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Shrapnel and Diaphragm Shells
Shrapnel and Diaphragm Shells - Image: © Copyright 2002, Aeragon; all rights reserved.
Shrapnel and Diaphragm Shells
Image: Aeragon
© Copyright 2002, Aeragon
All Rights Reserved

British Lieutenant Henry Shrapnel invented a spherical shell filled with shot that incorporated a time fuze in 1784. It is pictured on the left. The shells designed by Shrapnel allowed air-bursting case shot to be indirectly fired at an adversary for the first time and made good use of the artillery of the period.
The diaphragm shell, pictured on the right, was developed by Colonel Boxer of England’s Royal Artillery Corps as an improvement to the original Shrapnel design shell. His modifications to the design improved manufacturing and bursting characteristics of the shell. The diaphragm shell incorporated a metal diaphragm that separated the explosive charge from the shot and included weakening grooves in the shell thereby improving its bursting characteristics. Diaphragm shells also had more sophisticated fuzes.

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