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Panzerblitz and Panzerschreck puzzle

Grzesio

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Germans fielded a number of airborne AT rockets in the winter of 1944/45. There were Panzerschreck 1 and 2 and Panzerblitz 1 and 2, while Panzerblitz 3 and 4 were in development. Sadly, there's an incredible mess in available books as far as details of these rockets are concerned - e.g. I encountered FOUR completely different descriptions of the Panzerblitz 3.

Panzerschreck 1 - RPzBGr 4322? 4992?, launched from triple semi-opened tube launchers?; used in combat from 1944/45.
Panzerschreck 2 aka PD 8,8 cm Pz. Büchsenrohr - an improved rocket reaching 240 m/s, launched from twin or quadruple tube launchers? or semi-opened triple launchers?; used in combat in small numbers.

Panzerblitz 1 - 8 cm RSprGr with a shaped charge warhead (there was also a variant with a Panzerschreck warhead); used in combat from late 1944.
Panzerblitz 2 - R 4 with a 130 mm warhead OR R 4 with a Panzerschreck warhead; Pb 2 was used in combat in 1944/45, later versions were not.
Panzerblitz 3 aka R 4/HL - R 4 with a Panzerschreck warhead OR R 4 with a 210 mm warhead OR R 4 with a 75 mm HlGr 43 warhead OR a Panzerschreck warhead with a stronger derivative of the R 4 engine
Panzerblitz 4 - Panzerschreck warhead with a yet stronger derivative of the R 4 engine.
There are some other R 4 versions with enlarged warheads known - e.g. a faired Panzerschreck one or an elliptical warhead of some 10 cm calibre...

There are also two shaped charge warheads for the R 4 mentioned - a Panzerschreck one designated as the PB-2 and a 55 mm one designated as the PB-3. This may suggest, they referred to the Panzerblitz 2 and 3 respectively.

Specimens of the R 4 rocket with a Panzerschreck wearhead are pretty common now, other versions are not - this may suggest they were Panzerblitz 2 indeed.

Are there some definitive materials, (preferably German documents :) ), which could finally clarify this?
How Pb 2, Pb 3, Pb 4 and Panzerschreck 2 rockets looked like?

Regards

Grzesio
 

Grzesio

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Thank you, Justo, that's most amazing! :eek:
I have to spend some time now to read it all carefully. :)

There are some things that puzzle me, though. I've been interested in German AT weapons for some time, but I've never encountered any information that RPzBGr 4992 differed so much from the RPzBGr 4322. It's always stated, only the fuel charge was changed.
I've also encountered a mention in a Soviet book about a Shlange HL - I have no Idea it's reliable.



Kind regards

Grzesio
 

Justo Miranda

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I have found some sources
R4MP from "Secret Messerschmitt Projects" by Willy Radinger & Walter SchickLoading...
 

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Justo Miranda

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I have found some sources
Panzerblitz...four?
From "Deutsche Geheimwaffen" by Fritz Hahn Erich Hoffmann Verlag
 

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Grzesio

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Thank you again, Justo! :)
It seems, Hahn's book is the source of the 130 mm Panzerblitz 2.

By the way - I have a German edition of Messerschmitt Geheimprojekte and I think there are no these drawings of R 4 shaped charge warheads. But they are included in Hogg's book on German secret weapons.
The RPzBGr 4992 warhead is still a mystery for me.

Regards

Grzesio
 

Justo Miranda

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My mistake
Of course R4 is from "German Secret Weapons of the WWII" by Ian V.Hogg
 

Avimimus

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Hello,

I saw some photos a while back showing rockets mounted on light aircraft, trainers and even !gliders! as part of the last ditch anti-tank effort in 1945. Does anyone have more information about this?
 

Grzesio

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I put some of the AT rockets together...
The Hahn's drawing isn't too accurate - the warhead is much too big (approx. 18 cm calibre) so I scaled it down... The R 4/HL with Panzerschreck warhead is shown faired, while the Schlange HL is still a 'what if' impression - I have nothing confirming its existence save for a single mention in a Russian book.

Regards

Grzesio
 

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Justo Miranda

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Hi Grzesio
Excellent drawing!
I have found this drawing on the SG118 where it can be seen that it is a recoilless weapon , unrelated to the "Block 108" system , as mentioned in all the texts I have.
Do you have any additional info on this?
 

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Avimimus

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Justo Miranda, thanks. Do you know anything about how they were deployed? There is something fascinating about such last ditch attempts.

The SG series were multi-barrel recoiless mortors that would fired obliquely into the undersides of bombers (apparently often using a photocell). I remember there were different versions suitable for use on the Bf-109, Me-262, Me-163 and others. There was also a much larger system that used a similar principle against tanks (tested on the Hs-129). I have no idea if there were ever forward firing versions of the SG series (if anyone has information on this It'd be interesting).

These complex rocket launcher systems shown earlier in the thread are fascinating, though.
 

r16

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ı remember seeing a system drawn for FW-190s . Called Forester's Probe it looked impressive and Germans tested similar rocket boosted munitions in the 80's to be used against tanks on AlphaJets .
 

Jemiba

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"..Called Forester's Probe "

The "Förster Sonde" wasn't the whole system, I think, but only the sensor, named
after its inventor Friedrich Förster. It's a sensor, which detects metal objects via
their magnetic field.
 

Grzesio

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So, as far as the original question is concerned after some years have passed...
Panzerblitz 1 = 8 cm RSprgr with a shaped charge warhead;
Panzerblitz 2 =R 4 with a Panzerschreck warhead
Panzerblitz 3 = R 4 with a shaped charge inside the original R 4 M warhead shell (prototypes only).
Justo's drawing of the 8,8 cm RPzBGr 4992 based on Lusar's book is sadly completely inaccurate - the rocket was identical as the 8,8 cm RPzBGr 4322 as far as its shape, dimensions and fuel charge are concerned, the only difference being a contact ring of the ignition system on the drum stabilizer. Most probably never put into production.

Raketen_2D_2012_Lite_color_800PS.jpg

One more mistake has to be noted in the Justo's scans. RA 55 or Raketenautomat 55 launcher for the R 4 M was a belt fed automatic launcher with a single tube, roughly similar to the MK 108 cannon, not an external 19-shot container shown in the Me 262 drawing.
 
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Grzesio

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I wrote a brief note on the Panzerschreck 2 on a Polish web site back in 2002: https://web.archive.org/web/20041220210730/http://www.net.bialystok.pl/~hess/r_lpn_panzerschreck_2.htm
Generally, according to information available then, it was a variant of the Panzerschreck with max velocity increased to 240 m/s (I wonder how?). Double or quadruple launchers were mounted on ETC 50 or ETC 71 racks of Fw 190 F, carrying 8 rockets. First tests took place on Udetfeld in October 1944 with Fw 190 F-8 (CM+WL). Night trials were conducted by EKdo 26 between December 11 and 17, but rockets were invisible in flight due to lack of exhaust flame and could not be observed. Small number of PD 8,8 made it to operational use.

I'd have to check if any new information surfaced since then...
 

sgeorges4

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thanks and what variant of the fw 190 /Ta 152 were considered for that one?
 

Grzesio

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No idea. I think, if the PD 8,8 was used at all, it was used very briefly - so the Fw 190 F-8 would be the most appropriate. I think R 4 M and its derivatives became standard in 1945, so older rockets (whatever this PD 8,8 actually was) were phased out of service.
And things seem to be even more complicated - for example, a 2x12-shot 5,5 cm standarised rocket launcher for the Fw 190 from March 1945 could be loaded with R 4 M, "Panzerblitz (PS)" and "Panzerschreck (R 4 HL)" rockets; I just wonder, what rockets they meant under these designations.
Generally in March 1945, rocket armament (Panzerblitz and R 4 M) was planned for practically all current Fw 190 A, D and F variants, plus Ta 152 C-1 and H-1.
 

sgeorges4

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I know and those who were used for the black 11 seem to have different arrangement:
 

Grzesio

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Yes, these are usual Panzerschreck launchers known from many pictures and aircraft. There's even a loaded rocket visible.
BTW - as we can see, Panzerschreck launcher in the drawings presented by Justo at the begining of the thread are some 2.5 times too short. :(
 
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