Explosive Cannonballs

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jimairwin

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And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

There were definitely cannon balls exploding ABOVE Fort McHenry in 1814, 50 years before the Civil War.
Not really...those were mortar bombs...spherical iron shells with small balls inside and a bursting charge to break it all up into a shower of iron fragments to fall down inside the fort. Not used to cause explosive destruction.
 

zulu

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Henry Shrapnel developed an exploding shell in 1784.

Henry Shrapnel


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Henry Shrapnel
Henry-shrapnel.jpg
Born3 June 1761
Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, England
Died13 March 1842 (aged 80)
Southampton
NationalityBritish
Lieutenant General Henry Shrapnel (3 June 1761 – 13 March 1842) was a British Army officer whose name has entered the English language as the inventor of the shrapnel shell.
Henry Shrapnel was born at Midway Manor in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England, the ninth child of Zachariah Shrapnel and his wife Lydia.[1]
In 1784, while a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, he perfected, with his own resources, an invention of what he called "spherical case" ammunition: a hollow cannonball filled with lead shot that burst in mid-air. He successfully demonstrated this in 1787 at Gibraltar.[2] He intended the device as an anti-personnel weapon.
In 1803, the British Army adopted a similar but elongated explosive shell which immediately acquired the inventor's name.[3] It has lent the term shrapnel to fragmentation from artillery shells and fragmentation in general ever since, long after it was replaced by high explosive rounds. Until the end of World War I, the shells were still manufactured according to his original principles.
Shrapnel served in Flanders, where he was wounded in 1793. He was promoted to major on 1 November 1803 after eight years as a captain. After his invention's success in battle at Fort New Amsterdam, Suriname, on 30 April 1804,[4] Shrapnel was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 20 July 1804, less than nine months later.
In 1814, the British Government recognized Shrapnel's contribution by awarding him £1200 (UK£ 85,000 in 2021)[5] a year for life. Bureaucracy however prevented him from receiving the full benefit of this award.[1] He was appointed to the office of Colonel-Commandant, Royal Artillery, on 6 March 1827. He rose to the rank of lieutenant-general on 10 January 1837.
Shrapnel lived at Peartree House, near Peartree Green, Southampton from about 1835 until his death.[6][7]
 

tenngun

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But how is a hollow cannon ball made. Solid ball easy enough but how is a hollow ball achieved?
Casting sand in a bag in the mold. When dried it was poured. The bagged burned out leaving the sand, when the iron cooled the sand could be poured out.
 

Stephen_D

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Not really...those were mortar bombs...spherical iron shells with small balls inside and a bursting charge to break it all up into a shower of iron fragments to fall down inside the fort. Not used to cause explosive destruction.
Uh yeah. POTATO POTAHTO . Cannon balls bursting above Fort McHenry. Mortars are a type of cannon, a type of artillery. You nit picking ninny.
 

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