A Dum-Dum bullet was the “unofficial name, originally used for the Mark IV Lee-Metford bullet with a cavity in the head, introduced after the Chitral Campaign of 1895 in consequence of the lack of stopping power in the small-bore bullet hitherto in use. The Hague Tribunal, at the instance of Germany, interdicted its employment in European warfare, but in the Great War allegations were made on both sides that the other side was using such bullets, the term being used loosely for any bullet so tampered with as to increase its wounding power. The name comes from the Indian Arsenal at Dum-Dum, a few miles from Calcutta, where the small-arms ammunition of the Indian Army is principally made.” 
References / notes
- Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.85.
Glossary of terms and customs
This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
Browse other terms: Contents – A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z