Armes Antichar de l’Infanterie

Weapon Types et Armour Penetration Capabilities

Airfix Panzerjäger Bren conversion

Chasseur de chars Panzerjäger Bren allemand, based on a Universal Carrier Mk.II. Large numbers de véhicules français et britanniques were captured during the 1940 campaign in France, et subsequently employed by the Wehrmacht. Le chasseur de chars Pz.Jäg.Bren était a practical, et cheap plate-forme de tir antichar, fitted avec three fixed 88 mm Panzerschreck 43 rocket projectors, four Panzerfaust, et an MG 34 for close defense. Boxed ammunition was carried on the back of the véhicule. The interior is in the original peinture de camouflage britannique de 1939, et the exterior has been repainted in Wehrmacht dark yellow avec a chocolate brown disruptive pattern. The conversion, et detailing work was done by Jim Gordon, using an Airfix 1/76 scale model kit of the Universal Carrier.

The table lists armour penetration values des armes antichar d’infanterie at 0 to 100 meters range et 0 degrees inclination of armour. Dates indicate the year when a particular shell type entered production, not necessarily the year of availability to combat units. New shell types would take several months to reach the troops at the front, some favoured units receiving the new shells more quickly than others. Andrew Mark Reid is the author of Panzergranate, a set of miniature wargame rules using carefully researched gunnery data to simulate armour penetration results.

Fusils Antichar et Mitrailleuses

Arme Projectile Pénétration
0.30 Inch L.M.G. (U.S.) "K" Bullet 12 mm
0.303 Inch Rifle, L.M.G., H.M.G. (Britannique) "K" Bullet 13 mm
7,92 mm Carabine d’Infanterie (Allemand) "K" Bullet (1916) 13 mm
«K» bullets were heavier than regular rifle ammunition, they had a tungsten-carbide core which gave the bullet longer range, et better penetration. «K» bullets were more carefully made than regular rifle ammunition, to ensure that their flight characteristics were very similar, et predictably accurate. Tireurs d’élite et mitrailleurs allemands were issued «K» bullets en 1915, to be used for long-range firing out to 800 yards, et to penetrate the boiler plate armour often used to protect enemy sentries et lookouts.

When the first chars appeared in the west in Avril 1917, it was found that the "K" bullet penetrated the armour. Accordingly, l’infanterie allemande was issued «K» bullets comme mesure antichar. This did not escape les Britanniques, who upgraded their chars Mark IV avec hardened steel plate to withstand the "K" bullet.
7,92 mm C.Z. Marosheck A.P. 34 mm
Named after the engineer tchèque who came up avec the idea of firing a 7,92 mm "K" bullet from a 20 mm cannon shell case. Barrel pressure is enormous when these types of bottlenecked rounds are fired, et a very long length calibre is required to obtain high velocity. Après l’occupation allemand de la République Tchécoslovaque, this design became available to the Wehrmacht, et tous les fusils antichar allemands de 7,92 mm employed the Marosheck principle.
7,92 mm Panzerbüchse 38 (Allemand) A.P. 34 mm
7,92 mm Panzerbüchse 39 (Allemand) A.P. 34 mm
7,92 mm C.Z. Model S.S. 41 A.P. 34 mm
An innovative design tchèque commissioned by the Waffen SS. This weapon featured automatic firing, a centrally mounted pistol grip, et a magazine which protruded out of the stock at a 30 degree downward angle to the right. A telescopic sight was fitted. The S.S. 41 fired the same ammunition as the Panzerbüchse 38/39 series, but it was significantly shorter than either of these weapons. The S.S. 41 was prone to seizures caused by dust, dirt, heat, et other adverse battlefield conditions. It was dropped as a frontline weapon en 1942, at a time when fusils antichar were already obsolete. Le fusil d’assaut S.A. 80 britannique moderne is nearly a scaled down replica of the S.S. 41 design, et it suffered from similar problems pendant la Guerre du Golfe de 1991. By the end of that conflict, troupes britanniques were using captured A.K. 47 rifles which proved more reliable, et offered greater effective range.
0.50 Inch H.M.G. (US Browning, Brit. Vickers) A.P. 25 mm
0.50 Inch H.M.G. (US Browning, Brit. Vickers) A.P./I. (Incendiary) 22 mm
Fusil Antichar de 0,55 Inch Boys (Britannique) A.P. 21 mm
13 mm Mauser T-Gewehr (Allemand, M.1917) A.P. 21 mm
Le fusil antichar Mauser Tank-Gewehr was an upscaled version of the Model 98 infantry rifle, designed to defeat the armour of upgraded chars Mark IV britanniques which were immune to the "K" bullet.
14,5 mm P.T.R.S. (Soviétique) A.P. 29 mm
14,5 mm P.T.R.D. (Soviétique) A.P. 29 mm
20 mm S.18/100 Solothurn (Suisse) A.P. 38 mm
Le fusil antichar Solothurn was used by the Wehrmacht right up to at least 1944. The author recalls reading an account d’un escarmouche between une unité d’infanterie cycliste allemande, et une unité semi-chenillé americaine, where this weapon was used. L’armée italienne de la Seconde Guerre mondiale probably used the Solothurn S.18/100 as well. The S.18/100 is still in production today, it is listed in Jane’s "Smallarms of the World 1979".
Fusil Antichar de 20 mm L.53 (Japonais) A.P. 29 mm
28 mm schwere Panzerbüchse 41 (Allemand) A.P.S.V./A.P.S.B. 94 mm

Engins Antichar et Lance-Roquettes

Arme Charge Pénétration
Sticky Bomb (Britannique) Chemical (Thermide) 42 mm
The Sticky Bomb was rejected by the Army in the U.K. as being to dangerous for use by troops so it was issued to the Home Guard instead. Anyone who has seen the film Dad’s Army may recall that the main hazard was the Bomb’s ability to stick to the user’s trousers, which then gave the user 7 seconds in which to remove his trousers, et remove himself to a safe distance.
P.I.A.T. (Britannique) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 85 mm
Le P.I.A.T. (Projector Infantry Anti-Tank) britannique was different from Bazooka, Panzerfaust, et Panzerschreck rocket projectors in that it developed no backblast. The weapon had a spring operated firing mechanism which actually hurled the bomb instead of using a propellant to fire it. Le P.I.A.T. was the only weapon of this type which could be safely fired from a building ou similar enclosure. If the P.I.A.T. misfired, the spring could be difficult to re-cock manually.
50 mm Bazooka (U.S.) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 119 mm
Faustpatrone/Panzerfaust 50 Klein (Allemand) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 153 mm
Faustpatrone/Panzerfaust 100 Klein (Allemand) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 219 mm
88 mm Raketenpanzerbüchse/Panzerschreck (Ger.) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 209 mm
Bazooka, Panzerfaust, et Panzerschreck rocket projectors developed a tremendous backblast upon firing, which immediately revealed the firing position of the weapon. Another problem associated avec the backblast was that these weapons could not be fired safely from buildings, bunkers, et similarly enclosed positions. In the heat of battle, this important safety instruction was often ignored, resulting in many pertes accidentelles among the operators.
37 mm & 50 mm Stabgranate (Allemande, 1941) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 180 mm
A modification for the 37 mm PaK 35/36 et 50 mm PaK 38, using the 150 mm Gr.38.H1A artillery shell H.E.A.T./H.E.A.C. warhead. The oversized warhead had a stick attached to it which could be inserted into the PaK barrel. A blank cartridge was used to fire the device. Tail fins stabilized the warhead in flight, but it was not a very accurate weapon beyond 200 meters range. If a hit was achieved, the device proved successful even against chars lourds KV-1.

Reloading had to be done by a courageous crew member walking around the gun shield, et exposing himself to enemy fire while he inserted another stick grenade into the muzzle. In effect, this was a one-shot ambush weapon, very difficult to conceal after it had fired.

Geballte Ladung (Allemand) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 180 mm
Seven stick grenade heads wired together on a common handle. A figurine carrying this device is included dans la boîte des soldats du génie allemand en 1/72 de chez Revell.
Panzergranate 46 Rifle Grenade (Allemand) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 89 mm
Panzergranate 61 Rifle Grenade (Allemand) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 89 mm
M9 Rifle Grenade (U.S.) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 100 mm
La grenade à fusil M9 américain avait a range of 10 metres, et a blast radius -- mainly directly towards the firer -- of 12 metres. The weapon was not safe to be fired from the open ou from poor cover.
V.P.R.S. Grenade (Soviétique) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 76 mm
La grenade V.P.R.S. soviétique required a very strong individual to throw it, the device resembles a large paint can avec a handle attached underneath.
Ceramic Grenade (Type 1, Japonais) Chemical (Thermide) 38 mm
Grenade Antichar (Type 3, Japonais) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 70 mm
Lunge Pole Mine (Type 3, Japonais) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 70 mm
The Lunge Mine demanded operator parcipation in that the soldier had to run towards le char, et ram the Lunge Mine into the side of the véhicule. Anyone attempting this was usually either shot par l’équipage du char ou l’infanterie d’accompagnement, ou killed by the mine explosion afterwards.
Dog Mine (Soviétique) Explosive (Wracking) 20 mm (Approx.)
Le chien anti-char soviétique is described in The Book of Heroic Failures Volume I. The weapon was supposed to work as follows: The dogs were kept hungry, et they were only fed underneath chars running, to familiarize them avec the high noise level. The dogs were then trained to get used to carrying a large weight of explosives (T.N.T.) strapped to their backs et sides. In operation, the dogs would be taken to the battlefield, et released when chars enemy were clearly visible. The dogs would run underneath the enemy véhicules, expecting to be fed, et the device would be set off avec catastrophic results for the tank, et the unsuspecting animal, of course.

In actual use, the device did not work as planned. The dogs had been trained underneath chars soviétiques, et they only expected to be fed there, not underneath enemy véhicules. As a result, when they were first deployed en 1941, the dogs immediately made a beeline for the nearest véhicules soviétiques. Apparently, an entire tank division had to be withdrawn from the combat zone until the infantry had shot all the uncontrollable mine dogs.
Tellermine (Allemand) Explosive (Wracking) 20 mm (Approx.)
Mines are triggered by the weight of a véhicule driving over them. If they do not destroy the véhicule itself, they may immobilize it by breaking the tracks, ou rupturing tires.
Panzerwurfmine (Allemand) H.E.A.T. (Munroe)
A shaped charge attached to a stick avec spring-loaded fabric fins at the rear. When it was thrown, the fins unfolded et stabilized the warhead in flight.
Haftmine (Allemand) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 175 mm
Haftmine Antichar Magnetic Mines sported three industrial magnets at the front of the device which held the shaped charge firmly in place against armour plate. When the device became available en 1944 it proved very effective, et it was assumed que l’Armée Soviétique would copy it immediately. As a counter-measure, the Wehrmacht developed Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating for armoured véhicules, defeating its own magnetic mine technology. Les Soviétiques never did copy the Haftmine, et Zimmerit turned out to have been an unnecessary precaution.
Zimmerit Mine (Allemand) H.E.A.T. (Munroe) 175 mm
Un engin antichar designed to defeat véhicules equipped avec Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating. Stronger magnets were used to hold the device firmly in place against the uneven surface of a véhicule coated avec Zimmerit. Like the Haftmine, it used the 150 mm Gr.38.H1A artillery shell H.E.A.T./H.E.A.C. warhead.

As can be seen, most armes antichar d’infanterie that involve throwing, ou even placing the weapon, are more hazardous to the operator than the target. Infanterie sans appui de chars out ou canons antichar frequently had to rely on these weapons as a last resort. Chasseurs de chars de l’infanterie learned to use a variety of engins antichar, and, if the terrain favoured them, it was often possible to stalk chars, et destroy them at very close range. The Sticky Bomb, Lunge Mine, chien anti-char, grenade V.P.R.S. soviétique, et la grenade à fusil M9 américain belong to a category of their own, they were downright dangerous to the user even when there were no chars enemy in the vicinity.

Andy Reid

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Figurines de la Première Guerre Mondiale