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Panzerfaust German Anti-Tank Weapon
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Panzerfaust
Anti-Tank Weapon

Panzerfaust Reproduction - available from Amazon

The Panzerfaust is a hand-held, single-shot, shape-charged anti-tank weapon. They were easily manufactured and designed to be cheap, one-use, throw away weapons to be used with little field training. However, accidents often happened in the field because of ill-trained soldiers and defective manufacture. Due to material shortage during the war, the "disposable" tubes were often collected and returned to the factory for re-arming.

Despite these shortfalls, when used properly the Panzerfaust was a very deadly anti-tank weapon for which the American tanks in Normandy were ill prepared to meet.

Description: The Panzerfaust consisted of a warhead attached to a long tube with a factory-sealed cardboard cap in the rear of the tube. This cap was to protect against dirt and was kept in place even when firing the weapon. Simple instructions were often printed right on the warhead. They often also had warnings in large red lettering printed on the upper rear end of the tube "Achtung! Feuerstrahl! (which means, Beware! Fire Jet!). This was to warn soldiers to avoid the backblast.

Backblast: The Panzerfaust created an explosion of 6 to 10 feet behind the tube when it was fired. This backblast was not only deadly to bystanders, but if fired too close to building, the backblast could also hit the firer of the weapon. Therefore, the weapon could not be used in close quarters, such as inside a bunker. Viewers can see this In the Combat! episode "Hills Are for Heroes," where the German soldiers must come out into the open to fire the authentic Panzerfaust at the American tank. The Panzerfaust also figures prominently in the teaser of the episode "Bridgehead."

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Firing the Weapon:
To use most variations of the Panzerfaust, a soldier detached the warhead, then inserted the detonation charge and firing percussion cap into the long tube. The soldier then re-mounted the warhead on the shaft. He then locked the sighting lever into the up position and removed the safety plug. The Panzerfaust 100 came ready to fire, without the need to insert the charge and cap. The warhead automatically armed itself during flight (after traveling about 15 feet).  Pictured is the detached warhead.

Find Panzerfaust items at eBay - mostly it is toy items and action figures at eBay, but usually you can find at least one real Panzerfaust (de-activated) up for auction.

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panzerfaust.gif (10413 bytes)Panzerfaust: And Other German Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons
by Wolfgang Fleischer
Format: Paperback, 48pp.
Learn more...

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German Machine Pistols (MP44, MP40, MP38)
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