Monday, 22 August 2016

Italian Explosive Ordnance - 57mm to 70mm Projectiles







Italian Explosive Ordnance

  



57/43mm A.P. (Without Cap)


 
Guns used in: 57/43mm Anti-Tank Gun
Fuzing: Base Percussion Fuze M09

Overall length of round: 222mm
Diameter at base: Unknown
Distance base to band: 36mm
Width of band: Unknown
Diameter at bourrelet: Unknown

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 0.135 kilograms
Weight of loaded projectile: 2.912 kilograms

Remarks: This projectile is part of a fixed round which weighs 5.06 kilograms and has a propellent charge of ballistite.  The propellant weighs 0.46 kg and is compressed of grains 2mm x 2mm x 300mm.






57/43mm A.P. (With Cap)


Guns used in: 57/43mm Anti-Tank Gun
Fuzing: Base Percussion Fuze M09

Overall length of round: 252.5mm
Diameter at base: Unknown
Distance base to band: 36mm
Width of band: Unknown
Diameter at bourrelet: Unknown

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 0.105 kilograms (The book states 105 kg)
Weight of loaded projectile: 5.083 kilograms

Remarks: This projectile is almost identical to the 57mm A.P. (without cap) except that a ballistic cap is added.  The propellent charge weighs 0.55 kg and consists of powder C2 in grains 3.3mm x 1.1mm x 205mm and 102mm.

  


65/17mm HE


Guns used in: 65/17mm Mountain Gun
Fuzing: Nose Percussion Fuze M10

Overall length (w/ fuze): 214 mm
Overall length (w/o fuze): 234 mm
Diameter at base: 64.5 mm
Distance base to band: 23 mm
Width of band: 7 mm
Diameter at bourrelet: 64.7 mm

Type of filling: TNT or MNDT
Weight of filling: 0.23 kg
Weight of loaded projectile: 4.15 kg
Total length of round: 394 mm
Weight of complete round: 5 kg
Booster used: No.5 M38

Remarks: The projectile is thought also to have been fuzed with the Nose Fuze A.D.E. M06 17 (My copy is blurred here).  This fuze requires the removal of the nose adapter and also changes the length and weight of the projectile.





65/17mm AP


Guns used in: 65/17mm Mountain Gun
Fuzing: Base Percussion Fuze M10

Overall length: 280 mm
Diameter at base: 64.5 mm (Manual states 645)
Distance base to band: 23 mm
Width of band: 7 mm
Diameter at bourrelet: 64.7 mm

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 0.16 kg
Weight of loaded projectile: 4.23 kg

Remarks: The projectile is part of a fixed round.  The propellent charge weighs 5.13 kg






65/17mm EP (Hollow Charge)


Guns used in: 65/17mm Mountain Gun
Fuzing: Base Percussion Fuze EP M44

Overall length: 243.4 mm
Diameter at base: 64.6 mm
Diameter at bourrelet: 64.7 mm

Type of filling: Unknown
Weight of filling: Unknown
Weight of loaded projectile: Unknown

Remarks: The projectile with its cartridge case makes up a fixed round of ammunition, the length of which is 412.6 mm.





65/17mm EPS (Hollow Charge)


Guns used in: 65/17mm Mountain Gun
Fuzing: Base Percussion Fuze IEPM

Overall length: 248.7 mm
Diameter at base: 64.6 mm
Distance base to band: Unknown
Diameter at bourrelet: 64.7 mm

Type of filling: Unknown
Weight of filling: Unknown
Weight of loaded projectile: Unknown

Remarks: The projectile is used in a fixed round, the overall length of which is 418.2 mm.




70/15mm HE


Guns used in: 70/15mm Pack Gun
Fuzing: Nose Percussion Fuze M10 or Nose Fuze M (Guerritore)

Overall length without fuze: 229mm
Diameter at base: 69.3mm (approx) (Manual states 6.93, with no measurement)
Distance base to band: Unknown
Width of band: Unknown
Diameter at bourrelet: 69.5 mm

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 0.275 kg
Weight of loaded projectile: 4.75 kg







Next Time: Italian 75mm Projectiles (Part 1)

Monday, 15 August 2016

Italian Explosive Ordnance - 37mm to 47mm Projectiles







Italian Explosive Ordnance

  



37/40mm H.E.


Guns used in: 37/40mm Gun
Fuzing: Nose fuze for 37/40 Shell

Overall length of round: 72mm
Diameter at base: 36.4mm (approx.)
Distance base to band: 18mm
Width of band: 22mm
Diameter at bourrelet: 36.5mm

Type of filling: Ballistite
Weight of filling: 41.5 grams
Weight of loaded projectile: 677 grams
Total length of projectile: 328mm
Weight of propellant: 112 grams
Weight of complete round: 2 lb, 13.5 oz

Remarks: The projectile is closed by a heavy steel pointed nose fitted internally with the fuze.






37/40mm HE/AP


Guns used in: 37/40mm Gun
Fuzing: None

Overall length of round: 138mm
Diameter at base: 30mm
Distance base to band: 18mm
Width of band: 20mm
Diameter at bourrelet: 36.4mm

Type of filling: Ballistite
Weight of filling: 23 grams
Weight of loaded projectile: 698 grams
Total length of projectile: 322mm
Weight of propellant: 112 grams
Weight of complete round: 2 lb, 14.5 oz

Remarks: The base of the projectile is closed by a screwed plug, and there is no fuze.  It is possible that the filling is intended to ignite by heating effects resulting from shock of impact.

  


37/45mm AP


Guns used in: 37/45mm Anti-Tank Gun
Fuzing: None

Overall length of round: Unknown
Diameter at base: Unknown
Distance base to band: Unknown
Width of band: Unknown
Diameter at bourrelet: Unknown

Weight of loaded projectile: 0.7 kg
Total length of projectile: 337mm (Manual states "kg")
Weight of complete round: 1.43 kg
Length of cartridge case: 202mm
Weight of propellant: 0.188 kg

Remarks: The projectile contains no explosive, but has a tracer.





37/54mm AA


Guns used in: 37/54mm Anti-Aircraft Gun
Fuzing: Nose fuze for 37/54 Shell

Overall length of round: Unknown
Diameter at base: Unknown
Distance base to band: Unknown
Width of band: Unknown
Diameter at bourrelet: Unknown

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 0.024 kg
Weight of loaded projectile: 0.8 kg

Remarks: This projectile is a fixed round, packed in a tray for use in the gun.  Weight of complete round is 1.59kg, and overall length is 14.5 inches.  The propellant charge weighs 0.2kg composed of powder grains 0.65mm x 7mm x 185mm.  The projectile is grey-green, with a red band below the nose fuze.  A tracer is fitted into the base of the projectile.






40/39mm AA


Guns used in: 40/39mm Anti-Aircraft Gun
Fuzing: Nose fuze for 40/39 Shell

Overall length of round: Unknown
Diameter at base: Unknown
Distance base to band: Unknown
Width of band: Unknown
Diameter at bourrelet: Unknown

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 0.055 kg

Remarks: This projectile is a fixed round, packed in a tray for use in the gun.  The complete round is 1.45kg, and is 291 mm long.  The propellant charge weighs 0.104kg, composed of powder 2.3mm x 0.8mm x 98mm.  The projectile is grey-green, with a red band below the nose fuze.  A tracer is fitted into the base of the projectile.





47/32mm HE M35


Guns used in: 47/32mm Anti-Tank Gun
Fuzing: Percussion nose fuze M39

Overall length (w/ fuze): 10.1 inches
Overall length (w/o fuze): 9.2 inches
Diameter at base: Unknown
Distance base to band: Unknown
Width of band: Unknown
Diameter at bourrelet: Unknown

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 0.15 kg
Weight of loaded projectile: 2.37 kg

Remarks: This projectile is a fixed round.  The complete round weighs 2.37kg.  The propellant charge weighs 0.052kg, composed of Italian type F.C. 4 Powder.

The shell is machined from a rolled bar steel and has a parallel-walled cavity the same diameter as the fuze hole.  The exterior of the shell is thinly coated with zinc before coloring.  There is no base plate.  The upper rotating band is more than one third of the length from the base.




47/32mm AP M35 (With Cap)


Guns used in: 47/32mm Anti-Tank Gun
Fuzing: Base fuze MO9

Overall length with tracer: 206mm
Diameter at base: Unknown
Distance base to band: 50mm
Width of band: 8mm
Diameter at bourrelet: Unknown

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 0.03 kg
Weight of loaded projectile: 1.5 kg
Total length of round: 355.6mm (Manual forgets to state measurement)
Weight of complete round: 2.9kg

Remarks: A tracer element is fixed to the base of the projectile.




47/32mm AP M35 (Without Cap)


Guns used in: 47/32mm Anti-Tank Gun
Fuzing: Base fuze MO9

Overall length with tracer: 155mm
Diameter at base: Unknown
Distance base to band: 50mm
Width of band: 8mm
Diameter at bourrelet: Unknown

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 0.03 kg
Weight of loaded projectile: 1.5 kg
Total length of round: 299.7mm (Manual forgets to state measurement)
Weight of complete round: 2.9kg

Remarks: A tracer element is fixed to the base of the projectile.





47/32mm AP M39


Guns used in: 47/32mm Anti-Tank Gun
Fuzing: Percussion nose fuze M39

Overall length: Unknown
Diameter at base: Unknown
Distance base to band: Unknown
Width of band: Unknown
Diameter at bourrelet: Unknown

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 0.03 kg
Weight of loaded projectile: 1.42 kg

Remarks: The complete round weighs 2.035kg and contains 0.179kg propellant powder F.C. 3. A tracer element is fitted into the projectile.

Another version of the M39 has no explosive filling or fuze but contains a tracer element.  The round is very similar to the 47/32mm A.P. M35.




47/32mm E.P. (Hollow Charge)


Guns used in: 47/32mm Anti-Tank Gun
Fuzing: Base Fuze E.P. M41

Overall length: 251.5mm
Diameter at base: Unknown
Distance base to band: Unknown
Width of band: Unknown
Diameter at bourrelet: Unknown

Type of filling: Tritolite (50% TNT and 50% Cyclonite)
Weight of filling: Unknown
Weight of loaded projectile: 1.23 kg

Remarks: This projectile is used in a fixed round.  The propellant charge used is smaller than the other 47/32mm shells, since a larger portion of the projectile is located in the case.




47/32mm E.P.S. (Hollow Charge)


Guns used in: 47/32mm Anti-Tank Gun
Fuzing: Nose Fuze  I.E.P.M.

Overall length: 251.5mm
Diameter at base: Unknown
Distance base to band: Unknown
Width of band: Unknown
Diameter at bourrelet: Unknown

Type of filling: Unknown
Weight of filling: Unknown
Weight of loaded projectile: Unknown
Length of cartridge case: 192mm






Next Time: Italian 57mm to 70mm Projectiles

Monday, 8 August 2016

Italian Explosive Ordnance - Projectiles (8mm and 12.7mm Cartridges)







Italian Explosive Ordnance

  



8mm Ball


Guns used in: 8mm Machine Gun

Overall length of round: 80.5mm
Weight of round: 30.23 grams
Length of bullet: 34mm
Weight of bullet: 13.42 grams
Length of cartridge case: 59mm
Weight of propellant: 3.1 grams

Remarks: This round consists of a brass cartridge case and a bullet which is made up of a lead core enclosed in a plated jacket.





8mm AP


Guns used in: 8mm Machine Gun

Overall length of round: 80.3mm
Weight of complete round: 29.34 grams
Length of bullet: 36.9mm
Weight of bullet: 12.57 grams
Length of cartridge case: 59mm
Weight of propellant: 3.08 grams

Remarks: The bullet is made up of a plated steel jacket enclosing a hard steel core with a soft lead point.

  


12.7mm Tracer (Red Tip)


Guns used in: 12.7mm Aircraft Machine Gun

Overall length of round: 107.25mm
Weight of complete round: 83.6 grams
Length of bullet: 42.5mm
Weight of bullet: 36.35 grams
Length of cartridge case: 81mm
Weight of propellant: 8.1 grams

Remarks: The round has a semi-rimless brass cartridge case and a bullet with a copper-nickel jacket.  The round is the normal tracer type.  The bullet has a lead core containing a tracer tube and an aluminum tip.  The base is closed by a transparent disc and a brass washer.  The color of the tracer is red.




12.7mm Incendiary (Blue Tip)

 
Guns used in: 12.7mm Aircraft Machine Gun

Overall length of round: 106.7mm
Weight of complete round: 84.5 grams
Length of bullet: 44.6mm
Weight of bullet: 36.5 grams
Length of cartridge case: 81mm
Weight of propellant: 8.1 grams

Remarks: This bullet consists of a copper-nickel jacket with a copper sleeve container, a brass core, and a lead base plug.  The tip of the copper sleeve in front at the brass core is sealed to the base of the core with soft solder.





12.7mm A.P.I.T. (White Tip)


Guns used in: 12.7mm Aircraft Machine Gun

Overall length of round: 107mm
Weight of complete round: 84.1grams
Length of bullet: 50.6mm
Weight of bullet: 36.7 grams
Length of cartridge case: 81mm
Weight of propellant: 7.8 grams

Remarks: The bullet consists of a copper-nickel jacket; a copper sleeve, forming the nose of the bullet; a steel core with a lead bend pressed around its base into cannelures; a lead base plug and tracer tube, a transparent closing disc and brass washer, and a split steel supporting piece in the nose, which possibly acts as a forming anvil.

The nose is filled with three compositions: first, in the tip and intimately pressed into the split anvil, a mixture of aluminum-lead oxide; next, a mixture of magnesium potassium chlorate antimony sulphide and, around the nose of the core, magnesium-lead oxide.  The tracer burns a bright red.



12.7mm H.E


Guns used in: 12.7mm Aircraft Machine Gun

Overall length of round: 102.5mm
Weight of complete round: 84.1grams
Length of bullet: 51.3mm
Weight of bullet: 37.5 grams
Type of filling: Penthrite-wax mixture
Weight of filling: 0.8 grams
Length of cartridge case: 81mm
Weight of propellant: 8.2 grams

Remarks: The projectile consists of a steel body with a coating of gilding metal in the exterior, which is thickened to form a rotating band.  The fuze is similar in action to the German A25045.






Next Time: Italian 37mm to 47mm Projectiles

Monday, 1 August 2016

Italian Explosive Ordnance - Projectiles (General Info, 6.5mm, and 7mm Cartridges)







Italian Explosive Ordnance








Italian Small Arms Ammunition

General

Italian small arms ammunition does not have many unusual characteristics and is very similar to British and German ammunition.  In some cases, the ammunition is interchangeable for use in each country's guns.


The following is a summary of Italian small arms ammunition:

6.5mm Rimless

1. Guns used in: Rifle M91, Carbine M91, Machine Gun M30 and M30 (A/N: Not sure why it repeats) and Machine Gun M14 (Fiat)


2. Types:
A. Ball M91/95 - Round Nose
B. Fragmenting bullet M91 - 3 longitudinal striations on the bullet
C. Fragmenting bullet M91 - 2 annular grooves on the bullet
D. Blank for rifles - Scarlet wooden bullet
E. Blank for machine gun - Bullet consist of inert black powder which is enclosed in a thin brass jacket.
F. Dummy M91/95
G. Practice M91 - Bullet consists of a closed jacket of copper-nickel, the upper half filled with lead, the lower half with sand.
H. Practice for miniature range M91 - This ammunition consists of a brass cartridge case with a steel tube attached to the base of the case and fitting internally.  A lead bullet fits into the top of the steel tube and cartridge fits into the base of the tube.



7.35mm (Rimless)


1. Guns used in: Rifle M38, Machine Gun M38

2. Types:
A. Ball
B. Fragmenting
C. Practice - Minitature Ranges
D. Blanks for rifles
E. Blank for machine guns



7.7mm (Rimmed) (interchangeable with .303 British)

1. Guns used in: 7.7mm Aircraft Machine Gun

2. Types:
A. Ball
B. Tracer - Red Tip
C. Armor-Piercing Incendiary (phosphorus) - Blue Tip
D. Armor-Piercing Incendiary (thermite) - Green Tip



8mm (Rimmed)

1. Guns used in: 8mm Mannlicher Rifle, 8mm Schwarzlose Machine Gun

2. Types:
A. Ball
B. Blank for rifle - Reddish orange wooden bullet
C. Blank for machine gun - Green wooden bullet



8mm (Rimless)

1. Guns used in: Machine Gun Fiat M35, Breda M37 and M38

2. Types:
A. Ball
B. Armor-Piercing M37 and M43 - M40 has red tip
C. Blank - Bullet consists of inert black powder enclosed in brass jacket



12.7mm (Rimless)

1. Guns used in: 12.7mm Aircraft Machine Gun

2. Types:
A. Ball
B. Tracer - Red Tip
C. Armor-Piercing - Green Tip
D. Armor-Piercing Incendiary (thermite) Tracer - White Tip
E. H.E. Projectile - Red body with nose percussion fuze
F. Incendiary (phosphorus) - Blue Tip
G. Incendiary (thermite) Tracer - Blue body with nose percussion fuze similar to German Fuze A25045
H. Incendiary (thermite) Tracer - Buff body with nose percussion fuze fitted



13.2mm (Rimless)

1. Guns used in: 13.2mm Breda Machine Gun

2. Types:
A. Armor-Piercing
B. Armor-Piercing Tracer - Red Tip



14mm (Similar to British 0.55 inch Anti-Tank Rifle ammunition)

1. Guns used in: Captured British Anti-Tank rifle

2. Types: Armor-Piercing



20mm (interchangeable with German 2cm Solothurn type ammunition)

1. Guns used in: 20mm Anti-Aircraft and Anti-Tank Gun Breda M35

2. Types:
A. H.E. - Nose percussion fuze and self-destroying tracer
B. A.P./H.E./Tracer - Base fuze consisting of a fixed firing pin and primer cap held in position by a shear pin.



  



6.5mm Ball


Guns used in: Moschetto M91 Carbine Italian Mannlicher Carcano Rifle

Overall length of round: 76.5mm
Weight of round: 22.67 grams
Length of bullet: 30.1mm
Weight of bullet: 10.5 grams
Length of cartridge case: 52.2mm
Weight of propellant: 2.3 grams

Remarks: The round consists of a rimless brass case




7.35mm Ball


Guns used in: Fucile M38 Rifle

Overall length of round: 73.3mm
Weight of complete round: 20.1 grams
Overall length of bullet: 27.4mm
Weight of bullet: 8.32 grams
Length of cartridge case: 53.3mm
Weight of propellant: 2.6 grams

Remarks: The round has the marking B.T.M. on the base of the brass cartridge case.  The projectile has a nickel-plated steel jacket enclosing an aluminum case and a lead core to rear of the aluminum.

  


7.7mm Ball


Guns used in: 7.7mm Aircraft Machine Gun

Overall length of round: 77.5mm
Weight of round: 25.43 grams
Length of bullet: 32.9mm
Length of cartridge case: 56mm
Weight of propellant: 2.56 grams

Remarks: The round is interchangeable with the British 0.303 inch and is almost identical to the British Mk VII.  The bullet has a copper-nickel plated steel jacket enclosing an aluminum forward core and a lead core in the rear.




7.7mm A.P.I. Incendiary (Blue Tip)

 
Guns used in: 7.7mm Aircraft Machine Gun

Overall length of round: 77mm
Weight of round: 23.33 grams
Length of bullet: 35mm
Weight of bullet: 9.96 grams
Length of cartridge case: 56mm
Weight of propellant: 2.4 grams

Remarks: The round consists of a brass cartridge case, a copper cap, and a bullet whose jacket is pierced with four holes on the ogive so that at these points the incendiary composition is protected only by a thin copper sleeve.  The jacket is steel plated with either copper-nickel or copper-nickel alloy.  A copper sleeve, a steel core in a lead sheath, and the forward nose portion filled with phosphorus are enclosed by the bullet jacket.  The four holes on the ogive permit the distribution of the phosphorus on impact.




7.7mm A.P.I. (Green Tip)

 
Guns used in: 7.7mm Aircraft Machine Gun

Overall length of round: 77mm
Weight of round: 24.6 grams
Length of bullet: 35mm
Weight of bullet: 10.2 grams
Length of cartridge case: 56mm
Weight of propellant: 2.5 grams

Remarks: The round has a brass cartridge case, and copper-nickel jacketed bullet.  The makeup of the bullet is very similar to the A.P.I. (Blue Tip), but the nose is filled with two compositions.  In the tip is a small quantity of magnesium potassium chlorate and, behind it, surrounding the nose of the steel core, some aluminum-lead oxide.  Four holes in the ogive permit the mixture to be distributed on impact.






Next Time: Italian Small Arms Ammunition (8mm and 12.7mm Cartridges)

Monday, 25 July 2016

Italian Explosive Ordnance - Projectiles (Introduction)







Italian Explosive Ordnance








Italian Projectiles and Cases





Introduction

The projectiles used by the Italian army were very similar to French, British, and Japanese in construction and appearance.  In some cases, the projectiles were direct copies of British ammunition and used the same fuzing and filling.

Most field equipment is semi-fixed, with the smaller caliber and anti-aircraft guns using fixed ammunition.  When the semi-fixed type of ammunition is used, the propellent charge is divided into a number of parts which are enclosed in silk bags.

The first part is known by the Italians as the "fundamental," and the other part as "augmentative."  Igniters of black powder are also included.  The complete charge is enclosed in the cartridge case by means of a cardboard closing cup.  In the base of the cases are fitted percussion primers of standard design.

In guns using bag ammunition, an igniter, which has an extension piece fitted into the vent hole, is used.  For initiation of the charge, the types of tubes used are; friction, percussion, and electric-percussion.

The Italians designated their projectiles by the caliber, the specific equipment in which they were used, and the model numbers of projectiles.  In most cases, the model number is thought to have designated the year in which the ammunition was designed.







Types of Projectiles



    
1. High-Explosive (H.E.): These are of conventional design and are usually fitted with a point detonating fuze, with a booster charge below the fuze.  They most commonly have a shell body of forged steel and a parallel-wall inner cavity.  The cavity and exterior are machined over-all.  The cavity is threaded internally at the top to receive the nose adapter.  The latter is a machined forging, internally threaded at the nose to receive the fuze, and externally threaded at the base for attachment to the shell body.

In the medium caliber shell, the nose, contrary to the usual Italian practice, is sometimes formed by the "bottling" process with the upper portion threaded to take the fuze.  Another common method of construction is that which incorporates a shell machined from rolled bar steel and having a parallel-walled cavity of the same diameter as the nose adapter, or, in some cases where there is no adapter, the cavity is the same diameter as the fuze.

Some H.E. projectiles were cast and then machined.  The base plates of these shells also vary.  Some have no base plate, while others have the screwed type, the pressed-in type, or a steel plate soldered to the base of the shell.  The majority of the projectiles have on rotating band of pure copper, but a few have two rotating bands.

The booster system is of two types.  The first, the old system, consists of a metal tube containing compressed ballistite with a flash hole at each end.  This tube fits beneath the nose fuze and has underneath it a larger charge of ballistite, which is also in a metal tube and has a flash hole at the top only.

The latest type of booster system was designated "Detonatore AD Alto Explosivo" by Italians and was given the numbers 1 through 6, and called M35 or M38.  It consists of two parts, the upper part which fits immediately below the fuze and consists of an aluminum cylinder with a collar.  Inside this is another tube which contains a layer of cyclonite above which is a layer of lead azide.  Below this part is the other, which consists of two or more cylinders of TNT wrapped in oiled paper.  The upper cylinder has a central cavity to take the upper detonator tube.
 
  
2. Hollow Charge (E.P. and E.P.S.): A large range of artillery weapons are found to have been equipped with hollow charge ammunition.  Of the type that have been recovered, all show a similarity of design.  They appear to be converted H.E. shells.

The body of the shell is the same as that of the corresponding H.E. shells.  The almost hemispherical head is made of light alloy and, to overcome the difficulties in direction of rifling of different equipment, the head is secured to the body by indentation.  The nose portion of the shell is hollow and has a cavity liner pressed from 1mm steel plate, parabolic in shape.

There are two types of these shells, one using a base fuze only (E.P.) and the other, the late type (E.P.S.), incorporating a nose fuze with long flash tube leading to the center of the explosive charge.  this follows the German design.  The rotating band is usually located about 1/3 the distance from the base of the shell.  The explosive filling consists of 58% cyclonite, 40.5% TNT, and 1.5% wax.  The filling is cast with the fuze and booster assembled in the cavity.



  
3. Fragmentation: This type is also very similar to the H.E. projectiles, but contains a liner which fits into the internal cavity.  In most cases, the combustion type of time nose fuze is used.  The shell body is of forged steel with a comparatively thin wall, and is fitted with a copper driving band.

The forward end is screw-threaded internally to receive the adapter.  The body contains a fragmentation cylinder machined from grey cast iron, which is grooved along its length and circumferentially on the exterior to assist fragmentation.  A channel is formed through the center of the cylinder to accommodate the bursting charge.

Red lead is inserted between the exterior of the cylinder, the wall of the shell, and the fragmentation grooves.  The nose adapter is machined from grey cast iron and is screw-threaded internally to two diameters to receive the booster and the fuze, respectively.  The exposed portion of the adapter forms the head of the shell and is shaped to form a sloping shoulder with a cylindrical neck.  The base of the adapter is recessed to fit over the forward end of the explosive filling.  From tests, it has been found that the break up of the fragmentation cylinder generally follows the line of weakness. 
   
   
4. Armor Piercing (A.P.): Most Italian armor piercing shells are conventional in design.  The shell is generally machined from steel bar stock and then hardened from the rotating band forward.  A ballistic cap may or may not be fitted.  All but a very few have small explosive filling of TNT and a base fuze.




5. Shrapnel: The later type is designed on conventional lines.  It differs from the British type in having gunpowder pellets in the central booster tube.  An earlier type had a charge of TNT in the nose.  The shell has a nose adapter, a flash tube to the explosive filling located in the base of the cavity, and a diaphragm separating the explosive filling from the shrapnel bullets.

The shell body is forged steel and is machined externally.  The explosive cavity and bearing surfaces of the diaphragm are also machined.  The nose adapter, which forms a cover for the shrapnel bullets and provides a slot for the flash tube, is machined from bar stock.  The flash tube is of brass and fits between slots in the nose adapter and diaphragm.  The diaphragm is stamped steel plate.  The shrapnel bullets, varying from 100 to 250 in number, are lead-antimony alloy. 
   

6. Aerial Burst or Impact (A.D.E.): Projectiles designated "A.D.E." are regular High Explosive shells but have the A.D.E. type fuzes, which are time or percussion fuzes.

  
7. Anti-Aircraft (A.A.): These projectiles are H.E. shells with an aerial burst fuze.






Markings


Before 1931 the following coloring system was used:

Color of Body

Grey ----- H.E.
White ----- High Capacity H.E.
Blue ----- Fragmentation
Carmine ----- Shrapnel

Color of Nose (Ogive same color as body)

 Red ----- Practice Shell
Carmine ----- Star Shell
Black ----- Tracer


Color of Ogive

Red ----- H.E. or A.P.
Carmine ----- Incendiary
Black ----- Smoke
Yellow ----- Chemical

Since 1931, the shell body has been zincated and the ogive and nose painted in distinctive colored bands may be found on the body of the shell.  The following coloring scheme was used:

Color of ogive or nose same as before 1931

Band above the Rotating Band
Green ----- Steel shell
White ----- High Capacity H.E.
Red ----- Shrapnel
Blue ----- Fragmentation
Black ----- Practice


Band at Shoulder

Blue ----- Anti-Aircraft


The stenciling of which the following examples may be found on the body of the projectile:
  
100/17 - Caliber/length of weapon in calibers
   
Tritolo - Explosive Filling
   
61.000 kg - Weight of Projectile
    
A.P. VIII 1928 - Place and date of filling
    
    
    
Explosive Filling
  
The following explosive fillings have been found used by the Italians.
   
Italian Nomenclature
   
1. Tritolo - TNT
2. PNP - Ammonium Nitrate (75%), PETN (20%), Wax (5%)
3. MAT - Picric Acid (60%), TNT (40%)
4. MBT - Picric Acid, Dimitrophenol
5. Pertite - Picric Acid
6. Schneiderite - Ammonium Nitrate (87%), Dinitronapthalene (13%)
7. Nougat MST - Ammonium Nitrate (50%), Dinitronapthalene (7%), TNT (43%)
8. Toluolammonal - Ammonium Nitrate (47%), TNT (30%), Aluminum (20%), Carbon (3%)
9. MNDT Siperite - Ammonium Nitrate (72.8%), Dinitronapthalene (10.5%), TNT (16.7%)
10. Amathol Explosive 60/40 - Amathol
11. Ecrasite - Ammonium Triniteocresol
12. Tritolite - TNT (50%), Cyclonite (50%)
    
    
    
Propellants
    
The composition of the propellants has no outstanding features.  Apparently only three types were used in service:
    
1. A straight ballistite (Ballistite or Bal.) containing about 50% nitro-cellulose and 50% nitroglycerin without stabilizer.
    
2. A modified ballistite (Ballistite Attenuate or Bal. Att.) containing 60% nitro-cellulose, 26% nitroglycerin, and 14% dinitroluene as a moderant coating.
    
3. The so-called "Italian Cordite" which usually bears no markings other than the weapon and propellant sizes.  This contains about 72% nitro-cellulose, 24% nitroglycerin, and 4% mineral jelly.  In addition, this type of propellant has been found to contain sodium carbonate or bicarbonate, presumably as an additional stabilizer.
    
In some cases, bags containing potassium chloride have been found included in the charges, presumably as a flash-reducing agent.  The shapes encountered have been flat strip, cord, square flake, and tubular cord. 
    
An example of marking of the propellant is:
   
"Ballistite Attenulata Piastine - 1 x 10 x 220 days CKA VI grs. 570" 
   
The marking reads it as a charge of 570 grams of "Ballistite in Attenuata" strip form 1mm x 10mm x 220mm for the 75mm gun.



 
Naval and Coastal Defence Equipment

The equipment is simpler to design as the Army but different distinctly in markings from Italian field equipment.  The following coloring is used:


H.E. --- White body with red ogive
Star --- White body with red ogive
Practice --- Yellow with grey and white nose


Special light projectiles, as opposed to heavy projectiles, have green bodies and white heads (grey if made of cast iron).

Star --- Green band above the rotating band
A.P. --- Blue band above the rotating band
Practice H.E. --- Yellow band above the rotating band
A.P. Shot --- Red band above the rotating band


(Piercing caps - Red; Ballistic caps - Unpainted)

The markings on the H.E. projectiles are:


On the body - Caliber and filling
On the ogive - Type, date, and place of filling
C.L. - Tracer fitted

Star shells have a black triangle on the ogive which may or may not enclose a black disc.  This refers to type of star filled.







Next Time: Italian Small Arms Ammunition

Monday, 18 July 2016

Italian Explosive Ordnance - Bombs (Part 5)






Italian Explosive Ordnance






160kg (CS) Anti-Submarine Bomb


Overall length: 69.8 inches
Body length: 36.2 inches
Body diameter: 13.3 inches
Wall thickness: 0.31 inch
Tail length: 27.2 inches
Tail width: 15.3 inches

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 99 kilograms
Total weight: 176 kilograms

Fuzing:
-Nose: Type B
-Tail: "Grand-daddy"
  
Color and markings: Overall gray; red nose

Description:  This bomb has a hemispherical nose.  The vanes are short, with a corrugated metal reinforcing ring around the rear of vanes.
 




160kg H.E. Bomb


Overall length: 62.4 inches
Body length: 50.4 inches
Body diameter: 12.6 inches
Tail length: 27.6 inches
Tail width: 12.6 inches

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: Unknown
Total weight: 163.5 kilograms

Fuzing: Nose - Unknown
   
Color and markings: Overall gray; red nose
  
Description: The bomb has an unusual tail unit.  The vanes are short and attached near the end of the tail cone.  The nose of the bomb is more hemispherical than other Italian H.E. demolition bombs.  It is thought that this bomb was designed for use against submarines.





3kg (CV) Antiaircraft Bomb


Overall length: 13.5 inches
Body length: 6.4 inches
Body diameter: 3.2 inches
Tail length: 7 inches
Tail width: 3.2 inches
Type of filling: Amatol
Weight of filling: 0.4 kilograms
Total weight: 3 kilograms

Fuzing: Nose - Type I
  
Color and markings: Overall green; red band on nose
  
Description:  The bomb consists of two containers made of mild steel sheet.  The space between them is filled with steel pellets embedded in concrete.  The nose and the body of the bomb are apparently loaded separately with their filler of concrete and steel.  A brown substance, which tops the nose filling, forms a cushion between the concrete filling.  It appears to be a waterproof composition, containing a resinous wax.




20kg (CV) Antiaicraft Bomb


Overall length: 30.7 inches
Body length: 15.5 inches
Body diameter: 5.5 inches
Wall thickness: 1.1 inches
Tail length: 18 inches
Tail width: 5.7 inches

Type of filling: Unknown
Weight of filling: Unknown
Total weight: Unknown

Fuzing: Nose - Type I

Description: The bomb case is loaded with steel pellets embedded in concrete.  No further description is available.




3.5kg, 5kg, 25kg, 50kg, and 100kg Hollow Charge Bombs


3.5kg
Body length: 18.8 inches
Body diameter: 6 inches
Wall thickness: 0.06 inch
Tail length: 7.7 inches
Tail width: 6 inches
Type of filling: RDX/TNT
Weight of filling: 2.2 kilograms
Total weight: 3.5 kilograms (approx.)
  
Fuzing: Tail fuze for hollow-charge bombs

Description: All these bombs are very similar in appearance, except the 25kg which differs slightly.  The 25kg has the bomb casing of helically wound steel strips.  The 3.5kg was the only bomb of this type known to be used or manufactured by the Italians.

This bomb has a dome-shaped nose completely empty of any main filling and threaded at its base to screw over the threaded cone-shaped body.  The main filling is 60% RDX, 38% TNT, and 2% wax, which is separately cast and is an easy fit in the bomb body.

This main filling has the hollow dome-shaped recess at its base and has fitted to its apex an RDX booster pierced to receive the fuze and its booster.  A horizontal suspension lug is riveted to the body, and a safety pin holder is riveted to the tail vane to receive the safety pin of the fuze.




Bomb Container


Overall length: 5 feet, 6 inches
Body length: 2 feet 8.5 inches
Body diameter: 11 inches
Wall thickness: 0.047 inch
Tail length: 22 inches
Tail width: 11 inches (approx.)

Type of filling:
-40 x 2kg Anti-Personnel F or Mtr.; or
-40 x 1kg Incendiary; or
-20 x 2kg Incendiary; or
-24 x 4kg Anti-Personnel Thermos

Weight (empty): 23 kilograms

Description: This is a metal container holding eight columns of anti-personnel or incendiary bombs.  The body is cylindrical and is of sheet metal.  It contains eight longitudinal tubes which are welded to the after closing plate and the forward closing plate holes in the latter leave the forward ends of the tubes open.  A flap, which is hinged to this plate, partly closes these holes.  The container is held closed by a ball locking the adjustment of which can be observed through the inspection hole.  The forward end of the bomb is closed by an aluminum cap held on by three clips.  Riveted to the inside of this cap is a plate.  Ejector springs are fitted in the after ends of the tube.

The tail cone, carrying four fins, is fitted by screws to the body.  A corrugated ring strut strengthens the tail fins.  Below the drum and situated between each pin of adjacent fins is a drogue of pressed steel.  Each of these drogues is connected to its neighbor by a fabric web fixed to the sides of the drogue by rivets.

A fabric-covered elastic strip attached to each case at one end to the drogue, and at the other end to the drum, tends to pull each drogue open.  The range of movement of each drogue is limited by the length of a flexible wire cable fixed to the tail cone.  Before dropping, these drogues are prevented from opening by a cord or wire which encircles them and passes through a cutter.  This clockwork is prevented from running by a safety pin.  To the underside of this particular drogue is attached an additional cable which runs through a hole in the tail cone, between the main body and inner tubes, and terminates in a bolt, the withdrawal of which releases the ball locking device.  A transit safety pin prevents withdrawal of the bolt.

Operation: On loading into the aircraft, the transit pin is withdrawn.  On release, the safety pin in the clockwork is withdrawn.  After the preset time, varying between 0 and 20 seconds, the clockwork activates a cutter which severs the restraining wire and so allows the drogues to open.  This causes the bolt to be withdrawn.  The springs eject the bombs by forcing open the flap which, in turn, throws off the cap by pressing on the plate with the cap.





Parachute Flares
  

Overall length: 36.9 inches
Flare length: 17 inches
Body diameter: 4 inches (approx.)
Tail length: 14.2 inches

Type of filling: Magnesium Powder
Weight of filling: Unknown
Total weight: Unknown
  
Fuzing: Nose fuze - Type L
  
Description: The bomb consists of a light metal nose, a thin cylindrical body filled with magnesium powder, and a tail unit containing the parachute and release mechanism.  The flare is set for height by means of an indicator on the parachute release mechanism.  On release from the plane, the vanes of both the release mechanism and the nose fuze rotate; the fuze arms, and, when the parachute release mechanism functions to cause the parachute to open, the jerk is sufficient to operate the nose fuze.  The resultant explosion blows away the light metal nose, with the fuze from the cardboard magnesium container, setting off the ignition powder, which, in turn, ignites the magnesium.


Parachute Flares (Cardboard)
  
(No Picture Available)

Overall length: 12.5 inches
Body diameter: 1.45 inches
Wall thickness: 0.19 inch

Type of filling: Unknown
Weights: Unknown
Fuzing: Friction igniter in nose

Color and markings: Overall bright red
  
Description: This flare is contained in a cardboard tube the same thickness throughout its length.  A corrugated cardboard 3.9 inches long surrounds the tube near the center to form a grip.  Below the grip the tube is constructed to fit into the groove in the wooden plug at the nose and is held by a wire.  The open ends of the tube are sealed by paper gummed over.  In central hole of the wooden plug is a friction igniter.  This consists of a friction composition attached to the end of a short length of string impregnated with a phosphorus composition.

The flare operates by breaking the seal at the nose end and pulling the string, which ignites the friction composition.  This, in turn, ignites the safety fuse, which gives approximately two seconds before igniting the powder charge located below the candle.  The charge ignites the candle and at the same time ejects the candle and parachute from the tube.  The resistance to the expelling charge is provided by a felt washer and waste packing at the top of the tube.









Next Time: Italian Projectiles

Monday, 11 July 2016

Italian Explosive Ordnance - Bombs (Part 4)






Italian Explosive Ordnance






100kg Special Bomb Combination Anti-Personnel Bomb and Bomb Container


Overall length: 53.2 inches
Body length: 29 inches
Body diameter: 10.7 inches
Wall thickness: 0.07 inch
Tail length: 20.8 inches
Tail width: 10.7 inches

Type of filling: TNT
Total weight: 113 kilograms or 82.1 kilograms

Fuzing:
-Nose: Type X
-Tail: Type Z
  
Color and markings: Overall reddish brown; red nose

Description:    This is a composite which comprises: (1) 32 small Spezzine bombs; (2) a central bomb; and (3) a nose charge which acts as an anti-personnel bomb.  If Spezzine bombs are filled with H.E., the bomb is called 100kg Sp. I. in the latter, the 32 small bombs (1-kg I) may be replaced by 16 (2-kg I) bombs.

Nose fuze (Type X) functions at a preset height and causes the conical nose portion, carrying a length of burning safety fuze and an explosive charge enclosed in concrete, to fall away and explode subsequently; small bombs thus released fall independently.  The main body continues its flight, containing the central bomb, which explodes on impact under the action of the tail fuze.

The container part consists of two concentric sheet-steel cylinders, the outer 0.08 inch thick and the inner 0.04 inch thick, held together by four strips and the end plate.  The tail is attached to the outer cylinder by four threaded studs; in the inner cylinder is fitted the central bomb, of the "Mitroglia" type.  The nose protrudes and is attached by a steel adapter and locking-ball device to the central bomb.

Spezzine bombs are packed, with safety pins removed, in eight columns of four; each column has a conical spring to keep it in compression.  Under one spring is a spring-loaded plunger, protruding through the end plate and acting as a safety pin for the Fuze Type Z of the central bomb.
 




15kg Gas Bomb


Overall length: 31 inches
Body length: 20.7 inches
Body diameter: 4.7 inches
Tail length: 13.8 inches
Tail width: 6.3 inches

Type of filling: Diphenyl Chlorarsine
Weight of filling: 3.65 kilograms
Burster used: TNT
Weight of burster: 1.7 kilograms
Total weight: 16 kilograms (approx.)

Fuzing: Tail - Unknown
   
Color and markings: Overall yellow; Geneva cross stenciled on the body
  
Description: The bomb is thick-walled with a steel body and nose cast in one piece, to which a dome-shaped base it attached.  Sheet-metal tail fins are attached to a metal band clamped around the body.

Remarks: This bomb is thought to be the same as the 15kg S.A.P. except for filling.





25kg Gas Bomb (Furretta)


Overall length: 32.7 inches
Body length: 30.1 inches
Body diameter: 6.3 inches
Type of filling: Lachrymator
Weight of filling: 10 kilograms
Total weight: 25 kilograms

Fuzing: Tail - Type K
  
Color and markings: Overall yellow; Geneva cross in red
  
Description:  The bomb has a blunt nose and parallel sides, but no tail or stabilizing fins.  This is a percussion bomb; but it functions as a tear-gas generator.  There is no burster charge, but the casing is pierced with small holes through which the lachrymator is emitted.




40kg Gas Bomb C40P


Overall length: 32.3 inches
Body length: 21.4 inches
Body diameter: 9.9 inches
Tail length: 16.1 inches
Tail width: 9.9 inches

Type of filling: Diphenyl Chlorarsine
Weight of filling: 6.5 kilograms
Weight of burster: 13 kilograms
Total weight: 47 kilograms

Type of filling: Mustard Gas
Weight of filling: 14.7 kilograms
Weight of burster: 0.18 kilograms
Total weight: 40.6 kilograms

Fuzing: Tail only - Unknown
  
Color and markings:
-Diphenyl Chlorarsine: Overall yellow; Geneva cross stenciled in black
-Mustard Gas: Overall yellow; red nose; red stenciled marking (see below)

N 2226
Lorpo KG 359; Tara KG179

 
Description: This bomb is similar to 40kg G.P.-H.E. bomb in size and appearance.  The burster tube contains TNT and is about fifteen inches long.  Other information is lacking.




55kg Gas Bomb and 100kg Gas Bomb (C100P)



55kg
Overall length: 32.3 inches
Body diameter: 9.8 inches
Type of filling: Phosgene
Weight of filling: 20 kilograms
Weight of burster: 18 kilograms
Total weight: 55 kilograms

100kg
Overall length: 50.2 inches
Body length: 32.5 inches
Body diameter: 10.7 inches
Tail length: 20.8 inches
Tail width: 10.7 inches
Type of filling: Diphenyl Chlorarsine
Weight of filling: 14.3 kilograms
Weight of burster: 28.7 kilograms
Total weight: 101.9 kilograms
Fuzing:
-55kg: Unknown
-100kg: Tail only; probably C-1 or Y-1
   
Color and markings:
-55kg: Overall yellow; Geneva cross stenciled in white
-100kg: Overall yellow; Geneva cross stenciled in black


Description: These bombs are similar to same weight G.P.-H.E. bombs.  Little information has been found on them.




250kg and 500kg (500T) Gas Bombs


250kg
Overall length: Unknown
Body length: 57.5 inches
Body diameter: 18 inches
Wall thickness: 0.12 inch
Type of filling: Mustard Gas
Weight of filling: 214 kilograms (approx.)
Total weight: 264 kilograms (approx.) without tail

500kg
Overall length: 96.6 inches
Body length: 54.3 inches
Body diameter: 18 inches
Wall thickness: 0.12 inch
Type of filling: Diphenyl Chlorarsine
Weight of filling: 210 kilograms
Total weight: 298 kilograms

Fuzing:
-250kg: Nose - Unknown
-500kg: Nose - Type T

Color and markings:
-250kg: Overall light blue-grey; yellow nose plug
-500kg: Overall grey; Geneva cross, probably in green, above the lettering S.C.M. 1-37 C-500T

Description: These two bombs are thought to be the same except for the slight differences in length of the body, which could have been measured erratically.  Two different illustrations are shown; one is made from recovered bomb and the other is from Italian drawings.

-250kg: The casing is of thin sheet metal and is of welded construction.  Inside the body casing is a baffle for the chemical filling.  The tail unit was not recovered, but could take the alloy tail unit which is used in the C500T.

-500kg: Very little is known about this bomb, since it was not used in the war.  The bomb is very similar to the 500kg General Purpose, except that is has a baffle plate in the center.





5kg Vento Marker
  

Overall length: 17.4 inches
Body length: 8.9 inches
Body diameter: 5.2 inches
Wall thickness: 0.3 inch
Tail length: 9.2 inches
Tail width: 7 inches

Type of filling: Smoke or Incendiary
Weight of filling: Unknown
Total weight: 5.2kg
Fuzing: Nose fuze - Type S
Description: The body consists of a thin metal cylinder liner and outer concrete bomb body, which is reinforced with sheet pellets and wire.  The body liner has welded to it: (1) the suspension lug socket which is internally threaded to receive the horizontal suspension lug; (2) four metal vane support which have riveted to them four aluminum-alloy vanes; (3) two pairs of diametrically opposite wire guides for the base plug retaining wire; (4) the ends of a helical reinforcing wire, 16 S.W.G., which is coiled in three turns and passes through the holes provided in the vane support; and (5) the upper end of a second helical reinforcing wire, 8 S.W.G., which is coiled in five turns and is welded at its other end to the fuze pocket.

At the upper end, the liner is closed by a cork plug.  This bomb is used in conjunction with chemical bombs.  The purpose is to indicate the force and direction of the wind at ground level.  Two main fillings are used, a smoke filling for use in the daytime, and an incendiary filling for use at night.  The night filling is the 1kg Incendiary Bomb Type II.  Another modification of this bomb has no body liner but is all concrete and is used for practice.







Next Time: Italian Gas Bombs and Others