Here’s an interesting relic that resides behind my chair whilst I’m typing this bunkum.
This is a standard German Great War Infanterieschild, or sniper shield, still with part of the root that has entangled itself in the support during the intervening years. The edges are curved to protect the user from the effect of splinters from enemy bullets that hit the edges of the shield.
And this is the view the British would have had of it.
The inset shows exactly how the shield was supposed to be used, even if the rifle is British – and if you are owner of this photo, please please please forgive me for using it without your permission, but I simply have no idea where I got it, and it does show the shield’s use perfectly. Please.
Two insets showing (top) the relative ease with which a soldier could transport one of these shields (although believe me, they ain’t light!), and (bottom), another use to which they could be put; the shields, you will notice, are the wrong way round, I think being used as wind breaks, in this instance, by the searchlight crew of this German anti-aircraft battery.
The remains of the metal flap that could be swivelled to close the aperture are still visible.
Once trench warfare set in, however, the use of these as shields as mobile devices would become severely restricted, their use then mainly confined to permanent sniper’s positions within the trench systems themselves.