The First World War was a nasty conflict. It’s slaughter is something we often fail to comprehend if only on the sheer scale. Working to avoid direct trench assaults, the Entente developed the first tanks, which when employed struck terror into the German troops. Despite being slow, they pondered on through withering fire that no man could have survived.
Recognizing their tactical utility along with their psychological impact, the Germans quickly went to work on anti-tank weapons. Artillery did work well, but it typically took a direct hit to stop a tank, which with inevitable variability in targeting, was not wholly reliable. As such, the Mauser company developed the first anti-tank weapon – aptly named the “Tank Rifle” or Tankgewehr in german.
The rifle featured a 13.7mm armor-piercing projectile that when used provided for potentially devastating accurate fire against tanks. We often hear stories of them today, but how much is true versus how much was fiction?
Fortunately, Forgotten Weapons steps in with an experiment of Tankgewehr vs. (Simulated) Tank. Using steel at the correct thicknesses and hardness, along with original WW1 rifles and ammunition, Ian puts the tales to the test. Can the projective pierce the 450 brinnel through-hardened armor?
Watch the video to find out.