Proximity dating device
(The spelling FUZE may also be met for this term, but FUSE is the preferred spelling in this context.)The word "fuze" is often spelt "fuse" by those unaquainted with artillery usage. "Fuse", derived from fusus, the past participle of fundo, means "to melt", e.g., the term "fuse-wire" used in electrical circuits.
"Fuze", on the other hand, is the shortened or modern method of spelling "fuzee", meaning a tube filled with combustible material.
During World War I, mechanical, or clockwork, time fuzes were introduced for artillery by Germany, and some variants are still in use.
As late as World War I, some countries were still using hand-grenades with simple black match fuses much like those of modern fireworks: the infantryman lit the fuse before throwing the grenade and hoped the fuse burned for the several seconds intended.
These were still typically fired from smoothbore muzzle-loaders with a relatively large gap between the shell and barrel, and still relied on flame from the gunpowder propellant charge escaping past the shell on firing to ignite the wood fuze and hence initiate the timer.
Modern time fuzes often use an electronic delay system.It is a derivation of fusus, a spindle and from the French fusee, a spindle full of thread. to denote a sophisticated ignition device incorporating mechanical and/or electronic components (for example a proximity fuze for an artillery shell, magnetic/acoustic fuze on a sea mine, spring-loaded grenade fuze, Artillery fuzes are tailored to function in the special circumstances of artillery projectiles.The relevant factors are the projectile's initial rapid acceleration, high velocity and usually rapid rotation, which affect both safety and arming requirements and options, and the target may be moving or stationary.Rifled guns introduced a tight fit between shell and barrel and hence could no longer rely on the flame from the propellant to initiate the timer.The new metal fuzes typically use the shock of firing ("setback") and/or the projectiles's rotation to "arm" the fuze and initiate the timer : hence introducing a safety factor previously absent.