|13.2mm TuF (Tank und Flieger)|
Comparison of British .303 and German 13.2mm Tuf
|Place of origin||Germany|
|In service||1918-1919|
|Wars||World War I|
|Bullet diameter||13.2 mm (0.525 in)|
|Base diameter||16.3 mm (0.64 in)|
|Case length||92 mm (3.6 in)|
|Test barrel length: 39"|
The Mauser 13.2mm TuF (German: Tank und Flieger; lit. "tank and aircraft", known also as 13.2×92mmSR) cartridge, was a major step in the development of anti-tank cartridges, being the first one designed for the sole purpose of destroying armored targets.
The 13.2 mm Tuf was designed to counter early British tanks which made their appearance during late World War I. Since a tank's path was difficult to determine prior to its deployment near the front, land mines were difficult to employ as a deterrent to their forward passage. Light artillery pieces pressed into service as anti-tank guns were very effective, but cumbersome and difficult to bring into action quickly enough. Thus, another means of combating these early armored vehicles needed to be found. Since early plate armor was relatively thin due to the need to reduce vehicle weight for low powered drive trains to propel the unit (and since tanks were mainly designed to protect from machine gun fire), large bore rifles could be used to harass and decimate tank crews. Depending on the thickness of the armor, a 13.2mm bullet penetrating the first armor plate would lose much of its energy and be unable to penetrate the vehicle's rear, meaning it would ricochet around the interior, causing more damage.
The development of the .50 BMG round is sometimes confused with the German 13.2 mm TuF. However, the development of the U.S. .50 caliber round was started before this later German project was completed or even known to the Allied countries. When word of the German anti-tank round spread, there was some debate as to whether it should be copied and used as a base for the new machine gun cartridge. However, after some analysis, an exact copy of the German ammunition was ruled out, its performance was inferior to the later .50 BMG (which some maintain is just enlarged .30-06 Springfield round, which in itself is a modification of an earlier German Mauser round), and because it was a semi-rimmed cartridge, making it sub-optimal for an automatic weapon, although others have stated the .50 BMG is nothing more than a rimless necked down copy of the German round. That said, when the U.S. military learned of the German round the .50 BMG was still on the drawing boards and the fact that the .50 BMG was started prior to discovery of the German round can in no way rule out the often stated belief that the German round played a significant part in formulating the .50 BMG round, even if the latter emerged with significantly different ballistic characteristics. Despite an effort by some to claim the .50 BMG was without any outside influences many sources still continue to mention the association between the two rounds, which seems to have at least some merit given the documentary evidence.
- Barrett Tillman, American Rifleman,February 23, 2017, https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2017/2/23/the-50-cal-browning-machine-gun-the-gun-that-won-the-war/
- "HISTORIC FIREARM OF THE MONTH, February 2002". Retrieved 15 February 2011.