Gunboards Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Kryptonite member
Joined
·
5,765 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since the other p'troop 89 ended completely off the subject and it looks like there has been no response to my question on the meaning of the color bands on the knee mortar shells I'll ask once again. Mutt, could you check with Shin sometime and see if he remembers who bought the p'trooper 89? And some of you must have read the ref. where the meaning of the color bands is mentioned? Your help with this would be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I've been wondering about the T89 color bands for a while too so I decided to dig deeper into the books. From memory, I was recalling it had something to do with some types being made of semi-steel or a similar lower grade. But I now think that is incorrect.

It appears from info. in OPNAV 30-3M that it's a matter of rounds being coded in either the old or new systems of markings. Under the old system, the red band behind the fuze indicated a "filled" round with the forward yellow band to indicate H.E. filler, and the bottom white band to indicate the use of high grade steel in the shell body.

Under the new system, a single yellow band at the approximate center of gravity indicated it was H.E. filled and made of high grade steel. I haven't looked at my various rounds for date markings that would tend to confirm the use of earlier and later styles of marking but will take a look when time permits.

Also noted in the manuals were T89 shells in Navy color codes with either maroon bodies or black with a green band behind the fuze instead of the normal red one. Unforutnately, I've never seen one of these before.

While we're on the subject of T89 markings, here are a couple photos of some of my more unusual rounds. Can anyone help with identification of the one on the left with two yellow bands and the odd symbol? Or the second from the right with a single yellow band at the top instead of the center? Can anyone read the Kanji on that example?

Finally, I'll add a photo or two of the T95 smoke rounds which have two white bands and the "smoke" character as their normal markings. Note that there are two different types of body construction types, something I have never noticed before. Has anyone else seen this? Thanks.

Rick
 

·
Platinum Bullet member
Joined
·
19,256 Posts
Holy crap! Those are some awesome knee mortar rounds! I think you've just become Rodent's newest best friend. Comon now, you've got to sell one of those smoke rounds to me first ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,143 Posts
That is an amazing collection you have there!!!! Thanks for sharing it with us!!
 

·
Kryptonite member
Joined
·
5,765 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Nice thing about this Board is things don't move so fast. I posted a question on the Miata Board yesterday and it's three pages back today. On the smoke rounds, what am I missing, I don't see the difference in body configs.?

Interetingly enough, the Japanese prodution records I have FY 1931-1940 list almost 200,000 "Type 10 GD smoke shell"s but no T-89s. Roughly slightly over a million "T-89 shell"s were produced from 1932 through 37 then : 1938-4.3 mil. 1939-5.5 mil. 1940-4.8 mil. Be interesting to eye ball the 41-45 records.

I missed your closeup. My smoker is like yours on the right, at least the white line is about that distance from the "break."
 

·
Platinum Bullet member
Joined
·
19,256 Posts
The Miata board? Are you looking for a man date? ;)
Rodent, look carefully at his last photo - the one on the far right :rolleyes:
 

·
Kryptonite member
Joined
·
5,765 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mutt, Go back and read my addition, don't be so quick to jump in and critizise. It's a sign of "cur" or being "Obama-like." da Shogun (ret.)
 

·
Platinum Bullet member
Joined
·
19,256 Posts
My post was two minutes before your correction. So there :p
You really should drink a higher quality beer...
 

·
Gold Bullet Member
Joined
·
3,425 Posts
Sir Adogs :

Must remember that El Rodento is married and on a thin diet, therefore he must smoke the local weed and swill Ole Milwaukee's best or LA 104, unlike your youthful self who seeps the Champagne of ales and brews.
By the way wish you and the mutts the best of the Holidays.
Vicasoto
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Very nice to see actual production quantities posted for some of the knee mortar ammo. Thanks. I've never seen those numbers before.

I'm not sure what the "GD" means in the Type 10 GD smoke shell citation, but the attached photo is one of the many color variations of the Type 10 smoke and flare rounds. This one is a daytime black smoke round and is made of wound cardboard. Perhaps these were durable enough for use in China and other less tropical climates, but I always thought the Type 95 smoke shell was developed to make a tougher smoke round for jungle use. I'm sure the Japanese had the same problems with the Type 10 flares as we did with paper flares and shotshells in wet jungle conditions.

I'd love to see other surviving examples of Type 10 flare or smoke rounds if others are out there.

Regarding the differences in the T-95 smoke shell construction, I suppose we'll never know the absolute truth until someone finds some obscure Japanese ordnance report, but here's my guess. Considering the seperation charge that shears off the 4 set screws and pushes the smoke candle out of the bottom is located at the upper body threads, I'll bet they had malfunctions where the fuze and ogive blew off the top because of the thin wall at the top of the body, just like WWI shrapnel shells functioned at the front end. By increasing the thickness of the upper body around the threads, it would increase the chance the base of the shell would blow out properly when the fuze fires.

I'd still like to know if someone can translate the text or any characters from the rounds in my first photos. Anyone? Thanks for the kind comments, too.
 

·
Platinum Bullet member
Joined
·
19,256 Posts
Geezo, what else have you got?
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
6,156 Posts
Ordnance, great examples of smoke grenades you have !!
That T-10 is a signal round named Black Dragon and used for communications.
As for the marks on your two T-89 on the first photo (first and third form left), unfortunately those are later added on markings by some enterprising indivdual in an attempt to "enhance" the piece's mystique. As you can see the marks are hand painted, and these were never originally hand painted. The third piece from the left reads 九七曲歩 meaning Type 97 Infantry Mortar, and that definitely does not fit the bill for a 50mm T-89 grenade.
The second from the left grenade with the encircled ホ (ho) mark is nice and genuine. Is that a Hoten (Mukden) made grenade ?

In regards to the construction difference of the grenade variations for the T-10 and the T-89 knee mortars, the T-89 launcher was clearly made for higher pressure and propellant power, and also had to tolerate the high inertia added by the rifling spin. A cardboard constructed body would have disintegraded as soon as it left the barrel, hence they had to be made from sturdy metal bodies. In comparison, the T-10 rounds must have been of a more easy-going nature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Edokko,

Thanks for the comments and corrections to my posts.

I cannot explain the odd markings on those two rounds and you could be correct that they were enhanced somewhere along the way. I do know that I never paid any premium for them because of the special markings. Most of these rounds have been in my collection for 15-30 years and I haven't paid over $30 or $40 for a T89 shell, ever. Well, that's not exactly true.....in a weak moment I bought an original Japanese cutaway of the T89 at the SAR show a year ago for almost $200. I showed it briefly to Doss and a few of the other guys there who translated the small wood tag attached to it as "Type 89 heavy shell". If I can find where I put it, I'll take a few photos and add them to this thread.

Anyway, when I see something oddly marked and offered as some scarce variation, I'm always suspicious of someone trying to make a buck. But when such items are true sleepers and purchased for the same or less than a normal example, it just increases the mystery for me. Why the heck would someone have written incorrect mortar related information on that shell? They could just have easily written "strained beets...15 yen". It would have looked the same to me for the last 20 years. My primary interest in that round when I picked it up was the placement of the yellow band at the top instead of the center of gravity. I've seen a few others like that and have never figured out what that particular variation meant, but that feature does seem original. Now the markings have me scratching my head even harder but, nevertheless, thanks for the details!

Regarding the posssible Mukden round, I'll have to look later. It's down in my shop behind a lot of drifting snow tonight and I'm busy feeding the fire and trying to keep warm.
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
6,156 Posts
Ordnance, the doodles do happen, not necessary to sell them at a premium. I would just guess that a bored person was looking at his collection of mortar rounds and figured he could handwrite copy this cool markings on the 81mm round onto this other 50mm round. The Kanji handwriting balance is not exactly correct and is not in Japanese hand.
Regardless, you have quite an impressive collection of unusual variations and would be great to see your other pieces.
 

·
Kryptonite member
Joined
·
5,765 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ordnance, Would it be possible to get a photocopy of the page of your report with the data on the color bands? Of course I'd pay photocopying and postage charges. Doss
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top