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Panzerwurfmine--how NOT to throw it

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It's actually slung with the tail fins folded, not thrown like an oversized dart. This is what mid war German tank hunter teams used when they didn't have Panzerschrecks or Panzerfausts. Before that, it was geballte ladungen (grenade bundles) and Teller mines wedged under the turret. Note that the safing pin is still in place.



John Kettler

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For how to properly throw one, please see pp. 207 and 208 of THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WEAPONS OF WORLD WAR II, Chris Bishop, Editor. See also p. 352 of Gander & Chamberlain's WEAPONS OF THE THIRD REICH.


(via LoneSentry.com)


l. HOLLOW-CHARGE ANTITANK HAND GRENADE (Panzerwurfmine 1 (L)). (1) General description. This is a recent type antitank grenade. It is of hollow-charge design and is thrown by hand at tanks from a distance of 20 to 30 yards. The grenade body is in the form of a metal cone with a hemispherical, thin, sheet-metal head. The cone contains an explosive charge, with a concave metal retaining plate at the forward end. An air space is formed between this plate and the sheet metal head of the grenade. The narrow end of the cone is located by setting screws around the circumference of a hollow wooden tailpiece containing picric rings and serving as a throwing handle. Around the outside of the tailpiece are four, cloth, triangular shaped fins. Along the outer end of each fin is a steel spring which retains the fins in the open position when the grenade is thrown. When the grenade is being carried, and up to the moment of throwing, these fins are wrapped around the tailpiece and retained in position by a cap. Located in the tail of the grenade is a striker mechanism fitted with a safety pin which has a cloth tab attached. The safety pin is retained in position by a metal clip attached to one of the fins.

(2) Operation. The grenade is held for throwing by the tailpiece, and immediately before throwing the metal cap is removed from the end of the tailpiece. When the grenade is thrown the fins fly outward and the clip attached to one of them comes away from the striker mechanism and releases the safety pin. Upon impact the striker mechanism functions and initiates the bomb.


What the excerpt doesn't say is that it is an overhead throw, delivered with a kind of whipping motion. It is anything but a dart throw.


John Kettler

[ August 06, 2006, 06:03 AM: Message edited by: John Kettler ]

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