Monday, 24 March 2014

Shooting Over Trenches and Around Corners

 

            Given that it is Monday morning I will am going to avoid making this post too text intensive and just pass on some interesting images today. These are not really that useful for self-defence but they may interest or amuse, which is not a bad thing for a Monday morning.

            Someone brought this image to my attention.


          What you are seeing is an attachment for an MG-42 that allows it to be aimed and fired from a trench or foxhole without the user exposing their heads. Similar devices date back to the First World War. Trench warfare was a predominant facet of this conflict and understandably a number of devices to facilitate firing from trenches were developed. Many of these devices adapted the standard service rifle, which often necessitated some mechanism to work the bolt action the chamber a new round. There were also periscope equipped Lewis guns.



            During World War Two the Germans developed an alternate approach. The story goes that an institute that developed turrets for aircraft had a problem. The guns and their mountings had to fire a variety of directions including straight upwards, but bullets raining down from thousands of feet was a problem. A curved barrel fitting was created that would deflect the rounds into a mound of earth. The German army was concerned about the high number of head injuries that occurred while troops tried to fight from trenches. They also had a problem with Russian soldiers who would succeed in getting so close to Panzers that they could not be engaged with standard tank weapons. Someone saw the potential of a curved barrel fitting to solve both problems. The “Krummlauf” attachment was fitted to the StG44, a 30 degree model with a prismatic sight being used by infantry and a 90 degree model with a mirror being used by Panzer crews. 45 and 60 degree models are also known to have been made and the sighting system might vary depending on the vehicle it was used from.



 

            After the war both the Americans and the Russians experimented with the Krummlauf for a number of weapons including the M3 and the PPSh-41. The fitting for the M3 is interesting in that part of the barrel is a gutter, open on its inner side. In recent years we have seen a new “gun that can shoot around corners”  for SWAT teams. This is the Cornershot, using a video camera system.
 

            I will leave you with another image, a rather ingenious way to blind fire utilizing the MP40’s folding stock.