smart bombs

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by Protager, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. Protager

    Protager New Member

    I was curious if artillery shells in WWI used pnematically-driven ranging devices? I have seen what looked liked a range setting tip for an artillery shell that used a dial-in set of rings, and the only sense I could make of how it works was by the venturi effect as it flew through the air at high velocity. Could this be right?
  2. sniper

    sniper Active Member

    Would you have a photo of this. As far as i know all shells produced, most certainly for the British artillery were normal shells and the range was set on the guns themselves. Shells were massed produced in various places especially in Cornwall where there were a lot of brass foundry's all set up before the war began.
  3. Protager

    Protager New Member

    Sorry, no pic, but the tip was obviously a detonating device that was cone shaped, mostly brass, with distance markings on the rings that allowed the user to set the range. It was also removable and the back end was cylindrical about 4" or 5" that slid into the shell. Based on the size and curvature of the device the shell it fit on was probably between 2 and 4 feet in length.

    It also had holes drill through it which led to my assumption that it might work by air pressure. Otherwise I could not determine how the detonator tip rings moved to lock onto the range setting. It apparently was not electrically driven.
  4. themanikin

    themanikin New Member

    i believe what you saw was a anti aircraft flack cannon those had timed explosions in the air that is all i really know that had a similar mechanism during ww1
  5. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    I also thought of AAA (ant-aircraft artillery) Flack shells. BTW, I recall there have been some good articles in Encyclopedia Britannica on Artillery, but there one always wonders of the Official Secrets Act so that technology on detonators may be old. I once read the 1880 version of such article, but I do not presently recall anything on fusing which would help you.

    As I recall the proximity fuse was a WWII invention.

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