Landships II

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Post Info TOPIC: Identification


Private

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Identification
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Could anyone help me identify this piece? Apparently it is a experimental or prototype grenade launcher from ww1 made by the British for tank or armoured car use.... Any info welcome. Best regards,Allen.DSC04086.jpg



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Rob


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Any markings on it? I've never seen anything like that before. Can't see how you'd load it from inside a vehicle

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Legend

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Interesting - nearest thing to it I can think of offhand would be the WW2 German Schiessbecher and Japanese Type 2 grenade launcher in 30 mm. Those were clamp-on rifled "discharge cup" rifle adapter types using a special grenade propelled by blank or wooden bullet cartridges in the standard calibres and were supposedly "based on rifle grenade launcher models designed during World War I" (Wikipedia). If you imagined a dedicated projector instead of a rifle with adapter it would look like that, I suppose.

All sorts of situations when a tank or AC crew finds some sort of medium-range grenade projection capability useful so, all-in-all, the suggested origin sounds feasible.

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Private

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No visible markings,no......



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Private

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Strange also,the stock can be detached and there is only one point where you would fix it to something....DSC04095-1.jpg



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DSC04084.jpg



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Hero

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Hi, Is there any form of trigger mechanism on it and does the barrel split anywhere along its length
Paul

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Colonel

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From: http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.be/viewtopic.php?t=27696&sid=8e0111a1e81ef324eaf06b224ba51915

Two answers given on the Belgian Forum:

1.this item is unknown for me, but I know similar Guns. I think it is for a british Tank World War 1 ,every case a armoured car. Mostly this guns are field trials and no ordonance.

2.
Hello,

Having studied your photos with our team,

we have come to the following conclusion.


We believe that it is a grenade launcher, ca 1914-18.

Seeing the caliber (+/- 5 cm) probably for the british mills rifle launched grenade.

We believe that it was a battle field construction rather than a prototype,

others are known to have been built and used in the trenchs.

DSC04090.jpg

DJ



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Commander in Chief

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These rings, apparently two of them, are they rubber? Intriguing, and if these rings are rubber it looks this weapon could be positioned in two different ways. Or in two different locations/openings. At first sight the whole thing looks neatly finished and somehow sophisticated. But, using some existing parts fabrication couldn't have been that difficult. Not exactly trench built but a workshop or maintenance depot behind the lines could do.
Then, the butt: somewhere a bell is ringing. Some shortened light MG butt?
Who knows. There's always that possibility from a movie prop...or a tinkerer...

Kieffer

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Legend

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The two rings, whatever they're made of (doesn't really look like rubber), are both positioned just ahead of a knurled section: I suggest that they are there to stop the weapon slipping through your hands from recoil, as you grasp the knurled sections and aim it like a rifle with a grenade-launching attachment fitted to the muzzle.

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TinCanTadpole wrote:

I suggest that they are there to stop the weapon slipping through your hands from recoil, as you grasp the knurled sections and aim it like a rifle with a grenade-launching attachment fitted to the muzzle.


Yes, sounds plausible, though it looks that there are two rings. There are also two grooved sections on the tube. Question is, are these meant to provide some grip when cocking the bolt, or when the gun is fired? Is there any trigger, can't see that on the picture. The spring seems very heavy, my guess it's only projecting a grenade, not detonating a charge. Bolt and slot looks a bit Sten gun like, and there seems to be a second smaller tube inside, apparently closing the slot when the bolt is cocked. The handle can be unscrewed too.

Kieffer



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Rob


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If it is British I would be slightly surprised if it is a grenade thrower as they already had very effective rifle grenades for most of the war, although perhaps this was for shorter distances?

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Legend

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Rob's observation suggests an approach. Perhaps reflection on the tactical situation might allow us to deconstruct this mysterious artefact in terms of the possible purposes?

If it is spring-powered (as the later picture suggests) then it would be quite short range, indeed. I'm thinking (largely unburdened by actual knowledge) that such a thing would be quite feasible for tank use in WW1 - for repelling close-in infantry attacks made with satchel charges and the like, or for discouraging any intended marking of tanks with flares for artillery attention (as I understand actually happened in foggy conditions), etc. - AFVs would also benefit (and still do, I guess) from smoke grenades for masking them from such unwanted attention.

The Germans on the other hand would profit from something having longer range for armour piercing and there is some suggestion their rifle grenade dischargers and grenade designs were moving in that direction during WW1, culminating in the WW2 Schiessbecher.

On that logic and chain of supposition the suggestion of use from British tanks (or armoured vehicles) is reinforced.

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Legend

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There's still the question of where the trigger is; the cocking handle has a notch it can be locked into, presumably as a form of safety device - which makes one wonder whether it is spring operated or not - it seems a strange combination to me. That said, the spring does look rather beefy.

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Commander in Chief

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Rob wrote:

If it is British I would be slightly surprised if it is a grenade thrower as they already had very effective rifle grenades for most of the war, although perhaps this was for shorter distances?


Same thought occurred to me. The whole thing just looks to sophisticated, not like the improvised artefacts made in the beginning of trench warfare. BTW could it be a WW2 weapon, British, after Dunkirk? But we still don't know if there's any triggering device, some more information could be helpful...

Kieffer



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Sergeant

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I bet that's a 2" smoke mortar/thrower meant for a WW2 tank or armored car. They were mounted in later models of the Sherman, for instance.



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