of the splinters was between 115°-120°. With time fire, in addition to the bullets, almost 61 splinters weighting more than 5 g fell on the target. The angle of spread of the bullets was almost the same of the ordinary shrapnel, 14°-15° at 1000°.






Universal shell