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Anti-tank rifle grenades any good?

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by DaveOB, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Perhaps you're right. I'm only assuming a rifle grenade would make a broader impact and have less penetration, but I don't really know.

    Here is the photo Jean-Marie sent me. What do you think?

    View attachment 25350
     

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  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I looked at the Wiki article on it at:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bazooka

    Looks like it was based on a hand grenade (the M10) that was too heavy to use as a rifle grenade or to throw easily.
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    MoH recipient Francis Currey (30th ID) talks about anti-tank grenades. Go to 3:25 for relevant comments.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRXNpeHyTDY
     
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  4. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    What a brave guy, imagine being in a fox hole with enemy armour only yards away and the prospect of enemy Infantry being right behind them.
    If they caught you early enough you were toast!

    Yan.
     
  5. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Interesting account by Currey, and supportive of earlier statements in the thread. While the AT Grenades did not destroy the tanks, the hits were enough to frighten the tankers enough to abandon their vehicles.
     
  6. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    I recall a similar thing happening in North Africa, but this time it was a six pounder anti-tank gun, apparently this Tiger 1 was hit and I am not sure if any damage occurred but the crew bailed out and left a fully serviceable tank behind.
    I am sure this Tiger went on to become a film star and was used in a few British post war films.
     
  7. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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  8. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    And I got to meet and talk to him in 2010.
     
  9. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    He seems quite a modest guy JW, which is what you find with genuine heroes.
     
  10. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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    Great video!
     
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Swiper from 2T put this splendid little film up on Twatter.
    Some rifle grenade advice c.8:40 onwards:
     
  12. Genepoz

    Genepoz New Member

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    In 1945, my dad was chasing a German halftrack out of the woods, getting ready to fire his M9A1 anti-tank rifle grenade, but just as he realized that the halftrack was outdistancing him a King Tiger rolled out of the woods next to him. He dropped flat and it passed by him and turned onto a road. He chased it while loading his grenade, then fired in an arc hoping to hit the thinner armor on top of the tank (which theoretically it would've penetrated). To his surprise, the grenade went into the open hatch, stopping the tank for good. He won a Bronze Star for this. He doesn't recall how far away he was from the tank when he fired. Oddly, he does recall that it had a Porsche turret. lol
     
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  13. the_diego

    the_diego Member

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    Always questions on destructive effects once it hits. My question(s):

    How much of a chance does a soldier really have at firing those things at a tank within 100 meters? A tank moves where it wants to go, not meaning to give you a nice clear shot up close. As I imagine it, you'll come within firing distance of an enemy tank if:
    1. It's coming towards you (not enough to run you over)
    2. you survived the enemy's artillery barrage, or that of a prior tank.
    3. no other tank has hosed you down with its machine guns.
    4. none of the enemy's supporting infantry has spotted you.
     
  14. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    The value of infantry anti-tank weapons wasn't just the tanks they killed but also the caution they imposed on tankers, knowing that any bush or wall or fold in the ground might conceal an infantryman with a weapon capable of destroying a tank. Consider for example how the proliferation of Panzerfausten impacted Allied tankers in the last year of the war. Footsoldiers were no longer in the helpless target category.
     
  15. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Against tanks with sloped side armor, the gunner would have to know what point to aim and the favorable angles for taking the shot. That's pretty hard, especially if the enemy is pushing the tanks with combined-arms tactics.
     
  16. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    You'd think any hit on the tread or bogey wheels would instantly immobilize the tank. Of course, the late war skirting on panzers makes this more difficult, but you still have tread exposed fore and aft. I don't know where allied troops were trained to aim their various AT pieces, does anyone know?

    .
     
  17. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Some observations and thoughts: The American M9A1 AT rifle grenade was rated at being able to penetrate 60mm of armor. The 2.36' bazooka was rated at 80mm. The Piat at 75mm. The Germans had a AT rifle grenade that was supposed to penetrate 125mm and an AT grenade for their flare guns that was supposed to penetrate 80mm. All this compared to the panzerfaust which had a nominal penetration of 200mm!. All this with the caveat that "armor" can be very different from country to country. (All this from Ian Hogg.)

    I'm not sure that any Allied rifle grenade would be effective if the German tank had side skirts and applique spaced armor. The side skirts were to combat Soviet AT rifles but also worked against shaped-charge rounds.

    Infantry vs tanks: Actually, the infantry has some advantages here. When attacked by a combined armor-infantry force, the recommended tactical response was to engage the attacking force with mortars, arty, and MGs. This forces the accompanying infantry to take cover and the tankers to button up. This really makes the tanks vulnerable and if the defenders positions are well camouflaged and the tanks continued the attack, the defenders then could hunker down, let the tanks roll over or by them and then attack the tanks in their vulnerable rears. A lot of times tanks would abandon their attack if their infantry was pinned down.

    Why the Germans would send tanks into a built up area first is beyond me. That's a big tactical no-no.

    I'm not sure just one hit on a bogy wheel or track would necessarily cripple the tank. The holes these small AT rounds produced were correspondingly small.
     

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