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  1. #1
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    amount of shells produced during world war one

    Hi All, Again i turn to the experts, i cant seem to find an answer to the question " how many shells of all calibers were produced by Britain during World War One " The reason why i ask is - a firearms expert on Antique roadshow whilst inspecting a fuse cap of a British airburst shell claimed that that caliber alone there was produced a few hundred short of a billion, so if that is correct how many of all caliber were manufactured ?

    One other interesting fact claimed by the roadshow expert was- early war film footage of the years 1914 and part of 1915 shows not a single soldier with a steel helmet ? a good example is Gallipoli , the change came when the Germans on the western front started to use in great amounts airbursting munitions.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
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    I cannot remember the exact number of 18 pdrs, but saw that if you laid then end to end, they would cover the equator 2 times!!!

  3. #3
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    Acording to the book The History of Rotherwas Munitions Factory ,Hereford by John Edmonds,British guns fired during WW1 ,170,385,295 rounds which included 4,282,550 used before the attack on Passchendaele between 17th and 30th Jul 1917.The most concentrated barrage was that preceding the attack on the Hindenberg line when 943,847 rounds were fired in 24 hours from noon on the 28th September 1918.I don't know where these figures came from and how accurate they are but with the amount of rounds still turning up on the old western front ,even after the post war clear up and the scrap drives of the 1920 s and 30s and can quite believe them.A little footnote ,Rotherwas produced 24,737,000 25pdr H.E shells ,2,117,000 3 inch mortar bombs and 2259,000 37 inch AA rounds during WW2.
    The steel helmet quote isn't accurate I think there introduction was more to do with the start of trench warfare and the rise in head wounds due to the soldier head and shoulders been the most exposed parts
    Apprentice Boxologist

  4. #4
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    I don't have numbers for british shells, but for the german "7,7 cm K. Gr. 14" which give some imagination: During the first 62 weeks since beginning of WW1 (mobilisation weeks) about 35 million pieces of just this type of shell were produced. The K.Gr.14 (and later modernized types) can be compared to the british 18-Pr HE shell because both were the backbone of field artillery HE shells in the corresponding country. The numbers of produced shells in germany increased every month until middle of 1918 then it decreased because of shortage of material and because the end of the war already became apparent. So together with the other 77 mm types, 105 mm howitzer shells and heavy artillery shells it should be some hundred million artillery shells just in Germany. I think the UK with Cannada and Australia + USA together had even larger numbers of produced shells. But not to confuse produced with fired shells these numbers should be much different.

  5. #5
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    A good read on this subject will be found in 'Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War 1914-1920'. The book is available on the Internet Archive. It may not answer your question exactly but it is worth a look.
    N.


  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Bonnex For This Useful Post:

    Weasel (7th April 2019)

  7. #6
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    Thank you all very much for your response that was very informative, on the subjects of good books, i have just finished two excellent accounts of world war two bomb development and production.

    "Bombs gone" by John Macbean and Arthur Hogben, the development and use of British air-dropped weapons from 1912 to the present day, also "A Hell of a Bomb" by Stephen Flower, How the bombs of Barnes Wallis helped win the second world war.

    Cheers

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    Weasel (7th April 2019)

  9. #7
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    The answer is 254,400,000 for Britain (UK), as well as 11 trillion 303 rds. Its all listed in The Great Munitions Feat 1914-1918 by George Albermarle bertie Dewar. It was originally published in 1921. Reprint published by Forgotten books in 2012. An excellent book that covers all aspects of production between 1914-1918, from Woolwich to the Armament firms, Guns and Ammunition and much more required by an army to fight. Has 343 pages and is a very easy read.

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Richard709 For This Useful Post:

    AE501 (8th April 2019), SG500 (7th April 2019)

 

 

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