Two recent 1/35th anti-tank weapon releases from the Czech company plusmodel — No.: EL055, 1/35 Panzerfaust 60 and No.: EL057, 1/35 Antitank Grenades. Both kits are MSRP: 4.60 USD, 3.30 EUR.
Bazooka emplacements from the Corps of Engineers’ field manual FM 5-15: Field Fortifications, U.S. War Department, February 1944.
43. ROCKET LAUNCHER EMPLACEMENT.
There are two types of emplacement for this weapon, the pit-foxhole type and the pit type.
a. Pit-foxhole type (fig. 33 (1)). This emplacement is a circular pit, 3 feet in diameter and about 3½ feet deep, large enough for two men. It permits the assistant rocketeer to turn with the traversing weapon, so that he is never behind it when it is fired. The emplacement is shallow enough to permit the rear end of the rocket launcher at maximum elevation to be clear of the parapet, thus insuring that the hot back-blast from the rockets is not deflected to the occupants. This emplacement is not tankproof. Therefore foxholes for the crew are dug nearby. As the antitank mission of this weapon requires that it be kept in action against hostile tanks until the last possible moment, these foxholes will be occupied only when a tank is about to overrun the emplacement.
b. Pit type (fig. 33 (2)) . In firm soil the diameter of the circular pit (fig. 33 (1)) can be increased to 4 feet and an additional circular pit 2 feet deep and 2 feet in diameter excavated in the center. This leaves a circular fire step 1 foot wide and about 3½ feet below the surface. When tanks appear about to overrun the position, the rocketeer and assistant rocketeer crouch down into the lower pit. When the tanks have passed, the rocket launcher quickly is returned to action.
Our Red Army Ally, War Department Pamphlet No. 21-30, 1945.
New 1/35th-scale kit from Zvezda of the British Anti-Tank Gun QF 6-PDR MK-II (Item No. 3518).
Continue reading Zvezda British 6 pdr Anti-Tank Gun
Comparison of 37-mm Ammunition from WW2 technical manual: TM 9-1901: Artillery Ammunition, War Department Technical Manual, June 1944:
|FIXED AND SEMIFIXED ROUNDS AND SEPARATE-LOADING PROJECTILES:|
A - MK.II A1, PRACTICE ROUND FOR 37-MM GUN SUBCALIBER, M1916
B - M56 H.E ROUND FOR 37-MM GUNS, M4 AND M10
C - M56 H.E. ROUND FOR 37-MM GUNS, M1A2 AND M9
D - M63 H.E. ROUND FOR 37-MM GUNS M3, M3A1, M5, M5A1, AND M6
Operating instructions for the Bazooka in tropical and arctic climates from TM 9-294: 2.36-inch A.T. Rocket Launcher M1A1, War Department Technical Manual, Sept. 27, 1943.
Section X: OPERATION UNDER UNUSUAL CONDITIONS
a. When operating under unusual conditions such as tropical or arctic climates, severe dust or sand conditions, and near salt water, it is essential that all the precautions listed below should be observed.
33. ARCTIC CLIMATES.
a. In temperatures below freezing, and particularly in arctic climates, all operating parts should he kept absolutely free of moisture. The bore of the launcher should be cleaned daily and oiled as described in paragraph 16. The batteries should be removed from the launcher and kept warm until just before firing. Carrying the batteries in inner pockets will keep them sufficiently warm. Immediately upon bringing indoors, the launcher should be cleaned on the outside and inside with a dry clean cloth. Remove the grips and clean and dry the contacts. After it has reached room temperature, clean and dry the launcher again, and oil the bore. Rockets should not be fired at temperatures below zero F.
34. TROPICAL CLIMATES.
a. Tropical Climates. In tropical climates where temperature and humidity are high, or where salt air is present, and during rainy seasons, the launcher should be thoroughly inspected and cleaned daily. The bore should be oiled a little more liberally than prescribed in paragraph 16. Wood parts should be inspected to see that swelling due to moisture does not bind working parts. If this does occur, shave off only enough wood to relieve binding. A light coat of OIL, linseed, raw, type A applied at least every month and well rubbed in with the heel of the hand, will help to keep moisture out. Allow oil to soak in for a few hours and then, wipe and polish the wood with a dry clean wiping cloth. Do not fire rockets at temperatures above 120 F.
NOTE: Care should be taken to see that linseed oil does not get onto electric contacts as it will gum when dry.
b. Hot Dry Climates. In hot dry climates, where sand and dust are apt to get into the bore, the launcher including the bore should be wiped clean daily or more often if necessary. Oiling of the bore should be done very sparingly and only in the event that atmospheric conditions cause rusting of the bore surface. In such climates, wood parts are apt to dry out and shrink, and a more frequent application of OIL, linseed, raw, type A, will help keep wood in condition. During sand or dust storms the breech and muzzle should be kept covered. Do not fire rockets at temperatures above 120 F.
The history of the bazooka from U.S. Rocket Ordnance: Development and Use in World War II, U.S. Joint Board on Scientific Information Policy, 1946.
Bazooka Versus Tank
Among the now-it-can-be-told weapons of the American rocket family, is the super-bazooka, bigger and better version of the foot-soldier’s famed tank-buster.
By their surrender, the Germans and Japs missed feeling the impact of a rocket which travels at almost twice the speed and carries double the explosive payload of the standard bazooka projectile; which has an effective range of as much as 700 yards, instead of the 200 to 300 yards of the regular bazooka; and which can function safely through a considerably wider temperature range, thus affording greatly increased protection against the dangers of motor explosion and blast. Though the super-bazooka retains the 2.36-inch diameter of the original bazooka, and is fired from the same launcher, it is propelled by a larger motor, and its heavier explosive charge can penetrate thicker armor plate.
Another development of the original bazooka-still secret at the war’s end-is a super-powered rocket of 3.5 inches in diameter with greatly increased power to penetrate armor plate and reinforced concrete.
The super-bazooka was the joint product of Section H, which produced the design for the motor, and Division 8 of NDRC, which developed the far more powerful head. The 3.5-inch rocket was designed by the Army Ordnance Department.
To arm United States infantry to fight tanks on more nearly equal terms, the Army Ordnance Department, in early 1941, had under development a rifle grenade, carrying a “shaped charge” of high explosive. A cone-shaped cup hollowed in the front face of the explosive filling focussed the blast energy into a narrow beam of great penetrating power.
These rifle grenades had too much recoil for field use as a shoulder weapon. Recoilless rocket propulsion was suggested, tried, and adopted. Colonel Skinner, then an Ordnance Department major, and Lt. (now Major) E. G. Uhl, with Section H at Indian Head, undertook the development of a suitable rocket motor.
Following unsuccessful attempts to launch these rocket grenades from attachments to the service rifle, it was concluded that a separate launcher would be required.
To protect the gunner from the rocket blast, the launching tube had to be longer than the maximum burning distance of the rocket motor. To be portable and easily aimed from the shoulder, the launcher, and hence the burning distance, had to be short. By the use of a charge of several thin-web tubular grains of solvent extruded powder in a motor about an inch in diameter, the burning distance was made short enough for a 54-inch launcher, soon dubbed “the bazooka.”
Continue reading Bazooka Versus Tank
Original Bundesarchiv Caption: Sowjetunion.- Flugzeug Junkers Ju 87 G “Stuka” mit 3,7-cm-Kanonen FlaK 18 (“Kanonenvogel”) auf einem Feldflugplatz; PK Lw zbV.
This photograph file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license. Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-646-5184-26 / Niermann / CC-BY-SA. Via Wikimedia.
Introduction to the “bazooka” (2.36-inch AT Rocket Launcher M1A1) from the technical manual TM 9-294: 2.36-inch A.T. Rocket Launcher M1A1, War Department Technical Manual, September, 1943.
a. This manual is published for the information and guidance of personnel charged with the operation and maintenance of the 2.36-inch AT Rocket Launcher M1A1. It contains information required by the using arms to identify, use, care, and preserve the materiel and the ammunition used therewith. In addition, it contains information required by ordnance personnel for the maintenance and repair of the materiel.
2. CHARACTERISTICS (figs. 1 and 2).
a. The 2.36-inch AT Rocket Launcher M1A1 is an electrically operated weapon of the open tube type. It is fired from the shoulder in the standing, kneeling, sitting, or prone positions. It is used to launch high-explosive rockets against tanks, armored vehicles, pill boxes, and emplacements. The rockets weigh approximately 3½ pounds and are capable of penetrating heavy armor at angles of impact up to 30 degrees. The weapon can be aimed up to distances of 300 yards. Greater ranges may be obtained by estimating the angle of elevation. The maximum range is 700 yards.
Figure 1 -- 2.36-Inch AT Rocket Launcher M1A1 -- Left Side View
Figure 2 -- 2.36-Inch AT Rocket Launcher M1A1 -- Right Side View
Continue reading Introduction to the Bazooka
A report on the activities of antiaircraft gun battalions in the antitank role during the Battle of the Bulge reproduced from “Antiaircraft Artillery Notes,” HQ ETO, No. 15, January 1945:
Subject: Employment of AAA in Anti-tank Role
Source: AA Section, Headquarters Twelfth Army Group
During the recent German Ardennes offensive the 110th and 143rd AAA Gun Battalions, and Battery D, 639th AAA AW Battalion, were placed in anti-tank support of the 30th Infantry Division, in the Malmedy-Stavelot-Stoumont sector. The Division has submitted a report of the activities of these units, and made recommendations for future employment of AAA in an anti-tank role, (See ETOUSA AAA Notes No. 14 for a detailed account of the activities of the 143rd AAA Gun Bn during this action.)
Report of 30th Infantry Division
a. The above listed units were attached to the Division at 210030A December 1944. Prior to daylight of the 21st, liaison was established with the Division by the 11th AAA Group, and by each of the attached units. Upon the arrival of these representatives they were given maps of the area and were fully informed of the tactical situation. A map reconnaissance was made, and officers from the supporting tank destroyer battalion accompanied the antiaircraft officers on their ground reconnaissance, and assisted in the actual placing of their guns in firing positions.
Continue reading Employment of AAA in Anti-tank Role