Author Topic: Old artillery round found in Jasper National park  (Read 2286 times)

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Offline Colin P

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« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 07:36:45 by milnews.ca »

Offline tomydoom

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2019, 16:16:12 »
Anyone ID this round?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/mount-athabasca-unexploded-ordnance-jasper-1.5202656?fbclid=IwAR0eQJPlvXvulG_KcvrePpoPKcUucAP3wD_qXkGTohTZdqkGXwovY2Cbdm4
Looks like 25 pounder round to me. Likely HE. We had some dummy ones in the armories back in the day and that matches my recollection of the size and shape.

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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2019, 17:30:47 »
One might ask if there any records of avalanche control in the area. Obviously there has to be something to be protected, best a railroad, or a highway, or even a community. Don't assume and don't rule anything out.

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2019, 19:43:49 »
Looks like 25 pounder round to me. Likely HE. We had some dummy ones in the armories back in the day and that matches my recollection of the size and shape.

Ubique


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Not 25 pdr, driving band too close to te base of the round, band is too wide, and no boat tailed HE profile. If I had to guess I’d say 18 pdr shrap, but without a scale for reference it’s tough to tell, could even be a 12 pdr.  4.5 inch even? What a shrap round would do doing half way up a mountain is a head scratcher though, were they used for AvCon back when?
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 21:10:33 by Target Up »
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2019, 07:29:54 »
Not 25 pdr, driving band too close to te base of the round, band is too wide, and no boat tailed HE profile. If I had to guess I’d say 18 pdr shrap, but without a scale for reference it’s tough to tell, could even be a 12 pdr.  4.5 inch even? What a shrap round would do doing half way up a mountain is a head scratcher though, were they used for AvCon back when?

My guesstimate was a shrapnel round because of the shape, especially the lack of a boat tail.  That makes it an unlikely candidate for avalanche control, given the low kinetic effect of a few hundred lead alloy balls. Now, the scales at both ends of the round could, repeat could, be size in millimetres, which might suggest 95mm or 3.7in calibre.

Offline FJAG

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2019, 11:41:48 »
One might ask if there any records of avalanche control in the area. Obviously there has to be something to be protected, best a railroad, or a highway, or even a community. Don't assume and don't rule anything out.

I've plotted out the location of the round using the coordinates on the picture and it's located on a ridgeline approximately 2,400 metres south of the intersection of Highway 93 (Ice Field Parkway) and the Snowcoach route that runs up on the east side of the Athabasca Glacier. At it's closest it's about a 1,000 metres from the Snowcoach route. The ridge forms part of a horseshoe shaped crest that would slide NW towards Snowcoach route and Hwy 93 beyond. I've attached a pdf airphoto of my Google Earth image. The round is in the bottom right corner, the Atahabasca Glacier comes in from the bottom left and the highway and Snowcoach route intersection are roughly in the centre.

I see no obvious railroad there but it would seem that the Snowcoach route (and possibly the highway) would be threatened by a slide. The low flatish ground in the valley and the ranges would make for numerous potential gun positions that could reach the impact area.

I've done some Googling but haven't found any mention of artillery being used in the area at any time.

Hwy 93's predecessor, the Glacier trail, has been around since 1885 and the road itself was commissioned in 1931 as part of a Depression Era project that was completed in 1940.

The lineage of batteries in the area trace back as follows:

20th Independent Field Battery Lethbridge 1908

23rd Medium Battery Banff 1920

39th Field Battery Lethbridge 1920

61st Heavy AA Battery Edmonton 1920

78th Field Battery Red Deer 1920

91st Medium Battery Calgary 1921

92nd Heavy AA Battery Edmonton 1921

61st Field Battery Edmonton 1936

95th ATk Battery (SP) Calgary 1936

108th ATk Battery (SP) Kimberly 1936

I'll stop there.

Brian. I have no idea where the hell my copies of the Gunners of Canada have gone so I'll have to rely on you for info on the types of weapons systems that would have used back in the day. It would really be very helpful to have the calibre of the round.

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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2019, 12:08:46 »
FJAG

We are in our trailer at Grenville Park on the St Lawrence, so this is coming from memory and/or google. The only references I have come across re avalanche control refer to the TCH in BC after the route opened in the early sixties. The field regiment based in Winnipeg was given the task, after an initial unsuccessful attempt to use infantry mortars. Over the years there have been quite a few rounds go downrange, but this is the first I have heard of in Jasper.

This indeed would seem to be something quite different, but it could still be true. I wonder if the area was ever used for militia annual camps, as was done in Sarcee, AB? This might be an alternate explanation, but surely there would have been local records, signage/warnings, etc. The location of what may be a shrapnel round would fit more the annual camp scenario that avalanche control, but I am not dismissing anything at this time.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2019, 12:46:44 »
My working hypothesis is that it's a member of army.ca who placed the round up there just to torment retired gunners like FJAG and Old Sweat.
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2019, 12:54:29 »
My working hypothesis is that it's a member of army.ca who placed the round up there just to torment retired gunners like FJAG and Old Sweat.

That is at least as plausible as the theory (especially the "explosive armour-piercing" bit) put forward by Wainwright EOD personnel in this CP story reproduced under the Fair Dealings provision of the Copy Right Act.

The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, July 6, 2019 4:21PM EDT
JASPER, Alta. -- Police and the military have co-ordinated to blow up a piece of "unexploded ordnance" found by climbers in Jasper National Park.
RCMP say climbers found the device on the north side of Mount Athabasca on Thursday and reported it to park officials, who told police.
Mounties say they then co-ordinated with the Department of National Defence and a bomb disposal team from Canadian Forces Base Wainwright was deployed to the scene on Friday.

Police say members of the park's visitor safety department provided guidance on the hazardous mountain terrain, and the team managed to find the bomb and detonate it safely.
RCMP Cpl. Jon Cormier said the military called the item an "explosive armour piercing round" that dated back to the Second World War.
Cormier said the military believed the most likely explanation was that it was used many years ago for avalanche control.
Mounties are commending the climbers who found the weapon for photographing and reporting it, along with an exact location.
They say members of the public should "never touch or move an object that resembles anything which may be detonated."

Offline FJAG

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2019, 15:21:16 »
FJAG

We are in our trailer at Grenville Park on the St Lawrence, so this is coming from memory and/or google. The only references I have come across re avalanche control refer to the TCH in BC after the route opened in the early sixties. The field regiment based in Winnipeg was given the task, after an initial unsuccessful attempt to use infantry mortars. Over the years there have been quite a few rounds go downrange, but this is the first I have heard of in Jasper.

This indeed would seem to be something quite different, but it could still be true. I wonder if the area was ever used for militia annual camps, as was done in Sarcee, AB? This might be an alternate explanation, but surely there would have been local records, signage/warnings, etc. The location of what may be a shrapnel round would fit more the annual camp scenario that avalanche control, but I am not dismissing anything at this time.

I had two tours on Op PALACI in Rogers Pass on the TCH (second tour 69-70; opening tour 70-71) where we used exclusively 105mm C1 and 75mm Pack Howitzer M116 (in fact my det fired off the last 75mm rounds in Canada). I had never heard of any artillery being used elsewhere in Canada for avalanche control but I can tell you that the area where this one was found in Jasper certainly looks like an avalanche trigger zone to me and would be consistent with being fired from down somewhere near the intersection discussed above.

I think the idea of it being an ATk shell would be bull if the aim was to trigger an avalanche. Shrapnel would also be close to useless.While possible, An HE round would be more effective due to the higher concussion from a round of the same calibre.  The projectile looks a bit like a 25pdr Armour Piercing shot which was a solid piece of steel and therefore useless as an avalanche trigger mechanism.

If anything, this thing looks pretty similar to a Six Pounder Armour Piercing Capped Ballistic Cap (including the what appear to be white-red-white bands on the nose which were characteristic of the APCPC solid shot)
See here: https://www.facebook.com/tankmuseum/photos/a.352150330841/10156556348355842/?type=3&theater (There's a little difference just behind the driving band but that could be model dependent). So my guess is it wasn't for avalanche control at all but either a live fire exercise or maybe even hand carried up there by a hiker.

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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2019, 16:18:24 »
FJAG, you may have broken the code. I would love to see what the site looked like after the controlled detonation. The result would be very different for a solid shot compared to a shrapnel round (a hollow shell packed with balls with an expelling charge in the base) or a HE round ( body filled with a high explosive and initiated by a bursting charge set off by a nose fuze).

How in heck did it get there?

Offline AmmoTech90

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2019, 19:02:03 »
It appears to be a 6pdr/57mm 7cwt AP shot.  This is from the Tank/Anti-tank gun used during (and after?) WWII.  The 6pdr Hotchkiss that has a similar projectile that has a fuze also has a small protrusion/raised area on the base that is not visible in this one.

I have my doubts that the image from The Tank Museum is actually an APCBC as there is no indication of the groove that the cap would be fitted to.  The markings on an APC/APCBC are white tip, black gap, white/red/white bands, normally on the cap.
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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2019, 19:31:10 »
It appears to be a 6pdr/57mm 7cwt AP shot.  This is from the Tank/Anti-tank gun used during (and after?) WWII.  The 6pdr Hotchkiss that has a similar projectile that has a fuze also has a small protrusion/raised area on the base that is not visible in this one.

I have my doubts that the image from The Tank Museum is actually an APCBC as there is no indication of the groove that the cap would be fitted to.  The markings on an APC/APCBC are white tip, black gap, white/red/white bands, normally on the cap.

I've dug up a tri walls worth of 6 pdr, both AP-T Shot and prac. The HE eludes me, it must have been a very successful round, only ever found parts of them. There is a pronounced deep groove at the base of both rounds, which is absent in the picture and the band has a groove in the centre. I've also never seen one with a painted nose, but that's understandable given the conditions I find them in. All that to say I don't think it is. Agreed its not Hotchkiss, the band is much higher up the round on the Hotch.

EDIT- photo of 6pdr AP-T solid shot added for reference.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 19:38:06 by Target Up »
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

Offline NavyShooter

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2019, 23:16:54 »

Possibly 4.7"? 
http://www.cyber-heritage.co.uk/arms_ammunition_images/shels.jpg




Base fuse, driving band looks similar-ish, has the Red/White similar to that on the found shell?


Insert disclaimer statement here....

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2019, 23:23:07 »
A bit more research and I'm thinking 18 pounder AP shell.
Insert disclaimer statement here....

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2019, 08:03:02 »
I love these crime-solving TV shows.....   :pop:

      ;D

Offline Retired AF Guy

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2019, 09:08:13 »
Photo of a 18 pdr HE round First World War high-explosive shell, from the Imperial War Museum collection.[67] This shell does not have the red band around the neck, indicating it has not been filled. 

The second photo is of a complete shrapnel round on display at the Canadian War Museum.

Link.

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2019, 11:42:49 »
Putting my money on  6 pdr AT gun. See attached photo - 3rd round from left.

Caption: From left to right: the 6 pdr 8 cwt (57 x 307R - naval plus WW1 tanks); 6 pdr 10 cwt (57 x 464R - coast defence "Twin Six" plus some ships); four 6 pdr 7 cwt (57 x 441R) loadings - AP shot, APCBC shot, APDS (repP), HE (postwar - WW2 HE shells were similar to those shown with the 6 pdr 10 cwt, in two different lengths); 6 pdr 6 cwt (57 x 515R - experimental AA gun cancelled in 1946).

Link

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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2019, 19:21:57 »
I’m pooling my money w Retired RCAF Guy...colour, shape, driving band config...it’s got it all!

Separately, dare I ask what APCBC is?

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2019, 19:43:53 »
I’m pooling my money w Retired RCAF Guy...colour, shape, driving band config...it’s got it all!

Separately, dare I ask what APCBC is?

Armoured Piercing Capped Ballistic Cap

Quote
As the war lengthened, target armor became progressively thicker (and sloped) as new tank designs emerged, and early war AP and APHE became progressively less effective. The initial response to this thickening in armor had been to increase the muzzle velocity in newly developed anti-tank guns. However, it was found that steel shot tended to shatter on impact at velocities upward of about 823 m/s (2700 feet/second).[1][2]

Based on this deficiency, a new form of shell was developed which was designated APC (armor-piercing capped). In this form of munition, a cap of softer metal was attached to the tip of an AP (solid) round. The purpose of this cap was many-fold. The cap transferred energy from the tip of the shell to the sides of the projectile, thereby helping to reduce shattering. In addition, the cap appeared to improve penetration of sloped armor by deforming, spreading and “sticking” to the armor on impact and thereby reducing the tendency of the shell to deflect at an angle. However, the cap structure of the APC shell reduced the aerodynamic efficiency of the round with a resultant reduction in accuracy and range'[1][2]

To address the reduction in accuracy caused by the addition of a cap to an AP round, a second cap or cover was introduced in the design of APCBC munition. This involved fitting a streamlined ballistic cap over the APC, thereby increasing accuracy, reducing in-flight loss of velocity and increasing penetration.[3]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APCBC

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 19:47:19 by FJAG »
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2019, 21:18:55 »
Thanks, FJAG!  Interesting. Would love to see high-speed cinematography of the various rounds impinging armour and seeing what worked and what didn’t.

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2019, 21:57:08 »
The White/Red/White is distinctive in that it indicates a shot round produced from 1945 to 1948.

That rules out 18 pdr and the like.  I agree with TargetUp that the lack of groove in the bottom moves it away from being a 6 pdr.  There were some 6 pdrs with simple driving bands like that on the find.

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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2019, 22:05:38 »
Thanks, FJAG!  Interesting. Would love to see high-speed cinematography of the various rounds impinging armour and seeing what worked and what didn’t.

Best I could find is airy-fairy cartoon stuff for video war game players explaining ammo effects.  Not too bad but not worth linking.

 :cheers:
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Re: old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2019, 00:32:20 »
Thanks, FJAG!  Interesting. Would love to see high-speed cinematography of the various rounds impinging armour and seeing what worked and what didn’t.

Flash x-ray is what's needed.  There's a lot of obscuration as soon as fast stuff hits hard stuff.
There is a declassified pub that details penetration and damage from a variety of projectiles on various targets.  Mostly charts and diagrams but still interesting.
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Re: Old artillery round found in Jasper National park
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2019, 07:43:39 »
I was thinking a bit last night...then I went down to my gun room and pulled out my 6 Pdr AT shell that I had in a corner (don't ask) and had a look.

I'll see if the photos will attach properly...

Insert disclaimer statement here....

:panzer: