Tag Archive for 'rocket'

Panzerfaust: Recoilless Antitank Bomb and Launcher

Panzerfaust: Recoilless Antitank Bomb and Launcher

The German rocket grenade (Faustpatrone—literally “fist cartridge”) is a new close-range Nazi weapon used against tanks and other armored targets. It comprises a tube and a head which contains the explosive charge. The weapon weighs 11 1/4 pounds, has a muzzle velocity of 145 f/s, and a sight range of 33 yards.

The head, which is closed at the front end by a sheet-metal cover, includes a semispherical hollow charge. Toward the rear, the head merges into a rod which includes the small detonating charge 34 and the fuze. The rear of the rod is screwed to a shaft containing four bomb-fins for flight stabilization of the rocket grenade. When not in use, the fins are rolled around the shaft and held together by the tube which is slid over it. The propelling charge is contained in the tube. A sighting rail, fixed to the front end of the tube, when folded down serves as the safety against involuntary cocking of the striker. The sighting rail itself is in turn secured to the rear by the Fuze Safety Pin, which holds it in folded-down position. The lock is located on a line extending from the sighting rail to the rear. It includes and carries the firing-pin (striker), release button, and safety catch.

For firing, the weapon is taken under the right arm, the left hand supporting the grenade two inches behind the front end of the tube. The fuze safety-pin is pulled out, and the sighting rail is snapped up, forming an approximate right angle with the tube. The striker is cocked by pushing the lock forward until the striker is set and the release button emerges. The lock then slides back into its original position, and the release button is pressed, discharging the projectile. Discharge is recoilless, and caution must be taken, as a stream of fire from one to two yards long is ejected from the rear of the tube. The launcher tube is expendable.

A smaller model is known as the Faustpatrone.

German: p. 218

28 cm Wurfkörper Spr.: 28 cm Rocket Projectile

28 cm Wurfkörper Spr.: 28 cm Rocket Projectile

This package-type rocket is a self-contained unit fired from a metal or wood crate. Firing is accomplished by “pointing” the crate at the target, resting the front part of the crate on a mound of dirt (or a similar rest) at an angle from 5° to 45°, and firing by means of a hand electrical firing system.

The propellant charge, contained in the motor tube, is in the form of one stick weighing 14 lb., 9 oz. with one central hole and eight annular holes.

Eight grooves are formed in the sides of the propellant stick, and celluloid tubes are fitted into these grooves. A length of quickmatch in the central hole is inclosed in a celluloid tube.

There are two igniters, one at the front and one at the rear of the propellant. The rear igniter consists of a cloth bag containing 10 grams (154 grains) of NC powder. The front igniter is a metal holder containing a flash composition with a layer of initiating composition.

The bursting charge is contained in the large section, directly forward of the rocket motor tube.

The booster, known as Zdlg. 36, consists of a cylindrical aluminum container filled with penthrite wax and perforated at the top to house a thimble-shaped detonator.

The fuze, Wgr. Z. 50, is a point-detonating or graze action type. The safety pin is removed before firing, leaving the two centrifugal bolts and a split ring to act as a safety feature in flight. The detonator is situated in the inertia pellet.

There are 26 jets at the end of the motor tube inclined approximately 12° right, giving it rotation in flight for stability. The internal diameter of the jets is 0.5 cm (.19 in.) and the external diameter 1 cm (.38 in.).


Weight (total)         181 lb.
Length (overall) 3 ft., 11 ins.
Length (body) 2 ft., 4 1/2 ins.
Length (tail) 1.85 ft.
Diameter (body) 11 ins.
Diameter (tail) .59 in.
Number of ports 26
Contents 110 lb. TNT
Range (maximum) at 42° 2,337 yds. (estimated)

German: p. 354

32 cm Wurfkörper M. Fl. 50: 32 cm Rocket Projectile (Incendiary)

32 cm Wurfkörper M. Fl. 50: 32 cm Rocket Projectile (Incendiary)

The operation of this rocket is very similar to that of the 28 cm Wurfkörper. It is fired from the crate, either metal or wood.

This rocket is stabilized by rotation due to the angle of the jets, of which there are 26 inclined at an angle of 14°. The internal throat diameter of the jets is 5.5 mm.

The motor tube is a solid forging, machined inside and out and threaded externally at both ends. The closed end screws into the bomb section; the open end receives the venturi block.

The propellant charge consists of a single multiperforated stick. It is supported at the venturi end on a flat grid held to the venturi block by means of a bolt. The grid consists of a ring 3/16 inch thick, 4 3/8 inches in external diameter, and 3 1/8 inch in internal diameter supported by six small cylindrical spacers 1/2 inch in diameter and 3/8 inch high from a flat plate 1/10 inch thick and 4 3/8 inches in diameter. The free space at the closed end of the 4 3/8 inches in diameter.

The ignition system consists of an electrical igniter inserted in place of the screw in the bolt in the center of the venturi block. Behind the igniter lies a bag of rough cloth containing 10 grams of the primary igniter composition in the form of six-pointed star-shaped flakes. A maintainer composed of compressed pellets in an aluminum container is situated at the closed end of the tube and acts as an igniter composition. The rapid transmission of the flash between these two is effected by the lengths of inflammable tubing housed in the conduits of the charge. The one in the center conduit is quickmatch; the tube is closed at each end by a gunpowder pellet.

A thin sheet of aluminum acts as a sealer at the venturi end. This does not appear to be sufficient to prevent the entrance of moisture. The bomb head contains 11 gallons of oil and a point-detonating fuze.


Weight (total)         174 lb. (approx.)
Weight of motor tube 23 lb., 14 oz.
Weight of motor tube (filled) 49 lb., 8 oz.
Weight of venturi block and bolt 9 lb., 6 oz.
Weight of propellant charge 14 lb., 7 oz.
Weight of grid 1 lb., 1 oz.
Length (total) 5.08 ft.
Length (body) 3.3 ft.
Length of motor tube (overall) 18 5/8 ins.
Diameter of bomb 32 cm
Diameter of motor tube (external) 5 1/2 ins.
Diameter of motor tube (internal) 5 ins.
Depth of motor tube (internal) 18 ins.
Range (maximum) at 42° 2,217 yds. (approx.)

German: p.353

15 cm Wurfgranat 41: 15 cm Rocket Projectile

15 cm Wurfgranat 41: 15 cm Rocket Projectile

This rocket is fired from the German 6-tube Nebelwerfer 41. It resembles an elongated shell with a bulbous ballistic cap. The propellant is contained in the forward part of the projectile and the filling in the rear behind the ring which houses the jets. The propellant powder burns from both ends, giving faster and more even burning. The nozzles are arranged around a projecting annular jet unit about two-thirds of the distance from the nose. The jets are set at an angle to give the projectile rotation in flight, thereby eliminating the use of fins.

A complete round of this rocket projectile is composed of the following components (refer to photograph above): (i) pressed metal ballistic cap, which is screwed onto the projectile; (j) a motor tube; (d) an aluminum disk containing a black powder igniter charge; (a) a pressed metal spacer upon which the sticks of powder rest; (e) seven sticks of uniperforated stick powder; (b) a cellulose igniter tube containing black powder; (c) a cast-iron trap, which is placed over the powder at the rear end of the motor tube; (f) a black powder igniter charge, which is placed over the cast-iron trap; (h) a nozzle assembly, which is screwed to the motor tube; (g) an electric primer, which is inserted in any of the 26 nozzle holes; (1) a pressed iron spacer which fits into the base of the nozzle assembly and provides an air void between the nozzle assembly and the TNT bursting charge; (h) a bursting charge of TNT or a chemical filler contained in a fiber container; (m) a machined steel bursting-charge container; (o) a booster adapter, which screws into the bursting-charge case; (n) a base percussion fuze, which screws into the booster adapter. This fuze is similar to most German base percussion fuzes and arms by centrifugal force.


There are three known types of these projectiles in existence, namely:
A. High Explosive (15 cm Wgr. 41 Spr.)—weight 70 lb.; length 36.6 ins.; maximum diameter 6.2 ins.
B. C. W. (15 cm Wgr. 41 Grünring)—content chemical
C. Smoke (15 cm Wgr. 41 Nb)—weight 79 lb.; weight of propellant 14 lb.

German: p. 356

21 cm Wgr. 42 Spr. Mit Hbgr. Z 35 K: 21 cm Rocket Projectile

21 cm Wgr. 42 Spr. Mit Hbgr. Z 35 K: 21 cm Rocket Projectile

This rocket is very streamlined and in outward appearance resembles an artillery projectile. All metal components of the body are machined inside and out and appear to be of mild steel.

A complete round of this ammunition is made up of the following components (see photograph above):

(a) Nozzle assembly containing 22 orifices evenly spaced around the rim of the nozzle. These orifices are set an an angle of 16° from the axis of the rocket. This angle gives the rocket clockwise rotation in flight besides providing forward thrust. In the center of the nozzle there is an ignition hole which receives the electric squib.

(b) Motor body having two bourrelet surfaces.

(c) High-explosive body containing 22.4 pounds of TNT. It is made of mild steel with fairly thick walls and is threaded on its base and screwed into the motor body.

(d) False ogive, which completes the streamlined contour of the rocket.

(e) Trap, a casting painted rust red. Between the trap and the nozzle there is a tinfoil disk which is used as a moisture and dirt seal.

(f) Black powder base igniter.

(g) Igniter wick, a celluloid tube containing a charge of quickmatch.

(h) Propellant charge consisting of seven sticks 21.67 inches long and 2.46 inches in external diameter.

(i) Spacer to hold the head igniter in place and allow for the proper ignition of the entire propellant.

(j) Igniter.

(k) Booster cup.

(l) Point-detonating fuze.

(m) Wooden actuating rod.


Weight of projectile as fired         241.30 lb.
Weight of TNT bursting charge 22.40 lb.
Weight of propellant powder 39.50 lb.
Weight of high-explosive body 65.25 lb.
Weight of propellant body 87.75 lb.
Weight of nozzle assembly 5.12 lb.
Length 49.21 ins.
Diameter 8.27 ins.

German: p. 355

20 cm Rocket Projectile and Launcher

Japanese 20 cm Rocket Projectile and Launcher

This ground-launched rocket is fired from a trough shaped launcher approximately 7 feet long, which weighs approximately 175 pounds. The Japanese claim a range of 1,800 meters (1,970 yds.) at 50° elevation. The rocket is spin-stabilized, rotating in a clockwise direction. The complete round, without fuze, is approximately 41 inches long and weighs 198.3 pounds.

The projectile has a straight body and an ogival nose. It is fitted with a centrifugally armed point detonating fuze. In addition to this standard fuze, the Type 91 Time, Type 100 Combination, and Type 88 P.D. fuzes will also fit the fuze pocket. However, it is not known whether the rocket will produce sufficient setback to arm these fuzes. The explosive charge, Type 91 (trinitroanisol), is cast directly into the lacquered interior of the case. The base plate which screws into the projectile body is also threaded to take the motor.

The motor body, a straight cylinder, is closed at the rear by a base plate to which a grid is attached. A perforated cup fits against the motor closing plate at the forward end. Seven sticks of propellant (nitroglycerine, nitrocellulose, NaCl, and centralite) fit securely into the combustion chamber between the perforated cup and the grid. Six sticks form a circle around an identical central stick; all have only a single axial perforation.

The motor base plate of hardened steel has six offset nozzles and a central threaded opening for a percussion type primer. Ignition is mechanical and from the forward end. A black silk powder bag lashed to the perforated cup forms the ignition charge.


Weight of projectile without fuze         49.9 kg.–110 lbs.
Weight of high explosive filling 17.5 kg.–38.6 lbs.
Overall length of projectile without fuze 588.0 mm–23.14 ins.
Minimum diameter of orifices 15.0 mm–.591 ins.
Angular cant of nozzles 25°
Diameter of body 210.5 mm (approx. 8.30 ins.)
Wall thickness 12.0 mm–.472 in.
Overall length of motor body 460 mm–18.11 ins.
Weight with propellant 40.0 kg.–88 lbs.
Weight of propellant 8.3 kg.–18.3 lbs.
Weight of black powder ignition charge 50.6 grams–1.77 ozs.
Wall thickness 10.0 mm–.39 in.
Length of propellant sticks 290.0 mm–11.41 ins.
Diameter of propellant sticks 58.0 mm–2.28 ins.
Diameter of perforation 11.0 mm–.43 in.
Weight of propellant sticks (each–varies slightly) 1.162 kg.–2.56 lbs.

Japanese: p. 352 (April 1, 1945)

Rocket Launcher and Rocket Motor Model 10

Rocket Launcher and Rocket Motor Model 10

This is a device designed to propel the 60 kg. (132 lbs.) aircraft bomb out of an inclined trough.

The launcher is constructed of wood and metal with legs made of iron pipe. The rear is attached by a pin to a base plate with six wedge cut ground pins. The launcher channel is a right angle trough about twenty feet long with a motor and bomb positioner made of 1/8-inch pierced sheet metal. This is “V” shaped, (The motor and bomb positioner is not shown in the schematic sketch above.) slightly over four feet long, and hinged at three points on the lower right side of the launcher. Elevation is controlled by cables run from the base plate to the legs, and between the legs.

The rocket motor resembles a blunt, short-bodied bomb. The propellant container is a cylinder with a cap welded on the front and a tail assembly and venturi tube secured on the rear. The propellant which weighs 12.94 pounds consists of three cylindrical sticks tied in a yellow silk bag. It is ignited by an igniter pad and an igniter fuze in the forward part of the motor by means of wires leading to a small hand blasting machine. When fired the motor propels the bomb from the launcher and then drops off. Ranges up to 1,300 yards are claimed by the Japanese for this device, but it is felt that little, if any, accuracy may be expected. It is evidently designed to deliver fire on beachheads and other similar wide targets at fairly short ranges.


Length of launcher (overall)       19 ft., 10 ins.
Width at leg shoes8 ft., 5.5 ins.
Height at 30° range setting11 ft.
Length of leg12 ft., 4 ins.
Diameter of leg1.75 ins.
Width outside of trough at base10 ins.
Width outside of trough at front7.5 ins.
Width inside of trough at base8.5 ins.
Width inside of trough at front6 ins.
Length of cable from baseplate to leg20 ft., 3 ins.
Length of motor and bomb positioner (overall)4 ft., 3 ins.
Length of motor (overall)33 ins.
Length of propellant cylinder11.5 ins.
Diameter of propellant cylinder (outside)7.44 ins.
Diameter of venturi tube (outside)1.5 ins.
Length of tail fin11.75 ins.
Width of tail fin3.625 ins.
Width of tail, fin to fin11.875 ins.

Japanese: p. 351 (April 1, 1945)

7.3 cm Propaganda Rocket Projectile and Launcher

7.3 cm Propaganda Rocket Projectile and Launcher

This is a rocket projectile of conventional design, but having instead of the usual high explosive filling a number of propaganda leaflets in the forward compartment. The projectile consists basically of two steel tubes screwed into a central sleeve. The upper tube carries the propaganda leaflets and is closed at the forward end by a bakelite ballistic cap; a small bursting charge in the sleeve serves to expel the leaflets. The lower tube contains the propellant and is closed at the lower end by a screwed-in base plug.

The leaflets are wrapped around a steel spring and are in turn inclosed in a light metal cylinder split horizontally. The ejection charge for the leaflets is fired by an igniter and a delay train when the split cylinder containing the leaflets is ejected; the spring around which the leaflets are wrapped forces apart the two halves of the cylinder and scatters the leaflets.

The projector used for launching the rocket is of simple design and construction. The base frame is formed of 1 1/4-inch tubular steel with three spades welded on the underside. A crosspiece of the same tubular steel acts as a brace and also forms a base for the elevation pivot of the rocket guide. This guide consists of a length of 1 3/4-inch angle iron 29 1/2 inches long.

The launcher is operated on the mortar principle, that is, the rocket is placed on the trough and is held about twenty inches above the striker (which corresponds to the firing pin of a mortar) by a release lever. A cord which the operator may pull from a safe distance leads from the release lever, thereby permitting the rocket to slide down against the striker.


Overall length of complete round       16 3/32 ins.
Length of plastic cap 2.21 ins.
Length of message body 6.87 ins.
Length of propellant chamber 4.70 ins.
Length of nozzle assembly 1.30 ins.
Length of stick powder 5.234 ins.
Diameter of stick powder 2.308 ins.
Weight of complete round 6 lbs., 10 oz.
Weight of propellant 1 lb.
Overall length 45.7 ins.
Overall width 19.7 ins.
Length of guide 29.5 ins.
Overall height with guide at 45° 28 ins.
Weight 27 lbs.

German: p. 360 (May 1, 1945)

8 cm Raketen Sprenggranate: H.E. Unrotated Rocket

8 cm Raketen Sprenggranate: H.E. Unrotated Rocket

This rocket is actually 78 mm in diameter. Two features distinguish it from other German rockets: the use of tail fins to secure stability in flight without rotation, and the employment of a novel fuze arming device.

The complete round weighs 15.19 pounds and is nearly 28 inches long. Its two principal components are the nose fuzed high explosive war head and the rocket motor tube. The shell is attached by means of an adaptor ring and the motor tube is closed by a cone-shaped assembly carrying the fins and containing the venturi and propellant supporting grid. Six tubular sticks of cordite form the propellant ignited by a circular gun powder igniter set off by a wire ignition bridge. The launcher used is the Mantelrohr.

The nose fuze consists of a steel nose piece housing a light alloy striker held by a light spring, a percussion detonator, a magazine containing four pressed pellets, and a thermal arming device. When the rocket is fired, the heat of the propellant gases melts a ring of fusable metal, permitting the detonator and magazine to approach the striker. The main filling of the high explosive head is pressed flake TNT.


Weight of complete round      15 lbs., 3 oz.
Weight of motor unit with central adaptor      10 lbs.
Weight of high explosive head with central adaptor       6 lbs., 5 oz.
Weight of high explosive filling      1 lb., 5 1/2 oz.
Weight of fuze (approx.)      4 oz.
Weight of propellant sticks      2 lbs., 3 oz.
Length of rocket      27.7 ins.
Ground range (estimated)      6,300 yds.

German: p. 359 (May 1, 1945)

8.8 cm R. Pz. B. Gr. 4312: Antitank Rocket Grenade

German 8.8 cm R. Pz. B. Gr. 4312: Antitank Rocket Grenade

This projectile is fired from the German 8.8 cm Raketenwerfer 43 (Püppchen—see page 352.1). From this weapon, as limited by the sight, a maximum effective range of 700 meters (765 yards) is obtained. The explosive head is identical to that of the rocket fired from the German counterpart of the “Bazooka” (page 357).

The fuze (AZ 5095) functions as follows: the force of set back causes the set-back ring to move rearward, bending the two prongs of the stirrup spring. These prongs, by engaging in the inside groove of the set-back ring prevent the ring from returning forward. Meanwhile, the striker needle is held away from the primer detonator by a flat, coiled clock spring inside the set-back ring. The clock spring unwinds, expanding against the inside of the fuze body, thus providing a slight delay in the arming of the fuze.

The propellant is a double base powder in the form of a single grain with 14 perforations. There is a hole .364 inch in diameter through the center of the grain. Three lands on the outside of the grain insure an outside burning surface. A triangular-shaped spacer holds the head igniter firmly against the quickmatch. The quickmatch fits in a slight indentation in the head igniter. The primer used in the “Püppchen” rocket is the standard No. 26 percussion primer found in many German artillery fuzes.


Weight (complete, as fired)        5 lbs., 13.06 ozs.
Weight of H.E. filler 1 lb., 7 1/4 ozs.
Weight of fuze with detonator 3.15 os.
Weight of motor and tail assembly 1 lb., 8.5 ozs.
Weight of propellant 1.63 ozs.
Overall length 19.64 ins.
Length of propellant grain 4.95 ins.
Diameter of propellant grain .85 ins.
External diameter 3.494 ins.

German: p. 358 (August 1, 1945)