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"German Hollow-Charge AT Grenade" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on the German Panzerfaust was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 47, June 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.]


Information on the new German hollow charge antitank grenade (Faustpatrone 2) has been obtained from German sources and a report of an examination of the grenade. It would appear that there are two types, the large 5-kg (11 lb) and the small 2.5-kg (5.5 lb). The following description and accompanying photograph pertain only to the large 11-pound type.

[German Hollow-Charge AT Grenade - Faustpatrone/Panzerfaust]

a. Description

The Faustpatrone consists of a large hollow charge HE grenade and a projecting tube.

(1) Grenade

This consists of a large head and a cylindrical body terminating in a tail to which are attached four spring steel stabilizing fins. The body contains a base fuze and a booster.

(2) Projector

This is a simple metal tube in which is located a propellant charge contained in a waxed cardboard container held in position by a set screw. On the opposite side to the set screw is an igniter situated below a flash hole. On top of the tube is a simple firing mechanism with release button, firing pin and spring and a safety catch. There is also a folding sight.

b. Action

The grenade is armed by unscrewing the tail and inserting the booster and fuze, open ends facing each other. The tail is then replaced. The fins are wrapped around the tail and the grenade inserted into the tube. The pressure of the fins against the inside of the tube serves to retain the grenade in position.

The firing mechanism is cocked by pushing the lock forward until the release button emerges. The lock then slides back to its original position. The weapon is now cocked and at "safe."

To make ready for firing the lock is rotated 90° to the left.

The tube is held under the right arm, the left hand supporting the forward part.

Aiming is accomplished by aligning the sight, placed vertical to the tube. The sight is adjustable for a range of 33 yards.

To fire, depress the release button, thus allowing the striker to go forward. The tube cannot be used a second time.

c. Data

Length of tube     31.5 in 
Length of tube and grenade41 in 
Length of grenade19.5 in 
Caliber of tube1.75 in 
Thickness of tube.06 in 
Weight of tube and grenade11 lb 
Weight of grenade6.62 lb 
Weight of bursting charge3.4 lb 
Weight of propellant9 oz 
Effective range33 yds
M V145 f/s
Penetration of armor7.87 in 
     (claimed in German source)

d. Safety Precautions

(1) Set Faustpatrone to "Fire" only when using. The Faustpatrone can be set to safe again if it has not been fired.

(2) To set from "Fire" to "Safe," turn bolt to vertical, then push fully forward and hold. Press release button and allow it to slide back slowly so that firing pin spring is allowed to expand. Snap sight back onto tube and replace split pin.

(3) On discharge, a sheet of flame up to 6 feet long comes from the rear end of the tube. Great care must be taken that the flame and bits of wadding do not hit either the firer or anyone standing behind him. The danger zone extends up to 30 feet. There must be a clear space (i.e. no earth, stones or wall) for the flame at least 6 feet behind the tube.

(4) If propellant charge fails do not attempt to fiddle around with the weapon. It must be laid aside carefully and exploded. Delayed explosions may still occur. Should the hollow charge detonator fail to explode, the grenade must on no account be touched but must be exploded by placing an explosive charge against it.

(5) During practice firing with live ammunition an area of 800 yards round firer and target must be closed off. Firer must wear steel helmet.


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