Thursday 20 September 2018

Panzerfaust & Co.

"Operational Department of the 1st Cavalry Corps Staff
RE: №0902, March 31st, 1945

Carrying out the orders of the Corps commander regarding the effectiveness of German anti-tank rifles and "Faustpatrone" grenades and losses in tanks and SPGs suffered from them, I report that during the fighting in East Prussia (January-February 1945) the brigade lost 1-2 tanks and one SPG near Trauvsitten to "Faustpatrone" grenades. No losses were taken from fire of "Panzerschreck" or "Ofenrohr" type weapons.

The brigade has no information on the organization of enemy units or their equipment with anti-tank rifles.

Chief of Staff of the 89th Tank Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Glushkov"

Considering that the brigade lost 50 tanks burned up and 38 tanks knocked out during February alone, Panzerfaust style weapons ended up doing a negligible amount of damage during the fighting in 1945 until the Red Army entered heavily built up areas.


  1. Guess those tank-rider skirmish screens were proving their worth.

    1. Panzerfaust were effective in urban warfare, but their short range made them much less effective in a conventional front line.

    2. Even in relatively open terrain there's generally no shortage of hiding places for enterprising footsoldiers, including good old trench networks. Having your own infantry clear out such while the tanks hang back to provide fire support goes a long way in not having to eat any number of short-range antitank measures - which is of course also why separating the infantry from the tanks was of some importance on the defence.

      Given the nature of urban combat it was simply far more difficult for the infantry to effectively and consistently screen their tanks from such threats in heavily built-up areas. All the more so as just being close enough to provide effective fire support might well already put the latter within the effective range of portable AT weapons.