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Panzerbüchse 39
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A German soldier utilizing a PzB 39

Users

Germany

Entry into Service

1940

Cartridge

7.92x94mm Panzerbüchse

Magazine Capacity

1 round

Effective Range

300 m

The Panzerbüchse 39 was an anti-tank rifle that was used by Germany during World War II.

Description

It fired the 7.92x94mm Panzerbüchse Cartridge and had a rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute. The muzzle velocity of the Panzerbüchse was about 1,200 meters per second and the effective range was about 320 meters.[1] The Panzerbüchse 39 was also fitted with a muzzle brake and has a front post and rear notches for iron sights.

The weapon was not semi-automatic and had to be recocked after each shot.[2] To do this, one must unlock the pistol grip and push it down, allowing the spent casing to be discarded, then one must push the grip back up again and lock. The total weight of the Panzerbüchse system was approximately 12.1 kg which is much lighter than its predecessor, the PzB 38.[3] The total length of the system was 1.6 meters. At 100 meters, the PzB 39 can penetrate up to 30mm in 60 degree sloped armor.

At 300 meters, the PzB 39 can penetrate only 25mm in 60 degree sloped armor.[4] After 300 meters, the armor penetration becomes so low that the weapon becomes useless. Still, not many medium tanks of the WWII era had only 30mm thick armor by 1942 so the PzB 39 was still fundamentally useless in engaging tanks.

Most of PzBs ammunition contained steel cores and many also included a small capsule of tear gas that was supposed to force the enemy tanker crew out of the vehicle. Unfortunately, for the Anti-tank riflemen, the design didn't work and the ammunition was switched for a tungsten core. The PzB 39 was prone to jamming if too much dirt collected in the barrel.

VariantsBearbeiten

The Panzerbüchse 39 had only one variant during its whole service life and it was the Granatbüchse 39. The GrB 39 had a shortened barrel and a special firing attachment added so that it could fire rifle grenades. The GrB 39 was also fed modified cartridges that fired wooden bullets to propel the grenades. The sights were even modified for aiming only 150 meters. The firing attachment for the GrB 39 is the same type used in the Kar98k rifle.

HistoryBearbeiten

The Panzerbüchse 39 was developed in 1939 to replace the unsatisfactory PzB 38 AT rifle. The PzB 39 came at a time when tanks at very thin armor and the world's nations were all developing their own AT rifles. At first, the PzB 39 had some success, but as tanks evolved rapidly in the wartime environment, the PzB struggled to catch up until it was all but obsolete. Hundreds were used in the Soviet Union in an attempt to destroy as many tanks as possible. Despite production ending in 1941, PzB 39s were used throughout WWII, much less so in the latter years of WWII though. About 39,000 were made in total.

ReferencesBearbeiten

  1. http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=447
  2. Bishop, Chris. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II. Sterling Publishing Company (2002), Page 209
  3. http://world.guns.ru/atr/de/pzb3-pzb39-e.html
  4. http://www.antitank.co.uk/german1.htm
Vorlage:German Infantry Weapons

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