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What's the history of this mortar shell?

What's the history of this mortar shell?

I was wondering if anyone could give me some history on this shell, which was left to my son by his great grandmother.

Could anyone give me information about these markings on this mortar shell. Many thanks.


A great resource to help identify the markings on shell casings is usually the Explanatory List of Service Markings to Be Found on Ammunition and Ammunition Packages in Use With the Field Armies 1918. In this case, unfortunately it is of limited use since it appears the main shell case may have been manufactured in Canada.

The stamps that one might expect to find on the base of an 18-pounder cartridge can be found on pages 9-10 of the book.


The markings:

18 PR

II

indicate that this wasn't actually a mortar shell, but is in fact a shell case for an 18 pounder QF Mk II shell.

(The 1914 version of The Handbook of the 18-PR. Q.F. GUN - Land Service is available to read or download as a PDF file from archive.com if you're interested in reading more about the type of gun that would have fired these shells).

The date

20 5 17

is the date on which the shell was filled.

The S contained within concentric circles is the monogram or trade mark of the manufacturer. It isn't shown in the list of Station Monograms and Initials on pp 56-57 of the Explanatory List of Service Markings, but several sites (for example on the Great War Forum) have suggested that that monogram was used by the Copp Store Company, Canada.

The marking below that

L U N

should be the lot code for that batch of shell cases. I understand that these three-letter codes are unique to Canadian shell cases.

I can't make out enough detail on the lower markings on the shell case to identify them with any degree of certainty. There appears to be 1917 (presumably the year), over-stamped with other markings.


The markings on the primer are easier to interpret. A primer should have been stamped with:

  • (i) Number and mark of primer.
  • (ii) Initials of the firm or factory making the primer.
  • (iii) Acceptance mark (after filling).
  • (iv) Filling factory number.
  • (v) Date of filling (month and year).

(Explanatory List of Service Markings, p26)

In this case, we have

No 1

stamped above

II

on the left side of the primer, indicating that you have a a No 1 Mark II primer.

The 17 on the right indicates that it was manufactured in 1917. The number above the 17 is not clear in the photograph, but will be the month the primer was manufactured.

The remaining stamps below the contact pin show that the primer was manufactured at NSF (National Shell Factory) Keighley - No. 2, which was rented from Hall and Steels Ltd (hence the H&S marking).

The indentation in the centre of the contact pin show that the shell has been fired.


If you are interested in researching the background to your shell case futher, there is quite a lot more information on the 18 pounder shell types etc. in the Treatise on Ammunition 1915.


My best guess is an 18 Pounder Mark II shell casing (18 PR II) from World War I. The dimple in the middle indicates it has been fired. Here's an example of the full round from the Imperial War Museum.

I'm guessing 30 5 17 is May 30th, 1917, though I don't know what that date signifies.

I can't read much of the fine detail, but it looks like it may have been filled and fired several times.

Better images with the details in focus and with good contrast would help immensely. Here's an example of a good image with explanations of the markings.


Stokes Mortar (3-inch)

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/14/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

While mortars largely fell out of interest prior to World War 1, the stalemate of trench warfare forced national armies to revisit its battlefield value. Mortars had been in use for centuries prior and were "indirect fire" weapons capable of engaging enemy forces not only at distance but also without line of sight. As such, entrenched enemy troops were no longer safe from incoming artillery for mortars could dislodge concentrations and also held a heavy psychological effect to boot. The larger counterpart to the mortar was the field howitzer which was doubly effective in the same role though these designed were generally large, heavy, cumbersome beasts when compared to the portability inherent in light mortar designs. The British Stokes Mortar (3-inch) was one of the most famous of the early modern light mortars. It was drawn up by English engineer Sir Wilfred Stokes (hence its designation) who eventually took a post within the "Inventions Branch of the Ministry of Munitions" during World War 1.

Tensions had officially culminated with the outbreak of world war in the summer of 1914 to which Britain declared war on the German Empire after the Empire had sought to invade France through British ally Belgium. Trench warfare bogged the Western Front within months of the declaration as both sides dug in for the long war ahead (initially, all sides thought the war would be over by Christmas and the conflict was greeted with euphoria by large crowds before the fighting started). With the stalemate an ever-growing problem to warplanners and politicians alike, various methods of removing the enemy were considered - among these being poison gas, flamethrowers, portable machine guns, the aircraft, the tank (then known as "Landships") and - of course - artillery.

Design of a new modern portable light field mortar for British troops began in early 1915. Comparatively, the German Army was making good with their own light mortar at the time, this the 7.58cm leichter Minenwerfer series. To match the enemy advantage "pound-for-pound", the British Army required an indirect weapon of similar scope that could be managed with relative ease in battle and moved into position at a moment's notice (in the latter case, for the taking and securing of an enemy trench for example). The Stokes 3-inch design was presented to British authorities in June of 1915 but interest was low for the new weapon was not cleared to fire existing ammunition supplies. However, with some internal help, the Stokes design came to fruition and the mortar was eventually adopted by the British Army during the war. From then on, the type went on to see extensive combat service through the whole of the conflict - giving a good account of itself in battle. It began wide scale operational service in 1916 and revisions greeted the design throughout the war.

A typical Stokes Mortar crew was two personnel - one to manage the elevation controls and the other to handle the ammunition. The entire system weighed in at 108lbs (despite its weight it was still a "light" mortar classification) and fired a 10lb 76.2mm high-explosive (amatol filled) cylindrical projectile out to 800 yards though effective range was closer to 750 yards. The smoothbore launch tube held an elevation limit of 45- to 75-degrees. Overall, the Stokes mortar system was very conventional even by modern standards, the design comprising a baseplate, launch tube, elevation controls, bipod and the projectile. For transporting, the Stokes design broke down into three primary components - the barrel, baseplate and bipod (not taking ammunition supply into account). A trained crew could fire between 22 to 25 rounds per minute if required but generally held to a 6-8 round per minute limit for when in the general sustained fire role (lest the barrel overheat).

In practice, the Stokes mortar was traditional in its overall operation. Once sighted against the proper target area (mortars were "area effect" weapons, not "direct target"), the ammunition handler would drop the 3-inch shell down the awaiting open muzzle of the launch tube. The projectile then struck a firing pin at the bottom of the tube which actuated an impact sensitive primer on the shell, thusly detonating the propellant of the shell with the resulting force sending the projectile out of the muzzle of the tube at speed. In this fashion, the Stokes mortar could offer repeating, indirect fire as needed in support of friendly actions - usually preceding an infantry charge by helping to "soften" enemy targets or provide suppression. Each 3-inch projectile could be further "ranged" by the addition of propellant "rings" of which up to four such rings could be affixed to a projectile's base. The projectile itself held a basic charge that allowed for a standard range to be reached though this also varied as related to the launch tube's elevation angle (the higher the angle, the shorter the range). Each propellant ring added as much as 100 yards of range to a Stokes Mortar holding a 45-degree elevation.

After the war, a new fin-stabilized projectile was finally developed which gave greater accuracy while an improved charge gave it greater range. The Stokes 3-inch mortar was such a success that it remained in the British inventory until 1936 before being replaced by the "Ordnance ML 3-inch Mortar" series prior to World War 2. Other operators of the Stokes design included the United States, Greece, Poland and Portugal. British Commonwealth forces also made use of the type during World War 1 and beyond. The basic 3-inch Stokes design eventually influenced a 4-inch (101mm) and 6-inch (152mm) Stokes design and these fired larger, more powerful projectiles including those containing incendiary, smoke and poisons.

The Stokes 3-inch mortar was certainly one of the engineering success stories of the First World War in terms of its military value.


The Origin of the Name

/>Technically, Japanese light “knee” mortars at first merely bridged the gap between hand grenades and true mortars and were more properly referred to as grenade dischargers. The weapon first developed was adopted in 1921, a 50mm grenade discharger, and it was an almost painfully simple smoothbore muzzleloader. Although it could fire signal and smoke rounds, this discharger was primarily used with the infantry’s standard 19-ounce Type 91 hand grenade, which could be lobbed to only about 75 yards maximum range. This discharger was known as the Model 10.

Japanese weapons used a year-based nomenclature that was often quite confusing to Westerners and requires some explanation. Initially, weapon model numbers were based on the year of the reign of the various emperors. For instance, the 6.5mm light machine gun was adopted in 1922, the 11th year of the Emperor Taisho era thus it became the Model 11.

After the death of Emperor Taisho, the model numbers were calculated from the last two digits of the year since the date of the founding of the Japanese Empire. Thus, when a new and improved 50mm knee mortar was adopted in 1929, it became the Type 89 “knee mortar,” with 1929 being the 2,589th anniversary of the Japanese Empire.


Historical Background return to top ▲

Mortar consisting primarily of lime and sand has been used as an integral part of masonry structures for thousands of years. Up until about the mid-19th century, lime or quicklime (sometimes called lump lime) was delivered to construction sites, where it had to be slaked, or combined with water. Mixing with water caused it to boil and resulted in a wet lime putty that was left to mature in a pit or wooden box for several weeks, up to a year. Traditional mortar was made from lime putty, or slaked lime, combined with local sand, generally in a ratio of 1 part lime putty to 3 parts sand by volume. Often other ingredients, such as crushed marine shells (another source of lime), brick dust, clay, natural cements, pigments, and even animal hair were also added to mortar, but the basic formulation for lime putty and sand mortar remained unchanged for centuries until the advent of portland cement or its forerunner, Roman cement, a natural, hydraulic cement.

Portland cement was patented in Great Britain in 1824. It was named after the stone from Portland in Dorset which it resembled when hard. This is a fast-curing, hydraulic cement which hardens under water. Portland cement was first manufactured in the United States in 1871, although it was imported before this date. But it was not in common use throughout the country until the early 20th century. Up until the turn of the century portland cement was considered primarily an additive, or "minor ingredient" to help accelerate mortar set time. By the 1930s, however, most masons used a mix of equal parts portland cement and lime putty. Thus, the mortar found in masonry structures built between 1871 and 1930 can range from pure lime and sand mixes to a wide variety of lime, portland cement, and sand combinations.

In the 1930s more new mortar products intended to hasten and simplify masons' work were introduced in the U.S. These included masonry cement, a premixed, bagged mortar which is a combination of portland cement and ground limestone, and hydrated lime, machine-slaked lime that eliminated the necessity of slaking quicklime into putty at the site.


‘Shelly mortar’

Oysters in mortar, Vaucluse House. Photo Jacqui Newling © HHT

At Wentworth’s own home – Vaucluse House – we can see colonial ‘shelly mortar’ in the stone walls of the laundry as well as in a number of garden and retaining walls. The mortar was quite likely made with lime from local sources of shells, including the beach below Vaucluse House and nearby middens, the traces of which remain around Vaucluse Bay and Nielsen Park. David Wilson, the HHT’s Building Facilities Manager, tells us that local beach sand was probably also used, and this would be the source of the obvious shell fragments.

In recent conservation work at Vaucluse, though we didn’t go quite as far as burning shells for lime, the appearance of the sandy mortar was replicated using a slaked lime mortar with a mixture of four parts Sydney sand and one part common ‘brickies’ sand. The grit in the brickies’ sand adds texture, mimicking the shell, while also adding a stronger colour. This mix has been used for a number of building repairs, including a section of wall alongside the service court and the main verandah’s western steps.


Civil War Cannonball Exploded & Killed 140 Years After it Was Fired

Sam White was a dyed-in-the-wool Civil War fanatic. He was never happier than when he was searching for Civil War relics or restoring those that he had found.

Sadly, 12 years ago in February 2008, his hobby cost him his life, when a cannonball that he was restoring exploded, killing him instantly.

Sam, who lived in Chester, a pretty suburb of Richmond in Virginia, would scour the countryside around his home looking for buttons, bullets, flags, and even artillery shells that have lain in the earth undisturbed for 140 years.

His desire for Civil War artifacts also drove him to don scuba gear and search the rivers for any interesting bits and pieces.

The U.S. Army CC BY 2.0

Harry Ridgeway, a fellow relic hunter, said that there are very few places in the Southern States of American that were not battlefields during the Civil War. He shared the thrill of finding relics with Sam and thousands of other Civil War buffs.

Back in February 2008, 53-year-old Sam White very sadly lost his life while trying to restore a cannonball. One hundred forty years after it was fired, the explosives contained within the ball were still powerful enough to blast a piece of shrapnel a quarter of a mile, where it landed on the porch of a house.

Colonel John F. Biemeck, who retired from the Army Ordnance Corps, said that merely dropping one on the ground is not enough to make it explode.

White’s death sent shock waves through the very close-knit community of Civil War relic hunters. It also brought the issue of Civil War munitions and the safety of those munitions into the public sphere.

There are still tons of this type of explosive littered around Civil War battlefields. Yet, explosives experts have said that the odds of one of these artillery pieces exploding are extraordinary.

In the period 1861 to 1865, Confederate troops from the southern states and Union forces from the north blasted an estimated 1.5 million artillery pieces at each other, some on land and some on the water.

Journals from that period indicate that as many as one in five of the fired pieces were duds and did not explode on contact.

Union troops from the North and Southern Confederate troops lobbed an estimated 1.5 million artillery shells and cannonballs at each other from 1861 to 1865

There are many cannonballs and other artillery shells recovered regularly. In March of this year, a substantial 8-inch mortar shell weighing 44-pounds was retrieved from the site of the 292-day Siege of Petersburg. This shell was safely detonated.

The cannonballs and other artillery shells of this period were filled with a mixture of potassium nitrate, sulfur, and charcoal, commonly known as black powder.

Black powder does not explode easily, and it needs a combination of friction and extremely high temperature – 572°F to cause it to detonate.

“There just aren’t many areas in the South in which battlefields aren’t located. They’re literally under your feet,” M1857 Napoleon at Stones River battlefield cemetery.

Sam’s friends never saw anything to give cause for concern over his work in restoring cannonballs.

Sam’s family often watched him work on these restorations, and it is estimated that he had restored around 1,600 shells for collectors.

Jimmy Blankenship, the curator and resident historian at the Petersburg battlefield, said that Sam knew Civil War munitions very well.

As this was an explosion, there was a full investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Police that attended the scene examined the shrapnel and concluded that it was an explosion by a Civil War munition that caused his death.

Some of the weapons remain buried in the ground or river bottoms.

White was working on the restoration and disarming of a 75-pound, 9-inch naval shell. These contained a potent explosive, that was many times more destructive than that used in shells used on land, along with a complex fuse

There has been speculation about what White was trying to do when he died. Colonel Biemeck and Peter George, who co-authored a book on munitions used during the Civil War, suspect that White was using a drill or a grinder to remove debris from the cannonball.

The intricate fuse design may also have led White to incorrectly conclude that there was no powder left in the ball.

This, in conjunction with the shower of sparks from the drill, could have been enough to cause the cannonball to explode.

As this was a naval shell, the ball would have been watertight, as it was designed to fly over the water at high speed and strike an enemy ship along the waterline. This protective cover would have ensured that the black powder inside was protected from degradation by the elements.

Sam White’s widow, Brenda, convinced that her husband did nothing wrong and that there was an inherent manufacturing defect in the shell that he could not possibly have known about. She said that he had disarmed the shell before it exploded.

Following Sam’s death, the neighboring houses were evacuated, while experts removed all the artillery pieces from his collection and detonated them safely.


Rocket & Mortar Attacks Against Israel by Date

Two rockets were intercepted by air defense batteries. The municipality of Sderot said that one house had been hit by shrapnel. An Israeli man of 58 was lightly injured by broken glass and a house near Sderot had taken a direct hit from a rocket. Only property was damaged.

Two rockets hit open terrain in southern Israel, and no casualties or damage were reported. A third was intercepted by Israeli air defense.

November 12 190 Rockets Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) fired 190 rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
May 5 200 Rockets A barrage of 200 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza. Two people were killed when rockets fhit a factory in Ashkelon.
May 4 250 Rockets A barrage of 250 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, killing an Israeli man in Ashkelon.
March 25 1 Rocket One rocket was launched from Gaza and hit a house in Mishmeret injuring seven people.
March 14 2 Rockets Two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Tel Aviv. One rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome.
November 12 1 Mortar A mortar fired from Gaza hit an Israeli bus, critically wounding a 19-year-old man.
November 11 17 Rockets Seventeen rockets were fired at Israel, of which 3 were intercepted.
August 8 8 Rockets Eight rockets were fired at Israel, 2 were intercepted, 4 impacted open areas, and 2 landed in Sderot causing damage and 2 injuries.
July 26 11 Rockets Nine rockets were fired from Gaza into Israeli territory over the course of two days from July 25-26, 2018. All missiles landed in open areas near the border fence and no injuries were reported. A number of Hamas positions in Gaza were struck by Israel in retaliation, killing three members of the terror group. Additionally, two rockets fired by ISIS militants in Syria landed in the Sea of Galilee.
July 14 174 Rockets/Mortars A barrage of 174 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza towards Israel on July 14, 2018. The Israeli Iron Dome Missile Defense system only intercepted forty of the projectiles. Three Israelis were wounded after a rocket struck their house in Sderot. The Israelis carried out airstrikes on over forty Hamas military installations in retalliation.

June 26
13 Rockets Thirteen rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel on the night of June 26 and early morning of June 27. Three of these rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome system. This rocket fire was in retaliation to the attempted assassination of a Hamas militant the Israeli military blew up his car, but he was not inside of it at the time.

June 20
45 Rockets Forty-five rockets were fired by terror groups in Gaza towards Israel during the middle of the night on June 20, 2018. Seven of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, with other rockets landing in unpopulated areas and three striking near community centers and schools. No injuries were reported, but most Israelis in border communities spent the night in bomb shelters. In response, the Israeli Air Force struck 25 Hamas targets in Gaza.
June 3 3 Rockets Three rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza
May 29 70 Mortars/Rockets Seventy mortars and rockets were fired in two volleys from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory on May 29, 2018, following weeks of Palestinian protests at the Israeli border. Most projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome, but some made it through. One missile exploded in the yard of an Israeli kindergarten. Five Israelis were wounded in the barage, most by mortar shrapnel. The Israeli military hit back forcefully, striking approximately 30 Hamas military installations. This was the single largest attack by Gaza terrorists on Israel since the 2014 Gaza war.
February 18 1 Rocket One rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel. It landed in an open area.
February 17 Multiple Multiple rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel. One landed on a house in Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council.
February 1 1 Rocket One rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip around 11:30 p.m. on February 1, causing no damage or injuries.
January 15 1 Rocket One rocket fired from within the Gaza Strip towards Israel landed in Gaza, striking a home and injuring three residents.
January 4 3 Rockets Three rockets were fired towards Israel from the Gaza Strip, all landed in Israeli border communities in open fields, no injuries reported. In retalitaion the Israeli Air Force struck central terrorist infrastructure tragets within Gaza.
January 1 4 Rockets Four rockets were fired from Gaza, all landed in open areas.

Ten mortar shells launched from Syria landed in the Golan Heights, no injuries were reported. The IDF announced the strikes were likely accidental spillover fire from fights between rebels and Syrian forces on the other side of the border, but retaliated anyway in a strike that killed two Syrian soldiers.

One rocket was fired into Israel from the Sinai, and hit a greenhouse in a community on the Egypt-Israel border. The rocket was fired by Islamic-State affiliated militants, and caused no injuries.

February 27

One rocket was fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip, and hit an empty area in Southern Israel. The Israeli military responded by striking five Hamas positions in the Strip, seriously injuring four Hamas militants.

February 20

Two rockets were fired into Israel from the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, striking open fields in the Eshkol region of Israel and causing no injuries.

Four rockets were fired into Israel from Sinai, three were intercepted by the Iron Dome and one struck land in an empty field. The Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai claimed responsibility for the rockets.

One rocket was fired from within the Gaza Strip, landing in the Hof Ashkelon area. No injuries were reported, in retaliation IDF tanks and aircraft struck and destroyed six Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip.

One rocket fired from within the Gaza Strip landed on a street in the Southern Israeli town of Sderot. The Iron Dome Missile Defense System failed to engage the rocket, but luckily nobody was injured in the strike. Air strikes were carried out on Hamas targets in Gaza in retalliation for the rocket attack.

September 17

Two mortar shells were errantly fired over the Israeli border from Syria. These mortars were brought down by the Iron Dome missile defense system, which had never before intercepted stray mortar rounds from Syria.

September 12

One mortar shell was fired from Syria, and landed in the Golan Heights. No injuries were reported, and the Israeli military responded by striking Syrian military installations.

September 10

One rocket was fired from Syria, landing in the Golan Heights and not causing any injuries. The fire was attributed to spillover from the Syrian civil war, and in response the Israeli Air Force struck Syrian military targets.

One rocket was fired from Gaza and landed near Sderot and Sha'ar Hanegev, the rocket was found between two houses in Sderot. No injuries were reported. Hamas military installations were struck the next day and night by Israeli fire in multiple unusually heavy retaliatory strikes.

One rocket was fired from Gaza into Israeli territory by the small Salafi jihadist group Ajnad Beit al-Maqdis. The rocket landed in an open Israeli field, and no injuries were reported. The IAF carried out strikes against Hamas positions in Southern Gaza in retaliation.

Multiple mortars, 1 rocket

Many mortar rounds were fired at Israeli forces engaged in &ldquooperational activities&rdquo near the security fence in the Southern Gaza Strip during the first week of May 2016. These mortars were meant to disrupt the Israelis, who were engaged in detecting and destroying Hamas attack tunnels dug between Gaza and Israel. No injuries were reported, but tunnel detecting equipment was damaged. In response, the IDF fired on Palestinian Interior Ministry buildings, Hamas outposts, and other targets, damaging structures and causing two civilian injuries. The Israeli Air Force struck back at the militants as well, hitting four Hamas targets on May 6. A rocket was fired by Hamas militants from Gaza on May 7, 2016, landing in the Eshkol region and exploding without damaging structures or injuring Israelis. In response, the Israeli Air Force struck two Hamas targets.

Four rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel, all fell in open areas. No injuries reported.

One rocket was fired from Gaza, landing in an open area in the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council and not causing damage or injury.

Five rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, two landed in open areas in Israel and three landed within the Gaza Strip.

December 20

At least three rockets were fired over the Lebanon border, landing in Israel. The IDF blamed the Lebanese military for the strikes, and responded with their own artillery fire. No injuries were reported.

December 17

One rocket was fired from Gaza, setting off rocket sirens in the Sha'ar HaNegev region of Southern Israel. The rocker landed in the Gaza Strip. The IDF struck two sites in Gaza in retalliation, no injuries were reported.

December 13

One rocket was fired from Gaza and set off rocket sirens in Southern Israel, and landed in an open area in Shaar HaNegev. Israeli jets struck a Hamas base in response, no casualties were reported in either incident.

November 23

One rocket was fired from Gaza and landed in an open area in Southern Israel. No damage or casualties were reported, and sirens in Israel were not set off.

November 17

One rocket was fired from Gaza and landed near the border wall seperating Israel from Gaza. Rocket alert sirens in Israel did not activate, and there were no reports of injuries or damage.

One rocket was fired from Gaza and landed in Southern Israel in a field, no injuries reported. In response, Israeli jets struck Hamas positions in Gaza, with no casualties reported.

One rocket was fired from Gaza at Southern Israel, no injuries reported.

One rocket was fired from Gaza and landed in Israel's Sha'ar Hanegev region. No injuries or property damage reported.

One rocket was shot down by the Iron Dome over Israel after being launched from the Gaza Strip. In response to this attack as well as attacks during the previous days, the Israeli military conducted air strikes against Gaza militant positions. These strikes claimed the lives of a pregnant 30-year old Palestinian woman and her 3-year old daughter, and injured several other members of her family.

Two rockets were fired by Gaza militants, both landed and exploded in the Gaza Strip. No injuries reported.

Palestinians fired two rockets from Gaza on Sunday October 4, one of which exploded in a field in Eshkol with no injuries. The other rocket did not make it out of the Gaza Strip but still set off warning sirens in Israel because it was originally headed towards a populated area.

September 30

One rocket was fired towards Israeli territory from within the Gaza Strip on September 30, 2015. The missile was intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system over the Israeli city of Ashdod, and no injuries were reported. In response, the Israeli Air Force struck four Hamas military sites the next day.

September 20

Two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip by the Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade. One rocket landed in Sderot and damaged a home, while the other rocket was shot down by the Iron Dome missile defense system over Ashkelon. No injuries were reported. The Israeli Air Force struck multiple targets in retalliation, including a Hamas telecommunications site.

September 1

One rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip by an ISIS linked group, the Sinai Province of the Islamic State. The rocket fell within Gazan territory, no injuries were reported.

One rocket was fired from within the Gaza Strip and exploded in Israeli territory on Thursday, August 27, 2015. In response, the Israeli military struck the position from which the rocket was fired, and also destroyed a Hamas weapons factory in Gaza. No injuries were reported.

Multiple rockets struck an Israeli village near the Lebanese border, and Israel responded by striking militant positions within the Syrian Golan Heights. The rockets were fired from within Syria, and Israel blamed the group Islamic Jihad for the attack.

Three rockets were fired by Jihadist groups from the Gaza Strip. Two of these rockets exploded in Gaza and one made it to Israel no injuries were reported.

Two rockets were fired by Hamas at Israel. The rockets landed in unpopulated areas near the border, no injuries reported.

Two rockets were fired from within Gaza on June 6, 2015. No casualties or significant damage were reported, and the rockets landed in empty fields. The Omar Brigades again claimed responsibility for this attack, and it seemed as if they were trying to provoke Israel into another was with Hamas. Israel bombed Hamas facilities in response, causing damage but no casualties.

Two rockets were fired from within Gaza on Wednesday, June 2, 2015, striking Southern Israel near Ashkelon. No significant damage or injuries were reported. In response to the attack the IDF carried out air strikes against the facility where they believed the rockets were fired from. A Salafist group associated with the Islamic State, the Omar Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it was in response to the Hamas police officers killing of an Islamic State supporter during the previous day.

At least one rocket was fired towards Israel from within the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Sirens went off and explosions were heard in Southern Israel, but no injuries were reported. Israeli security officials believe that this attack was carried out by Palestinian Islamic Jihad members. In response, Israeli aircraft bombed four sites in Gaza the following day, known to be Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad training areas.

In the first rocket attack of 2015, Hamas militants fired a rocket into Israeli territory on Israel Independence Day. Israeli warning sirens sounded and the rocket exploded on impact but caused no casualties or damage. The IDF responded by shelling a base that was known to be used by the militant group, also causing no casualties.

December 19

A rocket fired from the Gaza strip landed in the Eshkol Regional Council, no injuries were reported. In response to this attack, Israel carried out it's first air strikes in Palestinian territory since the end of Operation Protective Edge. Israeli Air Force jets struck a Hamas training camp in the southern Gaza Strip.

A Qassam rocket fired from within the Gaza Strip struck Southern Israel in the Eshkol region. The rocket was originally thought to have fallen and exploded within Gaza, so no Code Red sirens were sounded. In response to this attack, the Israeli goverment closed the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings on November 1, repoening them 2 days later on November 4. Hamas security forces arrested 5 individuals who them believe were behind the attack.

September 16

For the first time since the cease-fire took effect on August 26, a rocket fired from Palestinian territory screamed through the sky and landed in Israel. The rocket landed near the Gaza border, inbetween Eshkol and Sdot Negev. No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the attack, no injuries or major damage reported.

100+ rockets and an unconfirmed number of mortars

More than 100 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel on Tuesday August 26 before the cease-fire was announced. Multiple rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome, and at least 2 fell within the Gaza Strip. 2 people were killed and multiple people injured when a mortar hit Eshkol regional council. A home in Ashkelon suffered a direct hit and there were multiple injuries from shrapnel, and a rocket hit a playground in Ashdod.

130+ rockets and at least 30 mortars

At least 130 rockets and at least 30 mortars were fired from Hamas militants into Israel on August 25. Hamas took responsibility for an M75 rocket launched at Tel Aviv. Late afternoon saw a drastic increase in mortar and rocket fire, with the Iron dome intercepting one rocket bound for Ben Gurion Airport. Israeli military responded to rockets coming from Lebanon by firing artillery shells at the site of the launch. The Iron Dome struck down a rocket above a main shopping center in Ashdod, sending debris crashing through the mall's glass ceiling and injuring multiple people. Multiple injuries reported including a woman from Eshkol hit by shrapnel.

60+ rockets and an unconfirmed number of mortars

At least 60 rockets and an unconfirmed number of mortars were fired from Hamas militants into Israel on August 24. 2 rockets were also confirmed to have been fired from Syria into the Golan Heights. The intention and responsibility for these rockets has not yet been ascertained. These rockets were either intercepted by the Iron Dome or hit open areas in Eshkol and Sdot Negev. Hamas once again tried to fire on Tel Aviv.

93 rockets and an unconfirmed number of mortars

93 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel on August 23 including 2 rockets fired from Lebanon. Multiple injuries reported and multiple buildings were damaged.

50+ rockets and an unconfirmed number of mortars

More than 50 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel on August 22, including one that struck a home in Sha'ar HaNegev and killed a 4 year old boy. Daniel Tregerman was playing with his family when a red alert siren sounded and a mortar slammed into the side of his home. He was killed by shrapnel and was laid to rest later in the weekend. Rockets were also fired at Tel Aviv.

104 rockets and 12 mortars

104 rockets and twelve mortars were fired towards Israel on August 21. After heavy rocket fire pounded Southern Israel in the morning, an Israeli man was seriously injured by shrapnel as a Hamas rocket hit an Eshkol building. The man was attending his son's third birthday celabration at his son's school when the sirens went off and he immediately rushed to get all of the children inside. He was hit by shrapnel as the bomb exploded outside of the school. A number of cows were killed when a projectile hit the barn that they were in.

One hundred and sixty eight rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel today. No injuries reported. . Hamas fired two rockets at an Israeli gas installation off the Gaza coast.

50 rockets were fired from Gaza during the newly agreed to 24-hour extension to the previous week's 5 day cease-fire. Hamas militants broke the cease-fire early in the morning with a barage of 5 rockets, and Israel retaliated with air strikes on 25 locations. One of these rockets struck an Israeli highway, others hit open areas in Eshkol and Beersheba. No injuries reported.

A single rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel, landing in an open area in Eshkol. No injuries reported.

7 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, the Iron Dome intercepted one and the others landed in open areas. No injuries reported.

8 rockets were fired into seperate parts of Israel hours before the end of the 72-hour ceasefire.

The Iron Dome intercepted four rockets, while 35 hit open areas in Eshkol, Sderot and Ashkelon. No injuries reported.

30 rockets hit open areas in Eshkol and Hof Ashkelon. No injuries reported.

After the cease-fire ended, rockets immediately started being shot from Gaza. 2 overnight before the cease-fire ended, and a volley of "at least" 35 rockets at 8a.m. immediately following the cease-fire's end.

31 rockets were fired at Israel in just a few hours during a cease-fire that was supposed to last from 10a.m. to 5p.m. 26 were fired later in the day. No injuries reported.

119 rockets and mortars were fired towards Israel, with the Iron Dome taking down 8. No injuries reported.

84 rockets were fired towards Israel, no injuries reported.

16 rockets were fired at Israel, many landing in Eshkol Regional Council and Sha'ar HaNegev. No injuries reported.

Unconfirmed number of mortar and 32 rockets

32 rockets were fired at Israel, multiple impacts. 3 injuries: 14-year-old who had cut her leg, a 60-year-old man who fell and sustained moderate injuries, and a Chinese construction worker.

Unconfirmed number of mortar and 141 rockets

141 rockets were fired at Israel for an unconfirmed number of impacts. No one was injured.

Unconfirmed number of mortar and 79 rockets

79 rockets were fired at Israel for an unconfirmed number of impacts. No one was injured.

Unconfirmed number of mortar and 6 rocket hits

At least four people were killed, while at least six others were wounded, some seriously and criticially, by mortar fire on Eshkol near the Gaza border early Monday evening. Because this was a mortar and not a rocket, there was no Code Red siren.

Elsewhere, three rockets hit open areas in Eshkol and Iron Dome intercepted three more.

814 rockets hit open areas throughout Israel between the 16th and 27th of July.

Unconfirmed number of rocket hits

At least 105 rockets fired at Israel after Hamas rejects ceasefire proposal. An Israeli civilian is killed at the Erez crossing by a mortar attack from Gaza. Two sisters, aged 11 and 13, from a Bedouin villae near Beersheba, are seriously wounded.

Unconfirmed number of rocket hits

Three rockets are fired at Israel from Southern Lebanon, one striking an open field in Metula, with no reported injuries. An unconfirmed number of rockets fired from Gaza were intercepted on their way to Haifa, Hadera, and Zichron Yaakov. A fire started in Ashdod after one rocket hit a gas station, injuring eight.

192 rocket hits, several mortar hits

Three rockets are fired at Beersheba, but are intercepted by the Iron Dome. Later in the day, two rockets hit Beersheba, one causing four injuries. One rocket strikes farm land near the Be'er Tuvia Regional Council. Several rockets are fired at Ashdod, destroying a house, causing a gasoline explosion, injuring one woman. Two IDF soldiers are inured by mortar fire in Eshkol. Four rockets were intercepted over Tel Aviv an unconfirmed number targeting the greater area hit lightly-populated locations. No casualties are reported.

Hamas terrorists in Gaza assumed responsibility for an unconfirmed number of rocket strikes. 20 Israeli cities report rocket fire or air-raid sirens on and around 8:30 in the morning. The Iron Dome intercepts 21 of a confirmed 103 rockets fired. No injuries are reported. Damage is reported to a house in Eshkol and a fire was contained in Yeruham.

Operation Protective Edge begins.

Rockets were fired at Tel Aviv for the first time since 2012. An unconfirmed number of rockets targeting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Beersheba are intercepted by the Iron Dome. No injuries and only light damage is reported. Rockets will continue throughout this operation.

Hamas claimed to have fired 100 rockets across Southern Israel. The Iron Dome intercepted three rockets targeting the Eshkol area. One rocket hits an open field in Beersheba. One rocket hit the Eshkol Regional Council, injuring one IDF soldier. Soldiers were attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade along the Gaza border, injuring one. The IDF confirmed 80 rocket hits on the day.

Seven rockets target Sha'ar Hanegev, four hitting a kibbutz. Two rockets hit eshkol, causing small fire that was quickly contained. Rocket hits were confirmed in Sderot and Hof Ashkelon.

Several rocket and mortar hits

.One rocket was fired at the Eshkol Regional Council, landing in a field, lightly injuring an IDF soldier. An undetermined number of rockets and mortars were fired at Southern Israel throughout the afternoon, one being intercepted by the Iron Dome. One rocket was fired at Beersheba.

Twenty-five (25) rocket hits, several mortar hits

Four rockets are fired at Sderot. One is intercepted by the Iron Dome. Two rockets targeting Okafim are intercepted by the Iron Dome. Seven rockets land in open fields in greater Southern Israel. One rocket was fired at an IDF instillation near the Gaza border, but missed. Seven rockets were fired at Eshkol. Two mortars are launched at Sderot. An undtermined number of mortars are fired at Keren Shalom, but only one hits. No known injuries.

One rocket hits Sderot after midnight. Ten rockets are fired at Sderot and greater Southern Israel in the early morning hours. One rocket is fired at Ofakim. Four homes in Sderot are hit. A summer camp was hit, but the rocket failed to detonate. No casualities are reported.

Thirteen (13) rocket hits, nine mortar htis

Gaza terrorists fire five rockets towards the Sdot Negev regional council, three rockets towards Ofakim, two rockets at Ashkelon, three rockets at Eshkol. In the afternoon and midnight hours, nine mortars hit the Eshkol area. The Iron Dome intercepted two rockets, and the rest landed in fields. No injuries or damage reported.

Five (5) rocket hits, undetermined number of mortar hits

Terrorists fire five rockets overnight at the Eshkol area. One falls in an open field near the regional council. Damage to vehicles and a packaging factory is reported, but no injuries.

Sixteen (16) rocket hits, one mortar hit

Gaza terrorists fire sixteen rockets in the early morning hours. Most of the rockets landed in open areas near Eshkol. One caused light damage to a home. No injuries.

Four rockets were fired from Gaza into the south of Israel. Two were intercepted by Iron Dome, and two fell in an open area near the border fence.

Terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired several rockets. Two struck factory in Sderot, causing it to burn down. All other rockets hit an open area.

Six (6) rocket hits, one mortar hit

Six rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, four fell in open field, two intercepted by Iron Dome en route to Ashkelon. Mortar fire damaged military vehicle.

Two rockets intercepted by Iron Dome, and a third lands in the south near Sderot.

A rocket was fired into Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, damaging a road. In the evening three rockets were fired at the Sdot Negev and Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Councils. All rockets exploded in the open area. No damages or injuries were reported

A rocket was fired into Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, damaging a road. In the evening three rockets were fired at the Sdot Negev and Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Councils. All rockets exploded in the open area. No damages or injuries were reported

A rocket fired from Gaza struck an open field near Sderot. Later a rocket fired at Ashkelon was intercepted by Iron Dome.

Two rockets fired from Gaza hit into a Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council community and caused light damage to a structure.

A rocket from Gaza landed in an open area in Ashkelon region.

A series of explosions were heard in the evening in Asheklon, as four rockets had been fired from Gaza. Two were intercepted by Iron Dome, causing fragments to fall acros steh city. No injuries or significant damage.

Hof Ashkelon reports two of three rockets fired from Gaza landed in the region. No injuries or damage.

One rocket fired from Gaza came close to hitting a main road in southern Israel, but landed in a nearby field without causing any injuries.

Early morning attack on Eshkol region. One rocket landed in a field and no damage was reported.

Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council reported one rocket explosion in open field. No damage or injuries.

A rocket hit an open area in Eshkol. No injuries or damage.

Mortar shell exploded near the fence in southern Gaza. No injuries or damage.

Three rockets landed in the Hof Ashkelon and Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Councils, after rocket alert sirens. No injuries.

Terrorists fired seven rockets during the last day of the Passover holiday. First three hit uninhabited areas and caused no damage. Anotehr two cause light damage in Sderot.

Gaza terrorists launched several rockets at south Israel. No injuries or damage reported

One mortar shell landed close to the security fence in an open field, and late that night two more mortars were fired at Israeli soldiers. No injuries.

One (1) rocket hit and one (1) mortar hit

Early morning alert in Asheklon Region, a rocket fell short. That evening a mortar landed in a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. Damage was reported but no injuries.

Terrorists in Gaza fire a rocket into Israel. No injuries or damage reported.

In the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council a rocket exploded in the open area, close to the border fence. No injuries or damage were reported.

Three rockets were fired at Eilat, intercepted by Iron Dome.

March 12 - 13

At least 16 rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory, out of over 78 rockets that Gaza terrorists fired, in the largest barrage of rockets since during Operation Pillar of Defense. Iron Dome intercepted at least five of the rockets. In response, the IDF hit terror locations in the northern and southern ends of the Gaza Strip with artillery fire.

January 15 - 21

A total of 13 rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory. The peak was a barrage of five rockets fired at Ashkelon on January 15. On January 20, two rockets were fired at Eilat. There were no casualties and no damage reported in any of the attacks.

Two (2) rocket hits

Two rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel only a short time after world leaders and guests had left the burial ceremony for deceased former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The rockets landed in an open area near the border fence. No casualties or damage was reported.

Three (3) mortar hits

Three mortar shells were fired at an area near the security fence. There were no casualties and no damage reported. The military-terrorist wings of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) separately claimed responsibility for the mortar shell fire.

One (1) rocket hit

A rocket hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage reported.

December 23 - 26

Three (3) rocket hits

One rocket hit was identified on night of December 23 near a bus stop in the western Negev. On December 26, two rockets fell in open areas near Ashqelon. There were no casualties and only minor damage reported from the two incidents.

November 19

Three (3) mortar hits

Three mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip, targeting an IDF force engaged in routine activities along the security fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip. There were no casualties and no damage reported.

November 14

Two (2) mortar hits

Two mortar shells targeting Israel were fired from the Gaza Strip. One landed close to an IDF force engaged in routine operations near the security fence. No casualties or damage were reported.

October 27 - 28

One (1) rocket hit
Two (2) mortar hits

On October 27, two mortar shells fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel. On October 28, one rocket fire by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza slammed into an uninhabited area in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council area. A second rocket fired from Gaza was destroyed by an interception of the Iron Dome system outside Ashkelon.

One (1) rocket hit

One rocket hit was identified in Israeli territory. The rocket fell in an open area there were no casualties and no damage.

September 18

One (1) rocket hit

One rocket hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage reported.

August 8 - 15

Three (3) rocket hits

On August 13, a rocket hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage reported. That same night, two explosions were heard in Eilat caused by two rockets launched from Sinai. Two civilians were treated for shock and a woman broke her leg while running to take cover. The Gaza-based Mojahideen Shura Council of the Environs of Jerusalem issued an announcement claiming responsibility.

August 1 - 7

One (1) rocket hit

On the night of August 7 a rocket hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage was reported.

July 24 - 31

Three (3) rocket hits

Two rockets were fired on July 24 and another on July 30 - the first full day of resumed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. All three rockets landed in southern Israel but caused no damage or casualties.

June 19 - 25

Five (5) rocket hits

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired six rockets on the night of June 23. Four hits were identified near Netivot and the Bnei Shimon Regional Council. Two more rockets were fired toward Ashkelon but were intercepted by Iron Dome. On June 19, terrorists fired three rockets toward Ashkelon, though no hits were reported and the rockets are believed to have struck inside Gaza.

One (1) rocket hit

One rocket hit was identified in an open area in the western Negev during the Shavuot holiday. There were no casualties and no damage reported.

April 26 - May 2

Three (3) rocket hits
Two (2) mortar hits

Three rocket hits were identified in southern Israel. On April 27, one rocket struck the Sdot Negev Regional Council on April 29, one rocket landed in the Eshkol Regional Council. On May 2, two mortar shells struck the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage was reported for any of the hits.

April 18 - 25

Three (3) rocket hits

Three rocket hits were identified in southern Israel. There were no casualties and no damage reported.

Two (2) rocket hits

Two GRAD rockets struck the southern Israeli coastal city of Eilat. One landed in a residential area but no injuries were reported. The IDF said the rockets were fired from the Sinai Peninsula. A Salafist organization called the Mujahideen Shura Council of Jerusalem took responsibility for the fire, which it claimed was a retaliation for Israeli attacks on Palestinian protesters, but did not reveal where it launched the rockets from.

Two (2) rocket hits
Three (3) mortar hits

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired two Qassam rockets toward the western Negev on the morning of April 3 morning, as Israeli children in Sderot and Sha'ar Hanegev were making their way to schools and kindergartens after the Passover holiday. No injuries or damage were reported. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said "Israel holds Hamas responsible for everything that is fired from Gaza." On April 2, three mortars were fired from Gaza toward Israel. One shell landed in the Eshkol Regional Council, without causing injury or damage.

Two (2) rocket hits

The Palestinian terror organziation Majlis Shura al-Mujahadeen claimed responsibility for firing four rockets at Israel, two of which landed in Sderot while the other two landed within Palestinian Gaza. Hamas said it had no connection to the attack which came on the morning of President Obama's second day in Israel during his inaugural visit to the Jewish State as President. No injuries were reported.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attacks.

One (1) rocket hit

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took resonsibilty for firing a GRAD rocket, which fell on a road south of Ashkelon causing some damage to a road. No injuries were reported.

This was the first attack since cease-fire was signed after Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012.

Nine Hundred Thirty Three (933) rocket hits

Operation Pillar of Defense:

On the morning of November 15, three Israeli civilians were killed when a rocket directly struck their apartment building in the city of Kiryat Malachi. Three children, among them two young babies, were also wounded in the strike. Three IDF soldiers were wounded in a separate attack when mortar shells exploded inside their base near the Gaza border.

On November 16, a rocket fired from Gaza landed outside Jerusalem. On November 20, an IDF soldier - Cpl. Yosef Fartuk - and a civilian - Alayaan Salem al-Nabari - were killed when a mortar fired from Gaza exploded in the Eshkol regional council. Five IDF soldiers were wounded when a rocket landed inside their holding area on the Gaza border. Also on November 20, a GRAD rocket scored a direct hit on a residential apartment building in the city of Rishon L'Tzion, wounding one person moderately and sending nearly ten others to the hospital with shock.

In total, terrorists in Gaza fired more than 1,500 rockets at Israel during this period - 933 struck inside Israel, 421 were intercepted by the Iron Dome Missile Shield, and 152 rockets landed inside the Gaza Strip.

One hundred twenty-one (121) rocket hits

In distinct escalation, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launched more than 150 rockets at Israel at least 121 rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory. A total of 64 rockets hits were identified on November 11. A number of mortar shells were also fired. A number of Israeli civilians were wounded by the rocket fire, although not seriously several were treated for shock and there was extensive property damage.

Two rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel.

One hundred five (105) rocket hits
Twelve (12) mortar hits

In a new round of escalation in southern Israel, of the many more rockets and mortar shells that Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees fired from the Gaza Strip, 105 rockets and 12 mortar shells landed in Israel.One of the rockets was a long-range Grad that fell in an open area on the outskirts of Beersheba.

Five rockets from Gaza hit southern Israel. Two civilians were treated for shock after one of the rockets fell in their yard.

Seven rockets from Gaza hit into Israeli territory were identified. One grad rocket landed in southern Israel near Netivot, in the yard of a youth center. No injuries were reported but three people were treated for shock including one person who was evacuated to a hospital. Another rocket hit close to a house in the Hof Ashkelon area. Most of the remaining rockets hit in the southern town of Netivot.

Most of the rockets landed in open areas, but one landed in a petting zoo in the Eshkol region, killing two goats and wounding nine others.

Three rockets landed in Israeli territory. There were no casualties and no damage was done.

Three rockets landed in open areas. There were no casualties and no damage from these rocket attacks.

Four long-range rockets landed in Israeli territory near the town of Netivot and the city of Beersheba. Two homes in Netivot were severely damaged and a number of residents were treated for PTSD (Sept 9). Networks affiliated with the global jihad claimed responsibility for most of the rocket attacks.

There was an increase in rocket hits targeting the western Negev 12 hits in all were identified, most falling in open areas. On August 31 two rocket hits were identified in the southern city of Sderot. One of them hit two residential buildings. On September 2 a Grad rocket hit was identified near the town of Netivot.

On August 26, three rockets fell in Sderot there were no casualties but factories were damaged. On August 27, the first day of the new school year, three rockets fell at around 8:00 in the morning, as elementary and kindergarten children were on their way to school. One of the rockets fell in Sderot in an open area. There were no casualties and no damage. A group calling itself the Holy Fighters of Greater Jerusalem said in an announcement that the rockets had deliberately been fired on the first day of school.

Two (2) rocket hits

Two Grad rockets were launched from the Sinai Peninsula and targeting the city of Eilat. The remains of one of the rockets were found in a hilly region near the city.

Hit identified in southern Israel. The rocket fell in open areas. There were no casualties and no damage.

Hits were identified in Israeli territory. The rockets fell in open areas. There were no casualties and no damage.

Ten (10) rocket hits

Hits were identified in Israeli territory, landing near Sderot and Ashkelon. The rockets fell in open areas. One Israeli woman suffered minor wounds no property was damaged. On July 24 the Iron Dome system intercepted and destroyed a rocket targeting the Ashqelon area.

Hits were identified in Israeli territory. The rockets fell in open areas. There were no casualties and no damage.

Hits were identified in Israeli territory. The rockets fell in open areas. There were no casualties and no damage.

Three (3) rocket hits
One (1) mortar hit

During this week, three rocket hits were identified in Israeli territory. The rockets landed in open areas there were no casualties and no damage. On July 9 a mortar shell was fired into the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage.

On June 27 one rocket hit was identified in one of the western Negev communities, damaging a chicken coop. Two rockets targeting the southern city of Netivot were intercepted and destroyed by the Iron Dome aerial defense system.

One-Hundred Sixty Two (162) rocket hits

Another round of escalation began after terrorist attacks along the Israeli-Egyptian border forced the IDF to target terrorist headquarters in the Gaza Strip. In response the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip initiated massive barrages of rockets targeting towns and villages in Israel's western Negev. The greatest number of rockets landed on June 20, when about 70 rockets hit the western Negev. The rockets damaged a number of buildings, including a school in Sderot. Two civilians were wounded and several suffered slight injuries, while several had to be treated for shock.

Eight (8) rocket hits

Hits were identified in Israeli territory. Two GRAD rockets were apparently fired from the northern Sinai Peninsula on June 16 and landed north of Eilat. The other six were fired on June 18 and 19 and fell in the western Negev. All the rockets fell in open areas there were no casualties and no damage.

One (1) rocket hit

Identified in an open area in the Western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage.

Three (3) rocket hits

Identified in Israeli territory in the western Negev. On the night of June 3, two rockets landed in open areas in the western Negev there were no casualties and no damage. On the night of June 4, a rocket landed in a wheat field near Ashkelon, setting the field on fire. There were no casualties.

One (1) rocket hit

Identified in an empty area in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage.

Two (2) rocket hits
One (1) mortar hit

Identified in the western Negev, falling in open areas. There were no casualties and no damage.

Two (2) rocket hits

On Israeli Independence Day (April 25) a rocket strike from Gaza was identified in southern Israel. A few days later, another rocket landed near Sderot. There were no casualties reported.

One (1) rocket hit

Identified hit in an open area of the Western Negev desert. There were no casualties or damage caused.

Eight (8) rocket hits

On April 4, three rockets struck the southern resort town of Eilat, fired from the Sinai Peninsula. On April 8, three rocket hits were identified in the Western Negev. On April 15, two rockets fell in open areas in the western Negev desert. There were no reports of casualties.

One (1) rocket hit
Two (2) mortar hits

Strikes from Gaza were identified in Israeli territory. There were no casualties and no damage.

Nine (9) rocket hits
Four (4) mortar hits

Rocket and mortar hits were indentified in southern Israel despite a tenative arrangement with Hamas to cease rocket fire after the escalation of mid-March. In addition, two rockets were intercepted and destroyed by the Iron Dome aerial defense system.

One Hundred Seventy Seven (177) rocket hits
(More than 300 Rockets Fired)

Rockets hits were identified in all the major cities and towns of southern Israel, including Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Yavne, and Netivot.

The Iron Dome Anti-Missile System deployed around southern Israel was successful in intercepting approximately 60 rockets that were destined to strike in densely populated areas. A GRAD rocket scored a direct hit on an elementary school in Beersheba, thankfully with no one present.

Around 30 people sustained injuries including those taken to hosptials for shock. Israel responded to the escalation by targeting rocket launching squads in the Gaza Strip.

Two (2) rocket hits
Three (3) mortar hits

Hits identified in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage.

Hits identified in Israeli territory. The rockets fell in open areas there were no casualties and no damage.

Hits identified in southern Israel, some of them long-range rockets.

Hits identified in Israeli territory. They fell in open areas in the western Negev. One of the rockets damaged a number of structures and caused a power outage.

Hits identified in Israeli territory - four on February 1 which landed in open areas in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage.

Hits identified in Israeli territory, all in open areas. There were no casualties and no damage.

Four (4) rocket hits
four (4) mortar hits

There were no casualties and no damage reported.

Rockets were fired from Gaza and hit in an open field in the western Negev. No injuries were reported.

One (1) rocket hit
Two (2) mortar hits

Mortars containing phosphorous were fired at Sderot and a village in the western Negev. The military-terrorist wing of the Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the attack.

Six (6) rocket hits

Three (3) rockets hits
two (2) mortar hits

Four mortar shells (4)

December 8 - 13

Eighteen (18) rocket hits

Rockets struck civilian areas in southern Israel.

At dusk on Friday, December 9, two rockets were fired towards Ashdod (pop. 200,000) - one was shot down by the Iron Dome anti-rocket system while the other fell in an open field. Another rocket landed at the Eshkol Regional Council. One of the rockets landed in an open area near Ashkelon while another was reported having hit in the Negev desert area. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

Nov 30 - Dec 6

One (1) rocket hit

November 26

Two (2) rocket hits

November 15

Two (2) rocket hits

November 9 - 14

One (1) rocket hit

November 2 - 8

Three (3) rocket hits

Oct 26 - Nov 1

45 rockets hits
20 mortar hits

Rockets struck Ashdod (pop. 200,000), Ashkelon (pop. 113,000), Gan Yavne (pop. 19,000) and the Eshkol Regional Council, killing one person - 56 year old Ashkelon resident Moshe Ami - and injuring approximately 30 others. Several buildings, including a school, were damaged in the attacks. The IDF views this as a major escalation after more than two weeks of quiet on the southern front.

Two (2) rocket hits

September 29

One (1) mortar hit

September 27

One (1) rocket hit

September 21 - 26

One (1) rocket hit
one (1) mortar hit

August 31 - Sept 6

Two (2) rocket hits

August 26-30

Five (5) rockets hits
One (1) GRAD hit
Three (3) mortar hits

Fired at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.

More than 150 rockets and 45 mortars were fired into Israel from Gaza in August 2011 alone.

August 20-25

One-hundred and six (106) rocket hits
Forty (40) mortar hits

Fired from Gaza into southern Israel in the one of the largest escalations in recent years.

Rockets struck in almost every major Israeli city in the south of the country, including Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod. At least 13 civilians were injured in the barrages and one, 38 year old Yossi Shoshan, was killed. On August 24, a nine-month old infant was lightly wounded when a rocket exploded near where she was being held. At least 7 rockets were intercepted and destroyed by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. One of the mortars fired at Israel contained illegal white phosphorous, an incendiary chemical that burns and leads to boils. Despite a ceasefire reached between Israel and Hamas on August 22, missiles continued to be fired.

August 17-19

Twenty-Seven (27) rocket hits
Two (2) mortar hits

At least seven injuries being reported.

One rocket hit a yeshiva while another rocket landed on a synagogue, though did not explode. The Gaza-based, Al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam brigades claimed responsibility for shooting at least two rockets on August 19.

August 10-16

Three (3) rocket hits

Six (6) rocket hits

Two of the rockets had longer ranges than usual and landed near the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat - an improved locally-manufactured rocket (August 3) and what was apparently a 122mm Grad rocket (August 4), after which a number of civilians were treated for shock. Another rocket fired on August 4 landed in the western Negev. Six mortar shell hits were identified in Israeli territory. They fell in open areas in the western Negev. No casualties were reported and no damage.

July 27-August 2

Two (2) rocket hits

Hits identified in the western Negev (July 28 and August 1). An Israeli civilian woman suffered minor wounds from the rocket fired on August 1.

One (1) rocket hit

Eleven (11) rocket hits
One (1) mortar hit

Two (2) rocket hits

June 29 - July 5

One (1) rocket hit

Two (2) rocket hits

One (1) rocket hit

One (1) rocket hit

Two (2) rocket hits

Sixty-five (65) rocket hits
Sixty-Seven (67) mortar hits

Laser-guided anti-tank missile

Hamas operatives fired the missile an Israeli school bus in the western Negev.

Two people were injured from the attack, one later died of his wounds. 16 year old student Daniel Viflic of Bet Shemesh died from his wounds suffered during the attack. Luckily the attack took place just minutes after the majority of students had been dropped off.

March 30-April 5

Three (3) rocket hits

Thirteen (13) rocket hits
Eighteen (18) mortar hits

Forty-nine (49) mortar hits

Four (4) rocket hits
Six (6) mortar hits

Two (2) rocket hits
One (1) mortar hit

Two (2) rocket hits

Feb 23 - March 1

Three (3) rocket hits
Six (6) mortar hits

February 19

One (1) rocket hit

February 14

One (1) mortar hit

February 2-8

One (1) rocket hit
Seven (7) mortar hits

Three (3) rocket hits
One (1) mortar shell

One (1) rocket hit

January 12-18

Three (3) rocket hits

January 5-11

Eight (8) rocket hits
Thirteen (13) mortar hits

Six civilians were wounded, one of them critically. The main attacks were the following: On January 5, seven rocket hits were identified in the western Negev. There were no casualties and no damage. On January 6, seven mortar shell hits were identified over a 24-hour period. Two mortar shells hit a building and wounded six foreign workers, one of them critically and one seriously. On January 7 a rocket hit was identified near the security fence. There were no casualties and no damage. On January 10 three rocket hits were identified near the city of Ashkelon and one in an open area. There were no casualties and no damage.


The Civil War Coehorn Mortar

The Coehorn Mortar Models of 1838 and 1841, were used by both sides during the Civil War. The weapon was named after a Dutch engineer, Baron van Menno Coehoorn (with two ‘o’s). The good baron, a Dutchman by way of Sweden is a little known military engineer of the 17th century. During the Anglo-Dutch Wars, he perfected a small mortar that was influential in the reduction of the French forces during the Siege of Grave in 1674.

This device was later used across most western militaries in its basic design over the next two hundred years. Baron Coehoorn later bested even the great Marshal Vauban himself at Namur. Incidentally most new world forts including the key Third Period forts of the US Civil War, such as Forts Morgan, St Phillip, Sumter and others, were based on Marshal Vauban’s designs and theory.

During the US Civil War both Union and Confederate sides used the Coehoorn-based mortar (but typically with the second ‘o’ omitted from the name) to varying degrees and it was seen at virtually all of the major battles of the Civil War in one form or another. They were particularly useful in siege warfare and in defending fixed fortified positions. It was in this use on the defense that they proved deadly when skilled crews would ‘pre-register’ targets in their area of responsibility to quickly find the range in combat.

Design of the Coehorn Mortar

The design was basic. A tube, often copper or bronze alloy, was bolted to a wooden bed set to a 45-degree angle. Straps on each side enabled the weapon to be picked up by 2 – 4 men and quite literally manhandled around the lines. A half-pound charge would fire a 24-pound shell to a distance of about 1200 yards. Smaller charges were used for shorter distances. The weapons typically weighed a total of 300-pounds with about 60% of that weight being the tube and 40% belonging to the base and mount. The weapon had a diameter of 5.82-inches (about 147mm)

A 󈫼-pounder” version of the weapon was effectively half the size at about 150-pounds and fired as the name suggests a shell 12-pounds in weight to a range of 1200 yards maximum with a 1/4 pound black powder charge.

US Military History of the Coehorn

The weapons were first seen in this country in the 18th century and made appearances on Colonial battlefields. Paul Revere’s own foundry was known to have made several Coehorn type mortars. Besides their Mexican War and Civil War use they continued in US service after the war and were often seen in the West during the Indians Wars. They played a prominent part in the 1873 Modoc War and are often mentioned. It was not until the early 20th century that the last Coehorn was retired from US service. British garrisons overseas continued to use versions as late as the 1920s and they can still be encountered as semi-functional gate guards and in musty warehouses in third world arsenals.

The Coehorn mortar today

Being such an effective and interesting design, they are often recreated. The simplicity of the design has enabled basic plans to be readily available and easy to assemble. In both the 12-pounder and 24-pounder variants, they are encountered as ‘beer can mortars’ and seen at many Colonial and Civil War reenactments. The pictures shown below were taken at the Beauvoir Fall Muster in 2010 of the mortar “Matilda” sponsored by the Admiral Raphael Semmes Camp 11 Sons of Confederate Veterans. It is a faithful reproduction of a Model 1841 gun known to have been produced locally in the Mobile area during the US Civil War.


Movement and Support

The Mortar Karl presented a logistical challenge. Having a weight of 124 tonnes and fitted with either a gasoline or a diesel engine that provided a top speed of 6.2mph, the Karl-Gerät only used the speed for aiming purposes. The plinth had just four degrees of navigation on both sides. To move any distances, it had to be dissembled into seven loads by means of a special mobile crane.

After disassembly, the chassis would be loaded onto a trailer with six axles while the other six lighter loads were placed on a trailer with four axles. Whenever they encountered a bridge not strong enough to withhold the weight of the loaded trailers, the chassis was unburdened and carried across separately.

Culemeyer-Strassenroller lowboy trailer

The chassis was loaded onto a six-axle Culemeyer-Strassenroller lowboy trailer. The other parts of the gun were lighter and used four-axle trailers. If the trailer with the chassis on board had to cross a bridge that couldn’t carry their combined weight the chassis had to be off-loaded and driven across under its own power.

A Karl-Gerät on its rail transporter

The Karl-Gerät was moved via rail for long distances. Over short distances, it would comfortably move on its own on top of the normal soil. H owever, driving across s Soft soil was prohibited since it could quickly lose a track

The original Mortar shells could make a 49 ft. and 16 ft. wide and deep crater respectively over a concrete wall. It could not, however, make much range because of its colossal weight.

A lighter version of the 040 was presented in 1942 and could easily cover a distance of 10km. Other versions, like the 041 with a 52cm diameter, were tested but were never used until 1944.


The number of artillery guns expanded enormously during the war. Larger-calibre guns, and more of them, allowed the Allied armies to fire a nearly limitless supply of shells by the midpoint of the war.

As the Allied gunners embraced scientific principles that accounted for weather and atmospheric conditions, as well as new tactics, they were better able to locate, target, and destroy German gun batteries, which suffered increasing shortages of shells and guns throughout the war from the naval blockade. By 1918, Allied gunners overpowered the German guns, resulting in heavier bombardments and more devastating creeping barrages to support the infantry when they were ordered to close with the enemy.

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Objects & Photos

18-pounder Field Gun

The 18-pounder was the British Commonwealth's most widely used field gun during the First World War. More than 10,000 were produced in a variety of types, including some anti-aircraft variants. British 18-pounders fired approximately 100 million shells during the war, an average of 43 rounds per minute from 1914 to 1918.