German Observation Mast Periscope

Devices containing reflecting mirrors, to observe the enemy from cover, were first patented during the Crimean War of 1854 - 1856. By the First World War the Germans had produced special periscopes of considerable height to use behind huses or in the woods. The use of mast periscopes was not widespread, as they were much less effective for information gathering than aeroplanes equipped with cameras, but, being mobile and easy to conceal, they had advantages over observation balloons.

This mast periscope dates from 1917 and served with the German army on the Western Front towards the end of the war. It could be used to see over obstacles of between 30 and 80 feet ( 9and 24m) high.
The mast contains eight tubes which can be raised or lowered telescopically by a cable attached to a winch. When used operationally the mast was steadied by three guy ropes.
Maximum height 82 ft. ( 25m)
Weight 2844lb (1290kg).


Located at Fort Sills, Oklahoma

Pictures taken and shared by Matt Riesmeyer