The RPzB 43, nicknamed the Panzerschreck (German for 'armor terror') is a shoulder mounted anti-tank rocket launcher that was used by Germany during World War II.


The RPzB 43 could fire an 88 mm rocket and an effective range of 150meters.[1] It was also about 140 centimeters long and was essentially a large tube with a special ignition system. It also had a number of different variants. The first model was the RPzB 43 and it was about nine kilograms when empty. It had flaws like heat and backblast which forced the user to wear a protective gas mask and a poncho. However, these would eventually be corrected for the most part in later models so that operators no longer had to carry with them so much equipment.


The second model of the Panzerschreck series, the RPzB 54 had a blast shield to protect the user but this only made it heavier. However, this did help protect the user's face from rocket exhaust or backblast and the weight only made it a half kilogram heavier. The last model, the RPzB 54/1 had a shorter barrel, an improved rocket, and a new range of 180 meters The Panzerschreck was produced in much smaller numbers than the Panzerfaust, which was disposable.


The Panzerschreck's design comes from that of the M1 Bazooka. During the North African campaign and also the Russian front, M1 Bazookas were seized and captured. The concept of having a cheap and effective weapon made an impression on the Germans. As such, German troops took the M1 Bazooka and created their own version. The newly designed Panzerschreck, which appeared in 1943, became a very effective weapon for combating allied tanks such as the U.S. Sherman and Russian T-34, and it forced them to carry more armor plating to protect tank crews.[2] Furthermore, the Panzerschreck allowed German troops to far more easily set up ambushes against armored units from a safe distance. Anti-tank infantry were no longer required to get within grenade throwing distance to knock out a tank. In total, some 280,000 units had been created during the Panzerschreck's production.