Original Japanese WWII INERT Imperial Japanese Army Type 88 Point Detonating Artillery Fuse With Tin and COPY of Bringback Documents - Dated 1943

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely example of a WWII Imperial Japanese Army Type 88 Fuse. This is a totally inert example and is completely free of any explosive filling and can no longer be used in conjunction with or as an explosive device. This fuse is in complete compliance with the BATF and their current regulations on inert ordnance.

Not Available For Export.

This fuse was sent home in 1945 by United States Navy Reservist D. W. Christenson, a Mineman 2nd Class who was apart of Bomb and Mine Disposal Team #3. A scanned and printed copy of the original paperwork is included with the purchase. To avoid any further confusion, a COPY of the original documents are included, NOT the original.

The Japanese Army and Navy classified bombs as land attack, ordinary, and special bombs. Land attack bombs were relatively cheaply manufactured bombs designed for use against ground targets while ordinary bombs were more carefully manufactured and were intended for use against shipping. However, the distinction was not sharp and both would have been described by the Americans as either general purpose or armor piercing bombs. Special bombs included antisubmarine bombs, air-to-air bombs, cluster bombs, certain armor-piercing bombs, and chemical bombs.

The Japanese Navy designated bomb designs by type (year introduced to service, with 1939 being Year 99 and 1940 being Year 0), number (which the approximate bomb weigh in tens of kilograms), model (for major types) and modification (for minor changes). Thus the Type 99 Number 25 Model 1 Ordinary was a bomb brought into service in 1939 that weighted approximately 250 kg (551 lbs) and was the first antishipping bomb design adopted that year. Special bombs used Marks in place of Models, so the Type 99 Number 80 Mark 5 was a special-purpose bomb (in this case, armor-piercing) weighing 800 kg (1760 lbs) and introduced in 1939.

Bomb fill was typically either Shimose (picric acid), Type 91 (trinitroanisole), or Type 98 (70% trinitroanisole, 30% hexanitrodiphenylamine). Type 91 was considered particularly insensitive.

Number 80 bombs were too heavy to be carried by dive bombers and were intended for delivery by torpedo bombers and fast attack bombers. The Number 50 bombs were too heavy for the D3A "Val" but could be carried by the D4Y "Judy".

This fuse is a lovely example of the Large Type 88 Instantaneous (Gun and Howitzer / Mortar) Impact/Point Detonating Fuse. Upon firing, the arming collar drops and the wedges are pushed out by the centrifugal force, clearing the path for the striker. Some of the rounds that this fuse can be found on are the 70mm Type 3 HEAT, 57mm HE for the Type 90/97 Tank Gun, 47mm x 284 HE for the Type 1 Anti-Tank or Type 1/97 Tank.

This fuse still features the original markings for the date and type. The date stamp is 3 八 十 昭 and is written right to left, and would be read: SHOWA (current reigning emperor) Juu-Hachi Nen (18th year of reign - 1943) 3rd month (March). The opposite side has the characters 八八式 榴臼 which identifies the fuse as an “Eighty-eight Type Mortar”.

The original storage tin retains the original top paper label and the wooden inserts. The top label is somewhat hard to read. The tin is in lovely condition with no major dents or issues.

This is a lovely example that comes ready to display!

The Japanese Navy bomb fuzes designation system was unknown to the Allies until after the end of the Second World War. As a result, a designation system was created to describe the fuzes as follows. It consists of a capital letter, a numeral and a lower-case parenthetical letter.

The capital letter designates the fuzes type as follows:
A - nose impact
B - tail impact
C - long delay fuze
D - airburst fuze
E - protective fuze

This is definitely an interesting piece and comes with the original “removal” pull pins and original Japanese tags still attached, meaning this device was never used. It appears to be complete and without damage, there is however some paint loss to the fan blades. This example comes with the original storage tin, however it appears that the tin has done its job and took a beating so the fuse didn’t have to. No markings can be found on the tin itself and despite the denting, the fuse still fits perfectly inside.

Prior to World War II, there were no formally trained bomb or mine disposal personnel, but the need became apparent when in 1939, the British navy dismantled the first German magnetic mine that had washed up on the shore of Shoeburyness, England. In 1941, the U.S. Naval Mine School was established at Naval Gun Factory in Washington, D.C., and subsequently, the Bomb Disposal School was established. The first U.S. casualty in mine disposal was in 1942, when Ensign John M. Howard was killed when he attempted to dismantle a booby-trapped German magnetic submarine-laid moored mine. About 20 trained bomb and mine disposal personnel, to include Howard, were killed in action during WWII.

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