John Breed, Diary and Training diary, item 130
- March 30, 2017 02:39:19 Cheryl Ellsworth
This is the ideal projectile for making
direct hits on shielded guns.
A H.E shell is a thick steel case filled with "Picric acid"
also called Lyddite, Melinite, Pertite, or shimose.
A percussion shrapnel, if it strikes the shield but not the
gun or carriage, bursts several feet in rear, and is
comparatively ineffective. But a H.E. shell if it strikes
any part of the equipment detonates on impact, it disables
the gun and possibly the wagon beside it, and kills the who
of the detachment, on the other hand the effect against troops
in the open is very slight as the effect is only local, and
if the shell bursts on the ground most of the splinters go up
in the air. It is therefore a very open question whether Field G
should carry HE shell, most foreign nations have decided
in the affirmative, and carry only from 15 to 30 per cent of
We rely upon our powerful 18 Pt shrapnel and expect to disable
guns with it even if it takes twice as many hits to do so as with
HE shell. By this we simplify our ammunition supply and are
able to carry an increased number of shell which are effective against
troops in the open