POTD: Deckungszielgerät – Indirect Fire Device with Periscope
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! This time around we have the Deckungszielgerät! This is an indirect firing device derived from WWI designs. Back then in the middle of a world stuck in a stalemate, all sorts of ideas were tested. One goofy idea was an indirect fire device that enabled its user to put a rifle over a trench, aim, and fire without themselves being harmed.
“Early in World War II, the success of the German Blitzkrieg was apparent, and little thought was given to developing equipment for a static, defensive war. Even into the early stages of their invasion of Russia, codenamed Operation Barbarossa, the offensive German war machine seemed near unstoppable. However, by the end of 1942 this all changed, with the German advance grinding to a halt, and many areas of the Eastern Front devolving into static trench warfare. Due to this, the Germans began looking back upon lessons learned and equipment developed in the trenches of World War I.”
“This device is a product of that, and shows a lot of similarities with its earlier counterparts. These indirect firing devices were developed to allow the user to fire his weapon over the top of a trench or dugout without exposing any part of himself to enemy fire. The World War I devices had incorporated a complicated cocking mechanism to work with bolt action rifles, however with the development of semi-automatic rifles such as the G41 and later G/K43, this was no longer necessary, and was omitted from the new design which became known as the “deckungszielgerät”, or “DZG”.
-Rock Island Auction Company”
Lot 1649: German “Deckungszielgerät” Indirect Fire Device with Periscope [Photograph found in Premier Firearms Auction #82, Rock Island Auction Company]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/82/1649/german-deckungszielgert-indirect-fire-device-with-periscope