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Identify WW1 20mm shell casing? Answered

A WWII veteran friend of mine has donated two shells collected on the battlefield in WWI by his father.

Following are some photos of the shells:

I have tentatively identified them as 20mm HE shells but would like more information, such as manufacturer and probably use.

The first image shows both shells. They are 20mm in diameter, the brass casing is 70mm, the steel casing is 49mm and the head is 25mm.

The steel casing shows an and what appears to be an exploding shell.

The other two images are of the bases. The letters at the top appear to be B &S  but could be something else. I believe this is the manufacturer's mark.

The 18 should be the year of manufacture.

I have no idea what the 125 on the left means nor the numbers on the bottom which are hard to identify.

Any assistance would be appreciated because my friend, who is now 95, would like more information concerning the shells.

Thank you.

Roger Laplante



Made by P&S, Platers and stampers Ltd a UK company.

im going to bet these are WWII shells, Platers and stampers stopped production of housewares in 1939-1945 to produce munitions for the war effort. Nothing new, US companies did the same thing, Ive seen 50 cal machine guns made by AC delco spark plugs and refrigerator companies that are still in service today.

I contacted the Western Front Museum (westernfront.nl) and received the following information.

It is German designated 20mm Becker (20x70RB) and is an HE projectile.

The P&S stands for Potz & Sand of Monheim, Germany.

They also told me that they do not a sample of this shell in their collecton, so as soon as I confirm they are inert, I intend to send them one.

Thanks for the feedback.

Are you certain they are from WW1 and not WW2?
I can find some shells relating to WW2 but for the the first war there is little to no evidence of these 200m shells.

I am pretty sure they are WWI. The number 18 should be the year of manufacture. Research shows that 20mm shells were developed in WW1 by the Germans and became common in WWII.

If it is early german one than most likely it is a shrapnel round.
The explosive tip and driving charge however seem to be removed otherwise I would treat them with care as there is no way of knowing how stable they are.