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Dumdum(dŭm`dəm), four towns in Suburban Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal state, E central India. South Dumdum (1991 pop. 230,507) is a residential area of the northern edge of metropolitan Kolkata, while North Dumdum (1991 pop. 151,298) contains several large rural enclaves. The Dumdum Aerodrome Area (1991 pop. 5,012) is the site of Kolkata's international airport. The town of Dumdum (1991 pop. 40,961), founded in 1783, has iron- and steelworks, glass and soap factories, and engineering works. In the 19th cent. its arsenal was the first to manufacture lead-nosed bullets that spread on impact, inflicting a tearing wound. In 1905, Great Britain acceded to the prohibition of dumdum bullets adopted by the first Hague Conference in 1899.
an exploding bullet with a cross-like incision or cavity in the head. These bullets were first used by the British Army in the Boer War of 1899-1902. They inflict severe wounds in which the exit opening is considerably larger than the entry opening. The bullet was named for the suburb of Dum Dum in Calcutta, India, where the cartridge factory that made the bullets for the British was located. Several armies, not including the Russian and Soviet armies, perfected mushrooming bullets and used them in World Wars I and II.