Shrapnel
(344 words)

Shrapnel

Artillery projectile for anti-personnel purposes, introduced in the 19th century. At the outbreak of the First World War shrapnel was the principal type of ammunition employed by the field artillery of all the combatant nations. Designed to scatter its contents in mid-air, a shrapnel shell can be imagined as a kind of “flying shotgun.” A time fuse caused the shell to burst at a certain distance from its intended target. The explosive charge was most often built into the bottom of the pro…

Cite this page
Storz, Dieter, “Shrapnel”, in: Brill’s Digital Library of World War I. Consulted online on 28 March 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-3786_dlws1_beww1_en_0541>
First published online: 2015



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