This is a cutaway of a Quick Firing 13-pounder high explosive (HE) shell, the smallest caliber of its type during the war. The yellow portion would have been filled with the explosive Amotol. The strands of fibre represent the cordite propellant, which launched the shell from the gun barrel. It spread steel fragments of the metal casing over many metres, causing ghastly injuries to troops and animals. High explosive shells could also damage earthworks and dugouts, exploding only after they had penetrated the ground. HE shells came in a wide variety of calibres, but most were delivered by 18-pounder guns or 4.5-inch howitzers. One British gun attached to a railway car fired a 14-inch shell weighing 1,586 pounds (719 kilograms).
Cutaway Artillery Shell