*WW1, Flechette (aerial dart)*
1.3cm diameter at end, 22cm length, 3cm fins (3 out of 4 fins surviving)
A pointed, fin-stabilized steel projectile.0 These were used by the British, French and Germans in WW1. Flechettes were primarily used early in the war, although some were still being used in January 1917.
One piece cylindrical aerial dart with pointed tip and four grooved fins in the shaft. Flechettes were dropped from aeroplanes or airships in great numbers, each canister holding between twenty and 250 darts. The canisters were attached under the fuselage. A wire was pulled to open the bottom of the canister, which released the flechettes. The idea was that by dropping them at great heights they would acquire sufficient momentum (like a bullet) to allow them to pierce the heads, or bodies of enemy soldiers or civilians. There are accounts of men being killed by flechettes, which were recorded as making thin, but deep wounds, but generally they were not considered a successful weapon.
The British used them to try and down German airships by dropping them from aircraft flying above. This failed to work, much in the same way firing normal ammunition at airships failed to work – they may have been able to penetrate the envelope of the airship, but did not cause much damage.
Good used condition, one fin missing. Please see photographs as part of the condition report.