Tag Archive for 'raketenpanzerbüchse'

8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 43 (8.8 cm R PzB 43) and 8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 54 (8.8 cm R PzB 54): Rocket Launcher

Panzerschreck Rocket Launcher: 8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 43 (8.8 cm R PzB 43) and 8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 54 (8.8 cm R PzB 54) Rocket Launchers

The German antitank rocket launcher (Racketenpanzerbüchse 43), one of which was recently captured in Italy, is a comparatively new design, similar in appearance and operation to the American “Bazooka.” The German weapon is of larger caliber and is heavier than its American counterpart. It employs an 8.8 cm rocket (3.5 inches) weighing 7.16 pounds; the 2.36 inch American rocket, M6A3, weighs 3.5 pounds. The launcher, which is shoulder fired and handled by a two-man team, has a maximum range of 132 yards and a muzzle velocity of 346 f/s. It is 64.5 inches long, has an outside diameter of 3.7 inches; weighs 20.5 pounds; and is equipped with a foresight, a rearsight, and a carrying sling. An improved model with a face shield is known as 8.8 cm R PzB54.

After insertion into the tube, the round is prevented from slipping back by a retaining catch and from slipping forward by a spring-loaded plunger which engages the front edge of the tail unit. An electric socket inside a housing is located at the rear left side of the tube. The firing mechanism, which is also situated underneath the tube, consists of a spring-loaded rod (which is drawn forward into a compressed position when the piece is cocked) and a cylindrical component which appears to contain a magnetized rod and a coil. Two wires attached to this current-producing component connect with the socket on the launcher and with the plunger which contacts the tail of the projectile. When the trigger is pressed, the magnetized rod under the action of the compressed spring passes through the coil generating a current which is transmitted to the sparking element of the propellant igniting it.

The projectile, which is of the hollow charge type, has a nose fuze; the motor tube contains the propellant; and the tail is of the circular-fin type.

8.8 cm R. Pz. B. Gr. 4322: High Explosive-Antitank Rocket Grenade

8.8 cm R. Pz. B. Gr. 4322: High Explosive-Antitank Rocket Grenade

This fin stabilized rocket projectile is fired from the German counterpart of the U.S. “Bazooka” (see page 217) and has a maximum effective range of 165 yards. Eight and one-half-inch armor penetration has been obtained in static tests with a standoff of approximately 6 1/2 inches.

The complete round consists of a point fuzed high explosive, hollow charge loaded projectile assembled to a steel tube with a venturi and stabilizer assembly attached, containing an igniter, propellant and electric primer. The AZ 5095 fuze is of the point detonating type which in tests gave an approximate fuze functioning time of 0.0002 seconds (impact to detonation). The projectile assembly consists of the following stamped sheet steel parts: a body which contains the bursting charge, an adapter, a collar, a band, and a slightly heavier sheet steel nose. A detonator-booster of the German Kl. Zdlg. 34 NP type is embedded in the bursting charge to the rear of the flash tube. The bursting charge is cyclotol (41.2% TNT, 58.8% cyclonite) weighing 1 lb., 7.2 ozs. The propellant and tube assembly consists of the propellant tube and the seven propellant grains and igniter assembly, located in the forward end which it holds. The seven propellant powder grains are approximately 7.6 inches in length x .45 inch outside diameter, and have a central perforation .22 inch in diameter throughout their length. The composition is 64½% nitrocellulose and 34½% DEGN, with a small percentage of stabilizer.

A new type of ammunition, the R. Pz. B. Gr. 4999 is reported to give good performance up to a range of 220 yards, 25° C. (77° F.).


Weight (complete, rocket as fired)       7.26 lbs.
Weight of high explosive filler 1.47 lbs.
Weight of fuze assembly .175 lb.
Weight of igniter assembly .021 lb.
Weight of propellant charge .382 lb.
Length (overall) 25.56 ins.
Diameter (external) 3.437 ins.
Burnt velocity at 50° F. (approx.) 340 f/s*
Burning distance (approx.) 7 ft.*
Fuze functioning time (approx.) .0002 seconds
Maximum pressure 6,910 lbs. per sq. in.*
Maximum thrust 1,716 lbs.*
Impulse 87 lbs. second**
Maximum effective range 165 yds.

*These figures are from firing a single round.
**These values doubtful; only one rocket motor was statically tested with propellant temperature 41° F.

German: p. 357 (August 1, 1945)