Friday, March 27, 2015
Well Equipped Enemy
German Soldiers in WWII with their copy of our bazooka called a Panzerschreck (real name Raketenpanzerbüchse, RPzB for short). Theirs was bigger than ours (88mm v. 60mm) but they both fired the same solid rocket propelled HEAT round (high explosive anti-tank) with a shaped charge to cut though armor with directed explosive force (via a hypersonic stream of molten copper, usually). The problem with these was the solid rocket fuel burning pushed very hot exhaust out the back to power the warhead out the front. Unlike an RPG (or the Panzerfaust, kinda), which blows the warhead out of the tube before it fires up its rocket propellant, these push the hot exhaust behind and in the front as it leaves the tube. That is, the hot exhaust goes right in the operator's face. That's not so good. Here they put a shield with a viewport so the soldier keeps his face intact using the weapon. Nobody uses these anymore, but they had their day and knocked out a lot of armored vehicles and fortified points of resistance. The Germans manufactured about a quarter million of them in the last 2 years of the war.