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"Four German Hollow-Charge Shells" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on German hollow-charge shells was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 45, April 1, 1944.

[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.]


Information has been obtained concerning four 105-mm hollow-charge German shells in addition to the 10-cm Gr 39 described in Tactical and Technical Trends No. 31, p. 35. These are:

10-cm Gr 39 rot*
10-cm Gr 39 rot HL/A
10-cm Gr 39 rot HL/B
10-cm Gr 39 rot HL/C

The only difference between the Gr 39 and the Gr 39 rot is the size of the rotating band and the fact that the Gr 39 is intended for use in the 10.5-cm LG 40, airborne gun (see Tactical and Technical Trends No. 35, p. 20), and the other three are intended for use in the l.F.H. 18 M, a field howitzer with a muzzle-brake -- as indicated by "M"--Mundungsbremse (muzzle brake), -- see Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 30, p. 10.

The Gr 39 rot is propelled by the normal charge -- the Gr 39 of the airborne gun is a special munitions adapted for the open venturi breech of the airborne "double ender". The other three shells are propelled by supercharges.

[German 105-mm Hollow-Charge Shells]

The sketches of the four projectiles clearly illustrate the progressive improvement in shell design and the air space within the shell. The absence of a flash-tube between the nose-fuze and the booster in the A, B, and C shells will be noted. It may be that the firing of the booster is accomplished by detonation rather than ignition.

*The adjective rot (red) frequently appears in the nomenclature of German ammunition, and shells so designated have a red band painted above the driving band. Such projectiles are used in guns and gun-howitzers like the 10.5-cm l.F.H. 18 M, but not in true howitzers. They are reported to call for an extra increment of propellant.

HL is the German abbreviation for Hohl Ladung or hollow charge.

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