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Were rounds fired by Bazookas, PIATs, Panzershreks


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#1 Wolfy

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 03:44 AM

Panzerfausts, etc. expensive on a per-round basis?

There were several bazookas in each US infantry company and Panzerfausts often distributed to every German rifle section. How many Bazooka/Panzershreck/PIAT rounds would be generally carried by a team into the battlefield?

Were these rounds liberally fired against enemy infantry targets as much as possible or were their deployment carefully rationed- and used preferably against enemy armor?

#2 razin

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:14 AM

An assault boat team for 2.36in Bazooka at Normandy was two teams of two men carrying a Bazooka and 20rounds. Gunner 8 rounds plus Launcher and M1 carbine, loader 12 rounds plus a M1 rifle. A M3 H/T rifle squad had a single two man team.

I think a Piat had a 4 round cassette carried by the Loader, the weight and general clumisness of the Piat was a problem.
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#3 Wolfy

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:28 AM

I'm surprised that a trooper can carry 12 rounds- or is it just boxes mounted in the boat?

#4 Mussolini

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 01:22 PM

You carry them in a bag designed for the purpose. At about 3.5lbs per round, that's ~40lbs of weight to carry in addition to what they are already carrying.
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#5 Erich

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 03:17 PM

~ W

I'll speak from a former Waffenmeister in rgt 43 of the 1st Infantrie Div. on the Ost front. most of the men by 1945 were carrying a Panzerfaust with one round if not two panzerfausts as a one shot weapon. Panzerschrecks were usd by the guys that were the best shots of his squad as he put it, rounds carried by the carrier were two per box made of wodd or whatever they could find to store the rounds in, sometimes in bags but this was clumsy, and the rockets banged around. Essentially the two man team had 4 rockets per 2 man team and then refurbished IF men were available to take the rounds to the front. static defnesive positions in the swamps of Ost Preußia then they had about 10-12 rounds for defense with 2 two man teams stretched out opposite a localized open area for Soviet armor to pass through in which then the Heer 2-man teams could hit the lfnaks of the first two tanks and hopeful plug up the road if one was there or area keeping other (T-34's) as example bogged literally down and these could then be taken out with Panzerfaust or other AT teams
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#6 Wolfy

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 03:38 PM

That's really interesting, Erich. I've noticed in German newsreels that the infantry by 1945 were often photographed all carrying one. So I assume that the Panzerfaust was generally deployed liberally against Allied infantry (and armor if need be) as well and the Panzershreck was generally reserved to be deployed against Armor?

#7 paratrooper506

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 03:46 PM

thats probably cause the panzerfaust was a smaller caliber rocket and was completly usless against armor but the panzershreck could kill pretty much any armor that got in its way.

#8 Erich

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 03:47 PM

originally the Pz-fst was to be used exclusively against armor but then later for house to house as a clean-up weapon to terminate strongholds, even the Pazerschreck was used in this fashion if there was not a threat of advancing armor.

going back to the Ost front my former Heer freind said the threat was always there especially from T-34's thoughout Prussia, the infantry would attack alone to try and scale a German position and this was usally combated successfully but always the T-34's would come even just 1-2 in the villages with the odd ball streets, if they were coming down a main road or lane then this obviously would increase to over a dozen or more, then the Soviets would fan out trying to crash anything standing in their way. The ideal case was to attack the T-34's from the flank and the rear once the Infantry had jumped off and cleared. It used to be you could count on at least 1-5 supporting truppen as one would fire off his Pz.-fst but in 45 it was just the lone daring Landser racing to the wall of a blown out house to fire his weapon with a good chance after that he would be hit by supporing Soviet infantry.

my friend told me of their Ford trucks....har har driving up loaded with Panzerfausts for the Grenadiers to grab, and carry as many as they could to their positions........again if this was a static defensive line, although in spring of 45 his unit was moved around sometimes 3 times a day
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#9 Wolfy

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 04:10 PM

Very informative and interesting accounts, Erich. I didn't realize that fighting the German infantry in 1945 involved tons of RPGs going your direction..

#10 lwd

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 04:28 PM

I've seen referances to at least one US division commander telling his people to collect all the panzerfaust they could so they could be distributed within the division. Not sure what the levels got to in that division or how common it was.

#11 Erich

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 04:29 PM

I've never done this nor even have been interested but looking into the total figures of Panzerfausts produced and issued might be enlightening
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#12 Wolfy

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:18 PM

They were heavily issued mainly in the last year of the war.

Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck Figures

As of March 1945:

8,254,300 Panzerfausts (penetration 200m) /Faustpatrone (penetration 140mm)


"another explanation is that the Panzerfausts due to their demolition effect were most often used as super-handgrenades against infantry in buildings etc"

" in March 1945 the german forces possessed 3,018 million Panzerfausts, of which only 271,000 were stored in armories, the rest was distributed among the fighting forces."

This means that a good 5,000,000 Panzerfausts were expended against enemy armor or infantry targets by March 1945.

#13 paratrooper506

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 11:39 PM

wow that is alot of fire power against allies and to think all the u.s. had was the bazooka

#14 lwd

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 11:38 AM

...This means that a good 5,000,000 Panzerfausts were expended against enemy armor or infantry targets by March 1945.

That's quite a leap and most likely not true. You are forgetting captured, lost, destroyed, and just plain not used numbers.

#15 Wolfy

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 11:47 AM

"only 271,000 were stored in Armories" (March 1945)

I assume some were lost, yes.

#16 Mussolini

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:05 PM

Just because the rest were most likely issued doesn't account for ones that weren't stored in Armories, were defunctional, were lost or damaged, or simply not used. 5 Million sounds like a rather inflated number, even in the role of 'super-grenade' since a defensive force would have little opportunity to use them in such a manner. Most likely, the majority of them were left behind in defensive positions and/or destroyed.

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#17 Wolfy

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:14 PM

Maybe. Anyway, several million being fired since the first model (the Faustpatrone in 1943)seems pretty reasonable.

#18 razin

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:53 PM

The figure in the Panzerfaust site does seem a bit high but the site is otherwise well constructed with verifable information with regard to hardware, it would be interesting to see a reference for verification of this figure, the figure 1.3million could be a production target rather than a number produced, however other figures mentioned are refered to as a target - for example the number ordered for PzFt 150 is given as 100,000 but is qualified that very few got to the troops.

Erich has already stated that troops were being supplied by the truck load so the idea that only 271,000 in depots is realistic and this figure is very similar to the numbers found to be defective. Defective Panzerfausts would tend to hang around in depots as to return them to a factory for refurbishment probably would be more expensive than producing new ones-somewhat like modern electronics.

Anyway I found this photo while looking for something else.
[ATTACH]5499[/ATTACH]

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#19 Wolfy

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:08 PM

A wooden backback? Rather bizarre. Was it standard issue to Panzershreck teams or did most men have to carry wooden crates around?

How did Americans carry spare bazooka rounds?

#20 Mussolini

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:16 PM

We already went over American Bazooka Rounds - as far as I could tell, they'd stuff them in a bag.

The wooden back pack makes sense - its rigid and holds the rounds in place, preventing them from banging into each other or from knocking against things that could damage them.

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#21 Wolfy

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:36 PM

Those Panzershreck rounds are massive- certainly much larger than Bazooka rounds. The site says that they were about 7 and a half pounds each.

#22 Erich

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:49 PM

I've seen the photo of the wooden backpack in the past, but in my dear friends case they were transported from spot to spot in wooden or metal carrying cases, plus other field developments. the round was heavy and large as you say Wolfy what would be the best sense to transport, certainly not canvas bags and awkward for thes econd man to carry one in each hand while his K-98 was slung over his shgulder but that did happen frequently.

that 5,000,000 figure is puzzlesome to me as well and I wonder if this includes all the Panzerfaust heads minus the firing tubes available and given in the total figure for all Panzerfausts in one lump sum ?

I weighed my own Pz-Schreck at one time at over 23 pounds with shield, it may even be more that that
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#23 razin

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:55 PM

Wolfy
A wooden backback? Rather bizarre.

I don't know maybe Erich will be able to inform us.

It could be a standard unit. RPG7 rockets were carried in similar backpacks during the Iran-Iraq War but I have never seen Soviet back pack like this.

How did Americans carry spare bazooka rounds?


Photo 1 shows men marching to their embarkation point for D.Day the Bazooka man carries a closed bag this carries 8 rounds in protective tubes. The man in front carries a 4 round open bag. Which is the same or similar to the Rifle Grenade M9 bag.
[ATTACH]5501[/ATTACH]

Photo2 shows a closed bag emptied note the protective tubes.
[ATTACH]5500[/ATTACH]

Steve

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Edited by razin, 12 March 2009 - 02:57 PM.
punctuation


#24 Wolfy

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:58 PM

These tank hunting expeditions seem not only highly dangerous, but certainly- from a commanders perspective, with variable results. So the Panzershreck teams could work well, or they could utterly collapse against the enemy, no matter how many were deployed?

#25 Wolfy

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 03:01 PM

Photo 1 shows men marching to their embarkation point for D.Day the Bazooka man carries a closed bag this carries 8 rounds in protective tubes. The man in front carries a 4 round open bag. Which is the same or similar to the Rifle Grenade M9 bag.
[ATTACH]5501[/ATTACH]

[/ATTACH]

Steve


Great photos. I see 38 rounds and two launchers- so it seems like the bazooka was liberally used against infantry.




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