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
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."
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.
WWII German tanks
WWII German Rifles
Luger Pistol - WWII German Handguns
Walther P38 Pistol - WWII German Handguns
German Machine Pistols (MP44, MP40, MP38)
WWII German Machine Guns - MG34 and MG40
Panzerfaust German Anti-Tank Weapon
WWII German Artillery