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German cross  The Panzerschreck manuals  German cross

The manuals, handbooks and publications about the Panzerschreck

The most important Panzerschreck manual, the D1864/1, as it is still attached to a weapon in the FMU collection.
The Panzerbeschußtafel Nr 25. included below was found inside this manual!

Almost all military hardware that is fielded comes with a manual. This is a necessity in order to pass along vital knowledge to the soldier in the field that is supposed to use the equipment. This was also the case with the Panzerschreck, although the publications came in a strange order and variety. The most important publications were the "Dienstvorschrift 1864" series, D 1864 for short. These are compatible to the US TM's (Technical manual). The manuals were numbered D 1864/1 to D 1864/6, but the number 3 and 4 were never published.
In addition to the technical manuals in the D 1864 series there was also the Merkblatt 77/2 that regulated the education and training on the weapon and the Bildheft 149a that accompanied the slide series that was created to educate the soldiers in the use of the Panzerschreck.

A free lunch!?
Indeed-i-doo! I have now managed to aquire a copy of all of the manuals ever printed for the Panzerschreck, and they are all available for download as a PDF file through the links below.
By downloading the manuals you owe me a free lunch the next time we meet (depending on the hour of the day the lunch can be substituted with one or more beers!). If you do not anticipate running into me in the near future a simple "Thank you" in my Guestbook will do the trick!
The Merkblatt 77/2 has untill now been unavailable for publication, but has kindly been made available for the eager reader to enjoy by a fellow collector and Liebhaber of German militaria, Mr Tom B of the Netherlands. His studies of German militaria can be found on www.mp44.nl. Please note that Tom is entitled to all free lunches associated with downloading the Merkblatt 77/2!

Date of issue Number Name
30.09.1943 H.Dv. 469/3e Panzerbeschußtafel 8,8cm R PzB 54
07.12.1943 Merkblatt 77/2 8,8 cm R-Panzerbüchse 54 (Ofenrohr) Richtlinien für Ausbildung und Einsatz
04.11.1943 D 1864/2 8,8 cm R Pz B 54 mit 8,8 cm R Pz B Gr 4322 Gebrauchsanleitung
24.02.1944 D1864/5 8,8 cm R Pz B 54 mit 8,8 cm R Pz B Gr 4322 - Schutzschild, Schutzbügel, verstellbares Korn mit Abdeckblech
07.06.1944 D1864/1 Panzerschreck - 8,8 cm R Pz B 54 mit 8,8 cm R Pz B Gr 4322 Gebrauchsanleitung
01.07.1944 25 Panzerbeschuß-tafel 8,8 cm R Pz B 54 (Panzerschreck) mit 8,8 cm R Pz B Gr 4322
14.09.1944 Bildheft 149a Panzernahkampfwaffen, Teil 1: Panzerschreck
01.12.1944 D 1864/6 Panzerschreck 8,8 cm R PzB 54 und R PzB 54/1 mit 8,8 cm R PzB Gr. 4322 und 8,8 cm R PzB Gr. 4992
UndatedUnnumberedGebrauchsanleitung für die R.Pz.B. 54

The first official publication issued was made available even before the weapon was fielded. This was an annex to a anti-tank manual, printed as a booklet without any binding. A new version was issued nine months later, printed on a double sided piece of cardboard. The D1864/2 was the first real technical manual, and the D1864/5 was just a “upgrade” manual. With the issue of the D1864/1 both the D1864/2 and the D 1864/5 was ordered destroyed.

The ultimate manual was the D 1864/6. This one covered both models of the Panzerschreck and both types of live ammunition. With the introduction of the D 1864/6 all earlier versions in the D 1864-series was made obsolete and was meant to be destroyed. The only exception was the “old” RPzB 54; the D1864/1 could still be used with this until a copy of the D 1864/6 was made available.

Another interesting "manual" is the Bildheft 149a. It was part of an education package distributed to the units in the field. It consisted of the Bildheft 149a that contained the comments to each Dias, and a box of 54 Dias in cardboard frames. In instances where a light-projector couldn't be used, for example close to the front, a box of 20 Bildhefts was used instead. For more info see the page about Training and training aids

There was also a lot of technical information about the Panzerschreck published in various forms like "Von der Front, für die Front", Heerestechnische verordnungsblatt and as Merkblatt.
All information available has been listed in the table below.

Date of issue Publication Contents
24.05.1944 Von der Front für die Front Instructions for a DIY weapon holder
06.06.1944 Von der Front für die Front Important notes about the Panzerschreck
01.08.1944 Heerestechnisches Verordnungsblatt Changes in the safety instructions for training shooting
Medio 08. 1944 Merkblatt für Munition Troublespotting the 8,8 cm R Pz B Gr 4322
01.09.1944 Heerestechnisches Verordnungsblatt Approbation of the R Pz B 54
08.09.1944 Von der Front für die Front Improvised shield for the Panzerschreck
15.09.1944 Heerestechnisches Verordnungsblatt Correction of printing error
10.10.1944 Von der Front für die Front Instructions for a DIY device for concealed shooting (DZG)
12.11.1944 Von der Front für die Front Instructions for a DIY wooden frame for a Panje-wagon
15.01.1945 Heerestechnisches Verordnungsblatt Approbation of the R Pz B 54/1 and new ammunition

Parts from some of the documents listed above has been used in the respective parts of this article.


The picture above is a link to a document from the ETO (European Theatre of Operation) Ordnance Technical Intelligence Report No. 28, dated 7 October 1944. It is a translation to English of the "German Bazooka Manual D 1864/1 dated 7 june 1944". The translation was received from the Ordnance Technical Intelligence Team attached to the First United States Army.

As a "stop-gap" measure a 3-page hand-out written with a typewriter and illustrated with hand-drawn pictures copied on a stenciling machine was issued with the weapons. It is undated, but a copy was found by the Soviet army and translated into a 4 page document, and this translation was dated 1944. I guess this pamphlet followed the first weapons to be issued on the eastern front, before the official manual was ready for distribution! The complete documents can be accessed by clicking on the pictures above.

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