(1761–1842) the English artillery officer who invented the antipersonnel projectile named for him. Small shot or spherical bullets (usually lead) are loaded into a projectile, along with an explosive charge. When the charge explodes, it sends the metal fragments flying into enemy troops at extremely high speeds. It was first used in 1804. In World War I, shrapnel caused most of the wounds inflicted by artillery.
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.