Disposal of shell casings

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Disposal of shell casings

Post by Macnut64 » 13 Jan 2018 02:46

Hi everyone,
I have a pretty basic question, which I haven't been able to answer with googling. What did the KM surface ships do with their spent shell casings? Just toss them overboard? Save them for recycling when they returned to base? I'm curious what any ship would do with these, but in particular the raiding ships of the KM which went for long voyages and on which storage space was at a premium, but which were also fighting for a nation that very carefully used its limited resources. Anyone know?


Curious George
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Re: Disposal of shell casings

Post by Curious George » 18 May 2018 23:58

I know this doesn't answer your specific query but IIRC there's film of the Schleswig Holstein, after she bombarded Danzig at the start of ww2, pushing the empty cases down some planks into a barge.

Actually the above doesn't advance you at all, does it?

Michael Kenny
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Re: Disposal of shell casings

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 May 2018 00:39

The spent cases should have a zero effect on storage space needed as they already were on the ship. Not that I know this is how it was resolved!

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Re: Disposal of shell casings

Post by Janef » 20 May 2018 14:03

In combat no work to save shells were made, so quite a lot went overboard in heavy sea. When situation and time allowed the empty casings were put back into its emty transport canisters, and subsequently delivered back to the arsenal when in port. The casings were then washed, pressed into a die to be put back into standard dimensions. Then reloaded and marked for the new lot. A punch mark would be stamped into the bottom of the casing for each reloading, in order keep count and not exeed maximum reloadings.

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Re: Disposal of shell casings

Post by Terry Duncan » 28 Nov 2019 01:43

A post from Daniel44114 was removed by this moderator as it contained references to modern politics and otherwised served as no value other than to advertise another website or product.

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Re: Disposal of shell casings

Post by gebhk » 28 Nov 2019 11:24

Every modern armed force I know of made it a principle that spent shell cartridges should be salvaged and returned for recycling either (as Janef describes) by reloading or, if that was not feasible, melting down and reusing the metal. The precious metals these contained were simply too valuable to just toss away. I would be very surprised if there are no extant regulations by the relevant services on the matter. Alas I do not know enough about German armed forces to point you in the exact direction, but would look for headings like 'Evacuation of materials'. Of course (as Janef also points out) principles are one thing, reality is another.....

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Re: Disposal of shell casings

Post by hannibal2 » 10 Sep 2022 06:46

On U-boats when firing their 8,8 or 10cm deck guns while on the surface, the shell casings were never saved but tossed overboard which of course made perfect sense. It would have been impossible to keep them secured on the very narrow deck with the boat rolling and pitching in the sea. Plus the fact that if kept at all they would have seriously impeded the movements of the crew firing the gun.

Cheers, Gert
Last edited by hannibal2 on 10 Sep 2022 07:55, edited 1 time in total.

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