Pascal Casanova is a friend, passionated by the First World War, living in Verdun area. He is a very talented battlefield photograph, but also an expert in Computer Assisted Design. He lets us take advantage of his skill by designing detailed 3D rebuildings pictures of WW1 fuses and shells.
Some words from him, explaining his method to me :
The basic data (parts and functionning) are mainly coming from texts and 2D schematics of the German Artillery Manual of 1918.
I take note of the external dimensions of my fuses collection, as well as some other infos coming from the internet, mainly from your website.
The 2D schematics show the thread diameter. I use that measure to determine an approximative value of the drawing scale. This scale is then used to recompute the dimensions of all the other parts.
I would like to say that I am sometimes forced to imagine the shape of some parts, because I do not have access to all the needed drawings. Any additional information would be welcomed to give some potential improvement to my works.
All the redesigned parts are then assembled one per one to rebuild the fuse. Once the assembly is done, I define a surface aspect that matches the fuse material, to give it a look as close as possible to the reality.
When the fuse is made with all its parts, it is possible to create transparent views, cut views, or even to realize some animated sequences.
The following pictures collection is an extract of his creations.
Interesting ancestors of the numerous German WW1 fuzes, the Gr Z 80, Gr Z 82, and Gr Z 82 (Kp) that were mounted on projectiles of the heavy artillery guns and howitzers (15cm and 21cm) are rendered by the magic of the author's 3D know-how. These pieces are rarely seen in collections or museum, so this electronic re-enactment is the best way to observe them 'almost real'.
For more info, have a look to this website page dedicated to the GrZ82 fuzes.
Family picture of the famous HZ14 series fuses, that was the classical devices mounted on the 10cm light field howitzers, but enough versatile to be used with explosive shells of other intermediate caliber explosive shells.
From the left to the right, the HZ14 fb (an improved design with a centifugal safety pin), the HZ14 vorst (further design equipped with a safety pin), and the HZ14 vorst fliehb (last design equipped with both a safety pin and a centrifugal safety design).
For more details on these marks, have a look on the HZ14 fuses webpage.
And now let the magic happen : this HZ14 vorst fuse becomes transparent, and let us see the activation mechanism specific to the German percussion fuses, with the concussion system linked to gun powder room controlling the movement of a safety rod pushing against the inertia block !
Family picture of another common fuse seen on battlefields, the KZ14 fuses series, dedicated mainly to the 7.7cm fiekdguns. This picture illustrates two of the marks of that fuse made in numerous different materials (steel, aluminum, brass), as well as a cut view showing the security system with compacted gunpowder grain.
Another impressive translucid view showing the classical german arming system, with a classical inertia block arming piece and the pyrotechnically blocked stem pushing at rest on the inertia starter-bearer.
Triple effect fuze : Percussion, superquick and delayed. It is a HZ16 fuze modification by addition of a removable percussion rod for superquick action.
The percussion rod was not mounted before use, so that the top hole was protected from humidity and foreign bodies introduction by a lead plug equipped with a metallic wire loop allowing its quick removal.
Although the fuze was useable without the percussion rod, the wire loop is bearing a lable with the following instruction :
Draht mit platte abreissen. Steckstift einstossen, soweit ungefärbt. Sonst Blindganger.
(Tear out the plug with the cable. Insert the percussion rod until the painted section. Or else, misfiring.)
The EK Z 17 fuse is more rarely encountered on the former battlefields nowadays. Moreover, the surviving items are often heavily damaged and corroded, and the percussion rod is often missing. More details on the EKZ 17 fuses page.
The arming and percussion sequence of the fuze :
Fuze at rest, the percussion rod is blocked by the centrifugal rod pressed by a spring
Fuze during the flight, the shell spin pushes the centrifugal lock away, freeing the percussion rod movements
Fuze during the flight, zoom on the safety spring at the bottom of the percussion rod, preventing it from being pushed back by the wind
Fuse hitting its objective, the percussion rod compresses the safety spring, and the percussion pins ignites the starter.
The Dopp Z 86 is the ancestor of most of the German time and percussion fuses found during WW1. Pascal Casanova not only recreated 3D views of that old fuze, but he also wrote a interesting article on it in the Nr 6 edition of 'Tranchées Magazine' (jul-aug-sept 2011)
The Dopp Z 92 fuse is relatively often found nowadays on the former battlefields, most of the time still assembled with the ton part of a schrapnell shell. But it never shines like this one ! More details on the Dopp Z 92 fuse page.
The HZ05 fuze can be found easily in the WW1 battlefields in all of its variants, but most of the time in badly corroded condition since its time rings were made in aluminium. This virtual view let us imagine its aspect. More details on these fuzes on this website page HZ05 Gr fuzes and HZ05 Schr fuzes.
Designed for the universal shells, the KZ 11 fuze is one of the most complex German time and percussion fuzes.
More details on this model on this website related page KZ 11 fuze..
The KZ 11 Gr (Kanonen Zünder 1911 Granate) fuze is a time and percussion fuze without delay.
It was mounted on 7,7 cm Mle 1915 high explosive shells and blue cross elongated 7,7 cm gaz shells. It could also be found on 7,62 cm Flak shells for the Russian 3 inches gun. In this case the fuze is wearing the marking 'K.Z.11 Gr. l.B. o.Az.' and its top is painted red.
The rotating disk is graduated up to 72 hectometers. Some models were only graduated up to 50 and wear a marking 'KB' (Kurze Brennlänge) meaning : short combustion time.
The elogated time and percussion LKZ 11 fuse is for me one of the most beautiful ones of the German arsenal of WW1. This reconstitution is just convincing me a little more in my feeling. More details on this fuze on the page fuze LKZ 11 Gr.
This 30mm time and percussion fuze Dopp Z S 43 , graduated from 0 to 43 seconds is pretty rare, and was principally used with German Navy guns (such as the famous 15cm SKL 40), or coast guns. This reconstitution is therefore even more precious.
The bottom fuse Bd Z 10, preferred German fuse for the 150, 210 and 280 mm calibers, existed in two main marks, screwed either on a short detonator, with 25 grammes of picric acid, or on a long one, with 100 grammes of picric acid. It was then respectively named Kz Bd Z 10 or Lg Bd Z 10. For more details please go to the Bd Z 10 fuse page.
This time the fuse transparent view, here in its long LgBdZ10 mark, shows a very complex internal mechanism.
The bottom fuse Bd Z f Spgr m.K. equipped the shells of the famous long range 380 mm heavy guns, as well as the 280, 240, and some 210 mm shells. There was a mark with a short delay, named Bd Z f Spgr m.V.u.K..
The arming and percussion sequence of the fuse :
Fuse at rest, the centrifugal locks are blocked by the locking rod
Fuse at the shot departure, the locking rod is pushed ahead by the pressure of the combustion gases on a rear membrane
Fuse during the flight, the centifugal locks are pushed away
Fuse hitting its objective, the percussion pin hits the starter.
The l.W.M.Zdr and Zdr2 fuzes are used on light trench bombs (leichte Sprengmine), filled with high explosive or gaz.
The Zdr2 differs from the Zdr by the presence of a two rods safety pin, and a gaine screwed on the fuze tail equipped with a detonator.
These fuzes head has a top socket allowing the introduction of a special key in order to extract the bomb from the tube in the case of a misfire.
This socket is also used for the fixing of a light-hiding cap for the models not equipped with a top head screw.
Aufschlagzünder 1916 für leichte Wurfmine (Percussion fuze model 1916 for light trench mortar bomb)
This fuze is designed for the bombs of the 7,6 cm trenc mortar, high explosive or gaz filled.
The bad inflight stability of these projectiles induced the need for the development of this fuze equipped with a percussion system that will operate whenever the shell falls on its head, base or any other direction at impact.
The fuze head is made of zinc. The exploder contains an approximate 17 gr picric acid charge.
This fuze for 25 cm heavy trench mortar bomb "Zünder schwerer Wurf-Mine" is a time and percussion fuze. The percussion fuze with two opposite pins can operate the projectile burst whenever it falls on its head or on its base. It was always used in the percussion mode.
The time system was set with a combustion time longer than the shell flight time, so that it will operate afetr landing in the case of a percussion system malfunction.
This fuze has been replaced by the Z.s.u.m.W.M. fuze.
The system presented on this section is uncommon. This Lgz Z 17 ("Langzeit Zünder 1917") fuze has been developped by Germans in 1917 in order to booby trap the artillery ordnance abandoned on the battlefields.
This fuze percussion device is blocked by a steel wire going through a copper container. When the divice needs to be used, the container is filled with a corrosive liquid designed to attack the steel wire. When the wire is broken, a spring throws the percussion pin on the starter, triggering the detonator explosion. These devices were very similar to the original GrZ04 fuzes they were "imitating". The only clues to reckognize them was the fact the detonator was vernished in red (instead of blue), and the lack of a needle hit to block the fuze thread on the shell head...
When mounting the 'fuze' on a shell, one had to unthread the detonator as wella s the starter-bearer plug, and remove the safety device (brass ring and wooden disk). Then the fuze head and the container plug had both to be removed, so that the corrosive liquid contained into a separate glass bulb could be poured.
These 'fuzes' were conditioned by two in a box marked in red font with the identification on the devices and the mention "Nicht verfeuern ! Nur für besondere Zwecke !" that is : Do not shoot ! Only for special uses !
Each box contained two cardboard boxes with four corrosive liquid glass bulbs. Thes bulbs were marked 1, 2, 24 or 72, corresponding to the delay in hours. Each bow was also containing a small saw for cutting the bulbs.