Products mentioned in this Article
A Brief History of the Panzerfaust
German experiences on the Russian front during the Soviet offensives of 1942 and 43 highlighted a need for a man portable anti-tank weapon. The Panzerschreck (an improved copy of the American Bazooka) went some way to filling this gap, but it was felt there was still a need for something usable by a single man.
Dr. Langweiler of Hugo Schneider Aktien Gesellschaft (HASAG) was the man tasked with producing the prototype. He kept with the tried and tested system used in the recoilless rifles developed for the Fallschirmjäger.
The bomb was had a hollow charge warhead that could penetrate up to 140mm of armour. It had a range of 30 metres. This model was known as the Panzerfaust 30 (Klien). Early production models occasionally exploded when fired or dropped but this was quickly rectified and no further problems of this kind were had.
Another model was developed at the same time but had a larger hollow charge bomb that could penetrate up to 200mm of armour (as could all subsequent models), but still only had a range of 30 metres.
The different models were:
Panzerfaust 30 (klien) introduced October 1943
Panzerfaust 30 introduced October 1943
Panzerfaust 60 introduced Summer 1944
Panzerfaust 100 introduced November 1944
Panzerfaust 150 introduced in small numbers in January 1945
The different models varied most in their effective ranges.