Thursday, 18 January 2018

Bomber Command Teaser - Tell me what this is!

Ok the pictures you see here are of an item acquired by a friend, Ian, who asked me if I could identify it.

As you can see we are looking at a rather large round that has a slug in it with what can only be described as a 'pencil sharpener' type of blade.

This item would have been found on a Lancaster II bomber as seen below and was very much part of the aircraft's defence systems particularly when operating at low altitude.

Answer to follow unless anyone reading the post who thinks they knows what we are looking at cares to share the answer in a comment.


  1. A shell from a barrage balloon cable cutter?

  2. A rare beast indeed and worth a few quid.

    The "15" would usually be the identifying mark of the manufacturer, then MKII and the Z which much British & Commonwealth WW2 issued ammunition bore. The 42 is usually year of manufacture I believe.

    It is a barrage balloon cable cutting round. It was invented by Sir James Martin, who also designed the first working ejector seat.


  3. The only one I have ever seen bore the mark "ICI", which stands for Imperial Chemical Industries. I guess this one may be marked the same in the flesh, as the picture is not too clear.


  4. There you have it, three comments and the answer to my teaser answered perfectly, even down to the manufacturers marking, which is indeed ICI.

    Well done chaps and thanks Vince for the added detail. I had no idea that Martin Baker were into cable cutters before they became even more famous for their ejector seat designs.

    I also had never seen this item before Ian showed it to me at the club meet last weekend and it is a really nice item to have and rather unique.

    This why I have to keep on my toes when posting on this blog because the readership have such a broad depth of knowledge.