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Small lead or steel balls contained in a shrapnel case which is fired from an artillery piece; the balls are projected in a forward direction upon the functioning of the fuse.



originally an artillery shell filled with round shot. Shrapnel is primarily intended to strike live, exposed targets. It was named for an English officer, H. Shrapnel, who in 1803 proposed filling an artillery shell with cast-iron case shot, thereby intensifying the shell’s effect. Exploded in the air at a predetermined distance from the target, shrapnel was highly effective and was widely used in World War I.

Shrapnel was replaced in the 1930’s by the more powerful fragmentation and high-explosive fragmentation shells. The late 1960’s witnessed the introduction of shrapnel-type artillery shells filled with dart-like projectiles, or fléchettes, intended to strike unconcealed enemy personnel. There are up to 8,000 such projectiles in the US 105-mm shell, each fléchette 24 mm long and weighing 0.5 g. Thrown from the shell as a result of centrifugal force and the pressure of the powder gases of the bursting charge, the fléchettes are scattered in a conical pattern.

References in periodicals archive ?
He claimed Curwood had threatened to "batter" Mr Shrapnell a few days earlier and that Mr Shrapnell known as "Shraps" was frightened of him.
I was pleased to read that Ms M Shrapnell had an enjoyable day out here at Dudley Zoo and Castle and would like to take this opportunity to explain a few comments.
Ashley Shrapnell, aged 18, of Ansty Road, Wyken, an ex-pupil of Ernesford Grange Community College, in Princethorpe Way, Ernesford Grange, was forced to wait behind a police cordon close to The Rocket pub, in Warwick Road, for his girlfriend to be allowed to leave Boots, where she works.
JANE SHRAPNELL, daughter of Douglas and Helen Shrapnell, of Norton Hill Drive, Wyken, Coventry, and Matthew White, son of Nigal and Christine White, of Deepark Drive, Warwick, married at Stoke St Michael's Church, Coventry.
PROUD dad and Sky Blues defender Calum Davenport and partner Zoey Shrapnell, a 21-year-old Coventry girl, showed off their baby daughter Angel-Skye this week.