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Panzerschreck (tank terror in German language), abbreviated RPzB (Raketenpanzerbüsche), is an anti-tank weapon used by Germany during World War II. It was made in much smaller numbers than the Panzerfaust. When German troops captured the American M9A1s "bazooka" in Africa, they noticed qualities that was lacking in their Panzerfausts and quickly sent it to engineers back in Germany for analysis. The bazooka was no more than a steel tube which made it easy for mass production. It has the ability to be recharged (unlike the Panzerfaust which was one-use only). The result was the Panzerschreck which was considerably more powerful than the Bazooka.
The first model was the RPzB 43 which was 164cm long and weighed about 9.25kg empty. In October 1943, it was succeeded by the RPzB 54 which weighed 11kg empty and was equiped with a blast shield. The RPzB 54's rocket still burns while leaving the muzzle, thus creating a large amount of smoke. The German troops nicknamed it the Ofenrohr or "Stove Pipe". This flaw made the RPzB 54 unhandy during ambushes or sneak attacks as it quickly revealed their position.
Whereas the early bazooka shells had problems with German 100mm armor, notably on the Tiger tank, the more advanced Panzerschreck shells could penetrate over 200mm of armor by the end of the war, enough to deal with any tank fielded at the time. When used in the hands of well trained Panzergrenadier units, this weapon became the stuff of nightmare for allied armored division which had to reinforce their tanks with sandbags, treads etc.
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