Tuesday 1 December 2015

First Panzerschreck

"Ofenrohr: new AT weapon of the German Army
From the interrogation of a prisoner from the 58th Infantry Division

The Ofenrohr is a rocket propelled AT mine, very similar to the Panzerfaust. It consists of the warhead with a fin stabilizer and a socket for plugging it into the launcher, and a launcher with a sight and firing mechanism. Two men operate the weapon while standing, kneeling, or lying down. One man holds the weapon on his shoulder, the other aims, giving commands to the holder as to where the weapon is pointing. As soon as the weapon is on target, the commander orders "fire" and gets out of the way, as a stream of hot gases is expelled from the rear.

When firing, it is necessary to wear a gas mask and gloves, otherwise it is possible to burn yourself with the exhaust gases.

The warhead is 70 cm long, 20 cm in diameter. Maximum range is 120 meters, at this range it penetrates 20 cm of armour. The system weighs about 5 kg in total.

The weapon is fired by pressing the trigger. A metal rod connected to the trigger enters a socket, closing the circuit. The rocket fuel in the rear of the projectile ignites, driving the warhead forward.

The penetration of the round is based on a hollow charge principle. The fuse is a contact type. Before firing, a safety pin is pulled out of the fuse.

The weapon can fire once, after which the barrel is no longer suitable for use. The sight consists of a front and rear posts.

Note: The Ofenrohr is not yet used at the company level, but almost all soldiers have been taught how to use it."

Via mihalchuk-1974.


  1. Well, that guy pulled a bunch of horseshit out of his ass. Single use? Ofenrohr? Sure made some fools out of the interrogators.

    1. One rather gets the impression the man belonged to the "almost" category, despite by and large having a pretty good grasp of the specs...

      Also "Ofenrohr", "stovepipe", was AFAIK the Germans' ubiquitous nickname for the weapon. Not hard to see why when you recall the early models lacked the distinctive shield (which is why the users had to wear protection to avoid exhaust burns) and were thus little more than steel pipes with grips.

    2. I know Ofenrohr is a common nickname for the panzerschreck, but suppose the next interrogated soldier talked about a panzerschreck there is a chance russians may assume its a different weapon, and even if not the first soldier can refer to the fact its a nickname.
      Also I dont see how even the worst trained person can come to the conclusion that the Panzerschreck is single use, and I dont think you needed 3 men, nevermind giving the jobs of holding the weapon and aiming it to 2 different people. One aiming it and one with the next panzerschreck round ready seems to be enough, even from the viewpoint of a layman.

    3. He only claims a two-man team, pay attention. Though the description of what they do seems rather muddled. He's probably also confusing the big pipe with the Panzerfaust in places, don't ask me why - for all we know he may have been less than coherent at the time due to any combination of shock, wounds and heavy-handed interrogation methods.

    4. The Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck were never referred to by their proper names in Soviet documents (at least that I've seen), only Faust and Ofenrohr.

    5. hmm..kind of agree on that name in Soviet records..

  2. Apparently the soldiers haven't been taught very well.

  3. Wouldn't this data dump be a bit more informative if you bother to put the date into the blurb?