Ranken dart

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A Ranken dart was an air-dropped weapon developed during World War I for the purpose of destroying or damaging the German Zeppelins which were attacking Britain at the time. It was a 1 lb explosive missile-shaped flechette-type of bomb which was commonly carried in packs of 24 and could be dropped individually or all at once. Aircraft equipped with Ranken darts needed to climb above their targets, such as Zeppelins, before dropping them from above. The weapon was put into service in February 1916.[1]

Ranken darts became obsolete with the advent of .303 incendiary ammunition fired from Vickers and Lewis guns mounted on fighter aircraft.


  1. ^ London 1914-1917 - The Zeppelin Menace. Ian Castle. Osprey Puplishing, 2008.