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"German 105-mm Hollow-Charge Shell" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A report on a German hollow-charge shell for 105-mm artillery, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 31, August 12, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The use of hollow-charge ammunition by the Axis armies was referred to in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 18, p. 27.

The following description and accompanying sketch will serve to bring out some details covering the German 105-mm (4.13 in) hollow-charge shell called the 10-cm Gr 39. This ammunition is used in the German 105-mm gun howitzer.

a. General

Weight, filled, unfuzed    25 lb 7 1/8 oz
Weight, filled, fuzed25 lb 9 oz
Weight,bursting charge3 lb 14 5/8 oz
Penetration (estimated)
   Homogeneous armor3.15 in at 30°
   Homogeneous armor3.74 in at normal
ColorOlive green, red band above rotating band.

[German 105-mm Hollow Charge Shell]  
An interesting point in the design of this shell is the shape of the cavity in the nose, which differs from that of the 75-mm hollow-charge shell (see Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 19, p. 27). In the latter case the cavity is cylindrical for the greater part of its length, being rounded off at the rear. In this case the cavity is conical except at the extreme rear, which, too, is rounded.

b. Method of Filling

The charge is supported on a ring of moulded plastic material fitting the base of the shell cavity. The charge, together with the plastic ring, central tube and cavity liner fits into a waxed paper container. It is probable that the charge is loaded into a hot shell lined with a bituminous composition to keep the filling firm.

c. Bursting Charge

The bursting charge consists of three pellets of cyclotol (TNT) wax, hot pressed, details of which are:

   Weight   Density   Cyclotol    TNT    Montan Wax
Nose 561 gm (19 oz 12.5 dr)  1.56 57.7% 39.6% 2.7%
Middle   720 gm (25 oz 6.25 dr)  1.58 57.1% 39.8% 3.1%
Base 490 gm (17 oz 4.5 dr) 1.58 55.5% 41.7% 2.8%

Note: It is probable that fuze AZ 38 and booster Zdlg 40 are fitted. These are shown in the accompanying sketch.


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