Mauser Tankgewehr M1918.

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Senior Master Sergeant
Jan 11, 2005
Cordoba - Argentina

When the first tanks were actually used in the battle of somme in 1916 the result were not impressive. Although some managed to get trough the first trenches eventually we
re knocket out by artillery or grenades. Beside his relative little effect in strategical matters the fisrt Mark I did manage to bring down the german morale especially for the simple infantrymen for wich sometimes the sight of a squre and large tracked box of steel coming to get him was too much.


The german Army High comman began a serie of propaganda campaign in order to calm down the troops saying that the tank was a complete failure, that it was more dangerous for his crew thaan for the enemy, etc.
A interim measure was the distribution of a new armor piercing ammo for the M1898 rifle began in large scale, that was the S.m.K ( Spitzer mit stahlKern , pointed with steel core)

Squematic of the S.m.K bullet.


The S.m.K bullet had good chances to penetrate the side armor of the british Mark I II up to 100 meters.

However in 1917 with the introduccion of new and improved allied desigs made this bullet obsolete, the army realized that something better was needed.
Yea but this was about the rifle.

The Mauser M1918.


The worlds first anti-tank (or anti-material) rifle was based on an over-grown Mauser action. Chambered for a 13.2 x 92mm semi-rimmed bottlenecked cartridge.

The rear stock was equipped with a pistol grip to manage better the strong recoil. The gun was single shot, although some prototipes with 5 round magazine were converted in late 1918.

The Tank Abwehr Gewehr or T-Gewehr was capable of penetrating around 20mm of armour at 100 metres and 15mm at 300 metres, when striking at 90 degrees

Bolt in the back position:


Early tanks were protected by no more than 12mm of armour plate, as such this was a fairly effective weapon despite being cumbersome at 17.3kg and 1.68m long.

Shooter-spotter team in the Western Front, early 1918.

How accurate was the thing though?
How accurate was the thing though?

I have not a precise data about it, but considering that was to shoot tanks sized targets and the recomended shooting distance did not exceed the 200 meters I would say enough for this tanks.

More pictures to come, no time now.

On the subject of 'elephant guns', There was a story about some German Snipers who became quite cocky and decided to push steel plates in front of them that could not be pierced by the british .303 round. The Brits then got some Hunters from Africa armed with elephant guns. Those Germans where never cocky again...
I heard that stories too, but I think the .303 Ap with steel core would be more effective agaist infantry armor plates, The muzzle velocity of the african cartrigdes wasnt much.
Okay, I have seen one of these at the museum at Southbank in Brisbane. I don't think it is the Mauser you are talking about but it looks to be about three-quarters of my height and I'm about 5 foot 11 inchs tall so you are talking about a pretty long rifle. It looks like it must weigh a ton though... I mean the .22s have a bit of weight to them with scope, etc. and yet they are nowhere near the size of the monster in the museum in Brisbane. They were used in the early part of WWII, throughout Poland and the Battle Of France and I don't think the anti-tank rifles were very successful against German WW2 Tanks.
You probably saw one polish rifle M-35, take look at my topic of Antitank rifles in WW2 general.

And a image of the "elephant rifles" used by the british forces.

Farquarson .400 caliber rifle used as sniper.


Color plate from: The military sniper since 1914 /Osprey publishing.
No, this one didn't have a scope on it. It also looked wider in its display case. That one doesn't look enlarged quite as much as this one did. I think it said something about 30mm or something around that being used in the gun....
No, it said German WW1 and it looked larger than the Mauser you posted. Not 100% sure from memory what it actually said the name of the gun was, but the WWI German sticks in my head...
Lordy! That 3rd pic looks like something from my girlfriend's 'underwear' drawer :)

Some accounts I've read mention the Germans using 'reversed mauser ammunition' against tanks - whether this was an interim measure or an allied explanation for this weapon / ammunition I don't know
It did look a little bit like the picture of a Mauser you had but it was bigger than the Mauser M1918... It looked to be about two to three times bigger. It looked to have a bigger stock and muzzle than that one. The barrel looked as thick as a bamboo walking cane. It also looked to be at 4 to 5 foot in length.

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