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TuF (Tank-und-Flieger) heavy machine gun (Germany)

The TuF (Tank-und-Flieger) heavy machine gun was designed in Germany toward the end of the First World war. As its name implied, it was intended to be used mostly against newest battle inventions of the WW1 era – tanks (armored vehicles) and aircrafts, which were used to bomb and atrafe with machine guns enemy positions. To achieve sufficient penetration against tank armor, and necessary range and destructive effect against aircraft German experts decided to use powerful 13.2x92SR mm ammunition, originally developed for the first anti-tank rifle – the famous Mauser T-Gewehr. After competitive trials, German army selected a new heavy machine gun designed by MAN, which was broadly based on the MG-08/15 Maxim machine gun, appropriately scaled up for a much bigger cartridge. Early in 1918 German army issued a contract for production of 4 000 TuF machine guns, but only about 50 were actually manufactured before the armistice. Upon the end of the war, most TuF heavy machine guns were destroyed by Allies, and today only a handful of specimen are stored in several museums. At least one TuF machine gun is in German army collection in Koblenz, and another in Russian army collection in St. Petersburg Museum of Artillery. It is believed that no TuF machine gun were actually used in combat. However, they made sufficient impact on the powt-WW1 development of similar weapons in other countries, such as USA (Browning M1921 and M2), France (Hotchkiss M1930), Soviet Russia (DShK-38) and many others.

TuF heavy machine gun
TuF heavy machine gun


TuF heavy machine gun is short recoil operated, locked breech weapon built on a typical Maxim action with toggle locking. It fired from closed bolt and had a water-cooled barrel. Ammunition was fed from cloth belts. Gun was intended to be mounted on artillery-type wheeled mounts for ground anti-tank use, or on special pedestal mounts for anti-aircraft use.


Specification Value
Full text name TuF (Tank-und-Flieger) heavy machine gun (Germany)
Caliber cartridge 13x92SR Mauser
Action type select-fire
Trigger type sa
Overall length, mm 1590
Barrel length, mm 1090
Weight empty, kg 37 gun body + 86 mount
Cyclic rate of fire, rounds/min 500