|Used by||German Soldiers|
The Panzerfaust (lit. "armor fist" or "tank fist", plural: Panzerfäuste) was a cheap, single shot, recoilless German anti-tank weapon of World War II. It consisted of a small, disposable preloaded launch tube firing a high-explosive anti-tank warhead, and was operated by a single soldier. A similar but smaller weapon was named the Faustpatrone. The first generation Panzerfaust was in service from 1943 until the end of the war.
It was seen multiple times in Fury.
Description[edit | edit source]
A forerunner of the Panzerfaust was the Faustpatrone (literally "fist cartridge").
The Faustpatrone was much smaller in physical appearance than the better known Panzerfaust. Development of the Faustpatrone started in the summer of 1942 at the German company HASAG with the development of a smaller prototype called Gretchen ("little Greta") by a team headed by Dr. Heinrich Langweiler in Leipzig. The basic concept was that of a recoilless gun; neither the Faustpatrone, nor its successor the Panzerfaust were rockets.
Faustpatrone 30 (top) and Panzerfaust 60 (bottom) The following weapon model of the Panzerfaust family, the so-called Faustpatrone klein, 30 m ("small fist-cartridge") had a total weight of 3.2 kg (7.1 lb) and a total length of 98.5 cm (38¾ in); its projectile had a length of 36 cm (14¼ in) and a warhead diameter of 10 cm (4 in); it carried a shaped charge of 400 g (14 oz) of a 50:50 mix of TNT and tri-hexogen. The propellant consisted of 54 g (1.9 oz or 830 grains) of black powder, the metal launch tube had a length of 80 cm (31½ in) and a diameter of 3.3 cm (1.3 in) (early models reportedly 2.8 cm (1.1 in)). Fitted to the warhead was a wooden shaft with folded stabilizing fins (made of 0.25 mm (0.01 in) thick spring metal). These bent blades straightened into position by themselves as soon as they left the launch tube. The warhead was accelerated to a speed of 28 m/s (92 ft/s), had a range of about 30 m (100 ft) and an armor penetration of up to 140 mm (5½ in) of plain steel. Soon a crude aiming device similar to the one used by the Panzerfaust was added to the design; it was fixed at a range of 30 m (100 ft).
Several designations of this weapon were in use, amongst which Faustpatrone 1 or Panzerfaust 30 klein; however, it was common to refer to this weapon simply as the Faustpatrone. Of the earlier model, 20,000 were ordered and the first 500 Faustpatronen were delivered by the manufacturer, HASAG Hugo Schneider AG, Werk Schlieben, in August 1943. Two main problems had already surfaced much earlier in the weapon's trials: first, the original model did not have a sighting device, and, secondly, because of the odd shape of the warhead (see pictures), it tended to ricochet off or explode with lesser effect on sloped armour, especially evident when deployed against the Russian T-34. Since these problems surfaced early in testing, the development and production of its successor, the Panzerfaust 30, had already begun by the time of the first deliveries, inhibiting incorporation of possible solutions to the problems in the newer design and perpetuating its weaknesses. Still, the small and simple Faustpatrone was kept in production well into 1945. During the entire Second World War, it remained the most common German anti-armour weapon.