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Thread: any WW2 Soviet Anti tank weapons for infantry?

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    Default any WW2 Soviet Anti tank weapons for infantry?

    Hi i wonder what anti-tank weapon did the Soviet infantrymen used during WW2 ? since the US had bazookas, Germany had panzerfaust / panzershrek, and the brits had PIATS, but i've heard none from the WW2 soviet army

    or the Soviets didn't have any of them since Soviet tanks outnumbered German tanks in most WW2 battles anyway?

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    Senior Member StukaJr's Avatar
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    RKKA continued using their AT rifles throughout the war - other means of infantry combating tanks included flamethrowers, AT grenades, grenade bundles, satchels and molotov cocktails. Some Bazookas were delivered as part of lend-lease as well as Magnetic mines and there was use of captured Panzerfausts (when those became available)... And there were dogs with explosives tied to their backs...

    Considering that most of the weapons you are mentioning were not introduced until the middle of the war and were not perfected until even later into the conflict (or just left with the flaws in case of Allies), the priority of combating tanks by Infantry must not have been very high - however, there could have been research/prototyping into this.

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    The best Soviet anti tank weapon was the 76.2mm artillery they had in widespread service when the Germans invaded. It was so good the Germans used as many as they could capture and when the ammo ran out they rebored them to a German calibre and sent them to be part of the atlantic wall.

    At the start of the war the infantry had 14.5mm rifles that could penetrate most of the German vehicles at that time and were also popular in street fighting... (have read that the three favourite weapons for the Russians in Stalingrad were the 14.5mm Simonov rifles (5 shot automatics), the PPSh submachineguns, and the hand grenade.
    The Russians got some Bazookas and PIATs sent to them but weren't really hugely impressed. They also used captured Panzerfausts, but when they finally got around to developing their own weapon after the war for fighting tanks it didn't really look like any previous anti tank weapon. The RPG-2 was a bit like a cross between a Panzerfaust and a Bazooka I suppose, but not really the same as either of them.
    It seems the targets they wanted to kill couldn't be killed with them very easily (ie Tigers etc). Anti tank guns remained much more popular, and of course tank guns too.
    It is a bit strange as the Russians were early advocates of rockets, with their artillery rockets and the use of aerial rockets too.

    With most of those weapons you had to get close and on the steppes you couldn't really get that close... and if you could then getting even closer and using a grenade with a shaped charge warhead was just as easy and you could carry more. In built up areas it was much easier to use grenades or mines if you were on the defensive.
    I remember a soldier describing the Bazooka against a Tiger as being an "Attention getter".

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    Senior Member Antimatty's Avatar
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    nevermind........
    Last edited by Antimatty; 04-24-2008 at 12:17 AM. Reason: im an idiot

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antimatty View Post
    they actually had "anti tank guns" which i think i remember seeing at the Aberdeen ordnance museum . think 50. cal rifles of today but more primitive. they weren't very effective though as they were designed to penetrate "light" armor . i think that they were still used against apc's .


    this is all from memory and may have even been WW I instead of WW II . but i do remember there being Russian guns designed to take on tanks wich ended up being rather ineffective .
    Did you read the post above yours?

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    Senior Member Antimatty's Avatar
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    crap. i read the first line about artillery and assumed the rest of the post was about artillery, then set about writing my post while the thought was still fresh.

    sorry.

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    Its suprising that they didn't develop a hand held anti-tank rocket as they were rather innovative in their use of aircraft and vehichle mounted rockets,i wouldn't of thought it would of been a huge leap for them to have a man(or men)portable version of the 82mm rockets they mounted on their fighters and attack aircraft .

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    Senior Member Squeezee's Avatar
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    That would have been a good idea. They had a lot of good ideas back then. As said, I can only think of the AT rifles and captured Panzerfausts/schreks.

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    slightly off topic, but wernt the Russians useing "dog bombs" to take out tanks too? - not standard use all over the theater , but was an issue for the germans

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    Quote Originally Posted by chulo_allen View Post
    slightly off topic, but wernt the Russians useing "dog bombs" to take out tanks too? - not standard use all over the theater , but was an issue for the germans
    The use has been documented and there were orders given to shoot dogs on sight - it has certainly been tested and I've read at least of one account where dog crawled under the truck prior to it detonating...

    Wouldn't really call it an AT weapon - even if there is anecdotal attempts at making them seem like these were used en masse... Similar to field mice disabling tanks in the dead of winter - not a weapon

    Soviet Soldiers improvised many Anti-Tank weapons, just like all the sides in the conflict... I believe there was use of AT mines tied to a piece of wire or a rope and concealed in a ditch/ruble from Urban combat - a hidden infantryman would pull the mine out when it passed into deadzone of the tank and guided it until it was in direct path of the tank... Early 1941, tanks were disabled and captured by canvas tarpaulins being thrown over them - so I guess, anything in the field - goes.

    But I guess as other members pointed out - production of proper AT guns, SPG's and tanks were the main priority to combating other tanks...

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    The Russians could get mobility kills on the heaviest of tanks using the 14.5mm rifles, shooters were trained to hit the tracks of the vehicles.

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    Senior Member StukaJr's Avatar
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    Vasiliy Zaizev (aka Jude Law) has experimented by mounting optics on 14.5 mm AT rifles to target tank viewports with moderate success - did not realize any practical results as consistency of Soviet 14.5 mm loads was too inconsistent for sniping use... Still, I'd say it was the fore-runner of high caliber, anti-material sniper rifle...

    Another AT tactic was to pick off supporting infantry - there was quite a reluctance of tanks advancing without its infantry support...

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    Senior Member Chulo's Avatar
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    isnt that a T34? the dog must be a traitor, hes goin the wrong way..

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    The only Soviet military issued anti-tank weapon for infantry use was the PTRD-41. It was early war and stayed in use throughout. All other weapons from grenades to artillery and fire were used as well as needed / improvised as with every army but only the PTRD-41 was the only infantry anti-tank weapon ever issued.

    They coveted the Pz. Faust but mainly used it as a bunker buster.

    Tank dogs were the shortest lived / worst idea in the war.

    Only the Germans issued a magnetic mine for tank killing. Any Russian use would have been form captured stores.

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