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Maarten1

Konigsberg shell case ?

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Maarten1

Gentlemen,

 

I have a WW1 shell case that appears to be German naval. Inscribed on the front is 'Four inch naval gun from koenigsberg captured'. Does anyone think that despite the spelling error there is a link with the Konigsberg lost in German East Africa in WW1, or does it refer to another place/event. A couple of pictures attached.

 

Many thanks for any help with this.

 

Maarten.

 

 

shell2.jpg

20161103_141717.jpg

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trajan

Welcome aboard!

 

Well, that looks to be a crowned 'M', and if so, certainly a naval issue case!

 

Trajan

Edited by trajan

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michaeldr
38 minutes ago, Maarten1 said:

does it refer to another place/event. 

Janes lists the replacement ship as having

eight 5.9-inch. 50 cal. (semi-auto.)

and two or three 22-pdr anti-aircraft

so it might be from the original – wiki says three of her 10.5cm guns are still to be seen in Africa

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SiegeGunner

Welcome to the forum, Maarten.  Yes, that's certainly a German naval cartridge case.  Manufactured by Polte in Magdeburg in November 1910.  The light cruiser Königsberg/Koenigsberg (either spelling acceptable) carried 10 x 10.5cm guns, which equate approx. to 4-inch.  Interesting that the inscription says 'Four inch naval gun' and not 'Four inch naval shell'.  When she was scuttled, Konigsberg's guns were salved, mounted on land carriages and used in the campaign waged by Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck.  So perhaps the cartridge case comes from a gun that was captured on land.  Where did you acquire it and does it come with any provenance? 

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Maarten1

Thanks for the info so far.

 

I purchased at an auction, and no provenance came with it. I have seen a number of 'Konigsberg' shell cases converted to dinner gongs over the years ( https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/moore-allen-and-innocent/catalogue-id-srmoo10057/lot-421c101d-a980-40c7-8921-a4b200a24426), and believe they were recovered along with the captured guns in various places in East Africa. A fairly common souvenir at the time. My confusion with this shell is the spelling of Koenigsberg. I take it as the genuine article as cannot think of any other Koenigsberg related captures concerning naval guns, but then again I am no WW1 historian.

 

Maarten

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Sepoy

Here is one of the Konigsberg Guns at a Museum in Dar-es-Salaam. Sorry for the poor quality of my photo which I took during the late 1990s.

Sepoy

KONIGSBERG.jpg

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Maarten1

Thank you for the picture Sepoy, I also visited the Dar museum in the 90's (was working in Tanzania), I believe that the porthole on the wall is also from the Konigsberg.

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SiegeGunner
21 hours ago, Maarten1 said:

My confusion with this shell is the spelling of Koenigsberg.

 

'Koenigsberg' is simply an alternative way of writing 'Königsberg'  (think 'Goering' and 'Göring').

 

Keystrokes for 'ö' = hold down Alt and key 148 on the numerical keypad (right end of keyboard).

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Maarten1

Thanks for that SiegeGunner.

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Holger Kotthaus

Gents, let me to add some informations.

 

 

 

 

@Maarten1

Thanks for posting these interesting pictures.

 

 

 

 

@michaeldr

Your mentioned weapon-installation could be the:

SMS Königsberg II (1915 - 1936, 8 x 15cm / 5,9inch and 2 x 8,8cm / 3,46 as AA)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6nigsberg-class_cruiser_(1915)

 

In contrast to the:

SMS Königsberg I (1905 - 1915, 10 x 10,5cm / 4,1inch)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_K%C3%B6nigsberg_(1905)

 

 

 

 

@Sepoy

Unfortunately this is not a Königsberg-Gun. This was a self-made `prototype´. The barrel is to short and

the outer diameter to small. Since 2013 the gun stand now in front of the main entrance of the museum.

 

29w8xzr.jpg

9qv40o.jpg

 

Also not the two 8,8cm / 3,46inch as auxiliary-cruiser-`surcharge´ of the Königsberg.

(As comparison here the survived model in the South African National Museum of Military History, Pretoria)

 

21927v5.jpg

33wtw5w.jpg

 

 

 

 

@SiegeGunner

I must also express my surprise about the silver colour of the cartridge.

All which are known to me locks like this:

 

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30023699

 

 

.

Edited by Holger Kotthaus

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SiegeGunner

Maarten will be able to clarify this point, but I think the apparent silver colour is a photographic illusion and the cartridge is actually the colour of polished brass.

 

Equally, I am fairly sure that the cartridge must refer to Königsberg I, not Konigsberg II, as I very much doubt whether there was any 1910-manufactured ammunition remaining by the time the second ship was commissioned.  In any event, K II did not carry any guns whose calibre approximated to 4".

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
18 minutes ago, SiegeGunner said:

Maarten will be able to clarify this point, but I think the apparent silver colour is a photographic illusion and the cartridge is actually the colour of polished brass.

 

Agree. Artifact due to using flash at close range.

If Maarten can post another image, this time of the whole shell case against a plain background in natural daylight, I bet we would see the case is brass. The case has been polished to death over the years I think.

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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Sepoy
11 hours ago, Holger Kotthaus said:

Gents, let me to add some informations.

@Sepoy

Unfortunately this is not a Königsberg-Gun. This was a self-made `prototype´. The barrel is to short and

the outer diameter to small. Since 2013 the gun stand now in front of the main entrance of the museum.

 

29w8xzr.jpg

 

9qv40o.jpg

 

 

.

Holger
Thank you for correcting me regarding the identification of my photograph. I only had a rushed trip around the Museum at Dar-es-Salaam, (obviously, I should have paid more attention!)  before traveling up the coast to spend several days wandering around the Tanga Battlefield. I always planned to re-visit Tanzania, but it is going to be some while before I can get back.
Sepoy
 

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Holger Kotthaus

Sepoy, it’s a pleasure for me.

Quote

 

I always planned to re-visit Tanzania, but it is going to be some while before I can get back.



Sepoy

 

I wouldn´t put this off to long. Tanzania it´s beautiful and always worth a journey.

Cheers Holger

Edited by Holger Kotthaus

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michaeldr
On 11/8/2016 at 11:26, Holger Kotthaus said:

@michaeldr

Your mentioned weapon-installation could be the:

SMS Königsberg II (1915 - 1936, 8 x 15cm / 5,9inch and 2 x 8,8cm / 3,46 as AA)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6nigsberg-class_cruiser_(1915)

On 11/3/2016 at 16:27, michaeldr said:

Janes lists the replacement ship as having

eight 5.9-inch. 50 cal. (semi-auto.)

and two or three 22-pdr anti-aircraft

so it might be from the original 

 

 

No.

What I actually said was "...it might be from the original"

that this the first ship, not the second.

Edited by michaeldr

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SiegeGunner

I think we can safely forget Königsberg II.  The calibre does not match and there was no obvious opportunity for anyone to have access to the second ship, as she was not surrendered at the end of the war and so remained in port in Germany.  Finally, it was the original Königsberg that was of interest from a souvenir point of view, not the replacement. 

 

The question, therefore, is whether, on physical examination and balance of probabilities, the engraved cartridge case is 'genuine'.  The engraving is evidently professional, the lettering looks right for the period, and, as Holger's photo shows, other engraved Konigsberg cartridges do exist.  But in the absence of any provenance, who knows ...

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Maarten1

Many thanks for all your input. 

 

Correct, without precise provenance there will always be a question mark.

 

However, I feel its genuine as I don't think its worth faking, either way it makes an excellent stand for umbrellas and walking sticks. So if it is an imposter, at least its a useful one !

 

Again appreciate all your comments.

 

Maarten. 

shell4.jpg

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Hi Maarten,

Good shot.

That confirms the item to be brass, highly polished.

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