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Could a Panzerfaust ricochet?

Originally published under Ask Mr. History. Published Online: May 29, 2012 
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Thanks for the great July issue (of Military History magazine).

In the description of the German Panzerfaust, it states that it was found to ricochet. I'm baffled how the fierce jet of a shaped charge could ricochet. is the description accurate?

Please advise. Thanks much.

–Joe Deck

? ? ?

Dear Mr. Deck:

Regarding the original Faustpatrone, the Germans who used it discovered that the peculiar shape of its charge, as well as its explosive power, could not be relied upon to stop a T-34–depending on the angle of attack, it either ricocheted off its angled sides or simply failed to penetrate the armor. The heavier Panzerfaust which also featured a redesigned, shaped charge remedied the problem.

I hope the attached link to a photo of the early model Faustpatrone helps to unbaffle you.,_Russland,_Luftwaffensoldat_mit_Panzerabwehrwaffe.jpg


Jon Guttman
Research Director
Weider History Group
More Questions at Ask Mr. History

One Response to “Could a Panzerfaust ricochet?”

  1. 1
    Mit says:

    I think the original poster is confused about exactly what was ricocheting. The warhead would sometimes bounce off without exploding, due to the shape of it.

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