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Most effective portable anti-tank weapon of WWII ?

Discussion in 'Tank Warfare of World War 2' started by Skua, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. Skua

    Skua New Member

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    I´m thinking of Bazookas, anti-tank rifles, mines and grenades, the Panzerfaust and the PIAT. What was the most effective portable anti-tank weapon ?
     
  2. Danyel Phelps

    Danyel Phelps Active Member

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    The Panzerfaust, unfortunatly. It had the highest penetration, was mass produced and issued to front line troops in great numbers, and it was disposable.
     
  3. Skua

    Skua New Member

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    That the Panzerfaust was disposable could actually be considered a liability for German raw material resources, and it probably was since a reusable version was planned.

    But considering the short range of the weapon ( 30m - 100m, depending on which version ), how effective was it when the Allied tanks had the benefit of infantry support ? Countermeasures were also easy to introduce, such as sandbags and spare-tracks mounted on the hull and stand-off armour.
     
  4. Anton phpbb3

    Anton phpbb3 New Member

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    Don't forget the Panzerschreck
     
  5. Skua

    Skua New Member

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    The Panzerschrek had better range than the Panzerfaust, but not quite the same penetration capability as the best versions of the Panzerfaust. But it was more accurate, and had a good rate of fire.

    But what about the PIAT ? It had twice the range of the Panzerzschrek, and could knock out practically any German tank.
     
  6. Zable Fahr

    Zable Fahr New Member

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    wasn't the spring launch system on the PIAT quite unreliable and prone to jamming?
     
  7. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    The PIAT definintly. First of all, it wasn't recoiless so there was no backblast that could kill friendly forces, also, the PIAT had no more kick than firing a rifle grenade so the recoil was light for such a weapon. Secondly it could be loaded with smoke and HE grenades making the weapon much more versatile.

    One bad feature of the PIAT was that if misfired or not braced properly, the spring trigger would have to be manually cocked. The spring need a pull of 100kg for about .5 meters to cock it.

    The panzer faust was also a great weapon, very powerful and was very light, but as Skua mentioned, it had a short range.

    On to ATRs, the Russians had a couple of decent quality rifles like the 14.5mm PTRD that could penetrate armor up to 45mm, so it had the abilty to penetrate pkw IVs and IIIs.

    The Germans also used some numbers of ATR like the 7.92 PzB39, but with such a small round, I doubt it was of much use on the Eastern front.
     
  8. dayve

    dayve New Member

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    just out of curiosity...when firing the panzerfaust would you have to aim slightly above the target so as it fell onto it or could you aim directly at it...because it looks like the size of a watermelon and i always imagine it starting to fall as soon as it left the tube...
     
  9. Skua

    Skua New Member

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    Yeah, I would believe its ballistic trajectory was somewhat curved.

    I believe Soviet ATR crews had quite an impact during the Battle of Kursk.
     
  10. dayve

    dayve New Member

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    how did an anti-tank rifle fire? did it fire a single shell then have to be reloaded or did it fire continually?
     
  11. Zable Fahr

    Zable Fahr New Member

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    http://www.rt66.com/~korteng/SmallArms/antitank.htm

    From the above site:
    "The rifle itself, while it appeared to be simple, was actually quite an ingenious design and (according to Hogg and Weeks) probably owed something to the German PzB38. The barrel was allowed to recoil in the stock and, during this movement, the bolt rode on a cam which rotated and unlocked it. At the end of the recoil stroke, the bolt was held and the barrel moved back into battery, moving away from the bolt to open the breech and eject the spent case. A fresh round was then inserted and the bolt was manually closed. In some respects, this could be described as a "long recoil" system."

    "The PTRS design of Simonov was contemporary to the PTRD, fired the same ammo, and allowed a clip-loaded magazine because of a more complex self-loading design. A gas piston acted on a bolt carrier to open the bolt, eject and reload in the usual fashion, and the gas regulator could be adjusted to give sufficient force to overcome dirt or freezing conditions. Nevertheless, the PTRS was less robust, much heavier and considerably longer than the PTRD, and both rifles remained in service into the Korean War."
     
  12. dayve

    dayve New Member

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    eh...too complicated for me...lemme ask another way...how many rounds per minute could it fire?
     
  13. Skua

    Skua New Member

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    Some of them had to be reloaded after every shot, some were semi-automatic, and at least one WWII ATR was fully automatic.
     
  14. dayve

    dayve New Member

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    what did the fully automatic one fire? cant of been anything big...was it useless?
     
  15. Skua

    Skua New Member

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    It was the Japanese Type 97 anti-tank rifle that was fully automatic, and it doesn´t qualify among the better ATRs of WWII, allthough it was quite effective against Allied tanks before the Sherman appeared on the scene. Its calibre was 20mm, and it had a magazine which held 7 rounds. It had a very heavy recoil, so it was very hard to handle in a fully automatic mode.
     
  16. dayve

    dayve New Member

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    so pretty useless against anything other than light tanks..
     
  17. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Yes, but most Japanese things were... :grin:
    I would think that the automatic fire of the ATR would reduce its accuracy, which is vital if the round cannot penetrate the tank at every place and angle. Therefore semi-automaitc fire would probably be best.
     
  18. Skua

    Skua New Member

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    Most semi-automatic ATRs were unreliable compared to the single-shot versions. But they were more effective when they worked. Why the Japanese would add the fully automatic function to the Type 97 ATR is beyond my knowledge, especially when it took two men to fire it in a semi-automatic mode.
     
  19. dayve

    dayve New Member

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    Was it used all through the war or was it sort of made towards the end when they were getting desperate..?
     
  20. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    They had this weapon since the beginning of the war I believe. When you look at the weapon's name, Type 97, the 97 is actually the year, but on a Japanese calander, so on todays standard calander it would have been in the 20s or 30s.
     

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