Bladed Anti-Aircraft Shell

Great War #125Here’s an interesting weapon used to take down dirigibles during WWI.

You can almost hear the German airman in the gondola above screaming “Ach du lieber Gott!” as the bladed shell rips the heck out of the fabric of the dirigible or zeppelin allowing gas to escape.

Ingenious, the blades are actually released from with the shell as it is fired, expanding to create more surface area to be plunged into.

Looking up this weapon – I can’t find much data… but it looks and performs exactly as advertised on the card above.

I assume that it was only used on those rare occasions when it became necessary to take out a zeppelin or dirigible in WWI – rare I state because the much quicker and agile aeroplanes were already doing a lot of the wars dirty work… though bombing raids over major cities by dirigibles and zeppelins did their fair share of destruction of both property and human life.

This card – card #125 of the The Great War series of tobacco cards put out by Gallaher Ltd., was published in 1915 during the second year of WWI… as you can see, it says it is the second series… the first being a popular 100-card set. The second series was also a 100-card set.

These cards provided a great deal of information for those at home—and possibly even those in the field of battle—regarding the type of devices and equipment used in the war.

If I was the Germans, I’d be smoking a ton of Gallaher brand cigarettes just to get the full set of 200 cards to know what the enemy (Allies) were up to!

Obviously, the initial 100-card set was thought to have been sufficient for the war. Who could have foreseen it going on so long?

Great war, indeed.

Great War #125 ReverseIf anyone has more information on these types of weapons, I’d love to learn!

About mreman47

Andrew was born in London, UK, raised in Toronto, Canada, and cavorted in Ohtawara, Japan for three years. He is married, has a son and a cat. He has over 35,000 comic books and a plethora of pioneer aviation-related tobacco and sports cards and likes to build LEGO dioramas. He has written and been an editor for various industrial magazines, has scripted comic books, ghost-written blogs for business sectors galore, and hates writing in the 3rd person. He also hates having to write this crap that no one will ever read. He works on his Pioneers Of Aviation - a cool blog on early fliers - even though it takes him so much time to do. He also wants to do more writing - for money, though. Help him out so he can stop talking in the 3rd person.
This entry was posted in Aviation Art, Lighter-Than-Air, Weapons, WWI and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bladed Anti-Aircraft Shell

  1. Jay Howe says:

    Hi Andrew
    I am Jay Howe in England
    I am currently working on a book about Flechettes through the ages.
    Do you any information, pictures or anything that can help me with this mammoth task I have taken on?


    Jay Howe
    IMAS Level III EOD


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