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AT grenades


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Anyone know the effectiveness of a rifle AT grenade as carried by US paras? I mean has anyone taken out a tank with it or are they used mainly against lorries and/or halftracks?

From my understanding, US rifle grenades are essentially bazooka rounds that have been modified to be fired from the end of a rifle. More arc, less range and less accuracy than a zooka round, but just a lethal. Gave every US squad some AT capability.

There is an OR report from Normandy that deals with this, in part. AIR the conclusion was that any increase in weight on existing models (or any new models) would be better spent mounting a more effective weapon. Upping the armour over the frontal arc sufficiently to defeat prevalent in-service German guns (long 75, 88) would only increase survivability by about ?5%?, since tanks were being knocked out from all angles. Meanwhile, the increase in weight over the front of the tank would introduce a maintenance nightmare (see: JPz IV, et al), and the Allied tanks /still/ wouldn't be able to tackle the larger cats on anything approaching parity because the Allied short 75s would still be short 75s.

About 2/3rds of the Shermans in that report were KOed through the side armour. The report stated that to stop 50% of frontal penetrations would only increase survivability by about 20-25% (don't remember which). They thought it was better to spend the extra weight on up-gunning the tanks, at least have Allied tanks be able to kill German tanks as easily as they can kill allied tanks.

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From my understanding, US rifle grenades are essentially bazooka rounds that have been modified to be fired from the end of a rifle. More arc, less range and less accuracy than a zooka round, but just a lethal. Gave every US squad some AT capability.

While fairly similar in size and shape, the M9A1 rifle grenade and the bazooka rounds were actually different warheads. There was some crossover between the two warheads during the design process in the 1930s, but in general they were different pieces of ordnance with different penetration characteristics.

Most sources I have seen cite the M9A1 rifle grenade's armor penetration as between 50-75mm, while the late-war (M6A3) bazooka rocket's penetration is usually cited as around 90-100mm.

For CMBN purposes, this is a fairly significant difference because many German AFV designs have 80mm plate in one place or another -- e.g. Pz. IV and Stug front hull, Tiger I side hull, etc.. The 75mm max. penetration of the M9A1 means that it generally cannot penetrate these plates at any angle, while the M6A3 bazooka rocket has at least a decent chance of doing so at likely combat angles of impact.

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You set your lone BS arc, as there is no more armored covered arc's and hope for the best as they plop AT rifle grenades at Panthers at 100m.

One thing I do is split off the AT team and give them a tighter cover arc so they don't go shooting at targets to far away. It helps.

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