I hope that someone can help me with some information for the book I am writing: - "An Illustrated Technical Guide to British WW1 Fuzes" There are two small lists of Naval fuzes for which very little information is available; Nos. 300, 301, 302 and 310, 380 and 381; and Nos. 320NT, 321NT, 322, 323, 324 and 325.
For the first list I have records that Elswick OrdnanceCompany (EOC) supplied various armaments, including ammunition, for several battleships which were being built for a number of foreign navies. Theseincluded Brazil, Chile and Turkey and at the start of WW1 the ships were takenover by the British Government and re-named as HMS Agincourt, HMS Erin, HMS Faulknor and HMS Humber. There are also records that Vickers Sons & Maxim (VS&M) supplied ammunition and fuzes for HMS Agincourt, HMS Erin and HMS Humber.
The ammunition included shells and fuzes and it is the latter that I am particularly interested in. My book includes, for each fuze, some background, Lists of Changes, construction, operation, guns used on ,and photographs and drawings.
I am very keen to obtain drawings, photographs and technical information on the fuzes supplied and give below the information to help in finding the information: -
The Battleship ‘Rio de Janeiro’ was originally ordered by Brazil, who defaulted, and it was taken by Turkey and re-named ‘BirinjiOsman’. Just before completion in August 1914 she was appropriated by the Admiralty and commissioned as HMS Agincourt. Her main armament of 12-inch guns were supplied with shells with Fuze, Percussion, Base, Large, No. 300. She was also supplied with Fuze, Time and Percussion, No 380, probably for shrapnel or star-shell.
The Battleship ‘Reşadiye’ was designed for Turkey andwas also appropriated by the Admiralty and commissioned as HMS Erin. RiverMonitor ‘Javary’ was built for the Brazilian Navy and similarly taken over in 1914, and commissioned as HMS Humber. Both ships had 6-inch guns and were supplied with shells with Fuze, Percussion, Base, Large, No. 301. HMS Erin was also supplied with Fuze, Time and Percussion, No 380, probably for shrapnel or star-shell.
Fuze, Percussion, Base, Large, No. 302 was used for the secondary armament for HMS Agincourt and HMS Humber (see above), but which type is not known; either 4.7-inch, 3-inch, or 3-pr. HMS Humber was also supplied with Fuze, Time and Percussion, No 381,but the guns and ammunition are at present unknown.
Destroyer
Almirante Simpson was being built for the Chilean Navy and was purchased by the Royal Navy in 1914 and commissioned as HMS Faulknor. Her armament was similar to the secondary armament for HMS Agincourt, HMS Erin, and HMS Humber; 3-inch 23 cwt with shells fuzed with Fuze, Percussion, Nose, No 310.
For the second list I have records that the Bethlehem Steel Company in the USA (BSC), supplied various types and calibres of ammunition to the UK in 1916-1917, together with some guns. They were all for Naval use and for the following calibres/guns: -
3-pr QF - No. 324 fuze
6-pr QF - No. 322 fuze
3-inch 17 cwt - No. 322 fuze
3-inch 18 cwt - No. 322 fuze
4-inch - No. 320NT fuze
5-inch- No. 320NT fuze
6-inch- No. 320NT fuze & No. 321NT fuze
I have no knowledge as to where the No. 323 and No. 325 fuzes were used.
The “Explosion” Museum have no examples or data of any of these fuzes in their collection and the NMRN have no information either.
I have some rough sketches of some of the fuzes,but no photographs, nor any detailed descriptions or 'proper' drawings.
Any information or ideas where or who information could befound, would be much appreciated.
Depotman