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French fuses
Belgian fuses
British fuses
German fuses


fuses that can be found on the former battlefields, in museums or on flee markets are very often given a central role in private WW1 militaria collections. The crucial role of artillery in WW1, first cause of men losses, is certainly the biggest reason why.

I cannot consider those small and apparently innoffensive objects without thinking that the life or death of so many poor soldiers under deadly shell showers was dependant of their 'good' operation...

My collection is rather small, but those pieces are fascinating me...

Time fuse with rotating discs, still attached to a 77 mm german shell - Cote du Poivre in Verdun

Warning : Artillery fuses are active components, whose role is to detonate an explosive charge. They did not forgot that mission....

Never touch a fuse that would still be attached to a shell, or still accompanied with a detonator. The army specialists themselves, in charge with the removing of the ancient weapons from the former battlefields, are not taking this kind of risk, preferring to burst those dangerous pieces with an explosion.

A picture is by far less dangerous...

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French fuses

French time fuse, 'type 30/45 modèle 1878-1881', mounted on a shrapnel 75 mm shell head

As discussed in the specific pages of this website, the French artillery had been strongly modernised before 1914. In evidence, rationalizing was one of the achieved goals, with the strong conviction that the famous 75mm field gun would be a sufficient universal weapon. This simplification can also be found in the fuses types.

Quite a small amount of fuses types then, but with a good versatility thanks to different options (i.e. adding before the shooting a detonator to allow the explosion of TNT charges, or a small intermediate charge adding a small delay of some hundredth of seconds).

The models are few and simple, but the materials used were relatively noble, so that the French fuses that can still be found on the former battelfields are not very impressive, but in a relative good condition.

Their names are quite simple also, since they often indicate the external diameter of the fuse, the diameter of the thread, and the design and revision date.

Fusée 30/45 Mod 78-81 found in  Massiges (Champagne) Fusée 30/45 Mod 78-81. Note the destroyed double enveloppe. The visible threading is the one of the casing of the ECP 12-14 detonator in which the fuse is screwed

fuse 30/45 Mle 1878-1881
Percussion fuse / detonator 30/45 S.M. model 1878-81

Designed for Siege and Mountain ('S.M.') artillery, whose indirect (curved) shots needed variable propulsive charges, that fuse was built to be armed with the same security level either at high or low charge.

For that reason, the inertia load was heavier, and the arming system was composite : arming staple system for lower charges, arming grooves on the starter-bearer for the higher charges.

It mainly equipped the projectiles of the
  • 120 mm and above heavy howitzers
  • Crapouillots trench mortars (big caliber bombs)
Very sensitive, it needed very careful handling, since it could be armed only with the shock of a fall from a height of 3 to 4 meters !

fuse 30/45 Mod 78-81. View from below : the remainings of the detonator casing are made of rust steel, though the fuse explosive charge casing remains are in bright metal fuse 30/45 Mod 78-81. View from above. Red paint stains on the bottom of the screw groove. Engravings : '30 45' - 'Mle 78 81' - '82' - 'ECP R 6 08'
fuse 30/45 Mod 78-81. This one have been mounted on what seems to be a trench mortar bomb (approx. diameter 110 mm). The whole mounting have been deformed by the shock. Exemplaire vraisemblablement monté sur une ogive de crapouillot (diamètre approximatif 110 mm). fuse 30/45 Mod 78-81. Wartime scheme
fuse 30/45 Mod 78-81. Part still mounted on the shell head, found in Massiges (Champagne). fuse 30/45 Mod 78-81. A french 'mushroom', part of a heavy shell (see the shell wall thickness)

fuse 24/31 Mod 99-08. Classic profile, small piece that still can be found in big quantities on the former battlefields fuse 24/31 Mod 99-08. Please note the screw groove on the steel top, that allowed to dismount the arming system

fuse 24/31 Mle 1899-1908
Percussion fuse / detonator 24/31 model 1899-08

Basic type of the French percussion fuses, its design was quite simple, and therefore robust.

The top cap contained the classic arming system (inertia block + spring + staple) . The classic percussion system was located at the centre, igniting the explosive charge of the bottom part, whose action could be multiplied by the addition of a detonator.

It equipped most of the explosive projectiles of the :
  • 75, 80, 90, 95, 120, 155 mm guns and howitzers
That fuse included a 0.05 seconds delay. A further version (fuse 24/31 model 1899) had an identical design, but without any delay mechanism.

fuse 24/31 Mod 99-08 : detail of the original identification paintings on a carefully cleaned item . fuse 24/31 Mod 99-08. Most of this type fuses that can be found on the battlefield lost their steel cap containing the arming system
fuse 24/31 Mod 99-08. Item found in Champagne and cleaned. Relay-charge screwed on its back fuse 24/31 Mod 99-08. Wartime scheme

fuse 24/31 Mod 1914. Another classic profile from the former battlefields. This time, the steel cap is replaced by a hollow place, in which a screw is lodged. fuse 24/31 Mod 1914. Most of those fuses found on the former battlefields have lost their inner screw

fuse 24/31 Mle 1914
Percussion fuse / detonator 'I' 24/31 model 1914

Evolution of the preceeding model, that fuse was equipped with a novative arming system, based on a security piece blocked with a tin pin, that could rotate and retire sliding on a helicoïdal slope also machined on the starter-bearer.

That mechanism insured a quicker functionning that the one of the model 1899 fuse, generally exploding when the the shell top penetrated the ground. The embarked explosive load was a 2 grammes fulminate detonator.

That fuse usually equipped the projectiles of the
  • 75, 80, 90 and 95mm field guns
  • 120mm guns
  • 155mm howitzers
However, those fuses were not to be used with trench mortars, since the departure shock energy was not sufficient to arm the mechanism.

fuse 24/31 Mod 1914. fuse 24/31 Mod 1914. Very nice piece, seemingly mounted on a trench mortar bomb, approx. caliber 75 mm
fuse 24/31 Mod 1914 mounted on a trench mortar bomb fuse 24/31 Mod 1914. Wartime scheme

Scnheider fuse. Another model of what collectors call 'chinese hats'' Scnheider fuse. Another view

Fusée Schneider
Fusée-détonateur percutante Schneider modèle 1916

Les fusées à armement par force centrifuge présentaient souvent deux inconvénients : le risque était grand que la vitesse de rotation soit suffisante pour que l'armement se produise alors que l'obus était encore dans le canon, et il se pouvait aussi au contraire qu'au cours du vol, le système se désarme par ralentissement de cette même vitesse.

Cette fusée Schneider possédait un dispositif de sécurité basé sur des ensembles ressorts-masselottes qui maintenait serrés les segments d'armement à force centrifuge pendant la phase d'accélération, c'est à dire dans le canon, et les bloquait en position écartée en phase de vitesse constante.

Ce mécanisme était très précis, et ne fonctionnait qu'à des vitesses de rotation > 12000 tours/minute. Il était donc primordiales de ne les employer qu'avec le canon de 75.La charge explosive embarquée était encore un détonateur de 2 grammes de fulminate.

Cette fusée équipait principalement les projectiles des
  • Canons de campagne de 75mm

Scnheider fuse. This view shows the hole where the security pin was inserted Scnheider fuse. Rear view, the explosive mechanism and relay-charges have disappeared.
Scnheider fuse on 75 mm shell Scnheider fuse. Wartime scheme

Instantaneous elongated fuse ('I.A.'), found in Champagne and cleaned. Safety ribbon still present.  'I.A.' fuse, still mounted on its 75 mm explosive shell (Champagne)

fuse I.A. mod. 1915
Instantaneous elongated fuse ('instantanée allongée')

The I.A. fuse was designed to induce maximum surface effects of the explosive shells, making them explode as soon as the top of this long fuse was hitting the objective.

Therefore, those ammunitions were practically making no shell hole, and their effects on infantrymen were devastating...

The fuse was armed by the means of the centrifugal force, ejecting during the flight two brass half-rings under the 'hat', those half-rings beeing blocked at rest by a tissue ribbon or a tin cover.

At the impact, the hat was actionning a rod, shearing a small safety pin, and made the percussion pin violently meet the starter, linked to the main charge by an explosive tube.
This fuse was generally equipping the shells of the
  • 75 mm field guns (explosive shells)

Its use generally needed very careful handling, and its shape was modifying the shell maximum range, that had to be corrected by means of appropriate tables.

'I.A.' : detail of the hat, blocked by its brass half-ring, blocked itself by a tissue ribbon  'I.A.' fuse : detail of the base, with the dismantled relay-charge
'I.A.' fuse. Wartime scheme

Instantaneous fuse for trench mortar, mounted on a pyramidal shell head, approx. diameter 140 mm Instantaneous fuse for trench mortar. Detail of the percussion mechanism tube, with traces of the pin

Instantaneous fuse for trench mortar
Instantaneous fuse for trench mortar (with or without delay !)

That model of instantaneous fuse was less sophisticated than the celeb 24/31 mod. P.R.1916. It however had the same function, a cylinder containing a stem preceding the projectile, so that the projectile exploded before the head of the shell hit the objective.

There was though both a non delayed AND a delayed model !

That fuse mainly equipped the bombs of the
  • 58mm n°1 bis trench mortars (projectiles with rear rod, 16 kg)
  • 240mm trench mortars (projectiles with rear rod, 87 kg)

Instantaneous fuse for trench mortar. Detonator view (with a dismounted piece aside) Instantaneous fuse for trench mortar. Model without the ogive, well-cleaned relay charge
Instantaneous fuse for trench mortar. Model without the ogive, view on the security pin Instantaneous fuse for trench mortar. Wartime scheme

fuse 22/31 Mod 1897. Three pieces found in Champagne. The first one has been set (with pinhole) for an explosion after 12.2 seconds of flight, and the first is set at 17.3 seconds. Note the deformation of the second fuse, caused by the arrival shock.

fuse 22/31 Mod 1897
Double effect fuse 22/31 mod. 1897

That fuse used the typically french principle of the spiral tube time fuse. Graduated from 0 to 24 seconds for a time fuse function, initiated by a percussion concutor situated in the centre of the hat, the time before explosion was set by punching the time scale with the specific apparatus ('débouchoir').

Entirely made of brass, that fuse also had a classic percussion mechanism for an impact explosion.

It mainly equipped the projectiles of the
  • 75 mm field gun (shrapnel shell mod 1897)
Since its role was to communicate the fire to the 'tulip' linked to the black powder room at the bottom of the shell, that fuse usually had no detonator.

Double effect fuse 22/31 mod. 1897. Nice piece, another typical shape commonly found on the former French frontline. Double effect fuse 22/31 mod. 1897. Detail of the top view : inscriptions 'ECP 10 05' - '22-31 Mle 97'
Double effect fuse 22/31 mod. 1897. Inner part of the top of the shell, showing the fuse channels used to set the fire to the charge. Double effect fuse 22/31 mod. 1897. Wartime scheme

Time fuse 30/55 Mod 1889. Bigger than its little sister, but more rare. These piece has been bought on a flee-market Time fuse 30/55 Mod 1889. Another vue, showing the punched hole made by the 'débouchoir' at the '23 seconds' graduation

fuse 30/55 Mod 1889.
Time or double effect fuse 30/55 mod. 1889

Using the same principle than the 22/31 time fuse, since it also had a spiral fuzing tube ignited by a central percussion concutor, that fuse was designed for longer flight times, being graduated from 0 to 49 seconds.

It mainly equipped the projectiles of the
  • 75, 120 et 150mm (shrapnel shells) field guns and howitzers
A specific model without impact percussion system was built, for the anti-aircraft use, so that the shell was not exploding back on friendly troops if it failed to explode in altitude.

Time fuse 30/55 Mod 1889. Rear side. It is difficult to see wether this item was a model without percussion system, or if this latter had been sawed. Time fuse 30/55 Mod 1889. Detail showing the screw closing the black powder room
Time fuse 30/55 Mod 1889. Found in Champagne, mounted on a 75 mm shrapnell shell head Time fuse 30/55 Mod 1889. Wartime scheme

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Belgian fuses

image 1

At the beginning of the war, the Belgian artillery was mainly equipped with German (Krupp) guns, built under license in Belgium. The fuses specific to that period and material are mostly found in militaria colections.

Afterwards, mainly french guns and howitzers, given by the France, allowed to that courageous small army to use a sufficiently strong fire power. The Belgian fuses from that period are therefore mainly ... French fuses !

Belgian fuse for quick firing 77 mm gun, bought in a flee market Belgian fuse for quick firing 77 mm gun, bought in a flee market

fuse for 77 mm shell
Belgian fuse for quick firing 77 mm gun

Brass fuse, graduated from 0 to 55 hundreds of meter with 50 meters steps.

Designed and built at the Belgian Pyrotecnics School before 1914.

That fuse equipped the 77 mm Krupp guns.
A model entirely made of aluminium was also existing.

Belgian fuse for quick firing 77 mm gun, Reaer view, the impact percussion had been removed

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British fuses

image 1

The British Artillery fuses are quite specific : mostly made of brass or bronze, they usually pretty well resisted to corrosion and are generally in a good condition.

Another characteristic is that the British artillery engineers tried to standardize those items, and there is quite a small number of different models, but a high amount of marks designed all along the war.

The names are serial numbers type : N°80, N°101, etc...

Revolving discs N°80 time fuse. Dismantled, with, from left to right : the shell head with the dismounting screw, the first static disc, the second mobile disc, the fuse body with the graduated disc, and the fuse base

N°80 fuse
Revolving discs N°80 time fuse.0

Double effect fuse, entirely made of brass, graduated from 0 to 22 seconds and with a roman cross sign for impact percussion function.

First dedicated to the shells of the :
  • 13 pdr and 18 pdr field guns,
it was afterwards adapted on most of the existing calibers. This is the classical British fuse of WW1.

There is a strange but real story, feeding the thesis demonstrating that the war was intentionally created by the international of the weapons industrials : the design of this piece have been made by Krupp (Germany). after the end of the war, Vickers, the British society that manufactured those fuses, payed to Krupp royalties for an amount of 40.000 £...

Revolving discs N°80 time fuse. General view (bought on a flee-market). Inscriptions below the base : '1916 - 40 - 836 - 80/VII - B' Revolving discs N°80 time fuse. This item has been more corroded, probably because of a longer time in the earth (Somme). Inscriptions below the base : '516 - 16 H (in square) - M.C. - N°80VI - WM66'
Revolving discs N°80 time fuse. Partially dismantled Revolving discs N°80 time fuse. Detail of the first static disc, with the groove (gunpowder circular line) for compacted gun powder.

Revolving discs N°88 HZ time fuse. Indications on the head : '1/18 - N°88 HZ - 1 - ED 24 - 222 - 70 ' Revolving discs N°88 HZ time fuse.

N°88 fuse
Revolving discs N°88 HZ time fuse.

Revolving discs time fuse quite impressive because of its size and its weight (made of brass).

Gradueted from 0 to 22 seconds, and with a roman cross sign for an impact percussion function.

A deep trapezoïdal groove is machined in the top of the fuse head for shell handling.

Revolving discs N°88 HZ time fuse. Revolving discs N°88 HZ time fuse.

Percussion fuse n°101 II. View on the manufacturer stamp  ('PP' in a rhomb) Percussion fuse n°101 II. Inscriptions 'C2 - PP - II-17 - 1 - F3 - GA65 - 8303 - 5 17 (arrow up) - 6  - E - N°101 II'

Fusée N°101
Percussion fuse n°101 II.

The British armies entered in war with the percussion fuse N°100, for explosive shells.

Because of big manufacturing difficulties, this model left its place to several succesive enhancements, named N°101, N° 102 et N°103, representing, with their different marks, more than 89 models !

The model shown on the picture, a N°101 mark II, equipped the explosive shells of the guns and howitzer of all calibers, from the 13 pdr guns to the 12 inches long range railway howitzers.

Percussion fuse n°101 II. Percussion fuse n°101 II. Detail of the handling groove

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German fuses

fuse Dopp Z 92 with shell head, found in Massiges

The German artillery fuses have three main characteristics :
  • the detonator (intermediate charge) is most of the time fixed to the fuse. The shells whose explosive did not need any detonator had to be equipped with specific fuses. Moreover, this characteristic is making those pieces more dangerous still nowadays, when the detonator is still present.

  • German military engineers preferred to design specialised fuses rather than a small number of models with options. Therefore, there is quite a large amount of different types and marks.

  • the lack of metals caused by the blocus of Germany quickly often implied the replacement of bronze or brass with aluminium, zinc or steel. Since those materials have a poor resistance to corrosion, those types of German fuses that you can find nowadays on the former battlefields are sometimes in a bad condition.

The names are complex, and often use shortenings of the fuse functionning principle ("Gr Z" = Granate Zünder, "K Z" = Kanone Zünder, "H Z" = Haubitze Zünder, "Dopp Z" = Doppler Zünder, etc...), as well as the design year, or revision year.

fuse GrZ 96/04. Still attached to a fragment of the shell head, evidently a large caliber one. The thickness of the steel wall of the shell (over 25 mm) makes us think to a 210 mm shell ! fuse GrZ 96/04. The top inscriptions seem to have some traces of red-brown painting

fuse Gr Z 96/04
45 mm percussion fuse-detonator, with and without delay, model 1896/04 for explosive shell

Brass fuse, with a steel mantle. This is a classical conception for a percussion fuse with optionnal delay, equipped with two different inertia percussion systems, with a pin for security handling.

A 100 grammes picric acid detonator was integrated at the bottom part of the fuse.

The optionnal delay was selected by a lever rotation, placed on the 'oV' position (Ohne Verzögerung - without delay) or on the 'mV' position (mit Verzögerung - with delay)

That fuse was dedicated to the explosive shells ('Gr' = Granate - Explosive shell) of heavy caliber. It mainly equipped the projectiles of the
  • 150 mm heavy field howitzers (sFH02, sFH13)
  • 150mm long tube guns
  • 150mm bind tube guns
  • 210mm howitzers
Those types of heavy shell needed quite a big detonator to explode (100 gr. picric acid)(

fuse GrZ 96/04. Indications on the head : J.10 - B8772. The letter 'J' could mean that this piece have been manufacturerd in Ingolstadt arsenal fuse GrZ 96/04. Nice top view, with lever for selection of the delay, and caps for the two percussions systems (with and without delay) and for the arming system with stem and powder grain.
fuse GrZ 96/04. Detail of the delay selection lever 'm.V./o.V.' : this fuse have been shot with the position 'o.V.' (without delay)'. See the red paint traces in the engravings fuse GrZ 96/04.  Wartime scheme

fuse Gr Z 04 Sp15. This piece is engraved with the inscription Gr Z Sp15 - 172 - O/V (and traces of red paint) fuse Gr Z 04 Sp15. Another view of the same piece

fuse Gr Z 04 Sp15, Sp17 or ODM
45 mm percussion fuse-detonator with optionnal delay model 1904 (different marks)

Brass or zinc alloy fuse, with steel cover.

The function with optionnal delay implied the presence of two different percussion systems, one having an integrated delay, and the other with no delay. Those systems were selected via a slight rotation of the upper rotating disc ('O/V').

Equipped with a 90 gr. acid picric detonator, it was used with the projectiles of
  • 100, 130, 150, 150 (long) mm guns
  • 150 mm heavy field howitzers sFH02, sFH13
  • 6in & 8in Russian, and 150mm Belgian captured howitzers
  • 210 mm mortars
  • 210 mm Belgian captured howitzers
The mobile pieces of the percussion systems were blocked at rest condition with a security pin. Several marks were introduced before the war and during the war.

fuse Gr Z 04 Sp15. This model shows the indications 'Gr Z 04 - Sp15 - z9694 - O/V'. Note the narrowed section at the threading level, caused by the pressure of the explosion. fuse Gr Z 04 Sp15. Piece in very bad condition, with the indications 'Gr Z 15 - O n/A * (star) - TTG 17
fuse Gr Z 04 Sp15. View from below showing the exits of both the percussion systems, the end of the stem of the arming system, and the one of the detonator fuse Gr Z 04 Sp15. Wartime scheme

fuse Gr Z 14 n/A. Mounted on an approximative 110 mm calibre shell head. Found in Verdun. fuse Gr Z 14 n/A. Almost unreadable inscriptions 'Gr Z 14 n/A * (star) - DT 17'

fuse Gr Z 14 n/A.
Percussion 45 mm fuse-detonator without delay, model 1914 modified

Brass fuse with a steel cover, and 45 mm diameter thread. Evolution of the Gr Z 04, the inertial percussion system was arm by a a concutor with security pin.

The modified version ('n/A' - neue Art) added another security pin on the main percussion system, t une goupille de sécurité sur le percuteur principal, remoced by the centrifugal force.

That fuse was equipped with a 63 gr. acid picric detonator.
It was mostly used with the shells of the
  • 90, 100, 120, 150 mm guns
  • 150 mm heavy field howitzers sFH02, sFH13
  • 150mm Belgian captured guns
  • 6in Russian captured howitzers

fuse Gr Z 14 n/A.  View from below, with parts of the fuse in the earth fuse Gr Z 14 n/A. Wartime scheme

fuse KZ 14. Model made of aluminium and steel. With the following inscriptions on the steel hat : 'KZ14 o R Stock & Co 15'. Aditional figures on the aluminium cone : '36'. fuse KZ 14. Model made of brass and steel. Inscription '271' on the brass cone

fuse KZ 14.
Percussion 55 mm fuse-detonator, without delay, model 1914

You will easily find that fuse in big quantities on the former battlefields. Unhopefully, most of these objects are very corroded now, because they were made in aluminium. Only some have a zinc alloy or brass body, and resisted far better.

Basic fuse of the explosive or gaz shell of the 77mm FK 96 n/A field gun, equipped with a 20 grammes acid picric detonator, it had a simple and economic design. Classic functionning of a German percussion system with black powder grain and stem arming.

It was usually used with the explosive and gaz shells of the
  • 77 mm FK 96 n/A et FK 16 field guns

fuse KZ 14. Model in zinc alloy and steel. No visible inscriptions fuse KZ 14. Particularly slightly corroded piece in zinc alloy and steel. Inscription '513' on the zinc alloy body
fuse KZ 14. Several types of KZ14 fuses, made of different material, usually found on all the western front former battlefields fuse KZ 14. Wartime scheme

fuse HZ 14. Nice piece entirely made of brass.  Inscriptions 'HZ 14 o Sp15 - 766' fuse HZ 14. This one suffered at the impact (just imagne the energy !). Inscriptions 'HZ 14 o Sp15 - 820'

fuse HZ 14.
Percussion 57.5 mm fuse-detonator, without delay, for light howitzer

That fuse is often impressive because of its weight when found on the battlefields, because entirely made of brass.

The models that followed the first one (HZ 14, introduced in 1914) used a centrifugal force arming system (HZ14 Fb or HZ 14 Vorst. Fliehb.), as well as a safety pin (HZ 14 Vorst. Fliehb.).

Equipped with a 55 gr. acid picric detonator, it was used with the explosive or gaz shells of the
  • 90 mm K73/88 guns
  • 100 mm K97, K04, K14 guns
  • 120 mm sK 12cm heavy guns
  • 150 mm lFH 98/09 light howitzers
  • 150 mm lFH 16 light howitzers
  • lFH Kp Krupp light howitzers
  • etc...
This is a classical German percussion fuse with arming by the combustion of a compacted powder grain ignited by a concutor, blocking a stem in contact with the inertia block.

fuse HZ 14. fuse HZ 14. View from below with the window for commucation of the flame to the detonator (missing)
fuse HZ 14. All these pieces have been found in Champagne fuse HZ 14. Wartime scheme

Fuse LKZ16. Conical steel hat, cracked by the landing shock Fuse LKZ16. Dismantled item showing the room for the fuse brass mechanism

Fusée L.K.Z.16
Percussion 55mm fuse-detonator, long, model 1916 for field gun

This type of fuse is quite commonly found on the former battlefields. Its characteristic is in being of a very simple look, since te visible part of the shell is a steel cone. In fact, this part is a hat (that can be made of steel or of another grey alloy), that covers the brass percussion mechanism.

The fuse mechanism is composed by a double security system based on the centrifugal force :
  • two security pieces, blocked by springs but allowed to move thanks to the shell spin are stopping the starter-bearer movements at rest condition,
  • a lock that can slide horizontally under the effects of the same force is separating the percussion mechanism from the relay-charge.
, The delayed models have a little picric acid relay charge in this sliding lock ('L.K.Z.16 m.V.'). This relay charge is not present in the non-delayed models ('L.K.Z.16 o.V.').

Equipped with a 23 gr. picric acid charge, it was in use with the explosive projectiles of the
  • 77 mm FK 96 n/A et FK 16 field guns
  • 3 inches infantry guns (mountain russian guns model 1909)

Fuse LKZ16. Remnants of the fuse brass mechanism Fuse LKZ16. Wartime scheme

fuse Dopp Z 92. Indications 'Dopp Z 92 Sp16 - 13', found near the Mort-Homme at Verdun fuse Dopp Z 92. mounted on a shell head. Rotating disc indexed on a 16 seconds time setting

fuse Dopp Z 92.
Double effect 45 mm fuse, without delay, Model 1892

Double effect fuse, this model had a classic percussion system in the tail and a rotating discs time system in the upper cone.

The lower disc, mobile, was engraved with graduations from 1 to 29 seconds, and a roman cross for the pure impact percussion function.

Entirely made of brass, it had a security pin blocking the concutor of the time system. The arming system of the percussion device was quite special, based on the movements of a tube sheltering the starter-bearer, blocked by a powder grain ignited by the concutor at the shooting time, and therefore without any stem, unlike most of the German fuses.

That fuse mostly equipped the projectiles of the :
  • 90, 120, 130 and 150 mm (shrapnel) guns
  • 150, 160 and 210 mm (shrapnel and explosive) howitzers

fuse Dopp Z 92. These pieces, respectively mounted on a shell head of approximate caliber 105 mm and 135 mm, have been found  in Verdun, near the Mort Homme. fuse Dopp Z 92. Set for an ignition after 18.5 seconds
fuse Dopp Z 92. View from below, with the 6 circular holes for the time system, and central hole (on the tail) for the percussion function fuse Dopp Z 92. Wartime scheme

Fusée Dopp Z 92 nF in brass. Indications 'Dopp Z 92 nF - SSWN17 - h - sw265' Fusée Dopp Z 92 nF aluminium and brass. De manière évidente, les parties en laiton passent mieux l'épreuve du temps que celles en aluminium

Fusée Dopp Z 92 nF
Double effect 45 mm fuse, without delay model 1892, new shape

The inner mechanism of this Dopp Z92 nF fuse is strictly identical to the famous Dopp Z92 fuse (hera above), as this appears evidently on the scheme. The only differnec between the two fuses is the shape, more round, and the material (either all brass or aluminium plus brass).

The lower disc (that disappered on the showed item) was graduated from 2 to 41 seconds, and with a special mark for the pure percussion functionning.

This fuse was mostly equipping the projectiles of the :
  • 90, 100 et 150 mm guns (shrapnel shells)
  • 150 mm sFH 13 and sFH 02 howitzers (incendiary and explosive shells)

Fusée Dopp Z 92 nF en laiton démontée. Zoom sur les gorges des plateaux tournants'
Fusée Dopp Z 92 nF.Zoom sur la coiffe en laiton, marque 'c' Fusée Dopp Z 92 nF. Schéma d'époque

fuse Dopp Z 96 n/A. Only visible inscriptions : Dopp Z 96 n/A. Found in Champagne fuse Dopp Z 96 n/A. Highly corroded and with missing parts, graduated up to 6500 metres

fuse Dopp Z 96 n/A
Double effect 45 mm fuse, without delay, model 1896, modified ('n/A' = neue Art')

That revolving discs time fuse was also equipped with a percussion system, giving a sense to the name 'double effect' : 'Dopp' = Doppler (double). It was very common, since it was only used with the shells of the
  • 77mm FK96 n/A and FK 16 field gun.
It is therefore often found on the former battlefields, or in the museums.

Used without modification on the shrapnel shells, or added with a detonator in the case of the explosive shells, its static disc was graduated from 0 to 65, for an ignition after a flight from 0 to 6500 meters (other types existed, with graduations up to 5350, 7150 or 7000 metres), and the mobile disc was engraved with the index.

The concutor (for the ignition of the time system) was located in the axis of the head, and the classical percussion system (for an occasionnal function at the impact time) in the tail. The most ancient models were equipped, at rest, with a safty pin.

fuse Dopp Z 96 n/A. Rear view, showing the groove (gunpowder circular line) of the rotating disc (the static disc is missing) fuse Dopp Z 96 n/A. Bad condition item, and the poor remainings of another piece in terrible condition !
fuse Dopp Z 96 n/A. Upper view fuse Dopp Z 96 n/A. Wartime scheme

fuse HZ05 Schr. Nice piece, made of different materials, found in Verdun fuse HZ05 Schr. No visible inscriptions  (graduations excepted). This fuse has been shot on the setting 'roman cross' = impact percussion.

fuse HZ05 Schr.
Double effect 57 mm fuse, model 1905

The HZ05 existed through different marks, most of them being fuse-detonators. The item showned here does not have an attached detonator, and was therefore only dedicated to the shrapnel shells.

Composite (steel or zinc alloy cap, aluminium discs, steel and zinc alloy body), it was engraved with graduations from 3 to 70 hundred of meters and a roman cross for impact percussion function on its lower mobile rotating disc. The time system was ignited by a classical concutor, fixed at rest condition by a safety pin.

The classical percussion system, located in the tail, was armed by a slightly new 'gunpowder grain + blocking stem' German system.

That fuse was usually used on the shrapnel projectiles of the
  • 105 mm light field howitzers lFH 98/09
  • 105 mm light field howitzers lFH 16
  • 105 mm light field howitzers lFH Kupp ('Kp')

fuse HZ05 Schr. View from below, showing the window communicating the flame to the central canal in the direction of the back gunpowder room of the shrapnel shell fuse HZ05 Schr. A destroyed one, note the circular lines of the static disc on which the rotating disc was revolving, and in the center the percussion pin of the concutor.
fuse HZ05 Schr. Wartime scheme, showing the safety pin of the concutor fuse HZ05 Schr. Wartime scheme

Fusée KZ 11. Item in bad condition found in Verdun Fusée KZ 11. Another view of the same item

fuse KZ 11
Double effect 55 mm fuse-detonator, without delay, model 1911

In its successive marks, this fuse has been designed to equip the famous German 'universal shells', that was studied in the 'projectiles' webpage of this site.

This particuliar shell (with lead balls and back gunpowder room for the shrapnel function, thickened steel walls and TNT bedding of the balls for the explosive function) implied the use of specific fuses.

In addition to the classical percussion system and revolving disc time system (the upper rotating disc was engraved with graduations fron 2 to 50 hundred meters) and powder grain concutor, classical for a German 'double effect' fuse, the HZ 11 model was equipped with a lever the direction of the lower disc flame, either to the 23 gramms picric acid detonator (explosive function, position 'G' - 'Granate'), either to 8 lateral windows communicating with the back gunpowder room (shrapnel function, position 'S' - 'Shrapnel').

That fuse was mainly used with the projectiles of the
  • 77 mm FK 96 n/A and FK 16 (universal shells)
That additionnal sophistication had a cost : this was one of the most complex fuses of the period, with more than 105 different brass parts !

fuse KZ 11. Nothing left but the steel cap, on which traces of the inscription 'KZ 11' are hardly readable fuse KZ 11. Another fragment, in a similar bad condition, with traces of inscriptions 'KZ 11'
fuse KZ 11. Wartime scheme

fuse IWMZdr. Found in Champagne - mounted on a 77 mm MinenWerfer Shell fuse IWMZdr. View from above, with handling groove

fuse lWMZdr
Double effect 49 mm fuse-detonator, without delay, for light minenwerfer (trench mortar) bomb

The name of that fuse, 'I.W.M. Zdr.' - 'Leichte Wurf-Minen Zünder', specified its exclusive use with the bombs of the 77 mm light minenwerfers :
  • 77 mm light trench mortars 'lWM', explosive or light gaz shells
  • 77 mm light trench mortars mod 1916 lWM n/A, light gaz shells
Entirely built in brass, it was made of a classical revolving discs time system (with the lower mobile disc graduated from 7 to 24 seconds, and a central concutor blocked by a safety pin), and a classical gunpowder grain + stem arming system.

fuse IWMZdr. Note the different windows, and the roman cross for an impact percussion function. fuse IWMZdr. That piece is engraved with the inscriptions 'IWMZdr - (rhombus)1915(rhombus)' seeming to indicate a 'MaschinenFabriek' (private society) manufacturing
fuse IWMZdr. View from below showing the window communicating the flame to the detonator (missing) fuse IWMZdr. Wartime scheme

Fusée ZsumWM. Trouvé en Champagne Fusée ZsumWM. Marques de fabrique 'Rh.M.M.1915'

Fusée ZsumWM
Double effect 58 mm fuse, without delay, for middel and heavy trench mortars bombs

This fuse name, 'Z.s.u.m.W.M.' - 'Zünder für schwerer und mitteler Wurf-Minen', specifies its exclusive use with the bombs of the middle and heavy minenwerfers :
  • 170 mm middle trench mortars mWM 13 or o/A, explosive, incendiary or gaz shells
  • 170 mm middle trench mortars mWM 16 or n/A, explosive, incendiary or gaz shells
  • Smooth 180 mm bomb-laucher (Projector), gaz or blue-crossed shells
  • 250 mm heavy trench mortars sWM, explosive long shells, explosive or gaz half-bombs
  • 250 mm heavy trench mortars sWM 16 or n/A, long explosive bombs.
made of brass, like the small IWMZ item of the 77 mm minenwerfer, this fuse is also composed of a classical time-delayed disc mechanism, where the mobile inferior disc is graduated from 7 to 21 seconds, with central concutor blocked by a safety pin. Some models have a centrifugal force security.

A symetrical percussion system with two opposite starters and percussion pins (to the front and to the rear) made sure the explosion occured whenever the shell felt on his back or on the nose (but theoritically not on the side !).

That fuse could be covered with an aluminium or thin steel cap for hiding the flames during night time use.

Fusée ZsumWM. Voir les différents évents, et sur les graduations la croix romaine pour un fonctionnement percutant. Fusée ZsumWM. Réglée pour une explosio à 14.8 secondes.
Fusée ZsumWM. Zoom sur la croix de fonctionnement percutant Fusée ZsumWM. Schéma d'époque

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