This paper presents general solutions for both Flu¨gge’s and Donnell’s equations governing the displacements of the midsurface of a thin circular cylindrical shell, simply supported at both ends, of finite length, under initial twoway stress and subjected to general time-dependent surface loads. Analytical solutions are presented to the specific problems of a stationary radial point force and a stationary point couple. A numerical comparison of Donnell’s and Flu¨gge’s theories is made for these specific problems for a wide variety of shell parameters including initial stress. It is found for the case of a dynamic point force or point couple that Donnell’s theory is satisfactory for thin and very short shells (h/a ≤ 0.01 and l/a ≤ 2).

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