A report on Fragmentation (weaponry)

Grooved body of a Second World War-era U.S. Mk 2 grenade. The grooves covering the exterior of the grenade are used to aid in the gripping of the grenade when throwing.
Diagram of S-mine in the delivery of steel ball fragments
An illustration of a fragmentation bomb from the 14th century Ming Dynasty text Huolongjing. The black dots represent iron pellets.
Early artillery shell, with the fragments it would generate. 1900
Artillery shell fragment from the Gulf War
Grenade fragments in the soft tissue of the lower leg (along with an old fracture of the fibula)

Process by which the casing, shot, or other components of an anti-personnel weapon, bomb, barrel bomb, land mine, IED, artillery, mortar, tank gun, or autocannon shell, rocket, missile, grenade, etc. are dispersed and/or shattered by the detonation of the explosive filler.

- Fragmentation (weaponry)
Grooved body of a Second World War-era U.S. Mk 2 grenade. The grooves covering the exterior of the grenade are used to aid in the gripping of the grenade when throwing.

13 related topics with Alpha

Overall

A "wind-and-dust" bomb depicted in the Ming Dynasty book Huolongjing. The pot contains a tube of gunpowder, and was thrown at invaders.

Bomb

3 links

Explosive weapon that uses the exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy.

Explosive weapon that uses the exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy.

A "wind-and-dust" bomb depicted in the Ming Dynasty book Huolongjing. The pot contains a tube of gunpowder, and was thrown at invaders.
An illustration depicting bombs thrown at Manchu assault ladders during the siege of Ningyuan, from the book Thai Tsu Shih Lu Thu (Veritable Records of the Great Ancestor) written in 1635. The bombs are known as "thunder-crash bombs."
Thunder crash bombs from the Mongol invasions of Japan (13th century) that were excavated from a shipwreck near Takashim, Japan.
An illustration of a fragmentation bomb from the 14th century Ming Dynasty text Huolongjing. The black dots represent iron pellets.
Diagram of a simple time bomb in the form of a pipe bomb
An American B61 nuclear bomb on its loading carriage
Unexploded unguided aerial bomb with contact fuse used by the Portuguese Air Force, Guinea-Bissau War of Independence, March 1974.
A B-2 Spirit drops forty-seven 500 lb class Mark 82 bombs (little more than half a B-2's maximum total ordnance payload) in a 1994 live fire exercise in California
An F-15E Strike Eagle releasing 1 5000 lb GBU-28 "Bunker Buster" during a test
Soviet's bombing destruction during the Continuation War in Helsinki, Finland, the night of February 6-7, 1944.

Fragmentation is produced by the acceleration of shattered pieces of bomb casing and adjacent physical objects.

Demonstration of a German stielhandgranate (shaft hand grenade), a high explosive grenade with time fuze, the Netherlands, 1946.

Grenade

3 links

Explosive weapon typically thrown by hand , but can also refer to a shell (explosive projectile) shot from the muzzle of a rifle (as a rifle grenade) or a grenade launcher.

Explosive weapon typically thrown by hand , but can also refer to a shell (explosive projectile) shot from the muzzle of a rifle (as a rifle grenade) or a grenade launcher.

Demonstration of a German stielhandgranate (shaft hand grenade), a high explosive grenade with time fuze, the Netherlands, 1946.
M67 fragmentation grenade, a modern (1968-present) hand grenade in the US
Hand grenades filled with Greek fire; surrounded by caltrops. (10th–12th centuries National Historical Museum, Athens, Greece)
Mongolian grenade attack on Japanese during Yuan dynasty.
Seven ceramic hand grenades of the 17th Century found in Ingolstadt Germany
An illustration of a fragmentation bomb known as the 'divine bone dissolving fire oil bomb' (lan gu huo you shen pao) from the Huolongjing. The black dots represent iron pellets.
Earliest known representation of a gun (a fire lance) and a grenade (upper right), Dunhuang, 10th century AD.
A cross-section of a Ketchum Grenade, used during the American Civil War.
One of the earliest modern hand grenades. Fielded in the British Army from 1908, it was unsuccessful in the trenches of World War I, and was replaced by the Mills bomb.
The Mills bomb – the first modern fragmentation grenade – was used in the trenches from 1915
Cross section of the Model 24 Stielhandgranate
World War II-era U.S. Mk 2 grenade
German DM51 hand grenade with blast core (top) and fragmentation sleeve (bottom)
Diagram of the Mk3A2 concussion grenade
Soviet RPG-43 HEAT grenade
M84 stun grenade (1995–present)
Incendiary grenade
Inert training grenade made from hard rubber
Hand grenade fuze system
M61 grenade (1959-1968), with safety clip around the lever and the bent tip of the safety pin at top
Typical safety pin. A cotter pin with a ring attached
An infantryman throwing a hand grenade during training, 1942
Grenade immediately after being thrown at a practice range. The safety lever has separated in mid-air from the body of the grenade.
Hand grenade converted to booby trap with pull trip wire trigger
Grenade on a kepi of the French Army

Their outer casings, generally made of a hard synthetic material or steel, are designed to rupture and fragment on detonation, sending out numerous fragments (shards and splinters) as fast-flying projectiles.

Ammunition rigged for an IED discovered by Iraqi police in Baghdad in November 2005

Improvised explosive device

3 links

Bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action.

Bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action.

Ammunition rigged for an IED discovered by Iraqi police in Baghdad in November 2005
This Cougar in Al Anbar, Iraq, was hit by a directed charge IED, approximately 90 –.
X-ray of a suitcase showing a pipe bomb and a laptop.
Improvised explosive device in Iraq. The concave copper shape on top defines an explosively formed penetrator/projectile
Artillery shells and gasoline cans discovered in the back of a pick-up truck in Iraq
A U.S. Marine in Iraq shown with a robot used for disposal of buried devices
Israeli IDF Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer, which is used by the IDF Combat Engineering Corps for clearing heavy belly charges and booby-trapped buildings.
U.S. Marines with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) destroy an improvised explosive device cache in southern Afghanistan in June 2010.
A Stryker lies on its side following a buried IED blast in Iraq. (2007)
Oil-drum roadside IED removed from culvert in 1984
Wheelbarrow counter-IED robot on streets of Northern Ireland in 1978
Captured IEDs from a cache left behind by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Syria, 26 January 2019

Car bombs can carry thousands of pounds of explosives and may be augmented with shrapnel to increase fragmentation.

The Great Western Powder Company of Toledo, Ohio, a producer of explosives, seen in 1905

Explosive

2 links

Reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion if released suddenly, usually accompanied by the production of light, heat, sound, and pressure.

Reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion if released suddenly, usually accompanied by the production of light, heat, sound, and pressure.

The Great Western Powder Company of Toledo, Ohio, a producer of explosives, seen in 1905
The international pictogram for explosive substances
GHS Explosives transport pictogram

Cylinder fragmentation. A standard steel cylinder is loaded with explosive and detonated in a sawdust pit. The fragments are collected and the size distribution analyzed.

Re-enactors volley firing with black powder

Gunpowder

3 links

Earliest known chemical explosive.

Earliest known chemical explosive.

Re-enactors volley firing with black powder
Gunpowder for muzzleloading firearms in granulation size
Flash pan starter dispenser
Earliest known written formula for gunpowder, from the Wujing Zongyao of 1044 AD.
Stoneware bombs, known in Japanese as Tetsuhau (iron bomb), or in Chinese as Zhentianlei (thunder crash bomb), excavated from the Takashima shipwreck, October 2011, dated to the Mongol invasions of Japan (1274–1281 AD).
A 'flying-cloud thunderclap-eruptor' firing thunderclap bombs from the Huolongjing
Earliest depiction of a European cannon, "De Nobilitatibus Sapientii Et Prudentiis Regum", Walter de Milemete, 1326.
De la pirotechnia, 1540
In the year 1780 the British began to annex the territories of the Sultanate of Mysore, during the Second Anglo-Mysore War. The British battalion was defeated during the Battle of Guntur, by the forces of Hyder Ali, who effectively utilized Mysorean rockets and rocket artillery against the closely massed British forces.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, hunting deer using a matchlock
A double barrelled cetbang on a carriage, with swivel yoke, ca. 1522. The mouth of the cannon is in the shape of Javanese Nāga.
Gunner of Nguyễn dynasty, Vietnam
Burst barrel of a muzzle loader pistol replica, which was loaded with nitrocellulose powder instead of black powder and could not withstand the higher pressures of the modern propellant
Hexagonal gunpowder for large artillery
Edge-runner mill in a restored mill, at The Hagley Museum
The old Powder or Pouther magazine dating from 1642, built by order of Charles I. Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland
Gunpowder storing barrels at the Martello tower in Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
1840 drawing of a gunpowder magazine near Tehran, Persia. Gunpowder was extensively used in the Naderian Wars.

Since it contains its own oxidizer and additionally burns faster under pressure, its combustion is capable of bursting containers such as a shell, grenade, or improvised "pipe bomb" or "pressure cooker" casings to form shrapnel.

Examples of anti-personnel mines. Center: Valmara 69 (a bounding mine); right: VS-50

Land mine

2 links

Explosive device concealed under or on the ground and designed to destroy or disable enemy targets, ranging from combatants to vehicles and tanks, as they pass over or near it.

Explosive device concealed under or on the ground and designed to destroy or disable enemy targets, ranging from combatants to vehicles and tanks, as they pass over or near it.

Examples of anti-personnel mines. Center: Valmara 69 (a bounding mine); right: VS-50
Swedish FFV 028 anti-tank-mines of the German Bundeswehr (inert versions)
Roman caltrop
Illustration of the "self-tripped trespass land mine" from the Huolongjing
'Underground sky soaring thunder', land mines connected to weapons above ground, from the Wubei Zhi
Cutaway diagram of the S-mine
The Schu-mine 42, the most common mine used in the Second World War
Claymore mine with firing device and electric blasting cap assembly
An L9 Bar Mine
Section of an anti-tank mine. Note the yellow main charge wrapped around a red booster charge, and the secondary fuze well on the side of the mine designed for an anti-handling device
Diagram of components
Examples of anti-handling devices
Anti personnel mine in Cambodia
A U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician removing the fuze from a Russian-made mine to clear a minefield outside of Fallujah, Iraq
Argentine minefield at Port William, Falkland Islands created in 1982; clearance inhibited by boggy terrain
Minefield warning on the Golan Heights, still valid more than 40 years after creation of the field by the Syrian army
School posters in Karabakh educating children on mines and UXO
British Royal Engineers practice mine clearance
Party states to the Ottawa Treaty (in blue)
Bomb disposal Advanced Bomb Suit

Their defensive line, the Mannerheim Line, integrated these natural defenses with mines, including simple fragmentation mines mounted on stakes.

Soldiers of the Royal Artillery firing 105mm light howitzers during an exercise

Artillery

3 links

Class of heavy military ranged weapons that launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms.

Class of heavy military ranged weapons that launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms.

Soldiers of the Royal Artillery firing 105mm light howitzers during an exercise
French soldiers in the Franco-Prussian War 1870–71
British 64 Pounder Rifled Muzzle-Loaded (RML) Gun on a Moncrieff disappearing mount, at Scaur Hill Fort, Bermuda. This is a part of a fixed battery, meant to protect against over-land attack and to serve as coastal artillery.
7-person gun crew firing a US M777 Light Towed Howitzer, War in Afghanistan, 2009
A bronze "thousand ball thunder cannon" from the Huolongjing.
A depiction of an early vase-shaped cannon (shown here as the "Long-range Awe-inspiring Cannon"(威遠砲)) complete with a crude sight and an ignition port dated from around 1350 AD. The illustration is from the 14th century Ming Dynasty book Huolongjing.
French gunner in the 15th century, a 1904 illustration
First Battle of Panipat
Bullocks dragging siege-guns up hill during Akbar's Siege of Ranthambore
The Austrian Pumhart von Steyr, the earliest extant large-calibre gun
Three of the large Korean artillery, Chongtong in the Jinju National Museum. These cannons were made in the mid 16th century. The closest is a "Cheonja chongtong"(천자총통, 天字銃筒), the second is a "Jija chongtong"(지자총통, 地字銃筒), and the third is a "Hyeonja chongtong"(현자총통, 玄字銃筒).
Artillery with gabion fortification
The Tsar Cannon (caliber 890 mm), cast in 1586 in Moscow. It is the largest bombard in the world.
A 19th-century cannon, set in the wall of Acre to commemorate the city's resistance to the 1799 siege by Napoleon's troops.
Prussian artillery at the Battle of Langensalza (1866)
Armstrong gun deployed by Japan during the Boshin war (1868–69)
8-inch Armstrong gun during American Civil War, Fort Fisher, 1865
The French Canon de 75 modèle 1897, the first modern artillery piece
German 15cm field howitzers during World War I
M982 Excalibur guided artillery shell
M1156 Precision Guidance Kit can be added to unguided projectiles
Artillery can be used to fire nuclear warheads, as seen in this 1953 nuclear test.
152 mm howitzer D-20 during the Iran–Iraq War
Battleship ammunition: 16" artillery shells aboard a United States
Cyclone of the 320th French Artillery, in Hoogstade, Belgium, September 5, 1917
The Finnish Defence Forces using 130 mm Gun M-46 during a direct fire mission in a live fire exercise in 2010.
German Army PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery
Horse-drawn artillery
Man-pulled artillery
Australian gunners, wearing gas masks, operate a 9.2 in howitzer during World War I
Firing of an 18-pound gun, Louis-Philippe Crepin (1772–1851)
A British 60-pounder (5 in) gun at full recoil, in action during the Battle of Gallipoli, 1915. Photo by Ernest Brooks.
Two French Army Giat GCT 155mm (155 mm AUF1) Self-propelled Guns, 40th Regiment d' Artillerie, with IFOR markings are parked at Hekon base, near Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in support of Operation Joint Endeavor
A 155 mm artillery shell fired by a United States 11th Marine Regiment M-198 howitzer
USMC M-198 firing outside of Fallujah, Iraq in 2004
Modern artillery ammunition. Caliber 155 mm as used by the PzH 2000
Illustration of different trajectories used in MRSI: For any muzzle velocity there is a steeper (> 45°, solid line) and a lower (<45°, dashed line) trajectory. On these different trajectories, the shells have different flight times.
An artillery piece in the monument commemorating the 1864 Battle of Tupelo (American Civil War)

This is a very effective tactic against infantry and light vehicles, because it scatters the fragmentation of the shell over a larger area and prevents it from being blocked by terrain or entrenchments that do not include some form of robust overhead cover.

Clockwise from the top: The road to Bapaume in the aftermath of the Battle of the Somme, 1916

British Mark V tanks crossing the Hindenburg Line, 1918

 sinking after hitting a mine in the Dardanelles, 1915

A British Vickers machine gun crew wearing gas masks during the Battle of the Somme, 1916

German Albatros D.III biplane fighters near Douai, France, 1917

World War I

3 links

World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918.

World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918.

Clockwise from the top: The road to Bapaume in the aftermath of the Battle of the Somme, 1916

British Mark V tanks crossing the Hindenburg Line, 1918

 sinking after hitting a mine in the Dardanelles, 1915

A British Vickers machine gun crew wearing gas masks during the Battle of the Somme, 1916

German Albatros D.III biplane fighters near Douai, France, 1917
Rival military coalitions in 1914: Triple Entente in green; Triple Alliance in brown. Only the Triple Alliance was a formal "alliance"; the others listed were informal patterns of support.
, a, Germany's first response to the British Dreadnought
Sarajevo citizens reading a poster with the proclamation of the Austrian annexation in 1908
Traditionally thought to show the arrest of Gavrilo Princip (right), historians now believe this photo depicts an innocent bystander, Ferdinand Behr
Crowds on the streets in the aftermath of the anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo, 29 June 1914
Ethno-linguistic map of Austria-Hungary, 1910. Bosnia-Herzegovina was annexed in 1908.
Cheering crowds in London and Paris on the day war was declared.
Serbian Army Blériot XI "Oluj", 1915
German soldiers on the way to the front in 1914; at this stage, all sides expected the conflict to be a short one.
French bayonet charge during the Battle of the Frontiers; by the end of August, French casualties exceeded 260,000, including 75,000 dead.
World empires and colonies around 1914
The British Indian infantry divisions were withdrawn from France in December 1915, and sent to Mesopotamia.
Trenches of the 11th Cheshire Regiment at Ovillers-la-Boisselle, on the Somme, July 1916
Royal Irish Rifles in a communications trench, first day on the Somme, 1916
Dead German soldiers at Somme 1916
King George V (front left) and a group of officials inspect a British munitions factory in 1917.
Battleships of the Hochseeflotte, 1917
U-155 exhibited near Tower Bridge in London, after the 1918 Armistice
Refugee transport from Serbia in Leibnitz, Styria, 1914
Bulgarian soldiers in a trench, preparing to fire against an incoming aeroplane
Austro-Hungarian troops executing captured Serbians, 1917. Serbia lost about 850,000 people during the war, a quarter of its pre-war population.
Australian troops charging near a Turkish trench during the Gallipoli Campaign
Mehmed V greeting Wilhelm II on his arrival at Constantinople
Kaiser Wilhelm II inspecting Turkish troops of the 15th Corps in East Galicia, Austria-Hungary (now Poland). Prince Leopold of Bavaria, the Supreme Commander of the German Army on the Eastern Front, is second from the left.
Russian forest trench at the Battle of Sarikamish, 1914–1915
Isonzo Offensives 1915-1917
Austro-Hungarian trench at 3,850 metres in the Ortler Alps, one of the most challenging fronts of the war
Romanian troops during the Battle of Mărășești, 1917
Emperor Nicholas II and Commander-in-Chief Nikolai Nikolaevich in the captured Przemysl. The Russian Siege of Przemyśl was the longest siege of the war.
"They shall not pass", a phrase typically associated with the defence of Verdun
President Wilson asking Congress to declare war on Germany, 2 April 1917
The Allied Avenue, 1917 painting by Childe Hassam, that depicts Manhattan's Fifth Avenue decorated with flags from Allied nations
French infantry advance on the Chemin des Dames, April 1917
Canadian Corps troops at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, 1917
10.5 cm Feldhaubitze 98/09 and Ottoman artillerymen at Hareira in 1917 before the Southern Palestine offensive
British artillery battery on Mount Scopus in the Battle of Jerusalem, 1917. Foreground, a battery of 16 heavy guns. Background, conical tents and support vehicles.
Ottoman troops during the Mesopotamian campaign
French soldiers under General Gouraud, with machine guns amongst the ruins of a cathedral near the Marne, 1918
British 55th (West Lancashire) Division soldiers blinded by tear gas during the Battle of Estaires, 10 April 1918
Between April and November 1918, the Allies increased their front-line rifle strength while German strength fell by half.
Aerial view of ruins of Vaux-devant-Damloup, France, 1918
16th Bn (Canadian Scottish), advancing during the Battle of the Canal du Nord, 1918
An American major, piloting an observation balloon near the front, 1918
German Revolution, Kiel, 1918
Italian troops reach Trento during the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, 1918. Italy's victory marked the end of the war on the Italian Front and secured the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Ferdinand Foch, second from right, pictured outside the carriage in Compiègne after agreeing to the armistice that ended the war there. The carriage was later chosen by Nazi Germany as the symbolic setting of Pétain's June 1940 armistice.
The signing of the Treaty of Versailles in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, 28 June 1919, by Sir William Orpen
Greek prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos signing the Treaty of Sèvres
Dissolution of Austria-Hungary after war
Map of territorial changes in Europe after World WarI (as of 1923)
Czechoslovak Legion, Vladivostok, 1918
Transporting Ottoman wounded at Sirkeci
Emergency military hospital during the Spanish flu pandemic, which killed about 675,000 people in the United States alone, Camp Funston, Kansas, 1918
Tanks on parade in London at the end of World War I
A Russian armoured car, 1919
38-cm "Lange Max" of Koekelare (Leugenboom),the biggest gun in the world in 1917
A Canadian soldier with mustard gas burns, c. 1917–1918
British Vickers machine gun, 1917
The
Royal Air Force Sopwith Camel. In April 1917, the average life expectancy of a British pilot on the Western Front was 93 flying hours.
Luftstreitkräfte Fokker Dr.I being inspected by Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the Red Baron.
Mobile radio station in German South West Africa, using a hydrogen balloon to lift the antenna
Austro-Hungarian soldiers executing men and women in Serbia, 1916
HMS Baralong
French soldiers making a gas and flame attack on German trenches in Flanders
Armenians killed during the Armenian Genocide. Image taken from Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, written by Henry Morgenthau Sr. and published in 1918.
German prisoners in a French prison camp during the later part of the war
British prisoners guarded by Ottoman forces after the First Battle of Gaza in 1917
Poster urging women to join the British war effort, published by the Young Women's Christian Association
Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps First Contingent in Bermuda, winter 1914–1915, before joining 1 Lincolnshire Regiment in France in June 1915. The dozen remaining after Guedecourt on 25 September 1916, merged with a Second Contingent. The two contingents suffered 75% casualties.
Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street) after the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin
The Deserter, 1916: Anti-war cartoon depicting Jesus facing a firing squad with soldiers from five European countries
Possible execution at Verdun at the time of the mutinies in 1917. The original French text accompanying this photograph notes, however, that the uniforms are those of 1914–15 and that the execution may be that of a spy at the beginning of the war.
Bolshevik leaders Lenin and Trotsky promised "Peace, Land and Bread" to the impoverished masses
Young men registering for conscription, New York City, 5 June 1917
Military recruitment in Melbourne, Australia, 1914
British volunteer recruits in London, August 1914
1917 political cartoon about the Zimmermann Telegram. The message was intercepted by the British; its publication caused outrage and contributed to the U.S. entry into World War I.
The Italian Redipuglia War Memorial, which contains the remains of 100,187 soldiers
A typical village war memorial to soldiers killed in World War I
A 1919 book for veterans, from the US War Department
Poster showing women workers, 1915
War memorial to soldiers of the 49th Bengalee Regiment (Bangali Platoon) in Kolkata, India, who died in the war.

The large number of head wounds caused by exploding shells and fragmentation forced the combatant nations to develop the modern steel helmet, led by the French, who introduced the Adrian helmet in 1915.

Animation of a bursting shrapnel shell

Shrapnel shell

3 links

Shrapnel shells were anti-personnel artillery munitions which carried many individual bullets close to a target area and then ejected them to allow them to continue along the shell's trajectory and strike targets individually.

Shrapnel shells were anti-personnel artillery munitions which carried many individual bullets close to a target area and then ejected them to allow them to continue along the shell's trajectory and strike targets individually.

Animation of a bursting shrapnel shell
Setting a time fuse (left) and loading a shell into a gun
This engraving shows a 12-pounder U.S. shrapnel shell c. 1865. It is fitted with a Borman fuze. In the cutaway view, the dark grey is the wall of the shell, the medium grey is sulphur resin, the light grey are the musket balls, and the black is the bursting charge.
Original Shrapnel design (left), and Boxer design of May 1852 which avoided premature explosions (right).
1870s cast-iron RML 16-pounder "Boxer" shrapnel shell showing limited space for bullets.
Forged steel shrapnel shells for BL 5 inch gun with bursting charge in base (left), and in nose (right) for comparison, 1886.
WWI shrapnel round
 1 Gunpowder bursting charge
 2 Bullets
 3 Time fuze
 4 Ignition tube
 5 Resin holding bullets in position
 6 Steel shell wall
 7 Cartridge case
 8 Shell propellant
Trajectory and pattern of US 3 in Shrapnel shell of WWI era.
A sectioned British World War I 18 pounder shrapnel round (top) and complete round (bottom) displayed at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa. The spherical bullets are visible in the sectioned shell (top left), and the cordite propellant in the brass cartridge is simulated by a bundle of cut string (top right). The nose fuze is not present in the sectioned round at top but is present in the complete round below. The tube through the centre of the shell is visible, which conveyed the ignition flash from the fuze to the small gunpowder charge in the cavity visible here in the base of the shell. This gunpowder charge then exploded and propelled the bullets out of the shell body through the nose.
Russian 122 mm shrapnel shell
US, Russian, German, French & British WWI Shrapnel rounds compared
British 18-pounder shrapnel shell, WWI
Shrapnel ball from WWI recovered at Verdun
Empty fired shrapnel shells at Sanctuary Wood, Belgium

With the advent of relatively insensitive high explosives which could be used as the filling for shells, it was found that the casing of a properly designed high-explosive shell fragmented effectively.

The 'divine fire flying crow' (shen huo fei ya), an aerodynamic winged rocket bomb from the Huolongjing

Huolongjing

2 links

Chinese military treatise compiled and edited by Jiao Yu and Liu Bowen of the early Ming dynasty (1368–1683) during the 14th-century.

Chinese military treatise compiled and edited by Jiao Yu and Liu Bowen of the early Ming dynasty (1368–1683) during the 14th-century.

The 'divine fire flying crow' (shen huo fei ya), an aerodynamic winged rocket bomb from the Huolongjing
A 'fire dragon rising out of the water' (huo long chu shui) multistage rocket from the Huolongjing.
The 'phalanx-charging fire-gourd' (chong zhen huo hu lu), one of many fire lance types discharging lead pellets in the gunpowder blast, an illustration from the Huolongjing.
The 'flying-cloud thunderclap-eruptor' (fei yun pi li pao) from the Huolongjing. A proto-cannon shooting co-viative projectiles, in this case cast-iron shells.
A land mine system known as the 'divine ground damaging explosive ambush device' (di sha shen ji pao shi - mai fu shen ji) from the Huolongjing
A naval mine system known as the 'marine dragon-king' (shui di long wang pao) from the Huolongjing. The trigger mechanism consists of a floating incense stick which lights the fuse once it finishes burning. The fuse travels through a passage of goats' intestines and ignites the submerged explosives in a wrought iron case.
An arrow strapped with gunpowder ready to be shot from a bow. The text reads: gong she huo zhe liu jian (bow firing a fiery pomegranate arrow).
Rocket arrows from the Huolongjing. The right arrow reads 'fire arrow' (huo jian), the middle is an 'dragon shaped arrow frame' (long xing jian jia), and the left is a 'complete fire arrow' (huo jian quan shi).
A 'divine fire arrow shield' (shen huo jian pai). Depiction of a fire arrow rocket launcher from the Huolongjing.
A 'watermelon bomb' (xi gua pao) as depicted in the Huolongjing. It contains 'fire rats,' mini rockets with hooks.
A 'fire brick' (huo zhuan) as depicted in the Huolongjing. It contains mini-rockets bearing sharp little spikes.
Depiction of a' wind-and-dust bomb' (feng chen pao) from the Huolongjing.
A 'rumbling thunder bomb' (hong lei pao) as depicted in the Huolongjing. The text describes ingredients including mini-rockets and caltrops with poisons.
'Dropping from heaven' (tian zhui pao) bombs as depicted in the Huolongjing.
'Bee swarm bombs' (qun feng pao) as depicted in the Huolongjing. Paper casing filled with gunpowder and shrapnel.
A 'divine fire meteor which goes against the wind' (zuan feng shen huo liu xing pao) bomb as depicted in the Huolongjing.
An illustration of a fragmentation bomb known as the 'divine bone dissolving fire oil bomb' (lan gu huo you shen pao) from the Huolongjing. The black dots represent iron pellets.
A 'flying-sand divine bomb releasing ten thousand fires' (wan huo fei sha shen pao) as depicted in the Huolongjing. A weak casing device possibly used in naval combat.
'Explosive bombs' (zha pao) from the Huolongjing. The device is operated by steel wheels contained in two boxes. When pressed, the wheel boxes are supposed to ignite a spark reaching the buried gunpowder packages, setting off the explosion.
The 'self-tripped trespass land mine' (zi fan pao) from the Huolongjing.
An 'explosive camp land mine' (di lei zha ying) from the Huolongjing. The mine is composed of eight explosive charges held erect by two disc shaped frames.
A 'pear-flower gun' (li hua qiang). A fire lance as depicted in the Huolongjing.
A 'fire gun' (huo qiang). A double barreled fire lance from the Huolongjing. Supposedly they fired in succession, and the second one is lit automatically after the first barrel finishes firing.
An 'awe-inspiring fierce-fire yaksha gun' (shen wei lie huo ye cha chong) as depicted in the Huolongjing.
A 'lotus bunch' (yi ba lian) as depicted in the Huolongjing. It is a bamboo tube firing darts along with flames.
A 'sky-filling spurting-tube' (man tian pen tong) as depicted in the Huolongjing. A bamboo tube filled with a mixture of gunpowder and porcelain fragments.
A 'bandit-striking penetrating gun' (ji zei bian chong) as depicted in the Huolongjing. The first known metal barreled fire lance, it throws low nitrate gunpowder flames along with coviative missiles.
A 'divine moving phalanx-breaking fierce-fire sword-shield' (shen xing po zhen meng huo dao pai) as depicted in the Huolongjing. A mobile shield fitted with fire lances used to break enemy formations.
Essentially a fire lance on a frame, the 'multiple bullets magazine eruptor' (bai zi lian zhu pao) shoots lead shots, which are loaded in a magazine and fed into the barrel when turned around on its axis.
A 'poison fog divine smoke eruptor' (du wu shen yan pao) as depicted in the Huolongjing. Small shells emitting poisonous smoke are fired.
A canister shot known as the 'flying-hidden-bomb cannon' (fei meng pao shi) from the Huolongjing. The poison canister is loaded into an iron barrel fitted to a wooden tiller.
An organ gun known as the 'mother of a hundred bullets gun' (zi mu bai dan chong) from the Huolongjing.
A bronze "thousand ball thunder cannon" (qian zi lei pao) from the Huolongjing.
An 'awe inspiring long range cannon' (wei yuan pao) from the Huolongjing.
The 'crouching tiger cannon' (hu dun pao) as depicted in the Huolongjing.
A 'seven star cannon' (qi xing chong) from the Huolongjing. It was a seven barreled organ gun with two auxiliary guns by its side on a two-wheeled carriage.
A 'barbarian attacking cannon' (gong rong pao) as depicted in the Huolongjing. Chains are attached to the cannon to adjust recoil. Not to be confused with the "Hongyipao".
Reconstruction of the "flying crow with magic fire" (shen huo fei ya).
Hand cannon, Ming dynasty, 1377

Some of these low–nitrate gunpowder flamethrowers used poisonous mixtures such as arsenious oxide, and would blast a spray of porcelain shards as fragmentation.