By Steven Zaloga
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Additional info for Bazooka vs Panzer. Battle of the Bulge 1944
2in)-thick frontal armor of this vehicle. The Soviet magnetic-mine threat never emerged, however, and this was probably a contributing factor in its demise. It was intended to replace three different tank devices: the Nebelkerzen Wurfgerät smoke launcher, Minenabwurfvorrichtung mine discharger, and Maschinenpistolen Stopfen pistol ports. The intention was for an attacking tank formation to ignite these devices on several tanks simultaneously to obscure the larger formation from enemy antitank guns; it was not useful for shielding an individual tank except during retreat.
Featuring a WP (white phosphorus) fill, which gave it a secondary incendiary effect, the M10 Smoke rocket took the place of two separate rockets: the T31 thermite incendiary rocket and the T27E1 HC (hexachloroethane) smoke rocket. Besides the combat rockets, M7 training rockets with an inert warhead section were also manufactured. The explosion of the shaped-charge warhead had significant secondary effects including incandescent spall both inside and outside the tank. 36IN BAZOOKA ROCKETS PANZER DEFENSES ASSESSED EASTERN FRONT LESSONS The Schürzen aprons first saw widespread combat use in the summer of 1943 at Kursk; and they proved to be quite effective.
There was apparently little use made of the bazookas during the fighting, and this cache was probably the source of bazookas later sent back to Germany. Curiously enough, when the reconstituted 168th Infantry Regiment took the offensive in Fondouk Pass in Tunisia in April 1943, they were again issued bazookas only a day before the action and again without any training. The bazooka could have had an important role against the Panzers in this critical battle, but the opportunity was lost due to poor planning.
Bazooka vs Panzer. Battle of the Bulge 1944 by Steven Zaloga