all practical purposes the Panzerschreck is just a piece of metal
tubing with an outdated electrical current producing system. The
"dangerous part" of it is the rocket that is long since gone. But it
is still considered a weapon by most governments today, even
though ammunition is unavailable. I
have never heard about a "live" Panzerschreck round that has been fired
in modern times, but to satisfy my American readers:
Disclaimer! None of the text on these pages must be considered as
guidelines for actual use, and I will not be held responsible for any
damage that might occur from use of an actual Panzerschreck. These
are a theoretical study only!
To be able to describe how the
actual weapon was used, combined with the drills conducted by the crew,
the best source is the actual user manual; the D 1864/1. Since this is
written in German and most of my readers are "less than fluent" readers
of German (including myself) I have chosen to translate it to English.
I have kept the layout and original pictures from the manual, but left
out the index and non-interesting bits. The complete original manual is
After the English
manual below you will find a translated version of the Panzerbeschu▀
tafel nr 25, which is also an important part of the practical use. The Merkblatt 77/2
has the instructions for educational and tactical use of the
Ofenrohr. This has not been translated yet, so only the original
version is available. A US contemporary
study of the tactics applied by Panzerschreck crews can be studied at Lonesentry.com
Time to see what the manual dictates then!
manual for the Panzerschreck
is the Panzerschreck?
A recoilless handheld anti-tank weapon able to take out even the
out to a distance of 150 meters.
weapon and its parts (Picture
The shield (see annex 1) protects the firer against the burning powder
that will be flying to the rear from the rocket that has been fired. A hand protector should be
mounted by the
units to protect the right hand of the firer. The loops at the front of
shield are used to attach camouflage.
Protect against dents. Avoid bending the front sight when the weapon is
down. Check that the launch tube is clear prior to firing.
Clean the launch tube
with an improvised cleaning rod. Small amounts of firing residue does
not hurt since the rocket has
enough play. Holes in the launch tube do not constitute a
problem as long as they are turned away
shooter. Shoot only from dented or damaged launch tubes if the rocket
without any obstructions. (Check: slip a rocket through manually).
dents can be repaired through improvised methods.
is the 8,8 cm R PzBGr 4322?
A fin-stabilized rocket with point detonating fuze. Use only against
to a low fragmentation effect it is not effective as a high explosive
The ability to penetrate armour is a result of the shaped charge effect.
rocket and its parts (see
Ammunition marked “Arkt” on the combustion chamber is ammunition for
winter use. Only to be used in the temperature range from
+300C. The ammunition box is marked with black
of the summer ammunition:
A black cross on the lid of the ammunition box. Only
to be used in the temperature range from -50C to
of the ammunition
Store as dry as possible. Do not expose to direct sunlight or
above +500C. Pay attention to the temperature
markings on the
ammunition box! The combustion chamber can split if the propulsion
warmer than allowed at the time of ignition. Danger!
Rockets that have been warmer than the
allowed maximum temperature can be used once they have cooled down
In a cold environment the accuracy will be lower (shorter engagement
but the effect against the target will not be affected. Best
will be achieved when the temperature of the ammunition is kept 100
below the maximum temperature. Winter ammunition can be used up to +300,
so best results will be achieved at +200. Due to
this the ammunition
should be stored in bunkers or shelters prior to use during winter. It
possible to engage and destroy targets out to 180 m.
Lightly bent but still loadable ammunition should only be used for
target practice. Ammunition with bent tail-sections will not hit the
bent ammunition must be destroyed (see Nr. 15).
of the impact fuze
The fuze is equipped with a safety pin that makes it safe to transport
drop. Remove safety pin shortly before use. Do not drop the rocket
safety pin has been removed; the rocket might explode instantly when
fired or if it is dropped again. The fuze is armed after 3 m.
Training rocket: 8,8 cm R PzBGr 4320 Bl. -
live rocket, dummy warhead
Drill purpose rocket: 8,8 cm R PzBGr 4329 Ex. -
Only use the weapon with a shield mounted (compare with Nr 2.)! Be
camouflage! Use ear protectors!
If the shield is missing wear a gasmask (without filter)! Gloves on!
a hood, a shelter half or similar to protect the ears.
Adjust the front sight according to temperature and type of ammunition
picture 10 and annex 2). Always use the lower alignment mark with
Aiming position: Place weapon with the
shoulder rest loosely on the upper arm as far forward as possible
aiming will be achieved with longer distance between eye and sight). Do
pull the weapon to the rear. Grip the trigger guard close underneath
the launch tube
with the left hand to avoid burn injuries.
If shooting from a prone position make sure that the
legs are clear of
the rear end of the launch tube (compare with pictures 3 and 4).
Take up position to the left of the launch tube behind the gunner if
Preparation of the ammunition: Collect the rockets from the ammunition
or backpack and check that they are clean and undamaged (snow or ice in
tailfin section). Remove both ends of the tape.
Cock and apply the
safety, by pulling the cocking handle to the rear until
safety is engaged (see picture 5).
Remove the safety
pin from the fuze! (Keep it for further use, see Nr 14).
Insert rocket into
the launch tube! Hold
the rocket in the centre of gravity, depress the catch and push the
the launch tube until the hand touches the breech guard (see picture
Change the grip, grasp the
nozzle (see picture 6) and push the rocket lightly
into the launch tube until it stops against the stop bolt.
Release the catch and pull the rocket rearwards until it
touches the catch
(see picture 7 and 8 for positioning of the tail-section).
Plug the contact into the
contact box, move hands away from the rear end of the launch tube.
Keep away from the rear end of
the weapon; otherwise you will be caught by the
Hands away when the weapon is
loaded and the plug has been inserted! Turn face
away from the launch tube when the weapon is fired!
Don’t use force if the rocket isn’t easily inserted, check cause,
destroy faulty rockets.
a) Release the safety catch:
Depress the safety inside the cocking handle. The handle will return to
position (see picture 9).
over the notch and post (see
The adjustable post must be corrected according to temperature and type
ammunition used. If the weapon repeatedly
shoots too short or too long the sight must be
adjusted by adjusting the
post lower or higher (see annex 2).
c) Aiming points:
With engagement ranges less
than 75m the aiming point must again be
shooting uphill or downhill:
aim lower; for example if the difference in ground height is 300
the engagement range is 120 meters let the target sit on top of the
d) Lead allowance:
Install a wider rear sight plate according to Annex 3, Nr 27 to be able
shoot at moving tanks. See picture 12 for aiming.
If the tank appears in the sight-window according to picture 13 it is
away (applies to T34).
Pull the trigger slowly.
changing position with a loaded
weapon make sure that the safety is on.
Pulling the trigger will release the firing rod which will in turn hit
impact generator and produce a current that will ignite the propelling
generator – cable mounted to the weapon
– contact box – contact and wire – ignition device (bridge igniters
filaments) – wire soldered to the nozzle – iron parts of the rocket
isolating paint has been scraped off by the contact bolt) – contact
bolt – iron
parts of the weapon – impact generator.
Check that the contacts are faultless. Has the paint on the tail
scraped by the contact bolt?
Loader, be careful!
Retarded ignition is a possible danger; wait 2 minutes if possible.
When everything has been checked squeeze the trigger again.
If it still fails to work, destroy the rocket.
The weapon is unserviceable if it still doesn’t work.
Use a new weapon.
Unplug the contact. Depress the catch. Pull the rocket out of the
replace the safety pin and secure it to ensure it doesn’t fall out.
and unserviceable rockets must
be blown up by technical personnel.
A jet fire will be emitted from the rear end
of the launch tube. The ignition device will fly 30 m to the rear.
attention during change of target and position. Keep away from the end
of the launch tube. Keep flammable objects away. Place ammunition to
for the mounting of shield, safety guard and adjustable sight with
plate on earlier versions of the weapon
Install the shield in
front of the rear sight with the box closer in such a way that the
held tight and the gunner can aim withouth any obstructions through the
The shield should
always be mounted on
the weapon. Only to be removed during transport as goods.
glass: The glass in the window
spares carried in the container on the shield should all be framed on
sides according to picture 14 with ammunition-tape, insulating tape or
product prior to shooting. One
glass should be installed in the window, the rest in the container.
that hasn’t been taped will shatter.
Replace shattered or cloudy glass with new ones.
replacement parts: Through
the supply system with the article name “Replacement glass for the
The safety guard will help avoiding snow or sand from entering
the launch tube
gunner is moving into a firing position.
On the launch tube, close behind the front sight (see picture 1). Open
the arms and close them again around the launch tube. Secure the safety
hammering down the locking piece.
The front sight is adjustable, because the elevation of the tube
depends on the
changing temperatures. The wing nut makes the adjustment easier.
Remove the old front sight. Replace it with the new adjustable
front sight with wing nut and clamping piece according to picture 15.
Test and check the sight line according to Annex 2.
Mark out the upper and lower alignment mark (for winter ammunition +200
Secure the wing nut by flanging.
The cover plate is used to protect the window glass in the shield.
Should look like picture 15, install it on the middle of the
sight bracket with the bolt, nut and washer.
Secure the nut with a punch strike.
and adjusting the sight line
and adjust the sight line whenever the opportunity arises, if possible
Draw up a target board according to
Place the target board upright at a
distance of 10 m.
Use a triangular file and cut 4
grooves in each end of the launch tube at a 900
opposing each other
(grooves should be 1mm deep).
Place threads in the grooves and secure them with grease or wax to make
crosshair in each end. Centre of the crosshair must be exactly in the
the launch tube.
Place the launch tube axis on the aiming
Adjust the front sight in height,
and for newer weapons the rear sight sideways, so that the sight line
aligned when the top of the front and rear sight aims at the lower edge
upper aiming point V (for winter ammunition at +200
C). Place the upper
alignment mark at the sight
bracket in the same height as the mark on the adjustable front sight
to picture 10). Place
the lower mark
(for winter ammunition at -250 C) the same way.
Check that the centre axis is still on the aiming point S after the
suggested by the units
Make a hand
guard according to
picture 17 from sheet metal and install it to the upper part of the
a screw and nut, friction will hold the lower part.
It must be
ensured that the shield is
and install a widened rear
sight plate. Make
a widened rear sight
plate according to picture 18 from 1,5 mm thick sheet metal and reduce
height of the rear sight bracket by 4 mm. Replace the old sight plate
widened sight plate in the middle of the bracket with nuts and screws
practical use see Nr. 11d.)
Oblong holes must be added to the rear sight bracket on weapons that
haven’t had the sight plate
To ease the loading of the rocket a ramp
should be added to the catch (picture
and separate ramps
welded to the struts of the breech guard
8,8 cm R
Pz B 54
cm R Pz B Gr 4322
Imobilizing, partly devastating effect
about the weapon and its use, aiming points, leading distance and so on
found in D 1864/1.
to 150 m
for fighting enemy tanks
calm and be cold-blooded! Let
the tank come close. Shoot at the closest possible range.
every opportunity to
camouflage. Whenever possible, fight enemy tanks
from unexpected directions.
the distance meticulously! Aim
4. Obtain the best possible
impact angle! Best effect is obtained when the front or
side is fully
recognizable, poorest effect at target crossing diagonally (450).
the effect of the rocket!
All hits haven’t got a devastating effect.
care of the weapon and
ammunition. Correct care and cleaning will reduce the
8,8 cm R Pz B Gr
4322 will detonate at impact with the armour-plate –
the plate – and will punch a hole through it with the explosive charge.
hole will always be smaller than the calibre.
At the same time shrapnel flying sideways will have
an effect against
the accompanying infantry or troops riding on the tank. The effect
armour will be the same at all relevant ranges. It will only be
weakened by a
lowered angle of impact.
to the Anti-Tank Target board
is based on a side angle of 600. It
applies to all
earlier versions (including assault guns) of the tanks listed.
Information about Anti-tank fighting can be found in the H.Dv.
Needs for resupply of the Anti-Tank Target
be directed to the field manual service or under urgent circumstances
“Staff Officer for Anti-tank fighting with the AOK”.