An explosive projectile designed to burst in the air and light up an enemy’s position.
- The lightships would fire at regular intervals a star shell timed to explode at 6440 feet.
- The 81 mm was tested in the Caribbean and found to be much more effective in this role than the 3-inch gun firing star shells and could be fired at a higher rate.
- By 5.22 pm Scharnhorst was surrounded and illuminated by star shells as heavy guns and torpedoes pounded into her, setting her ablaze end to end.
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