The Panzerschreck, officially designated Raketenpanzerbüchse (RPzB), was a WWII, German, anti-tank rocket-launcher. Produced between 1943 and 1945, it was extensively used on both the Eastern and Western Front. It was first used in limited numbers by Waffen-SS units at the Battle of Kursk in July 1943. From then on, it would soon be supplied to every infantry and armored unit of the Wehrmacht. The Allied troops first encountered this lethal weapon during the Battle of Normandy. The Panzerschreck could pierce through 160mm (6.3″)-thick steel armor at 200 m away, being able to knock out of action any type of enemy tank. Thus, it was more powerful and had a longer range than the American bazooka. Its 88mm-caliber tube fired a rocket-powered anti-tank weapon, armed with a shaped charge warhead. A small electrical generator and wire was used to ignite the rocket inside the tube.  Since the Raketenpanzerbüchse spewed back a jet of burning heat when it left the rocket-launcher tube muzzle upon being fired, the operator had to wear special clothing. However, in 1944, a new model was introduced, the RPzB 54, which featured a steel shield that prevented the heat from burning the operator.



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