POTD: Mauser Tankgewehr-18 Bolt Action Single Shot Anti-Tank Rifle

   09.01.21

POTD: Mauser Tankgewehr-18 Bolt Action Single Shot Anti-Tank Rifle

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! In World War One the weapons, mindsets, tactics, equipment, and landscape evolved constantly over a period of only four years. I once heard in an interview with a British World War One soldier that “if you got out in 1915 and came back in 1917 you wouldn’t think it was the same war.” The introduction of tanks by the allied forces was a top-secret affair. They were brought just behind the front lines and draped with tarps and canvas. When they were unleashed they were terrifying, clumsy, finicky, metal boxes in which bullets had the potential to enter and ricochet around inside. That being said they were not initially, entirely bulletproof, but when thicker armor was implemented the introduction of anti-tank weapons by the Axis forces was entirely necessary. Enter the Tankgewehr:

“Produced by the Germans in 1917 and 1918 in response to Allied tank assaults, the Mauser Tankgewehr 18, or “Elefant-Buechse” was the first dedicated man-portable anti-tank weapon. Weighing in at 37 pounds, the T-Gewehr was capable of penetrating the armor of the day, and could disable an enemy vehicle in 6-10 shots. Blade front and tangent rear sights, with matching numbers on the barrel, chamber, receiver, bolt components, bolt catch and barrel band, three Imperial proofs on the right side of the chamber, the Mauser banner over “1918” on the receiver ring, and a smooth two-piece pistol grip stock fitted with a swiveling riveted metal bipod with spiked feet. “

Lot 3483: Mauser Anti-Tank Rifle 13 mm [Photograph found in Auction Catalog #52, Rock Island Auction Company]. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/52/3483/mauser-antitank-rifle-13-mm

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