Bazooka vs Panzer. Battle of the Bulge 1944 by Steven Zaloga

By Steven Zaloga

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At least one French Renault FT light tank was engaged and destroyed by a bazooka used by the 3rd Infantry Division during the fighting around Fedala. The general reaction to the new weapon among the infantry troops was very favorable, but officers were extremely critical of the decision to issue a novel weapon without the provision of adequate training. A 1942 demonstration of an early-production M1 rocket launcher with the foregrip and the ambidextrous aiming system with sights on both sides of the front of the launch tube.

A close inspection of the roof hatches also reveals the fitting for the Vorsatz P self-defense weapon. The barrel on this version was not as sharply curved, and it was fitted with a special reflective sight. The standard procedure was for the loader to tap the gunner on the helmet to indicate that the launcher was loaded. Loaders were instructed to move away from the rear of the bazooka as quickly as possible since the exhaust gas from the rocket when fired was dangerous. The first 5,237 launchers had ambidextrous sights that could be used by right- or left-handed gunners.

The barrel on this version was not as sharply curved, and it was fitted with a special reflective sight. The standard procedure was for the loader to tap the gunner on the helmet to indicate that the launcher was loaded. Loaders were instructed to move away from the rear of the bazooka as quickly as possible since the exhaust gas from the rocket when fired was dangerous. The first 5,237 launchers had ambidextrous sights that could be used by right- or left-handed gunners. At the same time, the 400yd range position was eliminated to simplify the sight since it was recognized that the bazooka was seldom accurate at that range.

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