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Volume 9 Issue 105

Published by
Orbis Publishino Ltd
@Aerospace P"ublishing Ltd 1985
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=::hard Hook der of British Land Forces during the
.1i \ /orkshop Falklands campaign.

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== =-a =-ffa
Infantru Anti-hnk
ns of
Modetn infantry are equipped with marrtportable artti-tanl< weapons
capable of dealing with any armour at a rcspectable tange, The infantry of
A British Army PIAT team is shown emplaced near Caen
in June 1944. The PIAT normally had a two-man team, one
tofire and one tocarry the ammunitionandloadthe
bombs into the launchingtrough.Tobe fullyeffectrve the
Wotld War II were not so fortturate: anti'tat* g;uns were bull<y and scarce, PIAT had to be used at really close ranges.
and harrrd-held weapons wete in their infancy. Nevettheless, these ptimitive
short-range weapons began to evolve into a genuine defence against tanks.
Despite the success of the anti-tank gnrn during World War II, many use, and the Molotov cocktall ls still a weapon favoured by many irregn-i-
tanks were destroyed in action by a diversity of other weapon types, 1ar armed lbrces, to say nothing of terrorists of every shade,
often having little in common with each other except the fact that they Being mostly close-range weapons, the anti-tank methods mentioned
had been developed to destroy enemy tanks. The range of these ln this assessment became very personal weapons. None of them would
weapons was wide during World War II, varylng from the bizarre Soviet have been of any use whatsoever without the personal application and
dog mines to many variations of the holiow-charge warhead. As will be determination of their users, and as always this is an important lactor to
related, these varied in delivery method from being hand{hrown to be borne in mind when reading of them, It still evokes a conslderable
rocket-propelled. degree of admlration to consider how the Britlsh Home Guard trained to
Nearly all the weapons descrrbed in this assessment were relatively tackle the expected invading German tanks and even more to corsider
short-range weapons, They therefore came into the domain of the foot how the Soviet partisans risked their lives to repel the German lnvaders.
soldier rather than the gn:nner, and it was the infantry which was the Conslderation of the varrous forms of Japanese suicide methods may
qenre's main operator. This included the array of anti-tank rifles that produce differing reactions, but the fact remains that the men who went
were in service when World War II started, though few were still in use out to destroy tanks and dle in the process were essentially brave men
when 1945 came around, The anti{ank rifles were perhaps a minor class even if their psychologry is still difficult to understand. Al1 the weapons tn
of their own, but it would be difficult to define weapons such as the these pages were essentially very personal ones, and perhaps even the
Panzerfaust and Panzerwurfmine ln any category other than that of Red Army soldiers grew attached to the dogs who carried their mines.
antr-tank weapon. In their day both were fearfully effectlve weapons, but
today they have virtually passed from use (althouqh relations of the
Panzerfaust can still be encountered), The antl-tank qrenade has also An American soldier runs past a German J agdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer that he has
just knocked out using his 2.36-in (60-mm) Rocket Launcher M I 'bazooka'. The
virtually disappeared, and so too has the suicide tank killer made bazooka cameas a nasfy surprjse to the Germans when it wasiirst usedrn
infamous by the Japanese in 1944 and 1945. But modern relatives of the Tunisia in I 943, and they soon set about copying the basic idea for their own
bazooka and the Raketenpanzerbiichse can still be found in widespread
€ fi"root"

Above: The American 2.36 in

(60 mm)RocketLauncherMl was the
first of the bazookas andwas used by
the Germans as the originalfor their
RPserr'es. The M I used a'one-piece'
barrel that could notfold and early
versions (shown here) used awire
mesh shield around the muzzle to
protect against rocket blast.

Above : The rocket fired from the

American bazookas was tin-
stabilized and weighed 1.53 kg
(3.4 lb). I t had a maximum range of
The original M I bazooka k shown on the left and the M9 on the right. The M9 640 m (700 yards), but was accurate
could be broken down into two halves, which greatly assisted carrying and only to ranges much shorter than
stowage insidevehicles. By the time thewarended aversion of theMS was that.
being produced in aluminium for lightness ; this was the M I I .

zerbiichse series after examples ofthe veloped and used before 1945, Specification
Mi had been captured in Tunisia in although much of their use was con- MIAI
early 1943, Althouqh the German coun- fined to the Pacrfic theatre, As the war Calibre:60 mm (2,36 rn)
terparts were much larqer in calibre, ended the all-aluminium Ml8 iaun- Length: 1,384 m (4 ft 6.5 in)
the Amencans stuck to their 60-mm chers were being rntroduced into ser- Weights: launcher 6,01 kg ( 13,25 1b);
(2,36-in) calibre until after 1945, By vlce. rocket 154 ks (3,4 lb)
then they had introduced a new mod- By the time the war ended no less Rarge: maxrmum 594 m (650 yards)
e], the M9 which dilfered from the Ml than 476,628 bazookas of all types had Muzzlevelocity: 82,3 m (270 ft) per
in being able to be broken down into been produced, along with 15,603,000 second
two halves for ease of carrying, Smoke rockets of all kinds. Armour penetration: I I9,4 mm (4.7 in)
and incendiary rockets were de- at 0"

I mni"t anti-tank rifles

-rp to 25 mm (0,98 in) of armour at 500 m with the PTRD-4l it was a heavier and simpler and liqhter PTRD-4l, Further
,:11 yards) and fired either steel or more complex weapon, but it fired the complexrty was added by a feature
:*i-gsien-cored projectiles, A large same ammunition and had an identical that allowed the barrel to be removed
::-"-::e brake was fitted and a bipod performance, The marn change with from the weapon for ease in carrying.
'::-::: -le barrel steadied the rifle in the PTRS-4I was the use of a gas- Despite the fact that these two antr-
operated mechanism and the addition tank nlles arrived in Red Army semce
l::: sec:ld ant{ark rifle was the of a five-round magazine. At the tme at a tlme when their antr-armour capa-
PTRS 1941:rP[R$4L aproductof the these combined to make the PTRS-4I a bilities were being reduced by a rapid
S-::-::,:; :=s-;r bi:reau, Compared more trouble-prone weapon than the increase in German tank armour thick-
Soviet anti-tank rifles (continued) Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons of World War II
The Soviet PTRD I 94 I fired the same
steel-cored ammunition as the more
complex PTRS I 941. It fired single
shots only, but useda semj-
automatic breech. I t was widely used
by the Red Army and partisans, and
even the Germans used captured
examples to arm
was used for many years after I 945 .

nesses, thei remained in servrce until

well alter 1945; indeed, some were en-
countered in rse by the Commumst
Chinese during the Korean War. For
several reasons the Red Army found
the PTRD-4l and PTRS-4] to be very
useful all-round weapons: they were
still useful against soft-skin targets such
as trucks, and in house-to-house
fiqhting they were unhandy but very
powerful weapons; despite their
iength andweiqht they were very use-
ful partisan weapons that could be
easily carried by tvvo men; and when
opportunity arose the Red Army even
used these rifles agarnst low-flying air-
craft. Some light armoured cars car-
ried these rifles as ther marr arma-
ment and Lend-lrease vehicles such as
Universal Carriers often mounted one,
The Red Army was not the only
World War 11 operator of these antr
tank rifles, for the Germans pressed
into therr own use any that they could
capflre dwing the early stages of their
campaign agalnst the Soviet Umon:
theyknewthe PTRD-4I asthe 14.5-mm
Pauerabwehrbiichse 783(r) and the TheSoviet 14.5-mm(0.57-in) PTRD 1941 anti-tankriflehas had around loadedintothebreechwith the loader's left
PTRS-4] as the 14.5-mm Panzerab- hand; asubsequenttap onthefirer'shelmetwould thenindicate thatthe fitleisreadytotire.
wehrbiichse 784(r). Few of them re-
mained in German front-line use after Lengths: overall 2,02 m (6 ft 7.5 in); 500 m (547 yards) Weight:20.9 kg (46, I ]b)
1943, barrel 1,35 m (4 ft 5, I in) Muzzle velocity: I0I0 m (3,314 ft) per
Weisht: 17.3 kg(38, i4 lb) PTRS-4I second
Specification Muzzlevelocity: I0I0 m (3,314 ft) per Calibre: 14.5 mm (0.57 in) Armowpenetration: 25 mm (0.98 in) at
PTRD-4I second Lengths: overall 2, 108 m (6 ft I l in); 500 m (547 yards)
Calibre: 14,5 mm(0.57 in) Armour penetration: 25 mm (0.98 in) at barrel 1.216 m (3 ft I i,9 rn)

U Houi"t dos mines

In common with many other European always given food under a tank. This wards tanks of any hnd, and so hazar- reports of the Viet Minh attemptinq to
armies, the Red Army marntained a was all very well, but to most dogs the dous to anyone in their vrcimty, use dog mrnes during the fighting in
number of Vrar dogs' for various milit- famrliar smells and sights under a The Sovlet dog mines did have a few Indo-China during the late 1940s.
ary puposes such as snilfing out ex- Soviet tank were very different to those successes, but ther period of'action' Some reports on the Red Army after
plosrves or even delivering messages under German tanks, Thus in a bat- was short once therr two-edged nature 1945 stil contained references to the
and medicai supplies in front-line tlefield situation once they were re- became apparent. The idea was not dog mines, no doubt just rn case theY
areas, but there can have been few leased wrth the explosives attached used after 1942, but there were some were used aqain.
roles more bizarre for dogs to play the dogs often tended to make for the
than the Soviet doQt mines that were familiar smells and sounds of Soviet
used for a short period during World tanks rather than the intended German
War II. Exactly how the idea of using tanks, wrth obvious results. The second
dogs as mobile anti-tank mines came snag was that the Germans soon
about has yet to be determined, but learned of the Soviet Hundmlnen and
the idea was simple and seemed to spread the word throuQth the efficient
offer great things for the hard-pressed German military media machinery that
Sonet forces during 1942. all Soviet dogs likely to be encoun-
The basic idea of the dog mtne was tered were rabid and were to be shot
that the dogrs were trained to dive as soon as they were sPotted, This
under enemy tanks whenever they alone caused the virtual disappear-
appeared, Each dog carried on its ance of dogs al1 along the Eastem
back a wooden box (or packets se- Front within a matter of days, making
cured to its body by a harness) and the firrther use of dog mines that much
irom the top of the box (or packets) more unhkely, One other factor now
protruded a vertical wooden post. seems obvioris was that on any bat-
this post was pushed back- tiefield the noise and qeneral chaos in
',.;ards as the dog moved under the progEess would unhinge any normal
--i< it detonated the explosives con- dogs' behavtour, making them run
---:-:d rn the box (or packets) to the amok in any direction other than to-
:e:-rent of the tank and the unfortun-
i:: ::9, Some accounts talk of wire The Soviet dogr mines seemed like a rn place of the wooden post. good idea when first mooted, but in
For all its simplicity the idea of the use the dogs were easily distracted
i:g mines did not last very long. The tofriendly tanks, where their rod-
?,ac Army soon discovered that there oper ated ex plosiie back-p acks
-fi-ere two main disadvantages to the proved to bejust as destructive as
-i=a. One was that in order to train the they would have been against to drve under tanks they were Germantanks.

In 1943 numbers of American 60-mm {{i\
(2.36-in) Ml bazookas were captured '. €t,
in T\rnisia and were rapidly examined
by German technicians, who quickly
appreciated that the simple and cheap
construction of the rocket-launcher
could be used to good advantage by
the Germans themselves, and before
very long the flrst German equivalents The German RP43 was inspired by
appeared. Thus German launcher flred the American bazooka, but used a
a rocket very similar to that used on the )arger 8.9-cm (3.46-in) rocket.
Piippchen but was modifred for elec- Sornetimes,known as Panzerschreck,
trical firing. This first German launcher this weapon had a range of I 50 m
was known as the 8.8-cm Raketenpan- (l65yards) and could knockoutall
zerbiichse 43 (RPzB) and was little Alliedtanks. ,Erl&G
more than a simple tube open at both
ends, from which the rocket could be
launched, The firer rested the 'pip' on
his shoulder and operated a lever to
power a small electrical qenerator.
Releasing a trigger allowed the power
so produced to be passed via wires to
the rocket motor for firing. The
weapon was completed by a simple
sighting system,
The RPzB was an immediate suc-
cess as an anti-tank weapon. Firing a
larger rocket than the bazooka it had a
better anti-armour capability, but the
rocket was limited in ranqe to about
150 m (164 yards), There was another
disadvantage in that the rocket motor
was still burning as it left the muzzle, so
the user had to wear protective clo-
thing and a gas mask to avoid being
burnt, The rocket exhaust was danger-
ous for a distance up to 4 m (13. i ft) to
the rear of the tube on f,ring, and this
exhaust could also kick up clouds of
dust and debris to betray the firing
position, Thrs latter factor did little to
endear the RPzB 43 to some users,
Further development produced the
RPZB 54, which had a shield to protect
the firer so that the protective clothing
was no longer necessary, and the later
RPzB 54/l fired a more developed British troops examine acaptured 8.9-cm (3.46-in)RP 54 inNormandy,July AnRP 54 aboutto befired. The small
rocket that required a shorter laun- 44. The s hield can be seen, as c an th e m ain lever for the electric al gener ator
1 9 shield was fitted to protect the firer
chrng tube but whrch had a siightly used for firing; this looks like a large trigger under the tube. The RP 54/ I was from the back-blast of the rocket
increased rangTe of lBO m (197 yards), essenfia//ysr'mjlar.buf used a siorter launching tube. motor after firing;note that the
The RPzB 54 and RPzB 54/1 replaced loader behind is hiding his facefor
the earher RPzB 43 in production, and on flring, The usual crew for these travelled with the tanks, tfi e same reason . The simple fixed
the early models were passed to weapons was two men, one aiming and The RPzB series had several nick- foresightis justvisible. Note also the
second-line and reserve formations. the other loading the rockets and con- names, including Ofenrohr (oven webbing sling used for carrying.
These weapons soon became very necting the rgnition wires to the laun- chimney) and Paruerschrek (tank ter-
vndely distributed and used, to the ex- cher contacts, Tank tarqets often had ror). Range:maximum 150 m (164yards)
tent that they were encountered on to be 'stalked' for the crews to qet with-
every front in large numbers. The later in effective range, but if a hit was reg- Specification RPZB 54
rockets could penetrate up to 160 mm istered that tank was usually 'dead', RPZB 43 Calibre:BB mm (3.46 in)
(6 3 rn) of tank armour, but they were The only counter to the RPzB series Calibre:BB mm (3,46 in) Weights: with shield I I kg (24.251b),
esssentially close-ranqe weapons that was extra protection such as sand- Weights: launcher 9.2 kg (20,3 lb); rocket 3.25 ks (7, 165 lb)
required careful handling in action; baqs, track links or stand-off armolu, rocket 3,27 kg (7,21 Ib); warhead Length: 1.638 m (5 ft 4.5 in)
special care had to be taken regarding along with the introduction of special 0 6s kq(1,43lb) Range: maximum 150 m ( 164 yards)
:re dangerous effects of the backblast tank-protection infantry squads that Length: 1,638 m (5 ft 4.5 in) Rate offire: 4-5 rpm

EF Anti-tank grenades
chief type was flred from the standard be replaced immediately wrth any- bubble sight and a folding buti
Kar 9Bk service rrfle muzzle ustng a thrng better, and because they also together with a range ofgrenades that
device known as a Schiessbecker, had a secondary use against personnel varied from the ordinary high explo-
which was a cup that could be secured targets. For maximum accuracy a com- sive to grenades that produced whist-
to the muzzle r:sing a lever locking de- plex little bubble sight on the rifle had ling sounds to warn of gas attack.
vtce. This cup was grooved internally to be used for aiming, and this srght Among them was a hollow-charge gEe-
to correspond with grooves on the rifle alone was somewhat costly, nade for use aqainst armour, but thls
grenade body so that on flring the gre- However, rn complexity and cost was only just over 51mm (2in) Iong
nade was given a twist to assist inflight this rifle grrenade system paled when and contained a mimscule charqe oi
stabilization. There were several antr compared with what was almost cer- TNT, This grenade could be launchec
tank grenades that could be fired from tainly one of the most useless of the to a maxmum range of 90 m (98 yards,
this device, and these differed in size many qadgets delivered to front-[ne but even if it hit a target rt could prc-
and the amount of explosive payload soldiers. Thrs was the 27-mm (1,063-in) duce little if any damage on even ti::
carried but all had a maximum range of Kampfpistole, a device developed lightest armoured tarqet, But th-.
about 2O0m (219 yards) They were from a standard signal pstol to fue tiny weapon system, known as the Sftrrm-
relatively ineffective against most tank grenades Continued devejopment pistole in its fully developed state !',::-
armour a-fter 1940 but were retained in had iLuned the sig'nal ptstol lnro; rdled issued to ftont-line troops and pr::'
service simply because they could not weapon equipped wrth a complex ably goes down in history as the c:--.
TheAnti-Tcrnk lYline
Tens of millions of mines were buried during World War I I, and a weight of 7.8 kg \17 .2lbJ. lt was filled With Amatol and was set off by a
pressure of 340 kg (750 Ib). As the war progressed the Tellermines grew more
and most were laid to block or channel the movement of sophisticated: to prevent li{ting bythe enemy theywere fittedwiih anti-handling
enemy tanks. Powerful anti-tank mines, detonated by the devices and booby traps.such as concealed. explosive charges or anii-personnel
weight of avehicle, were soon surrounded by anti-personnel mines. The main changes between the models, .however, were productron
devices to make the minefield hazardous to clear. expedienls to permlt intreased numbers of rhlnes to be churned out, for the
Germans used'such weapons by the million. Thd Tellermines were widely used,
The first antitank mines appeared during the latter stages of World War l, when but had a disadvantage in that their steel bodies could be easily discovered b,
the tank had finally made its impression on the tactics of the day. These first the use of metal detectors. The Germans then undertook the developrneni arr.
mines were often artillery shells fitted with a rudimentary pressure fuse, but by production of various forms of antl-tank min€ using non-metallic materials :ci
lale '1918 the first specially-produced anti-tank mines were in use by the German th.e mine bodies. Glass, wood and various forms of plastic were all used, ai,d rt:
army. same materials were also used by the Sovieis.
ln the years between the world wars the anti-tank mine appeared to lapse into Typical of the earlv Soviet anti-tank mines was the Model '1 938 whrcn r,.:- ,
obscurity, although most treatises on tank warfare made passing reference to squbre-bodied mine containing 3.6 kg (7.94 lb) of TNT. lt was typical of rar'.
them. lt was not u ntil the late 1 930s that thought was given actually to producing Soviet mines of the period, Lrut was soon supplemented by non-meta iic rr r: =
them in any quantities, and well to the fore in ihis sphere were the German almy the Soviets making much use of wood in anti-tank.mines, some of very s,nl,:
and the Red Army. construction and with eVen simpler deto.nating'devices. Glass bottles r",,ei:
The early anti-tank mines produced in these countries were simple devlces: sometimes used in a manner similar Molotov'cocktail but conta,r:rg
circular m6tal cases fitted with a form of pressure plate and fuse on top, and explosives.
containing a quantity of explosive. They relied on blast effect alone to blow off a The British army had few anti-tank minds to hand when the war staftec ri
tank track-or blast a way through thin protection to 'kill'the tank. The pressure 1939 other than thb No. 75 or Hawklns..Grenade. whiih was meant for use as an
system was so arranged that it could be actuated only by the weighl ol a tank so antl-tank mine as well as being a greaade. Later in the war some metal-casel
that infantry could march over the mines wlthout detonating them, but this mines Were produced in large-nuribers, especially for use in the North Afrrcan
made the task of enemy m ne-clearance teams so much easier that anti-tank terrain where mines oi all kinds were used in immense numbers.
minefields were usually scattered liberally with smaller anti-personnel mines The Ameiicans.concentrated theii efforis on producing only one type o'
that could be triggered by the weight of a man or even by the touching of a anti-tank mine, the M1, This mine used a'sbider.' type of pressure plate thai
sens,tive sensor rod or wire. could pick up the pressure footprint of a tank over a wide.r area than mosi
Typical of these early anti-tank mines were the German Tellermines. There contemporary types of mine, whiih used small central pressure sensors. Sc
were severai models of these, including the initial Tellermjne 29, two types of widespread was the use of the M1 that many American vehicles had specra;
Tellermine 35, the Tellermine 42 and Tellermine 43. To quote figures, the racks to carry the mines. They also had a very long service life, for some even
Tellermine 42 had a diameter of 324 mm \12.16 inl, a height of 1 02 mm (4 in) appeared durlng the 1982 Falkland lslands campaiQn.

A British Sapper clears an anti-tank Tellermine 42. Visible underneatft ,i a The etfect of an anti- tank mine on a Ger m an P zKpfw I V. The mine. appear s to
Schiitzenmine, or 'S'-mine, that was secured to the Tellermine to explode if have detonated under the tank's right-hand track with the force, af the
anyunwary attemptwas made toliftit.These'S'-mineswere either tied to the explosion reaching.the ammunition under lhe'turret.basket to detonate that
mine above or used a pressure device held down by the Tellermine. as well, hencelifting the tank turret and killiig the crew oitright, '

anti-tank pistol ever rssued for servrce Right: A demonstration of the correct
By the time World War II ended the way tofire theKar 9Bkfittedwith a
lange of grenades flred from the rifle Scft jessbecker gre na d e I au nc he r.
Schiessbecker launcher cup included The grenades were launched using a
:he Gewehr Panzergrenate, gross special ballistite cartridge with the
Gewehr Parzergrranate, grross Parzer- butt resting on the ground to take the
franate 46 and qross PanzergEanate substantial recoil forces. Aiming was
:1 By then the Schiessbecker ranqe rudimentary and rangevery limited.
.j been increased by the introduc-
-:. of a number of Panzerb{ichse 39 Far right:The soldier in the doorway
:::l-tank rifles modifred into grenade- is armed with a Kar 98k rifle fitted
.:r-Lchers by the addition of a launcher with a Schiessbecker grenade
:-i to therr muzzles Thts type was Iauncher attached to the muzzle. This
, as the Granatbtichse 39 and Iauncher fired an array of spin-
..::l the entrre range of German rifle stabilized gren ade s inclu ding some
. =:= ades r el a tive ly ineff e ctiv e anti - t an k
grenades using hollow charge
m iitipb"n"n
Once the Germans had appreciated appearances ofa small gmn. There was rn seconds. It was possible to fire up to issued were not wasted, They were
that the artillery projectile was not the a shield and the launcher was moved 10 rockets per minute, Other desrgn retamed in use until the war ended
most efficient manner of delivering on wheels, Once in positron the wheels features of the Piippchen were that it especially in Italy where a srzeable
hollow-charge warheads to an could be removed to Iower the could be broken down into seven number were captured by the Aliies
armowed target (it moved too fast for silhouette and the weapon then rested loads for pack transport, and that skis and were subjected to close investiga-
the hollow-charge to have full effect), on tockers, The rocket was even could be used for movement over tion by intelligence and technica-
they moved towards the rocket as a loaded usrng a conventional breech snow, There were even instructions staffs.
delivery system, They produced a mechanism. Where the Piippchen dif- printed on the rnside of the shield for There were apparently intentions tc
small rocket with a calibre of B.B cm fered from artillery pieces was that untrained personnel to use it on a bat- mounl modified Pirppchen equip-
(3.46 in) with a hollow-charge warhead there was no recoil mechanism, The tlefield. ments on light armowed vehicles but
that was quite sufficient to penetrate recoil forces produced by firing the The Piippchen did not last very long none of these plans came to anything
any known armour on any Allied tank, rocket were absorbed by the mass of in production, Almost as soon at the
and then set about producing a laun- the carriage alone, and the aimer first items had been issued American Specification
ching system, could point the launcher tube by using bazookas were captured in T\rnisia Ptippchen
At that stage of rocket development a hvin-handled grip and loohng along and examined by German technical Calibre: 88 mm (3,46 in)
the German designers appear to have the barrel. personnel, who soon realized that the Lenqths: overall 2,BZ m (9 ft 5 in);
had little experience ofwhat a rocket- The Piippchen was introduced into simple pipe was all that was needed to barel l.60 m (5 ft 3 in)
launcher should be like, and in the end service in 1943, and in use had a max- launch their B,B-cm rocket and that the Weights: travelling 146 kg (322 1b); in
they developed what was to all intents imum range ofabout 700 m (766 yards), complexity of the Piippchen was un- action 100 kg (220 1b); rocket 2,66 kg
and purposes a small artillery piece to though for anti{ank use the maximum necessary. Thus production ceased (5 86lb)
'fire the rocket. Thrs devrce was effective range was about 230 m (252 almost as soon as it started, and was Elevation: - 18" to + 15'
known as the Pi.ippchen (dolly), or yards) as the sighting system was then concentrated instead on the sim- Traverse:60'
more formally as the 8.8-cm rather rudimentary and the time of ple RPzB series, But those Piippchen Ranges: maximum 700 m (766 yards);
Raketenwerfer 43, and it had all the flight of the rocket could be measured equipments that had been made and anti-tank 230 m (252 yards)

A British soldier demonstrates a Piippchen captured in Tunisia in 1943, clearly The 8.8-cm (3.46-in) Raketenwerter 43 or'Piippchen'was aformof antitank
showing its low silhouette. This rocket launcher had no recoil mechanism and rocket launcher lfial was supersededa/mosf as soon as it entered service in
used asimple breech, butcomparedwith theRP 43 series itwasmuchmore 1943 by the RP 43 series firing a very similar rocket. TheRP 43 could be
complex and expensive toproduce.Thewheels could beremoved if producedfarmore cheaply and quickly than the Piippchen, here being
required. examined by Americans.


Panzerwurfmine (L)
-:-e Panzerwurfmine (Ir) was de-
ready to have maximum effect as it
by the German army for use struck. This sounds simple enough, but
:-; specral tank-killer infantry squads in practice the Panzerwurfmine was
:: provrde them with a powerful stand- not an easy weapon to use effectively.
:1';eapon that could be carried and For a start the maximum possible
by one man. It was a specialized range was limited by the strengrth and
-.eC of anti-tank grenade that used a
-:=r ability of the thrower, and was usually
:----:-r-charge warhead to defeat the no more than 30 m (32.8 yards) at best,
.:jJ:i iarrk armour, To ensure that the and was frequently less. Accuracy
-,'.--:-ead was actually facing the target could only be ensured by practice
=:::::':r when it struck the tank, the wrth special inert tralnlng versions.
;:::.aie was fitted with a finned tail for But despite these disadvantages
: .rlanon and gfrudance, some of the special German anti-tank
-:-: Panzerwurfmine was thrown at personnel grreatly favoured the Pan-
:i:;ret ln a special manner, The grre- zerwurfmine. Compared wrth other
:-,=:: ,';arhead had behind it a steel close-in anti-tankweapons used by the
:,::-"- a::ached to a wooden handle. Germans the Panzerwurfmine was re-
-:,: -:r cnpped thrs handle and held latively small, light and handy, It was
, :e:,:-i hrs back with the warhead
also potent, for the warhead was made
;,-:, -:-;i upwards, When up of RDX and TNT rn equal measures
:::1-.'-::'jser swung hrs arm forward and weighed 0,52 kg (1.146 1b), Com-
-: ::::^s:i the handle. As soon as brned wjth the hollow-charge prtnci-
--: ;::-ade ' Ln flrght four canvas ple, this usually ensured penetration of Twoexamples of theGermanPanzerwurtmine (L) are shown as theywould
::- -:-:-::: ilcm the handle for gmr- even the thickest armour of nearly all ftavebeen jssued, with their stabilizer tailswrapped in cordaroundthe
:--:: -: s:driluation, and the dro- Allied tanks. It also had the advantage throwing handle. These gtenades were not a generalissue as fft ey required
;,= :i:::j:.
:: :ese firs marntained the of not requidng the user to approach somesk:? lo use properly, and theyweremainly issued tospecialistclose-in
;-:-:a -= J.rrect lorward position the tank to place the qrrenade on the tank killer squads.
Paruerwurfmine (L) (continued) Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons of World War II
target, wrth all the attendant risks of
such a tactic, Further safety was pro-
vided by the fact that the warheadwas
not fully fused until the grenade was in
flight, for the act of throwing also
armed the fuse,
Desprte its success in German
hands, the Panzerwurfmine was not
copied closely by any of the Allies.
Caphrred examples were used when
they fell into Allied hands, especially
by the Red fumy, but the Amedcans
often misused them for they at first
thought that they were meant to be
thrown in the same manner as an over-
sized dart; once the mistake had been
discovered special intelligence bulle-
tins were soon issued to corect this
practice, After 1945 the principle was
used for a while by vanous Warsaw
Pact nations, and in recent years the
Egryptians have seen fit to copy the
Panzerwurfmine almost exactly as part
of the output of their new indtgenous
armaments rndustry, They have dis-
covered that this type of anti-tank
weapon is exactly suited to their infan-
try anti-tank tactics, and thelr version is
reported to be quite capable of 'killing'
the most modem tanks.
The German Panzerwurfmine (L) was much favoured
Specification by tank killer squads, for although it was a close-
Paruerwurfmine (L) range weapon it had a I 14.3-mm (4.5-in)warhead that
Bodydiameter: l]4,3 mm(4.5 in) could knock out even the heaviest Allied tanks. I t was
Lengrths: overall533 mm (21 in); body Weights: overall 1,35 kg (2,98 lb); thrown in such a way that the hollow charge warhead
228.6 mm (9 in); flns 279.4 mm (11 in) warhead0,52 ks(1, 146 lb) was always in front to strike the tank armour first.

trI t'L"rt",rrt
When it first appeared in late 1942, the The first model of Panzerfaust to
weapon that was soon known as Pan- enter service was the Panzertaust 30,
zerfaust (tank devil) was unique. It was the number referring to the effective
developedby HASAG (Hugo Schneid- range in metres. By increasing the
er AG) at Leipzig to provide soldiers amount of propellant the range could
with a personal antr-tank weapon, and beextended.
emerged as a form of recoilless gmn
that also incorporated some rocket
principles, The Panzerfaust was meant
to be cheap and simple, and was little
more than a launching tube that pro-
jected a hollow-charge grenade. Sim-
ple firing and sighting facilities were
provided, and that was it. The bulk of
the propellant was contained in the
launching tube, and in flight four spring plans to introduce a Paruerfaust 150 Right: A drill book example of how to
steel flns sprang out from the projectile and even a Panzerfaust 250, but the aim and fire a Panzerfaust 30 or 60.
body to provide inflight stabilization, end of the war prevented these ver- The weapon tube had to be held
The f,rst Panzerfausts entered larQle- sions ever getting past the testing underthe arm oroverthe shoulder
scale service in 1943, and this initial stage. to allow the propellant exhaust to
versronwas later known as the Paruer- The Panzerfaust projectile could vent to the rear safely, so the weapon
faust 30 (klein), the 30 referring to the penetrate up to 200m (7,B7in) of was not meant to be used in enclosed
30-m (32.8-yard) range of the device, armour set at an angle of 30', while the areas,
The suffix klein (small) was appended smaller Panzerfaust 30 (klein) could
as it was not long before a larger- penetrate i40 mm (5,51 in), Therefore and many of the hapless Volkssturm
Ciameter projectile was lntroduced to any Allied tank was vulnerable to the went into action with nothing else, If
provide an increased anti-armour Panzerfaust, and tank crews took to the Panzerfaust was aimed.properly
penetration capability: this was then adding extra protection to their vehi- and used at the corect range, every
-:e Panzerfaust 30, The short ranqe of cles, this rangrng from stand-offplates German soldier could have at least one
rese early models was often a gEeat along the sides to piles of sandbags Allied tank destroyed to his credit, but
.achcal disadvantage for the flrer, who around the hulls and even lengrths of the introduction of stand-ofi armour
-:i;s had to get dangerously close to spare track at all likely places, The and infantry squads accompanying
--:e target tank. But the Panzerfaust Panzerfausts were produced in their Allied tanks offset some of the worst Weights: total 5.22 kg (l1.5 lb);
lr:rked and proved lethal to any tank tens of thousands right up until May the German rnfantry could do. protectile 3 ks (6,6 lb)
-kely to be hit, Aiming was a btt dif- 1945, They could be used only once, Projectile diameter: 150 mm (5.91 :-
as it relied on using a flip-up leaf which was something of a liability for Specification Muzzle velocity: 30 m (98 ft) per
r;:-: that had to be ahgned with a pip German raw material resowces, so it Panzerfaust 30 (klein) second
-- :-e projectile body, and at the same was planned that the prolected Pan- Range: 30 m (32,8 yards) Armour penetration: 200 mm (7.E. -:.
:-= -he launcher tube had to be care- zedaust 150 and Panzerfaust 250 would Weights:total 1.475 kq (3,25 Ib);
;I1 -.:cked under the arm to prevent
--= :l;pellant exhaust from injuring
be reloadable to conserve metal projectile 0.68 kg ( 1,5 lb) Panzerfaust 60
stocks, Projectile diameter: 100 mm (3.94 in) Range:60 m (65,6 yards)
-::1er. The Panzerfaust exactly suited the Muzzle velocity: 30 m (98 ft) per Weights: total 6.8 kg ( l5 Ib) prc':::=
-::er the Panzerfaust 30 came the German defensive tactics of 1943-5, second 3kq (6,6 ]b)
Pa:uerfaust 60 and Panzerfaust 100, and Allied tank crews came to fear the Armourpenetration: 140 mm (5,51 in) Projectile diameter: 150 mm (5 ?. :.
::-: ;,tth more ranqe provided by weapon, Being available tn huge num- Muzzle velocity: 45 m (148 ft) per
:-:: propellant, although the projec- bers, at least one Panzerfaust was car- Paruerfaust30 second
:- ::narned the same, There were ried by almost every German vehicle, Range: 30 m (32,8 yards) Armourpenetration: 200 mm.- !- :-
The Pcnzerfaust in Acfion
The excellence of Soviet tanks carne as a nasty shock to the German army in 1941 .
German anti-tank guns could not l<nock out a Soviet tank at anything but point-blank
range, and a race began in order to develop a complementary infantry anti-tank
system. Bigger guns were quickly produced, but they were bullcy weapons needing
Iarge crews and a vehicle to tow them. The German infantry needed a man-portable
weapon capable of destroying a T-34.

The story of the Eastern Front in World War II

is to quite a large extent the story of the Sovtet
T-34 tank, argnrably the finest tank ever de-
veioped given the criteria of firepower,
armour, mobihty, reliability and simplicity of
construction and maintenance. Over 40 000 T-
34 tanks were built; they were sttll in use in the
1960s; and if the Soviets had bothered to train
their crews properly in the 1940s they would
have been even more effective than they were,
Work started on the T-34 in 1934; the first I 15
exampies were burlt at Stalingrad, They had a
76,2-mm (3-in) qun, a diesel-engine power-
plant, sloping armour, independent suspension
and wide tracks: they were excelient in mud
and snow.
The Germans first encountered the T-34
near Grodno in June 1941., and found the type to
be vastly superior to their own PzKpfw IV, The
Germans also found that therr infantry were
extremely vulnerable to the speed and fire-
powerof the T-34. Atthattlme, Germanlnfantry
relied on anti-tank rifles and small calibre guns
(used in the attack, as opposed to Britrsh tactics greater the firepower needed to combat it, A drill book demonstration of the Panzerfaust 30;
which only used anti-tank gmns in the defence); meaninq bigger, more complex and expensive the later Panzerlaust 60 looked very similar.
but they found to their horror that the only gmns, which in turn lead to bigger, more com- Raisingthe simple leaf sights armed the trigger
plex and expensive tanks, and so on, As can be mechanism, and thefirerusedthesight and a
weapon effective against the T-34 was the 88- markon the bomb to aim theweapon. Oncefired,
mm (3 46-in) Flak gnrn, In this context it is in- seen, ultimately only the richest nations can fins unfolded to stabilize the bomb.
teresting to note that durrng late l94l a Soviet afford the latest in either tanks or anti{ank
KV-l tank hetd up an entire German drvision weaponry, and for a whole variety of reasons it
lor 48 hows, dug in by a bridge, until an 88-mm is lmpossible to obtain parity between tanks end of whichwas held by a soidier prepared to
gn:n was called in to destroy it. And even then it and anti{ank weapons: one or the other will die for his country and emperor, which was just
:ook seven rounds, of which only two actually have the edge until the latest technical adv- as well because he usually did,
penetratedl Admittedly the T-34 was not quite ance reverses the balance. Nor should the The German response to the T-34 was the
as heavily armoured as the KV-I, but even so, Germans be dended for using mines to destroy Panzerfaust, a small bomb fired from a dispos-
n the absence of an 88-mm gnrn the standard T-34s; the British came up wtth a totally asinine able launcher. In its own way the Panzerfaust
defence against the T-34 entailed some brave weapon called a 'sticky bomb', This was a flask was as revolutionary a weapon as the !-34 and
but foolhardy soldier rushing up to the tank and ofnitroglycerine covered in a black stockinette went some way,to redresslng the balance. And
Jropprrg a fused Teller mine under the tracks, impregnated wlth adhesive, the whole mess it was not used just against the T-34: after D-
cr under the turret overhanq, surrounded by a metal case, The idea was that Day, entire Volkssturm units were armed with
But before looking at the weapon the Ger- the brave volunteer (and there were never too nothing else; and their capabiiities are attested
developed to counter the T-34 at the level many) sidled up to an approaching German by the fact that on 29 March 1945 a small party
:i :he infantry squad and platoon, it is worth tank, removed the metal casing and stuck the ofVolkssturm held up a squadron from the lst
-:'c<rrg first at the baslc problem underlytng all bomb onto the side of the tank and activated Royal Tank Regiment for the best part of a day.
the fuse, whereupon he had five seconds to get The Panzerfaust project was initiated by a Dr
=ri.{ark weaponry (and tank development it- clear before the bomb exploded. The Langweiter of Hugo Schneider AG, based ut
self come to that). Essentially, every army is
:a:ed wlth a problem of escalation: the more Japanese simply mounted their antt-tank Leipzig. What Langweiter required was a de-
p,:-rerirl and better armoured the tank, the bombs on the end of 9-m (30-it) poles, the other livery system for a new type of bomb or proiec-


re -;TTi-:-lr- :;--i:;1-
:i:llllllillf :ilnHffi tlllliillli$l!1lllfl$,Wffi ffi lWii:iiliil:rri r' rilrffi!ilI.' 'ii::iffifl
Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons of World War II

A partial cutaway of a Panzertaust 30 shows the

spring-up leaf sight that primed the trigger
mechanism over the tube. When released, a button
trigger caused the spring tomechanically
detonate the propelling charge inside the tube.
This caused the bomb to betorcedfrom the tube
muzzle and a mass ofgas fo escape to the rear.

tile that he felt would be effective against well-

armoured tanks, This bomb rehed on the Mon-
roe effect, named after its American discover-
er: the high explosive warhead is produced
with a cone-shaped hollow interlor, copper-
lined and open end facing forward, so that
when the head is detonated the optimum dis-
tance away from armour piate, the explosive
force goes forward, a thin focused jet of molten
metal and superheated gas being directed at
the armour plate at some 6000 m (19 685 ft) per
second, In the case of a tank, this jet melts a
hole in the armour to allow the tngress of hot
gas and vaporlzed metal, exploding ammuni-
tion and generally maklng life untenable for the
crew. The problem was that artillery shells
were too fast and too powerful to achieve this
optimum distance: they either bounced off the
tank armour (on the T-34, the armour had a 30"
slope) or exploded too ciose to the tank
armour, and although the difference could be
measured in millimetres, this was enough to
make the holiow-charqe warhead ineffective,
Anyway, the idea was to provide front-line
troops with antrtank capability, Dr Langwei-
ter's solution was the drsposable rocket- 30 (kleln) was soon superseded by the Panzer- The more complex leaf sight indicates that this is a
launcher, The tube was eventuaily manufac- faust 30, 60 and 100 (the numbers tndicatlng the Panzertaust 60. The fired bomb weighed 3 kg
range in metres) which fired a bomb weighing (6.6 [b) and the warhead could penetrate 200 mm
tured by Volkswagen Werker at Fallersleben, (7. 87 in) of armour. The later P anzertaus t I 00 w as
and by 1943 over 200,000 per month were com- 3 ks (6 6 lb) at 30, 45 and 62 m (98, 148 and
essentially similar, but it had a longer range firing
ing off the productron lines. 203 ft) per second respecttvely, Each one thesamebomb.
could penetrate up to 200 mm (7 87 in) of
First Panzerfaust armour, aqain at a 30'slope. An explosive cal- fire back. Even if they did not, the Panzerfausi
The original weapon was called the Faust- led cyclonite was used as the tnitiating charge; drd its damage insrde the tank by sending mol-
patrone, and was desrgned to be fired at arm's this was highly unstable, and had to be mixed ten metal and hot gas swirling amongst the
length and at right angles to the body, After it with beeswax to prevent the molecules rub- crew and so did not always 'take out' exterior
was pointed out to Lanqweiter that this made bing toerether and exploding when the Panzer- passengers, who could then retaliaie.
aiming slightly difficult unless the operator was faust was flred, Most German soldiers were Nonetheless, from the very first the Panzerfaus:
so close to the T-34 that he might just as well use almost as terrrfied of this new weapon as they was successful and allowed German infantry to
a Teller mine, the first Panzerfaust (Gretchen) were of the tank it was designed to defeat; even furnish close support to their own tanks,
was developed. so, it was infinitely preferable to hurling mines, But what of the Soviets, and how dld they
Its official classification was the Panzerfaust partlcularly as T-34s often went into action with cope with this new threat? Their flrst response
30 (klein) It was a 76,2-cm (30-in) tube firtng a Sovret infantry riding on them (the T-34 boasted was to attach to thelr tanks extra armour de-
I S-kq (3 3-1b) bomb at 30 m (98 ft) per second specially designed handrails) who were un- signed to combat the Panzerfaust effect, fhts
and possessing a maximum effective range of likely to sit idly by whtle a German ran up to armour could be (and often was) as basic as
30 m (98 ft); the bomb's diameter was 100 mm destroy their ride, Even so, this use oi infantry sandbagrs sited over the most exposed parts oi
(3 94 rn) and the explosive charge would in close (very close) support of tanks made the the tank, or hanging steel plates that wouli
penetrate mm (5.5 in) of armour sloped at
140 Panzerfaust almost as dangerous for the user as help dissipate the hollow-charge effect, At the
30", Propulsron was by a charge in the tube for its tank target: if the Panzerfaust was fired at same time, tactics chanqed so that tanks a1wa1-s
base, though later versions added a rocket I00-m (110-yard) range, and if they saw the advanced with infantry support, and thrs sr:p-
:harge to the projectile itsell The Panzerfaust discharge, the infantry had trme to lump off and port was often in advance of the tanks the:.
Tkee Famzerfaust in Aetion

;r1::.:i -:::ri.
:: :.:i.:a.. .
:a' :.+:,.1-.4€
":' F:,a:a:=...

l:i:: j:r:
.:#.+-. ,.
=€.. ': ;'a.

+.",:!.r..;i,:r:..: !


-=- :s Infantry casualties might thus be even the iube, tvro irttle catches lock into place to hand operates the trigger mechanism, ani
. ']:er than norma,l, bui at ieast the n-lore ex- hold 1t there, So far so good. The trtgger your head rs bent over at an angle to stght the
-::s-','e tanks had a greater chance of survjv- mechanism rs on top of the trrbe, covered b1' a weapon,
:.. 1: the Americans' response is io throw protective stee.l housing You can flip the hous- However, like most inlantrymen you wil-
.,..:r- at a problem, ihat of tLle Soviets is to ing up and it turns into a back sight, and this is have discovered the best way of frrlng the Pan-
__',',','iuen. vrhere the hard part starts, because at lhe same zerfaust is the way that does not appear in the
-"nng ilie Fanzerfailst time the two retaining catches at the tube base manuals, What you have done lnltially is t:
are released, and ihe bomb has a tendency to choose a position that allow-s the tank to come t -
:-:. ,.,,ias ii hlce tc ftre a. Panzerfaust? First, slide out of the end oi the tube rf it rs porntrng you (no leaprng out from behind a tree waving :-
-:: p;coably rrery frlqhtened beca.use the
.. lowards the giround And you do not care if your bulky steel tube for you), You are sitiing dcvr,r-
. = '' .::rks are ertremelv close to you. You sergeant has promised you that it will not ex legs folded underneath you and spreadl yc*-
- --: 'a
- .. t- J .reh;ro a iree or a laroe busn ii plode, for rt just mrght, and anyway 1t ts both lefi arm and elbow are supported on your 1:
reen able to flnd one, or dug into a embarrassingt and ttme wasting, and that T-34 knee and your body is bent more natura '
=.-: : somewhere, orif youarefightingina is advancing towaids You at vireil over 30 km& forward; this way you can both get a be:::-'
r -
'','r- i..vhere the l'anzerfaust is at most (20 mph) srghtrng and preseni a smaller target
: : r lehin,l a wall, all because ioadinE l\ow you have tc flle it T'he accepied and The tank is wrthin ranqe; yot,L press the .r..
- . . --.-:, :-r::i takes time and leaves you very taught posirion rs i. slanci up the tube ger, which ignites the propellant charqe .:'.,
.. =: -: : -. :-r would ralher do itoutolslght of under your rrqi. ai:n pciniingr"vrthbeyon6 un6 the bomb roars out of the holder. You :..
- : ::,-,il Sorriets. You iake the SO-mm away lrom l,,ail .-.1'.; :c shrelo ycu ficm the watch it 1n flight, notice that half way tov-,-ar::
, . r -::::er and slicie the bomb into back blast (ircle. ..,--.' .':u: lul:Lber t'"io has alsc target lhe secondary propelling c:l:r:-
: : .-.= arhead overlapping ihe encl of
,-. ie[]=ir..- -:] - -:- -. .' - = -'---- ^l -q'- arta.ched to ihe bomb ignrtes, and see -,'', , .
. - I - .:,- .lcmb tail reaches the end cf handrsc,arLlei:.aa.-:.-: i: ::r::le airr li. iign degree of satrslactron that the bornb i..-.
,,:,tlet.1'.:i4l'ati i4a.;l;;,1,r:r;l;,;;t:jgt jjz:.-1.ii.aF:!tt.]!: iiilil-i:li'."':rr, i
,';i.!.il ni""a,is"ljiii'rtl;;j, i.l1t-rit,'r:1,:-1, .';1-1:.:-iaitii:tlt't,: irl.illl :ii i.rl:
.,ir.,i"#:-:r:,':,re:-:::ld.t.rrJ.iC.€::,..r,-'.' : :,::t:r' *'"-'.' :i:.:i::'tt.',
ir:i.;5jtirjai3I,i:;t:" j:ti,r.l!:.;l.;,at:'.,:.;:r:ii:,1.r1.r,riii:ii.ri:,1:i:li/,-ritir',r !::i r,i
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ffi n#i,""k rifles
The German army used two main
types of anti-tank rifle but, as will be
related, they attempted to develop
many more models. The first in-
sefiice weapon was the 7.92-mm Pan-
zerbiichse 38, an 0.312-in rifle pro- The Panzerbiichse 39 is shown in the
duced by Rheinmetall-Borsig, This travelling position (below) and with
was a weapon that was both complex the bipod lowered and stock
and expensrve, for it resembled a extended ready for action (above).
miniature artillery piece so far as the G erm an anti- tank rifles were
breech mechanism was concerned. rendered obsolete by the increasing
Thrs featured a small sliding breech thick ne ss of tank armou r.
block and an automatic ejector for the
spent cMridge case. About 1,600 of
these antl-tank nfles were procured
by the German army, but the type was
not accepted as a full sewice-standard
weapon although those that were pro-
duced were retained in servrce and
were used during the early war years,
The standard German anti-tank rifle
was the 7.92-mm Panzerbiichse 39.
This was a much simpler weapon than
the Panzerbirchse 38 and was pro-
duced by the Gustloff-Werke of Suhl,
Thrs weapon still had a sliding breech
block for the powerful cartridge, but
the block was operated by pulling
down the pistol gnip. Like the earlier
nfle it was a single-shot weapon and
the stock could be folded to make car-
nage more handy, Extra ammunition
could be carried on the weapon in
small boxes secured on each srde of
the breech mechanism.
These tvuo antr-tank rifles fired the
same ammunitron, which onginally
used a hard steel core, In 1939 num-
bers of Polish Marosczek anti{ank
nlles were captured, and on examina-
tlon it was found that the bullets flred
by thrs very effective weapon had a
tunqsten core that gave much better
armour penetration. The Germans
seized upon this principle and
adopted it to lengthen the service life
of their own antr-tank rifles, which
rvould otherwrse have been rendered
obsolete by increases in enemy tank
armour. AnAfrikaKorp.ssoJdjerisseen witha7.92-mm(0.31Z-in)Panzerbiichse39.Thiswasasingle-shotri{Iethatfired
The Germans developed a surpris- tungsten-coredprojectiles. The projectilecouldpenetrate25 mm (0.5-in) otarmour at300 m(328yards), makingit
mg number of follow-on desigrs in an unable to tackle any but the lightest tanks after I 940 .
effort to replace the Panzerbiichse 39.
Various manufacturers produced a along its development path, appear to have been made or deli- a fairly bulky weapon that was towed
senes of prototypes, all olthem in 7,92- There was one further antr{ank rifle vered though some were used rn North on its own tvuo-wheeled mountinq, and
mm calibre, but none of them got past used by the Germans, but this was a Africa, Solothurn was also responsible again only a limited number were pro-
the prototlpe stage. There was even a Swiss product knownasthe 7.92-mmM for the design and manufacture of a cured by the Germans. Others went to
programme to develop an anti-tank SS 4L This was produced by Waffen- weapon more accurately described as Italy, where the type was known as the
machine-gmn known as the MG I4l, fabrik Solothurn in Swrtzerland to Ger- an antl-tank cannon, for rt was the 2-cm Fucile anticarro, It was an automatic
but aqain that did not proceed far man specrfications, but not many Panzerabwehrbiichse 785(s). This was weapon that used flve- or lo-round
magTazines, and was sometimes known
The German Granatbiichse 39 was a converted as the sl8-1100; some were used by
P zB 39 anti-tank rifle fitted with a the Netherlands during 1939 and 1940
'Sclrjessbecker' grenade launcher cup on the as the Geweer tp t8-lll0.
muzzle. The grenades fired included small
hollow-charge anti-tank grenades (see cross
section) that were effective only against the Specification
very lightest armour at ranges up to I 25 m PzB 38
(136yards). Calibre:7.92 mm (0 312 in)
Lengrths: overall with stock extended
1.615 m (63.58 in); barrel 1,085 m
Weight: 16.2 kg (35,71 ]b)
Muzzlevelocity: 1210 m (3,970 ft) per
Armour penetration: 25 mm (0 98 in) at
300 m (328 yards)

PzB 39
Calibre: 7,92 mm (0.312 in)
Lengths: overall with stock extended
162 m (63.78 in); barrel 1.085 m
Weisht:12.6 ks(27 78 lb)
Muzzle velocity: 1265 m (4, 150 ft) per
Armourpenetration:25 mm (0,98 in) at
300 m (328 yards)
Chcrges Work
As fanks beca me more heavily protected, so much power was
needed to a hole in their armour with conventional shell
that anti-tank rifleswere rendered obsolete and anti-tank
guns steaciily grew in size. Exploiting the properties of
explosive known as the Monroe effect offered an alternative
meansof attack,with the added advantage thatpenetration
did not deteriorate as range increased.
-ne phenomenon known as the hollow-charge effect was first noticed during
:ie BBOs by a nurnber of experimenters, but especially by an American en-

; neer named Monroe who for a while gave his name to the effect. lt was noted
:nat if a slab of explosive was recessed with, say, the maker's name, the area of
: metal plate under that recess was burnt into whereas the rest of the plate was
sir-nply buckled or dented. This Monroe eff ect was at f irst treated as an explosive
:uriosity, and it was not until the 1920s that ballistic designers started to British soldiers demonsttate an array of captured German anti-tank,,yeap.:.:
examine the Monroe effect to see if there was any scope in it for use against The soldier on the le{t is leaning on an LB-&n G.46-in) RP 43. The sergeai: :s
rank armour. A German named Neumann discovered that if the explosive recess holding a Panaerfaust S1(klein) in his right hand and a Panzerfausl 3C jn irs
'..rras lined with a thin layer of rnetal the burning effect was much enhanced, and left. All theseweapons carried hollow Chargewarheads.
ine way was open for the Monroe effect to become the hollow charge.
By a series of experiments carried out in a number of countries durinE the li
1920s and 1930s, the hollow charge was developed into a viable anti-armour
'."veapon. The initial recesses in a slab of explosive lrew into a def inite shaped or
roliow charge which was circular and with a deep impressed cone set into one
'dce of the Explosive cnarge. Tnis cnarge was intended lo be set o+'at a fixed
Crstance from the armour to be penetrated, and one of the early experimental
:esults was to show exactly how far away this distance had to be for a given
charge. The idea was that the explosion, usually set off by a rear-mounted f use,
wouh concentrate in the cone and move forward at very high speed towards the
target armour. This concentration formed an intense jet of very high tempera-
tur6 particles that could burn its way through a considerable thickness of
armour. By lining the interior of the explosive cone with a thin layer of metal this
burning effect could be considerably enhanced. Several types of metal were
used at one trme or another, copper being one of the most effective. Other
metals used included zinc, aluminium and thin steel.
Reliabie performance
Tnis hollow-charge e{iect was seen lo be a cons'derable step forward in tne
battle against armour, and it had the advantage that it did not rely upon weapon
delivery range to vary its performance: it would work as well at 1000 m (1,094
,ards) as it dd at 10 m {11 yards) away from a weapon muzzle. The first
weapons to use the hollow-charge effect were guns of the conventional kind, Acerman 10.5 cm (4.I4-in) LG 40 is fired on the ranges and clearly shows ore
bui it was soon discovered that the hollow charge did not perform as predicted of themain disadvantages of the recoilless gun, namely the large cloud af Cus
when used in art llery projectiles: these rely upon imparted spin for stabilization and debris kicked up by the mass ofgas escaping through the rear ventun:,
a nd this spin tended to disperse the intense explosive jet instead of allowing it to This gun could fire hollow charge prajectitres and could knock out most iani-.
concentrate. The answer was to use non-rotat ng projectiles to carry the hollow-
charge warheads, and this usually meant rockets or something similar which by when the hoilow-charge prolectile struck such a stand-off screen it reac::: ::
tneir very nature had to be relatively short-range project les. Thus rn rapid order though it had hit the real armour. The resultant jet was thus diss;pale. - . -
rearly every combatant nation developed a new form of short-range anti-tank open area behind the screen wlth little f any damage to the main tank C.--'
',veapon, typical of which were the American bazooka, the Brltish PIAT and the things that could be used as stand-off protection were sandbags, sparr --:,
,3erman Panzerfaust. These were all short-range warhead-delivery systems that links and even curtalns of chain. Recent developrnents include the use of=
::. .
'ired non-spinning projectiles, and they were all very effective. armour'which erplodes as the fire jet reaches'it literally to snuff out the f '= =
The hollow charge was not the idealanti-armour weapon it at f irst promised to -ne nollow charqe is still used as it -erains an ef lecrive anti-armo-' .,. ..: .
ie, for it could be easily countered bythe use of stand-off armour. This consisted that is relatively easy to produce and employ, despite the number of me;s----
r= sfreets of thin metal oT even wrre mesh suspended from the sides of tanks: which can be taken to counter its effects.

Lurrge sm-ines
: f,i4 the phght olthe Japanese unrts and consrsts of an explosive charqte at the Japanese deiensive mentalrty of prepaied to lqnore the pr::=
.-. rnade up the garnsons on the the end of a lonq pole to enable rt to be 1944-5 tani< protectinq rnfantry rn ih3 i -.
'::pred rslands rn the Pacific ap- placed against a gate or other obstacle Some of these improvrsed lunge ness to o]ley orclers and k. i: ,:-
: r:hesto theJapanese home rslands to blow rt out ol the way. The _Iapanese mrnes used ihe ['lrp*o 3 Grenade as ihe t"nk somlr) vle' s.o o
:: rrore than desperate. The over- l rs device 1ol 15- 6 r.inst U-d^r o cl ntry -.ic-m- 'hay -V-r oo
"dopred ^rr :t .. ..'
:rnlng Allied superrority rn arr and tanks by convertingt the explosrve into stances thrs r,rras an anti tank g'renade pLoy 'nose ihai d d o'+ '
'".r-r matn' thar many gdn .sons a rudimentary hollow charqe by along the same general lines as the rh^,eolllor ^xit 9
:..::, not expect to receive anything reshaping the explosive into a stmple German Panzerrr.urfmine but the can
"pp-d" olJ^ov--. -l
-- 'L-.n .he ve-y sr " lesl nc'^- cone wrth an rnternal depressron the vas fins were replaced by a loose taii of q6p.1c;fst1a.y'ho o1. . ..
--- or ne rv eouipmo t correct stand-off distance was ensured hemp strands. As ihe hurled dehvery Io n r lS h^tL 'oTgrr ,
' r i:e same time they were being by usinqr three steel natls around the of thrs grenade was rather inaccurate, SoTnal ou 1^ldl lh^
-:.:J to prepare themselves for in periphery of the warhead. The pole rse ol tn^ T/p^ ,: .s - I . 1go n 16c vvo "- feat
,. - r- 1:d i3 be readyto defendthem- was a length of bamboo, as lonqi as head was deemed more efflcLent,
-: alfarnst tanks and other could be cut or as the user could hand espec:.aliy as rt could peneirate up to Speeifieatien (provrsrcra,
, .. =:. rehtcles The only possible le To flre the mine a saiety ptn was flrst 70 mm (2.75 in) of tank armour. ItunEe rnir:e
:: - :.l.ia]]was to lntroduce local removed and the user then pushed the Japanese lunqe mrnes were not en- T'trerghts: boo,' k ..:i
- ,=r rntL-iank weapons and mrne aqainst the target tank This op- countered all that olten on the Pacrfrc charge29kq(64lb)
. : -:- ,''es a ir/'eapon known as eration caused a striker to push agtatnst islands for tire slmple leason thai tengith: body 279 mm i1 - -:
..-:-;::-.:,.:: llat could be eastlY the detonator and so fire the main Allied armour was usually r-rsed only Diarr,eter" ot oo"e ( :

-,: ,. :.-: ,::al rnaterials and cra"ge. t h^r^ rvas -o dolav so usiro during the initiai landLng phases.
... .; - =.qrlsLve charqteS the mine was at best hazardous and at When the mines were empioyed it was
- a -- ra - -: aL old weapon, worst surcidal but that seemed to sutt notlc^ ibj^ lhor I air .lsel. -r o.,re

o Suicide anti-tank methods

Perhaps the most extreme of these crews, A vanant on the satchel charge the suicide candidate, who acted as
were the backpack human mines, This was a Type 93 antr-tank mine on a pole Iittle more than a human fuse, In prac-
weapon was very simple to devise and whrch was srmply shoved under a tice this ploy did not work too well for
devastatinq in use, for it consisted of track with dire results for both the the personnel in their foxholes were
little more than a canvas backpack track and the user. easily spotted by infantry and were
loaded with about 9 kg (19,8lb) of ex- A further modiflcation on the surcide krlled before they could use their
plosive to form a satchel chargre, The theme was encountered in some parts charges, Accounts exist of Allied per-
user wore this charge and concealed of Burma in 1945. Here there was no sonnel surroundinq foxholes and their
himself until an Allied tank deliberate death rush, for the hapless surcidal occupants without the
approached, He then ran forward to anti-tank troops were concealed in |apanese makrng any attempts to in-
the tank and dived underneath it, at the foxholes either in the centre ofroads or ture the attackers with their charges:
same time pulling a length of cord that tracks, or at the sides of routes that the philosophy appears to have been
initiated a short delay to ensure the Allied tanks were expected to use, that such attackers were not tanks and
tank would be right over the charQle There they remained until a tank the explosives had to be saved to use
before it exploded, destroyinq both approached, and once one was over- aqainst tanks, not infantry. As these
tank and user, This tactic was hard to head or very close the ldea was that it suicrde anti-tank miners had no
counter, for very often the user waited would be destroyed by the man in the weapons other than their explosives
until the tank was really ciose before foxhole setting off a charge: this might they were killed in their foxholes to no
making his suicide rush, so protecting be a srmple explosive device. or a benefit for the Japanese war effort.
rnfantry had to be very quck to react if form of mrne, or sometimes even a
they were to prevent the attack, It was small aircraft bomb, The charqes were
also very unnerving for Allied tank set off manually and deliberately by

I Anti-tank Rifle Type 97

TheJapaneseTypegT anti-tankriflewas aheavyweapon thatweighed !!.75 kein action, mainly due tothe
gasloperated semi-automaticmechanism.lthadacalibreof 20 mm(0.787 in)andrequiredactewof twomento
fire and four to carry it, using a system of frames.
yards), and against anything heavier tt
was of lrttle use. But the Japanese did
not phase out the Type 97 as they were
far too short of modern weapons to let
any be discarded. The TYPe 97 was
retained, but no longer primarily for
anti-armou use: instead many of those
available were emplaced as anti-
rnvasion weapons on the Pacific is-
lands, where they were sometimes
able to cause damage to landingt craft
and light amphibious landing vehicles.
Some measure of antt-armour capabil-
ity was retained by the fitting of special
grenade launcher cups to some TYPe
97s, These launcher cups could be se-
cwed to the muzzle by means of a lock-
ing bar once the circular muzzle brake
had been unscrewed, The idea was a The 20-mm (0.787-in) Type 97 anti-tank rille used a gas-operated mechanism,
copy of the German Schtessbecker but the heavy recoil involved meant that a fully-automatic mode could be little
grenade-launchers, and used verY used. Fourmenwereneeded to carry this rifleusingspecialframes, and a
simrlar grenades, But the princlple, shield was an optional extra. The box magazine held seven rounds.
although of some effectiveness, was
more suited to orthodox service rifles requirement for rt was limited. round, The armour-piercing projecttle
than to the large and complex Type 97 The ammunition flred by the Type had a solid steel body, and there was
so lt was not used extenstvely 97 was produced in several forms, also an incendtary projectile complete
Overall, the Type 97 was not used bY Apart from the usual armour piercing with a tracer element,
the Japanese in any great numbers. round (with tracer) there was a high
The complexity of the weapon made it explosive projectile (with tracer and Specification
rather difflcult and thus costly to pro- with an optronal self-destruct), a high Anti-tank Rifle Type 97
duce, and after 1942 the operational explosive rncendiary and a practice Calibre: 20 mm (0,79 in)
Lengrths:overall2,095 m(6 ft 10.5 in);
barrel L063 m (3 ft 5,9 ln)
Weights: travelhnq 67,5 kg (l4B,B lb);
in action 51.75 kg (l 14, I lb)
Muzzle velocity: 793 m (2,602 ft) Per

The J apanese Type 2 anti- tank

grenade launchers could be fitted to
the muzzle of allJapanese sewice
rifles. They were direct copies ofthe
German Gewehr Panzergranate and
the grenades had calibres of 30 or
40 mm (1 .18 or 1.57 in).
>K ilmr Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons of World War II
PIAT stood for Projector, Infantry,
furti-Tank Mk l, and denoted a Britrsh
anti-tank weapon that somehow
bypassed the usual stringent weapon-
selection procedures used by the War
3ffice as it was a product of the unusual
department known colloqurally as
Winston Churchill's Toy Shop', It was
desigmed to make lxe of the hollow-
charge anti-armour effect and fired a
i:sefi-:1 grrenade that could penetrate
al-rnost any contemporary tank's pro-
tectlon, and thris rt came rnto the same
qeneral category as the American
bazooka or the German Panzerfaust,
However, the PIAT relied not upon
chemical energy to deliver its grenade
but coiled spring energy, for the
weapon worked on the spigot mortar
pnnciple, Using thjs method the PIAT
gEenade was projected from an open While others went for rocket-
ftough and was supported for the inttial propelled hollow charge anti-tank
part of 1ts travei by a central spigot. bombs, the British used theProjector
Pulling the tdgqer released a powerful I nfantryAnti-tank - the PIAT. I t was a
main spring and this spring enabled form of spigotmortar thatuseda
the spigot to strike the grenade's prop- powertul central spring to fire its
elling charge to fire it from the trough. projectile from a front-mounted
The propel[ng charge also recocked ' trough'. I t was not a popular
the main spring ready.for another gre- weapon, butitcould kill tanks.
nade to be loaded.
The PIAT was intended primarily as main armament of light armoured vehr-
an anti-tank weapon, but it could also cles such as the varior:s Universal Car-
fire high explosive and smoke gne- riers and some light armoured cars,
nades, which made it much more ver- There was also some limited use of the
satile than many of its contemporaries. weapon on various carriers, which
It was a very useful weapon in house- mounted up to 14 PIATs on a multiple
to-house and urban combat, for the for- mounting for use as a mobile mortar
ward monopod was capable of being battery,
extended to provide a fair degnee of The PIAT served on for some years
elevation for use in confined spaces, with the British army after World War
The PIAT replaced the Boys anti- II, but was replaced as soon as possi-
tank rifle as the tnfantry's standard antt- ble, Although it was an effective tank-
tank weapon, and it was issued widely ktller it used a principle that was not
throughout the British and some Com- adopted by any other designers. It did
monwealth armies, However, it cannot have the advantaqe that it could be
be said to have been very popular for it produced in quantity and at a relative-
was rather bulky and heavy and re- ly low cost at a time when anti-tank
quired a two:man team to handle it. weapons of any type irere in gneat
The main point of unpopularrty was the demand,
powerful mainspring, Thrs generaily
required the efforts of two men to cock Specification Above: The PIAT was the British Be low : H ere the
crew of a knocked-
tt, If a grenade failed to fire the weapon PIAT Army's standard squad anti-tank out British tank are covering their
was all but uselesss, for recockinq the Length: overall 0.99 m (3 ft 0 in) weapon after 1 94 I and was carried position armed with a PIAT until a
PIATwhen the enemy was nearbliwas Weights:launcher 14.5i kg(32 1b); and used by most combat arms and recovery vehicle can arrive to
a very risky buslness, But if it fired all Qrenade 1.36 kg (3 ]b) services.ltwas a rather hefty load to retrieve the danaged vehicle. The
was weli and the grenade could knock Muzzle velocity: 76-137 m (250-450 ft) carry, but it could knock out most men are from the I 3/ I 8 th H ussars,
out l'lrhrally any enemy tank, in fact the per second enemy tanks at close ranges and and the location is near Mount
use of the PIAT spread outside the Ranges: combat 101 m (l i0 yards): could tire HE and smoke bornbs as Pincon, northern F rance, J uly I 944.
ranl<s of the infantry, for rt was often the maximum 338 m (370 yards) well. Note theNo.4 rifle near thePIAT.

Tank Killers
DuringWorldWar II tanks began to carry so much armour that the lightanti-tank armed forces the tank-klllers tended to be spe-
cialists, The British Home Guard were the Brit-
weapons that most armies relied on were unable to knock them out. Many methods ish exception, but they never had a chance to
wer-eused tosolvethisproblem, rangingfrom sophisticatedbombs tothebrutally demonstrate their proficiency, for the German
simple Molotov cocktail, yet whatever the weapon it needed a brave man to get rnvasion never came. If it had the German tank
close enough to use it. arm would have had a hard time of it, for the
British countryside and many British towns and
Dwu:rg World War 1I the main weapon for use approached across open terrain, but it took villages would have been virtual deathtraps
against the tank was the anti-tank gnrn as far as oiriy a little cover and care to get quite close to for them.
most soldiers were concerned, but there were the almost-blind tanks of the day. The thing was
to arrange to be close at hand as the tanks British Home Guard
many occasions when anti-tank gllns were not
available and recourse had to be made to other approached. This was where the second fact The generally enclosed nature of the British
methods of tackling tanks. Some of the came into play, for it took only a little prepara- countryside was ldeal for tank-killing, Defiles,
weapons involved are covered in detail in this tion and ingenuity to ensure that the enemy's both natural and man-made, proliferated and it
study, but just as important as these weapons tanks would be channelled in their progress to was among them that the Home Guard sguads
were the inethods ihat soldiers (usually the a suitable 'killing ground', This could be done practised their concealment and stalking skills,
rnfantry) used to counter tanks at close range by blowing up bridges or by effecting other Having few proper weapons the Home Guard
AI through World War I1 every army used to suitable demolitions io channel the tanks to the had to make use of improvised devices, chief
some exient the concept of the tank-killing area where the defenders wanted them to be. among which would have been the Molotov
squad, but whatever their nationality the Manv examples of this could be quoted, rang- cocktail or some other form of petrol-based
mbthods employed were in general remark- inq from th-e approaches to vrllages to rural weapon. Channelling the enemy tanks to a suit-
ably similar. defiles or narrow roads between banks or able spot was often easy enough for the defen-
walls, The banks or walls could provide cover ders, and carefirl concealment could be used
WorldWarlorigins for the defenders until they were ready to during this 'approach' phase, Once the tank
The first tank-killer squads had their origins oounce.
-The was really close the squad moved into action: it
'- rarely moved from the front but instead
dwing the late stages of World War I, but these rnfantry tank-killer squad was usually
were usually ad hoc units formed to meet an made up of four or so men, all of whom were
ARed Army tank killer squad in action against a
immediate need and few formal drills were trained for their role. Indeed, in some armies German PzKpfw I I I . The soldier on the left is
established, This remained unchanged until the soldiers involved carried out no other com- about to throw a Molotov cocktail petrol bomb to
the Spanish Civil War (i936-9), when Republi- bat tasks, In the British army and some others joinone akeady thrown.This pictire shows
can inlantry gradually evolved methods of ali soldiers were at least partially trained in clearly how close these tank killer squads had to
iitu"I*q Niti6natist tanks using all manner of these tactrcs and were expected to carry them get to their quarry and how they had to operate
rmprovised weapons such as the first Molotov out on demand, In the German army and Soviet from close cover,
cocktails. The natural heir to these Spaniards
was the British Home Guard, whrch was almost
entirely without weapons when it was raised in
the post-Dunkirk days of 1940. The Home
Guard had to provide some type of anti-tank
defence for itseli and before very long had
iormed its own tank-killer squads.
Many of the instructors who formed these
first Home Guard squads had gained some bat-
tle experience rn Spain, and they had also
analysed the tactics used during the previous
wrrti:r (]939-40) by the Finns in thelr defence
against the Soviets. They had laid down the
:actlcs that were to be used almost without
change throughout the rest of World War il and
since, and these tactics were formulated at a
ime when weapons of almost any sort were in
dire shortage,
Resricted crewvision
The tactics were evolved on the basis of
several simple and elementary facts. One was
Aat when a tank is closed dornm in action its
:rew s blind to virtually everything around the
:ark and fields of view are restricted to a very
:e'r areas, usually to the front. Another was that
:anks cannot travel over literally every type of
:errain- There are times when they have to
:hannel their forward proqress through de-
::lie points, where they tend to bunch together
can be relatively easily approached with-
:;: danger. These two basics were at the heart
:: rnuch of the tank-killer squads tactics,
1: iook a little time for untralned soldiers to
-earn that tanks could be approached wlthout
:;:essive danger, but once that point had
been grasped the rest foliowed naturally Of
l:-.:se enemy tanks could not be simply

AUS Army bazooka team inaction inNormandy,

dwingthesummer of 1944.While thegunner takes
aim. the loader faces away to avoid the dust and
d&rE thal would be kicked up by the backblast of
the fird rxket. The target tank would have been
wfiy a short distance away from this position.
Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons of World Wa_r II
swarmed over the sides and rear. The flrst
thing to do was blind the tank's vision devices,
often simply by spreading a blanket over them,
though some squads used paint. The second
thing was to disable a tank from further move-
ment. With the generaliy light tanks of the early
war period this was not as difficult as it sounds,
for most tank tracks could be relatively easily
broken by ramming a brick into the drive
sprockets or even by levering them ofl with a
heavy crowbar, If that failed a grenade would
usually do the job. Once the tank was immobil-
ued the squad could then finish ofithe job with
whatever its members had to hand, Thai usual-
ly meant petrol or some other inflammable li-
quld being poured all over the engrne covers
or turret and then ignited, with horrrbie results
for the hapless crew
The importance of cover
These simple tactics were followed by tank-
killer squads all through World War II, and
were used by combatants both regular and tank qm that went lnto action at Kursk in 1943. ManyGerman AFTs such as this Stug I I I carried
uregular, Of course it was not always as easy as This powerful vehicle may have been a superb sjde-mounfed'Schfitzen' (skirts) to ward off the
outlined above, for 'tankies' of all nations soon Panzerjdger, but it had no weapon at a1l other worst effects of enemy hollow charge projectiles.
learned not to operate in isolation from other than rts 8,8-cm (3.46-in) main gun. It carried no The thin, mild steel plates set oft thewarheads
tanks that could provide both visual cover and close-rn defensrve machine-gun, and the some drsf a.nce from the m ain hull so tha t th e ir fi r e
jetswould causeminimum damageto the hu\\.
supporting fire, or to move into areas where Soviet tank-kiiler squads could thus swarm all
tank-killer squads were likely to be lurking. But over the vehicles with virtual impunity and dis-
there were times when tanks had to venture able them at their leisure, Nearly alt the Ele-
urto built-up areas or close country, and when fants that went rnto action at Kursk were dis- by the suicidal Japanese, The lunge mrr:
they did they learned to move oniy with the abled by these squads on the very first day which was originally a combat enginee:
support of infantry that could tackle the killer they were used. Irater versrons had machine- weapon for demolishing strongpoints, had a,s:
squads, This often slowed down the progress of gmns hurriedly added. been added to the inventory although rncs:
armoured formations but it was a process that By 1945 the German Panzerfaust had been nationalities attempted to use it in a far sa:::
had to be followed if the tanks were to survive, added to the tank-killer armoury and all man- manner than some of the more ianatica_
ner of specialized close-range tank killer Japanese exponents,
Stand-off-weapons weapons had been evolved, Various types and
The tank-killer squads did not simply melt sizes of magnetrc charges were commonplace, Conclusion
away when these defensive measures were and the satchel charge had been added to the Despite recent advances in anti-:a:-,:
adopted by the tanks; they remained in being anti-tank armoury in a rather spectacular way weapons and technrques, the tank-kilier sg:--:
but came to rely more on stand-off weapons, By is stili a milrtary fact. They were used to g.: :
about 1942 the first of these infantry stand-off effect in conflicts such as the Korean War a:.:
weapons, such as the PIAT and the bazooka, during some of the Middle East wars, and -:-
were being issued; the Germans already had A tormidable team of Red Army anti-tank riflemen gmerrilla-based conflrcts such as that rn \--::-
make theirway actoss awater obstacle. The rifles
the potent Panzerwurfmlne, These the squads appear to be 14.5-mm (0.57-in) PTRD 1941s, the nam they are a virtual fixture, But in ihe ma:_
could use at close ranges from under cover, but mostwidely used of the Soviet anti-tank rifles. their tactics are not much removeQ from ::i:s=
ie close-contact tactics were never entirely They were normally used by the two-man teams almost desperate measures practised b_v -,:-:
abandoned, There were always occasions seen here, one man firing and one man loading. Home Guard back in 1940.
-vhen an enemy tank approached
too close for
-:s own safety and the old 'swarming' methods
:ould be used, but as the war progressed the
reavier tanks were not so easy to disable by S'
re earlier rough methods, The tanks had to be , *"*. ^
:.alted by using explosives rather than by
--= vering off a track, and at times no attempt was
:'.'en made. The use of hand-held hollow-
s _".#
::arge devices placed against the tank armour
:-,- magnets began to proliferate, forcing the
Srmans to coat their armoured vehicles in a
;-asterJike substance known as Zimmeitt lo
lrevent magnets from adhering, The British
S:icky bomb' was one odd method of produc-
.:-3 a similar result, but was a blast weapon
.' :ne, and by about 1942 the hollow charge that
- - ld be simply placed against a tarset tank
',--s the most common tank-killer weapon, A
..-rCard Soviet ploy was to introduce small
-,=::C grenades into tank engine exhaust pipes.
-:.= PzKpfw V Panther was very vulnerable to .q T'+
-- - lloy when it was first introduced, and was
:--,- saved from even greater casualties by the ::+]"4
=-i,::; of bars,across the exhaust pipes to
:::-.'::-: :re grenades from being rntroduced in
: :l:- p-aCe.
.=::::s :re easiest kil] of all so far as the
: r -j- -:r sqtads were concelned waS the
- -:,.: 3eman Elefant self-propelled anti-
ffi irlonhover Projector
in the aftermath of Dunlork the British
army was left v"rth virtuaily no anti-tank
weapons available in any quantitY
other than grrenades and a few 2-pdr
anti-tank gnrns, With invasion imminent
there was a need for an easilY-
produced weapon that could be used
to arm not only the army but the newly-
formed ]rocal Defence Volunteers, la-
ter to become the Home Guard, One of
the weapons that was rushed into pro-
duction was the Northover mortar, also
known as the bottle mortar but later
designated the Northover Projector,
The Northover was typical of the Brit-
rsh 'pipe gnrns' of the period, and was
produced very quickly and cheaPIY
The Northover Projector was little
more than a steel PiPe with a
rudimentary breech mechanism at
one end. The ammunition consisted of
orthodox hand and rifle gnenades that
were propelled from the muzzle bY a
small black-powder charqe. Later the
glass bottle No, 76 phosphorus gre-
nade was fired, and this gave rise to
the name bottle mortar, There was no
recoil mechanism since ali recoil The Northover Projector was a I 940s weapon produced to equip the Home
forces were absorbed by the projec- Guar d. I t was supposed to be used as an anti- tank weapon to fire the N o. 7 6
tor's four{egged mounting: the legs bottle grenade filled with phosphorus. There was no recoil mechanrm as lft e
were simple tubes and were easilY frame carriage was supposed to absorb the recoil, and the propelling charge
produced, The sights were very bastc wasblackpowder.
but were accurate enougth up to about
9i m (100 yards), and the maxlmum to be moved around more easilY
range was aboul274 m (300 Yards). These included such measures as car-
The Northover Projector was a very rying the projecior on simPle hand-
rudrnentary weapon and thanl,fully it carts to mounting the projector barels
never had to be used in actton, Dwing on motorcycle sidecars. There were
1940 and for some time afterwards it even some mounted on simPle arttl-
was a standard Home Guard weapon, lery-type carriages. In order to make
and it was also jssued to many army the normal four-legged carrlage
units for awhile to provide themwith at easier to handle, a lightened North-
least some form of anti-tankweapon, In over Projector Mk 2 version was intro-
practice the Northover was onlY as duced during 194I, but by that trme the
qood as the projectiles it fired, and as urgent need for pipe gnrns such as the
these were orthodox hand or rifle gne- Northover had begnrn to wane and re-
nades their efficiency against most latively few of these carrtaqes were
tanks was doubtful, The use of the produced,
white phosphorus bottle grenades Very few Northover Projectors
would no doubt have been more suc- appear to have suwived the war years
cessful, but this was not a PoPular but from time to time the glass phos-
weapon with the projector crews for phorus grenades still emerge from
the simple reason that the glass bottles their war-time hiding places,
often broke inside the barrels as they
were fired, with obvtous and highlY Specification
unlorhrnate results. The usual crew for Northover Projector
a projector was two men, with possibly Calibre:63.5 mm (2.5 ln)
another in charge of the weapon and Weights: projector 27.2 kq (60 1b); An enterprising Home Guard unit from Sussex mounted their Northover
for desigmatlng targets. Many Home mountins 33.6 ks (74 1b) Projector on this small hand cart, and are seen optimistically using it as an
Guard units introduced their own local Range: effective 9 I m ( 100 Yards); anti-aircraftweapon, a role forwhich itwas entirely unsuited.The rangewas
mortifications to enable the Northover maximum 274 m (300 yards) far too short and-the muzzlevelocitv of the glass grenade much too slow.

ffi tou, anti-tank rifle

The Rifle, Anti-tank, 0.55-in, Boys, Mk I little to endear the weapon to its firer'
'n-asonginally krown as the Stanchion To reduce this recoil somewhat the
Gsr, but the name was later changed lonq slender barrel was fitted wlth a
:o honour the name of rts principle de- muizle brake. Ammunition was fed
sgner affer he dled just before the into the bolt-action flring mechanism
Tieapon entered servtce, It was de- from an overhead flve-round box
sgined to be the standard infantry anti- magaztne. Overall the Boys was rather
ta-nk weapon of the Brltish army, but it Iong and heavy, which made it an awk-
'mas soon overtaken by events and had ward load to carry, so tt was often
cnly a short active cateer. The first of mounted as the main weaPonon board
the type entered serrrice during the
late 1930s and by 1942 the weapon was
:bsolete, overtaken bY raPid in- A French officer k about to receive
:reases in enemy tank armour that the the hefty recoiltrom aBoys anti-tank
Boys rifle could no longer tackle. rifle. The French army used a
The Boys anh-tank nfle had a calibre number of these rifles in I 940,
::13.97mm (0.55in) and flred a provided by the British in exchange
for a number of 2 5 - mm (0.9 f - in)
-ocwerfrrl cartridge that couid
:ate 21mm (0.827in) at 302m (330 H otchkis s anti- tank cannon. T his
f:ds). The cartridge produced an example is the original Mk I with the
powerfirl recoil, and this did monopod supporting leg.

t ,::
Boys anti-tank rifle (continued)

Bren Gun or Universal Camers. More

were used as the main armamen: ci
some light armowed cars.
The first productron Boys antr-tank
nlles used a forward-mounted mono-
pod combined wrth a handgrnp under
the butt plate, After Dunkrk vanous
modificatrons were made to soeed
production, and among the meaiures
taken was replacement of the forward
monopod by a Bren Gun bipod and of
the circular muzzle brake attachrnent
by a new Solothurn muzzle brake wrth
holes drilled along the sides; this latter
was easier to produce than the ongin-
al. In thrs form the Boys saw out its short
servrce hfe, as by late 1940 it was re-
garded as being of only ltmited rise as
an anti-armour weapon, Eventually it
was replaced by the PIAT, but before
it finally departed it had a bnef flurry of The two serviceversions of theBoys
popularity during the Eritrean and anti-tank rifle were the Mk I (above)
Cyrenaica campaigns of 1940 and and the generally simpler Mk I "
1941, It was found to be a verv effective (below). The Mk I * was introduced
anti-personnel weapon dur'irig these to speed production, and had a
campaigns as it could be fued at rocks simpler muzzle brake and a Bren
over or near a concealed enemy, the Gunbipod, plus some other slight
resultant rock splinters actrng as effec- changes.
tive anti-personnel fragments. The
Boys also found its way into US Marine
Corps hands during the Philippines
campaigm of early 1942, when some
were used very sparinqly against dugr-
Ln Japanese infantry posrtions, How
these Boys rifles got to the Far East rs
not recorded, Some captured Boys
arti-tank rifles were also used by the
Germans for a short while after Dunk-
irk, but only in limrted numbers; the
iype was known as the 13.9-mm Pan-
zerabwehrbiichse 782(e),
In 1940 there were plans to produce
a Mk 2 version of the Boys, This would
have been a shortened and liohtened
rersion for use by airborne foices but
-t drd not get very far before the pro-
_ect was terminated, no doubt because shortened barrel would have pro-
iuced an even more violent recoil,
BoysMk I
Calibre: 13.97 mm (0.55 in)
lengrths: overall 1.625 m (5 ft 4 in);
:arrel 0,914 m (36 ft 0 in)
Weight: 16.33 ks(36 lb)
Muzzle velocity: 99 1 m (3,250 ft) per
:.:cond An armourer services a Boys anti-tank rifle Mk I , easily recognizable trom its monopod and circular muzzle brake.
,&rmourpenetration: 2I mm (0,827 in) These rifles were little used after 1941 as they could penetrah only the lightest enemy arrnour, yet they were
=::C2 m (330yards) awkward to carry and when fired had a recoil thal r.rras besl des cribed ai fearful.

Molotov cocktail

:tE !! a Io tov coc Hail w as an

-'nEc:-e hbnaj rve a po n, an d s h ow n
leE ]:i tlte \eft are examples from
ire -l:n-ie: Llxion . (the second an

= -,: = -Jr in ttle), J apan and


--:-a:.- -l-- -e :re same basic

.:mr{:rbtr= x:ilt petro,lsoa ked fags
u a:: :s -':sEs :Er:grr.r'tlon.

Molotov cocktail (continued)

soaked rag or something similar B ritish troop s tr ain with M olotov

around the neck, This rag is ignited cocktails during 1940. The British
rmmedrately before the weaPon is Army referred fo these weaPons as _

thrown at a target, the breaking ofthe 'botile bombs' and even established
bottle as it hits its tarqet allowlng the production lines for them, often
contents to be ignited, It is all very using mitk bottles filled with petrol
srmple, easily understood and easily andphosphorus.
r.ised, The snag was that lt was not very
efficrent. If the bottle smashes aqainst earlv exoonents In lheir battles against
the slde armour or turret of a tank the the Sovrbt tnvaders of 1939-40, and af-
results can be spectacular but not very ter Dunkirk the Petrol bomb was a
harmful to the vehicle or its occupants weapon much used bY British army
The only way to ensure damaqe ts to units defending the United Kingdom
detonate the bottle bomb over or near Later on, Sovlet Partisans made the
the engine louvres or perhaps the vi- Molotov cocktail their own particular
sion devrces, It was also discovered weapon, but jt was also used by regnr-
early on that Petrol alone was not a lar Red Army forces. ManY under-
very efficient antl-armour weapon as it ground militias found the weapon easy
srmpiy runs off the sides of a tank even to make and use,
as ii was burning. In order to make the An offshoot of the glass petrol bomb
was the phosphorus grenade, used bY No.76, This was a glass milk bottle with nade werghed about 0,535 kg (1.18 lb)
flame-producing mixture'stick', the a pressed-on cap (containing a mrx- It cannot be said that these phosphorus
petrol had to be mued wlth a thicken- several nations, This was designed as
twe of phosphorus,. water and ben- gEenades were weapons popular with
Lng agent such as diesel or oil or rn a smoke grenade, but the burning
white phoiphorus, which started to zine) and was intended primanly for either the users or the recipients. They
some cases vatrous forms of latex the anti-tank role. It could be throv,n at were the cause of frequent accrdents
These niceties tended to move the burn as soon as it was exPosed to the
air, also made it a very useful anti- its tarqet or launched from the North- ln transit or use, and in the Unlted Ktng-
Moiotov cocktails out of the realms of dom many were buried or hidden
personnel and antl-armour weapon over Projector, and contained a piece
the street flghter and lnto the domain of away when their fillings became un-
the reqnrlar soldier, and after 1939 the There were several of these types of of smoked rubber that gradually dis-
grenade but typical was the British solved in the mxture to make it 'stick' stable. Many are still dtscovered in
bottle grrenade or bomb was used bY their wartime caches to this daY
many regnrlar forces, The Finns were Grenade, Self-Igniting, Phosphorus, better to its target, Each No, 76 grre-

ffi € nn 'A'fti:T"*k srenades

Tne Bntish armY used three tYPes of
arti-armou-r hand gnenade, The ffst
was the Grenade, Hand, Anti-tank, No.
?3, krown as the'Thermos'bomb from
its shape and size. It was a pure blast
weapon whrch often had little effect on
armour, so it was mainlY used for de-
molition work More common durlng
'&e early war years was the infamous The American Anti-tank Rifle
Grenade, Hand, Anti-tank, No' 74 (ST), Grenade MSA| could be fired from a
t-he 'sticky bomb' which was coated in muzzle attachment fitted to the M l
a gooey adhesive to make it stick to the Garand rifle to arange of about
srde of a tank after landrng, Normally 1 00 m ( I 09 yards). I ts hollow charge
-re sticky surface was contalned with- warhead could penetrate uP to
:: two shell halves which were re- 101 mm(4 in)of armour'ltcouldalso
noved just before throwing, The No, be fired from the M I carbine using
14 was a most unPoPular weapon as theMS launcher.
--:e sticky substance tended to make it
sjck to anything, even before throw- metal nose fitted with an tmpact fuse
.::g. and the type was used as lrttle as Its capability aqainst tanks was some-
:cssibie, what timited, but it was retained in ser-
The best ofthe British anti-tank gre- vice for some time as it was a verY
:-ades was the Grenade, Hand, Anti- useful weapon against targets such as
tank, No. ?5 otherwise known as the pillboxes, A ring tail was used for in-
Hawkins Grenade, It was intended to fliqht stabilizatlon,
.e either thrown or laid as a mine to hs with the anti{ank rifle, the Soviets
bl:w off a tank's tracks. It used a crush tended to neglect the antl-tank gre-
-:::ier fi:se and about halfofits weight nade and had to rush somethinet into
:-: - OZ fq (2,25 1b) was made uP of the sewice in rather a hurry in 1940 Their Above: The RPG I 943 was the Soviet
first attempt was the RPG 1940, which e quiv alent of the G erman W urfmine,
:'j:slrng charqe, The tYPe was often bit itused afabric strip stabilizer tail Below : The Soviet RPG'6 was a late-
in clusters for better effect, and resembled a short stick eEenade and
::: captured so manY of relied mainly on blast for its effect; it to keep the hollow charge warhead war version of the RPG I 943' If used a
was not a great success and was gra- pointing towards the target tank revised warhead shaPe and four
:-:n before Dunkirk that they were
when in flight. The tail was ejected fabric tails to stabilize thewarhead in
-::e: r:sed as part of the minefields de- dually replaced, The contemporary
VPGS l94o was a rifle grrenade which from the throwing handle after the fl ight. The revise d w arhead also had
the Atlantic Wall with the de-
a good fragznentationetfect, so it
s-:::af6n Panzerabwehrmine 42911(e) featured a long rod that fltted into the grenade had been thrown and after
the arming pin had been removed. couJd be used as an anti-Personnel
1e Grenade, Rifle, Anti-tank, No.68 rifle barrel before firinq, It too was no
gEeat success, The best of the war- weapon.Itwas used for manY Years
l;- a iie gEenade ffed from a muzzle after 1945.
trme Soviet anti-tank grrenades was the
-:: =red to the No. I Mk Ill rifle, It was
r--:-irawn after 1941 as it was not RPG introduced in 1943, This was a
:,:::- lxe aqainst an1'thing other than hand{hrown grenade which in some
'.=-; ,;qht armour. It weighed 0,79 kg ways followed the example of the Ger-
- -a lb) and could also be fired from mah Panzervt'urfmine, but had a tail
_. l":a-.lover Projector, unit that trailed on two canvas strips to
- --J a*"tt"un equivalent of {he
No keep the warhead with its hollow
ii l;- ihe Antitank Rifle Grenade charge pointed towards the tarqet,
!f9AI a much more successful gne- The RPG weished L\ lks (2 75 lb),
-:i: -:,ai could be fired from an M7 and was thus quite a werght to throw,
-='-:-:::el fitted to the Ml Garand rtlle but it had a heavy explosive content
:: !18 laurcher fltted to an Ml Car- and could be very effective The RPG
= lle MgAl grenade weighed
::-= was retained in semce for some years
- :: <g .- 31 1b) and had an 0,113-kg after 1945, and is still used bY some
- ::-.i' -;arhead behind a thin steel Soviet-rnfluenced armed forces.
Armed Forces of the World

Wbrsclw Pcrcf Par3

Czechoslovakia was occupred by the Germans be- serve three years. The ground forces and the air and and 'l4th), f ive motorized
rif le divrsions (the 2nd, 3-r
fore World War ll, and was subsequently liberated air defence forces come under the Ministry of De- 1sth 1gth and 20th) and one artillery division :-:
by the Soviet Union. After the war Czechoslovakia fence while the frontier guards (the PS) and the 22nd).fhe latter has two anti-tank regiments, tn-::
t.ied to becorre a oemocrat c cou^try once aga,n, internal guards (the VS) come under the Ministry of 'Scud' surf ace-to-su rface tactical missile regimen -s
but by 1948 the country was firmly in the Soviet the lnterior. The PS has a strength of about 1 1,000 (with nuclear warheads under Soviet control) a^:
camp. Attempts for a more liberal soctety under the men and in time of war would form seven brigades two conventionalartillery brigades. There is also o-:
leadership of Alexander Dubcek ed to the Soviet whose equipment would include tanks and anti-tank airborne brigade. AllCzech units are organized alc-g
invasion of August 1968, and this was tmmedrately weapons. In addition there is a People's Militia with Soviet lines, and in time of war would probably re,,
followed by a return to the rigid Communist system a strenqth of '1 20,000 heavily on Soviet logistic support.
of other countries in the Soviet b oc.
Czechoslovakia is also the horne of the Soviet Gzech Army
Central Group of Forces, whose neadquarters are in The army has a total strength of about 148,000 The Czech army usesmorelndtgen ous equipment
than any other Warsaw Pact nation. This is the M59
Prague. This controls two arrny lOs, three moto officers and men, of whom 100.000 are conscripts. B2-mm recoilless anti-tankgun, whichfires afin
rized rifle divisions (the 16th, 55tn and 66th) and two Reserves total sorne 495,000, of which 200,000 are stabilizedHEAT round to a maximum effective
tank divisions (the 1Oth and 31st:. one artillery bri- in the immediate reserve. There are two miltary range of 1200 m (1312 yards).Now obsolescent, it
gade, three surface-to-surface n :ssile blgades and districts, five tank divisions (the 'l st,4th,gth, 13rh is the only Warsaw Pact gun to use a ranging rifle.
an air-assault battalion.
The Czech decision to forn a: and and forces
along Soviet lrnes was taken n 1945, although
Czech units fought the Germans on the Eastern
Front as early as '1 943. n the tmmediate post-war
period little progress was made because of tension
between the Czech and Slovak elements, who mis
trusted each other as many of the latter were pro-
Soviet. This situation was mi-rcn improved in the
'1950s, and in 'l 955 Czechoslovakia
became one of
the first members of the Warsaw Pact. When the
Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia in August
968 the Czech armed forces off ered no resistance.
Today the Czech armed forces have a total
strength of about 201 ,0O0 off icers and men, of
whom 1'l 8.000 are conscripts. ln the army con
scripts serve two years while in the air force they
Below: A Czech ?-55rsseen on jointWarsaw Pact
manoeuvres just a few weeks before Soviet forces
invaded, inAugust lg6B. The Czech armywisely
offered no resistance during the attack, but its
non-cooperation in the years followingwas in the
bestCzech tradition.

f> p>qas
Armed Forces of the World
Equipment includes 3,500 T-54lT'55 and f -72
MBTs (the former basic type being far the more
common at present); 1,000 BMP-1 mechanized in-
fantry combat vehicles; 2,600 0T-62, 0T-64 and
OT-810 armoured personnel carriers and their
variants; and'1 ,000 BRDM-l 4x4and 0T-6544x4
reconnaissance vehicles. Self-propelled anti-tank
vehicles include the BRDM-2 with 'Sagger'ATGWs
and the OT-810 with recoilless rifles. Self-propelled
aftillery weapons include the 122-mm (4.8-in) 2S1
and 152-mm (6-in) DANA, while towed artillery
weapons include 250 M53 '100-mm (3.9-in) field
guns, 250 M52 BS-mm (3.35-in) field guns, B0 130-
mm (5.12'in) M46 field guns, 110 122-mm M1931/
37{A-1 9) guns, 100 152-mm M1937(ML-20) gun/
nowitzers, at least 250 122-mrn D-30 and 122-mm
M1 938(M-30) howitzers. Multiple rocket-launchers
nclude 200 122-mm M1972(40-round) and about
120 older 130-mm M51(32-round) systems. Sur-
=ace-to-surface missiles include 40 FROG-7 and 27
'Scrid' launchers. ATGWs include the AT-3 'Sagger'
and AT-4 'Spigot', plus many light antr-tank weapons
and recoilless nfles. Almost all small arms used by
:ne army are made in Czechoslovakia.
There are some 600 anti-aircraft guns in service, C zechoslovakia produces its own self-propelled and one with Aero L-29s). two transport regiments
rcluding 23 mmZU-23 and 57-mm 5-60 towed and 152-mm howitzer, the DANA. Based on ffie chassis and one helicopter regiment. The latter has about 40
3O-mm M53/M59 and 23-mm ZSU 23-4 self- of the Tatra B 1 5 I x 8 truck, it entered service in l\,4i1 Mi-1 , 20 Mi-2, 100 Mi-4, 10 Mi-B and 30 Mi-24
198 l. The Tatra has a respectable cross-country helicopters. Training aircraft include the Czech bullt
oropelled systems. SAMs include the SA-4 'Ganef ',
ability and centralized tyre pressure regulation. L-29, Aero L-39 and Zlin 526. Over 3,600 L-29 let
SA-6'Gainful', SA-7'Grail' and SA'9'Gaskin'.
There are many older weapons in reserve or used trainers were built between '1 963 and 1974, and this
=cr training, these including the T-34l85 tank, and already been exported to Libya. fhe 122-mm important type was replaced in production by the
:.e 152-mm Ml8/46 and 105-mm (4.13-in) M1Bl4l M 1 972(40-round) rocket-launcher on a Tatra chassis L-39 Albatros, which ls also used by other countries
::ived howitzers. has also been exported ln some numbers. including Afghanistan, Cuba, Ethiopia, lraq, Libya,
Czechoslovakia is self-sufficient in many army Romania, Syria, the USSR and Vietnam.
.',eapons and is also the leading exporter of army Czech Air Force The air force also controls three arr-defence divi-
The Czech air force has a strength of about 59,000 sions with some 250 SA 2 'Guldeline' and SA-3
=3; pryrent in the Warsaw Pact outside the Soviet 'Goa' launchers at 40 sites. Reserves amount to
--^ on. For many years it has produced the T-55 men, of whom 18,000 are conscripts, and a front-
','3-, and is now tooling up for the T-72 MBT. ln line strength of 450 aircraft. There are 1 0 squadrons some 30,000 men.
: :ce of the Soviet BTR-60 series of BxB armoured of ground-attack aircraft. three of them with Sukhoi
::'sonnel carriers Czechoslovakia and Poland use Su-7, three with the Mrkoyan-Gurevich MiG-23, The Czech air force is still equipped mainly with
.-: Czech-built 0T-64, which is a superior vehicle in tnree wiln MiG-21 and one w lh MiG-15. There are MiG-Z 1 s, and is split into two commands: the 7th
-..\, respects and is also widely exported. More 1B f ighter interceptor squadrons with MiG-21s Air Army, which is responsible for national air
-:::nlly Czechoslovakia has designed an BxB 152- (which can also be used in a ground-support role), defence, and the 10th Air Army, which is directly
- se f-propelled gun called the DANA, which has
- three reconnaissance squadrons {two with MiG-21s subordinate to the Soviet army.