In 1917, the German military issued a contract for the construction of 2500 of these unique and impressive 4-barreled flare launchers. They were manufactured by 7 different companies (this example being from Gebruder Rempt), and were intended for the illumination of airfields. To this end, they did not just hold four 25mm flares, but actually used detachable barrel clusters (clips? magazines? The terminology does not apply well in this case…), with 8 such units being provided with each launcher. This would allow the launcher to maintain a high volume of fire; important if a large area needed to be kept illuminated. These launchers are quite scarce today, with the fewer than 2 dozen known surviving examples.
Cool Forgotten Weapons merch! http://shop.bbtv.com/collections/forgotten-weapons