Mauser 1918 T-Gewehr
The Mauser 13 mm anti-tank rifle (German: Tankgewehr M1918, usually abbreviated T-Gewehr) is the world's first anti-tank rifle—the first rifle designed for the sole purpose of destroying armored targets—and the only anti-tank rifle to see service in World War I. Approximately 15,800 were produced.
|Mauser Mod. 1918 13.2 mm Tankgewehr|
|Type||Anti-tank rifle, anti-materiel rifle|
|Place of origin||German Empire|
|Mass||15.9 kg (35 lb), 18.5 kg (41 lb) loaded with the bipod|
|Length||169.1 cm (5 ft 7 in)|
|Crew||two man crew|
|Cartridge||13.2 mm TuF (German: Tank und Flieger)|
|Caliber||13.2 mm (.525 inches)|
|Rate of fire||single shot|
|Effective firing range||500 m (550 yd)|
|Sights||1,000–5,000 m (1,100–5,500 yd) (notched V)|
During the First World War the onset of static, trench warfare saw the rise in the use of armour plate for personal defense, and the development and use of armour-piercing ammunition to counter this. Both Britain and Germany used high-powered rifles, such as elephant guns from their African colonies, for this purpose. The first use of armoured fighting vehicles (tanks) was by the British at the Battle of Flers–Courcelette in September 1916 and were followed by the French. By June 1917, the German Army faced the Mark IV tank, and found that the standard armour-piercing 7.92 mm K bullet was no longer effective. This prompted the development by the Germans of a heavy-calibre and high-velocity rifle as an anti-tank weapon. The makers of the gun were inspired by weapons used to hunt African big game, like the Elephant gun. The Mauser Company responded with the 13mm T-gewehr and began mass production at Oberndorf am Neckar in May 1918. The first of these off the production lines were issued to specially raised anti-tank detachments.
The rifle was a single-shot bolt-action rifle using a modified Mauser action, with rounds manually loaded into the chamber. The weapon had a pistol grip and bipod, but no method of reducing recoil, such as a soft buttpad or muzzle brake. This could cause problems for the shooter with repeated firing. The iron sights were composed of a front blade and tangent rear, graduated in 100-meter increments from 100 to 500 meters. The rifle was operated by a two-man crew of a gunner and ammunition bearer, who were both trained to fire the weapon. Due to the tremendous blunt force of the recoil, it was designed to be shot in a static position, either prone or from inside a trench.
The armour-piercing hardened steel cored 13.2 x 92mm (.525-inch) semi-rimmed cartridge, often simply called "13 mm", was originally planned for a new, heavy Maxim MG.18 water-cooled machine gun, the Tank und Flieger (TuF) meaning for use against "tank and aircraft", which was under development and to be fielded in 1919. The rounds weighed 51.5 g (795 gn) with an initial velocity of 785 m/s (2,580 ft/s).
|Range||Penetration @ 90°|
|100 m (110 yd)||26 mm (1 in)|
|200 m (220 yd)||23.5 mm (0.93 in)|
|400 m (440 yd)||21.5 mm (0.85 in)|
|500 m (550 yd)||18 mm (0.71 in)|
Examples of the Mauser 1918 anti-tank rifle can be found in several museums:
- Museo de Armas, Circulo Militar, Buenos Aires
- Museo de Armas, Colegio Militar de la Nación, El Palomar
- Museo de la Ciudad, San Carlos de Bariloche
- In Huaihai Campaign Commemoration Hall, Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province
- The National Museum of Artillery in Turin
- United Kingdom
- Lancashire Infantry Museum, Preston
- Imperial War Museum, London
- Canterbury Heritage Museum Canterbury
- King's Own Royal Border Regiment museum
- 22nd Cheshire Regiment museum
- Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds
- Norwich Castle Museum, Norwich
- Redoubt Fortress and Museum, Eastbourne
- King's Shropshire Light Infantry museum, Shrewsbury castle
- Norris Museum, St Ives, Huntingdonshire
- Heugh Battery Museum, Hartlepool
- Worcester Art Gallery And Museum, Worcester.
- Royal Ulster Rifles Museum, Belfast
- United States
- U.S. Army Armor & Cavalry Collection, Fort Benning
- The National World War I Museum and Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri
- NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA
- Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, Staunton, VA
- Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, Camp Dodge, Iowa
- Maryland Museum of Military History in Baltimore, Maryland
- North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, North Dakota
- Clark Brothers gun store Opal Virginia
- Klamath County Museums in Klamath Falls, Oregon
- International Ordnance Museum in St Jo, Texas
- "Sverige Mall".
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- Robert Ball (2011). Mauser Military Rifles of the World, 5th Edition. Gun Digest Books. p. 193. ISBN 978-1-4402-1544-5.
- Ball, Robert M. (2006). Mauser Military Rifles of the World (Mauser Military Rifles of the World). Gun Digest Books. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-89689-296-5.
- Stephen Bull (2004). Encyclopedia of military technology and innovation. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-57356-557-8.
- "WW1 Anti-Tank rifles" (Microsoft FrontPage 6.0). Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Larson 2020.
- Johnson, Melvin M., Jr. (1944). Rifles and Machine Guns. New York: William Morrow & Company. p. 384.
- Natzvaladze, Yury (1996). The Trophies Of The Red Army During The Great Patriotic War 1941–1945. Volume 1. Scottsdale, Arizona: Land O'Sun Printers. p. 9. ASIN B001J7LCD2.
- "Mauser T-Gewehr Anti Tank Rifle". www.awm.gov.au. Australian War Memorial.
- "Rocky Hill war items 'nationally significant'". Goulburn Post. December 2015.
- Larson, Caleb (12 August 2020). "Germany's First Anti-Tank Rifle Had African Roots". The National Interest. Retrieved 20 August 2020.