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Thread: 2" WW2 Mortar

  1. #21
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    I've just received the coroner's files on this matter and a witness testifies it was YELLOW POWDER that cam out of the 2" HE mortar. Do you know what this compound is?

  2. #22
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    All the 2" Mortar HE fillings are yellow because they are TNT or TNT based.
    The earliest were filled Baratol 20/80 (Barium Nitrate 20%/TNT 80%), then Amatol 80/20 and Amatol 50/50.

  3. #23
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    Or the CE which would be in the small threaded cap at the base of the fuze, which is also yellow. God know what the poor young lad was doing when he was poking around with a live bomb.

  4. #24
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    I would suspect that the yellow powder is more likely to be corroded mazak discloured by rust, from the striker housing. To get to the CE, (presuming the shutter wasn't in the armed position) it would first be necessary to penetrate the Septum, then have a small enough implement to enter the channel in the steel disc containing the stemmed CE. Penetrating the septum, would in all probability cause a burr that would prevent the already recalciltrant shutter from fully opening, keeping the detonator out of harm's way.

    TimG
    Last edited by TimG; 10th July 2019 at 07:54 PM. Reason: extra

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    Sprockets (14th July 2019)

  6. #25
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    Thanks Tim,
    I'm trying to figure this out.
    Can you tell me what the casing of the 2" HE Mortar was? The boy testified that one was "brass" and in another statement said: "I took the bomb home and polished it before my mother told me to put it in the coal shed". Quite apart from this breath-taking stupidity, could it be polished? I've heard that the casing is steel of some sort.
    Kind regards.

  7. #26
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    The 2" bomb casing was steel in both WP and HE. Have never seen any form of brass alloy used in mortar rounds.

  8. #27
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    The fuze cap (not transit cap) is brass.

    TimG

  9. #28
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    Thank you both on the brass question. The boy managed to take this brass 'windshield' off then he removed the striker with its spring before poking his screwdriver down the striker hole and into the yellow powder. I guess the det cap was jammed in the recess at the side. Just before the mother of one of the boys called him in for his tea he testified that the other boy was "putting the thing back together" moments before it exploded. I'm theorising that the det cap must have positioned itself correctly sometime in the tampering so when he replaced the striker 2.2 lbs of TNT exploded. He was decapitated and disembowelled. The 6 year-old had the right part of his head and brain missing and both hands (he was eating an orange nearby). The 9 year-old died later after being carried home by his father immediately after hearing the explosion; he was disembowelled and lost his left arm below the elbow - probably by the pliers that was used to tamper with the 2" HE round. It was seen later embedded into a door. Both these boys were innocent bystanders.

 

 
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