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Author Topic: WWII German Small Arms Panzerschreck  (Read 1920 times)
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« on: 4 December 2014, 16:03:26 »

The Raketenpanzerbüchse 43 (RPzB.43 translated to English as “Rocket antitank rifle 43)
Designed early 1943 in Germany, inspiration was taken from the US Bazooka.
It was designed by HASAG company, and production started late 1943.
Officially designated as RPzB.43, this highly effective and appreciated weapon quickly earned the nickname “Ofenrohr” (Stove pipe).
After first reports came back from troops in the field, it was modified with a protective shield for the shooter and an improved, more elaborate sight, renamed in the summer of 1944 as RPzB.54 “Panzerschreck” (tank terror).
Compared to its counterparts like the US M1 and M9 Bazooka and the British PIAT, the Panzerschreck provided a longer effective range and much better armor penetration.  
However, the rocket launcher was heavier than the Bazooka giving less mobility to the infantrysoldier.
Another problem was the large backblast from the weapon (the gunner wore his protective mask when firing and protective gloves to protect his hands against the heat). Troops had to clear the area behind the gun and the backblast could cause early detection by other tanks.
The RPzB.43 Ofenrohr anti tank rocket launcher had a smoothbore barrel, it fired the RPzB.GR.4322 ,a solid fuel rocket with HEAT warhead.
This rocket weighted 3.3 kg and hd a muzzle velocity of about 110 m/s.
Radial tail fins at the end of the rocket provided stability during flight, the rocket had to be loaded into the rear of the barrel.

Panzerschreck round

Caliber: 88 mm
Type: Rocket launcher
Overall length: 1400mm
Weight: 9.5 kg empty (RPzB.43)
Max. effective range up to 200 meters
Armor penetration: 210 mm at a 90 degree angle.

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