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WW2 era pictures of the Panzerschreck
Although I finished the study of this weapon long ago, original pictures of the era continues to pop up. I post them on Facebook, but due to Facebooks very "nature" that means that they get lost as time passes.
To save them, and the corresponding captions I have decided to add this page as a "pictures & text" project. Most of these pictures weren't used in the initial articles about the Panzerschreck, but some might have been used for later updates. Included are also some "new" pictures that I haven't used at all. I will continue to add pictures to the bottom of this page as I find them.
This photo was taken in Holland along the Mariebaan, close to the Belgian border a few days after 23 October 1944. The Sherman was one of 11 belonging to No. 1 Squadron Governor General's Foot Guards (21st CAR) that was knocked out when it fell into a trap set up by Strumgeschützbrigade 244 and Fallschirmjägers from FJR 6. This photo is part of a series staged among the wrecks and shot by a Kriegsberichter.
Note the man carrying the Panzerfaust. He has "liberated" a US Aiming Quadrant in leather carrying pouch, now slung over his shoulder.
Weapons and ammunition captured by the 2nd Canadian Division are sorted. The caption says "Germany", but I am suspecting that it is in fact in Holland. The rockets closest to the camera are "Raketen Panzer Büchse Granat 4322" (winter 43/44 version).
Moving out! A German tank hunting unit is loading up a Horch in Italy, 1944. There are no less than 5 Panzerschrecks in the picture.
The old men of the Volksturm are getting ready to defend "Das Reich".
Duty now for the future!
Volksturm members on parade; young and old stand together ready to defend the homeland. The "man" in the middle is wearing a Hitlerjugend uniform. Note that the shield of his Panzerschreck is mounted back-to-front, while his neighbor has managed to get it right. The Panzerschreck on the right must have seen hours and hours of manhandling and drill, as the paintwork on the side of the tube is worn off completely. The man to the left is holding a MG42, probably issued for a parade or this specific photo. These guns were always in short supply and reserved for front line units.
Turn on the colors!
Found a propaganda-picture in full color that shows a Panzerschreck crew moving into position. Staged for the camera, but still impressive, as it is full color.
Italy, 1944. A Polish soldier inspects a captured Panzerschreck.
A rare sight! These pictures have been lifted from a color movie and show the Panzerschreck during firing and again when the rocket has left the weapon. The gunner's head and the weapon hardly move at all between the stills, so the recoil must have been very manageable.
Yet another color film. I managed to stop it at the split second the rocket exhaust was at its brightest. Spectacular forces at work.
A German unit on the eastern front has been issued with new anti-tank weapons and is probably due for a lecture.
This picture is from 1948, and was published by the Norwegian Army Infantry school during a comparative trial carried out on different anti-tank weapons like the Piat, Bazooka, Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck. The Panzerschreck has a improvised shield.
A Sherman tank rumbles past a knocked-out Panzerschreck team. The Panzerschreck is lying turned over, up by the fence, and the ammunition box is lying discarded with the lid detached. Of special note is the dead soldier lying closest to the camera. He has a Stielhandgranate 43 and a shovel tucked inside his belt. The rifle lying by the side of soldier number two is a G43. The Sherman crew has "acquired" what looks like a Luftschutz "gladiator" helmet which is hanging suspended from the side of the turret.
Gone fishing! Oberhoffen in North-Eastern France 5th February 1945. Suspecting a booby-trap this US soldier has attached a wire to the Panzerschreck leaning against the wall of the house.
Yet another PK picture of Volksturm oldies sporting boilersuits and a variety of paramilitary headgear receiving training on the Panzerschreck.
The Panzerschreck has seen a lot of training, as the Schutzbügel has been bent out of position and the paintwork to the actual tube is completely missing in areas.
The Panzerfaust man in the background has obviously been instructed by the photographer to strike a pose and show his warface.....
Another display-shooting with the Panzerschreck. Note that the officer to the left behind the weapon is wearing the green panzer uniform for self propelled artillery crews. The instructor with no head in the upper right corner carries a Raketen Panzer Büchse Granat 4322 under his left arm, with the wooden handle containing the electric connection still taped to the rear end.
This Panzerschreck obviously has a problem with the shield, as an object has been placed underneath the band holding it to the barrel.
This picture of the Panzerschreck is supposed to show Finnish soldiers, which would rhyme with the rolled up shirt sleeves and the helmet emblem on the guy to the right. But the soldier manning the weapon has a Wehrmacht eagle on his helmet. Note that the safety guard has been knocked sideways and is not working like planned. The ammunition is Wintermunition 1943/44 according to the black circle painted on the ammunition box.
Another display of the Panzerschreck! The observant looker will notice that the weapon is the same as the one I posted further up. The crowd consists mainly of personell from a self propelled artillery unit. Note the wooden handle used to connect the rocket to the weapon's electrical circuit system, dangling below the end of the rocket by the wire.
The picture is staged for the photographer, as the would-be shooter wears no combat gear.
He also wears the pre-war version of the Schiffchen (OS cap) with two buttons in front, which is also strange after 1943.
There is a iron bar running in front of him, also hard to explain.
The "observer" is even stranger. He wears a civilian type of pith helmet, and what appears to be (skimpy) training shorts, and regular issue socks!
Here they are again! We have seen this bunch before, on the other side of the Sherman. This photo was taken in Holland along the Mariebaan, close to the Belgian border a few days after 23 October 1944. The Sherman was one of 11 belonging to No. 1 Squadron Governor General's Foot Guards (21st CAR) that was knocked out when it fell into a trap set up by Strumgeschützbrigade 244 and Fallschirmjägers from FJR 6. This photo is part of a series staged among the wrecks and shot by a Kriegsberichter.
See what we have got! A British sergeant displays the catch of the day. Beside the main attraction he has a Gretchen and a Panzerfaust 30 in his hands. At his feet are two different teller mines, a S-mine, a Stielhandgranate 24 and a Eierhandgranate 39. Behind him is a 8 cm Granatwerfer 34. The Panzerschreck has the improved model II front sight and the Schutzbügel installed. I am guessing that the shield has been there but has been removed/fell off.
A Finnish Panzerschreck team in position, summer of 1944. Note the Lapplanderknife on the loaders hip and the small loop at the rear edge of the helmet, identifying the helmet as Finnish. Good thing the picture has been staged, because the loader would have been dead if he stayed in that position when the weapon was fired!
Note that the wooden handle with the circuit wire is still taped to the rear of the grenade, they will surely not be firing.....
Also of interest is the typical black painted connector box.
Panzerfüsiliere from Panzer-Grenadier-Division "Großdeutschland" have taken up position in a house ruin with the new German close combat weapon,
the Panzerschreck. Kriegsberichter Peiffer 3.7.44.
The gunner has a MP40 slung across his back, and he is equipped with the leather magazine pouch.
The GD cyphers can be seen on his shoulder board, and he still has a WH eagle decal on his helmet.
"Recoilless"..... yeah, right!
Photo by "Heeres-Kriegsberichterzug, Heeresgruppe Nordukraina". Bildberichter Knaack, taken in "Raum von Stanislau, Ukraina" 6th June 1944. A one-in-a-million photo. The weapon has just been fired, the rocket has left the scene, but the smoke from the burning rocket motor is blowing backwards. The jet-stream has hit the shield and the whole Panzerschreck has been lifted up, nose first. Note that the carrying sling has been thrown upwards by the rapid movement, and is at its highest at the exact moment the picture was snapped. The gunner is either used to firing the weapon, or just haven't had the time to be shaken yet. For the moment he just looks comfortable. Note the total absence of protective gear. Also interesting are the rows of boots at the top of the photo, spectators during a demonstration. Also visible is the butt stock of a Sturmgewehr.
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