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"The Panzerhandmine 3: A Magnetic Hollow Charge" from Intelligence Bulletin

[Intelligence Bulletin Cover]   Interesting report on a variant of the Panzerhandmine 3 from the May 1945 issue of the Intelligence Bulletin.

[Editor's Note: The following article is wartime information on enemy equipment published for Allied soldiers. More accurate data on German weapons and equipment is available in postwar publications.]


The Panzerhandmine 3 (which the Germans abbreviate to P.H.M. 3) is a magnetic hollow charge intended for use as a close-combat weapon against Allied tanks and similar armored targets. A series of magnets around the bottom of the charge cause the weapon to adhere to the target. The charge is German Air Force issue, and is the Air Force counterpart of the standard German Army magnetic hollow charge 3 kg. (Hafthohlladung 3 Kg.), which it resembles in design and employment.

German documents state that the Panzerhandmine 3 will penetrate 6-inch armor plate, creating a 1 1/4-inch hole and causing a great deal of scaling within the vehicle. Outside the vehicle, metal splinters may be expected to be hurled as far away as 100 yards.

This hollow-charge weapon is 10 3/4 inches high and 5 1/2 inches in diameter, and weighs 8 pounds. It contains a 2 1/2-pound charge of TNT or RDX/TNT. A compressed-paper body encases the charge and the magnets. A web carrying handle is attached to a metal neck band. The hemispherical cavity of the hollow charge is closed with a metal sheet liner.

[German Panzerwurfmine, hollow charge antitank hand grenade]
The Panzerhandmine 3, a magnetic hollow charge.

[German Panzerwurfmine, hollow charge antitank hand grenade]
A bottom view of the Panzerhandmine 3. Note the six magnets for use against metal surfaces, and the keeper with spikes for use against wooden surfaces.

Three pairs of magnets are mounted around the interior of the compressed-paper skirt. In transit these magnets are protected by an iron keeper ring, which has a web handle fastened to it for easy withdrawal. On one side of the keeper are three equidistant spikes, which permit the charge to be attached to wooden surfaces. The keeper is reversed in transit, so that the spikes fit between the magnets.

The Panzerhandmine 3 is fired with a yellow-head, 7 1/2-second-delay friction igniter.

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