[Lone Sentry: WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
  [Lone Sentry: Photographs, Documents and Research on World War II]
Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Intel Articles by Subject

"German Antitank Rocket Launcher" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following U.S. military report on the German antitank rocket launcher (Raketenpanzerbüchse 43) was published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 46, May 1, 1944.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


A new German antitank rocket launcher (Raketenpanzerbüchse 43) has been examined. In appearance it is very similar to the American "Bazooka" but larger. The German nickname is Ofenrohr or "stovepipe".

a. Description

(1) Launcher

This consists of a plain pressed steel tube with three indented guides. Below the tube is the cocking handle and trigger mechanism protected by a square steel guard. To the rear of the trigger is the induction coil which is connected by a lead to the socket at the rear of the tube. Between the coil and the socket is the shoulder rest. On the left of the tube is an offset foresight and an adjustable rearsight. The distance between sights is approximately 18 inches. At the rear of the tube is a protector and spring catch.

(2) Projectile

This consists of a hollow-charge, HE-filled head with a nose fuze containing a safety pin which is removed before firing. A body containing the rocket propellant and a tail with a contact plug is set in a small crescent-shaped wooden block. The propellant consists of a single stick of "diglykol."

b. Action

The crew of the weapon consists of two men - a firer and a loader.

The loader inserts the projectile into the rear of the tube far enough to allow the spring catch to snap over the tail end. This catch retains the projectile in position.

[German Antitank Rocket Launcher - Raketenpanzerbüchse 43]

The plug on the projectile is fitted into the socket at the end of the tube. After cocking, by pulling the handle to the rear, the weapon is ready for firing.

When the trigger is depressed, the soft iron rod is driven a short distance through the coil thereby inducing a current to pass through the lead to the plug and igniting the propellant. Owing to the softness of the iron core it can only be used seven times. After that the residual magnetism is too low to produce sufficient current.

The firer should wear a gas mask, a face mask, steel helmet and protective clothing to avoid burns from the escaping propellant gases.

c. Data

Length of tube       5 ft 3 in
Diameter of tube3.46 in
Thickness of tube.06 in
Weight of tube20.5 lb
Weight of projectile7.3 lb
MV of projectile345 f/s
Range of projectile (approx)164 yds
Penetration of armor (German source)7.87 in

The smallest firing unit is generally made up of a six-man team, equipped with three launchers, and they are usually stationed in strong-point formation so they can fire in any direction.


[Back] Back to Articles by Subject | Intel Bulletin by Issue | T&TT by Issue | Home Page

Web LoneSentry.com