Bazooka is a United States Anti-tank unit. It is the American equivalent of the British PIAT and the German Panzershreck, the latter of which was based on captured bazooka designs and used a similar mechanism. The unit consists of a two-man squad armed with a bazooka and a few small arms. Tank hunter teams were used to sneak up on enemy tanks and take them down at very close range, instantly destroying the tank if a hit is scored (penetration is nearly always guaranteed).
Compared with the man-portable anti-tank weapons used by the other nations, the bazooka is cheaper than the Panzerschreck (20 points vs 30 points) but it is much less accurate (7 acc vs 10 acc). The bazooka also fires at a smaller range of 200m, compared to the 250m of the Panzerschreck. The PIAT is at 15 points even cheaper than the bazooka, but sacrifices some accuracy for this (6 accuracy vs 7 accuracy).
To develop the bazooka, two pieces of technology had to be acquired: the shaped-charge warhead and the rocket-powered weapon. The Rocket Launcher M1A1 was introduced in late 1942 and greatly improved upon over time. German troops managed to capture examples of this weapon fighting the inexperienced US troops in Tunisia and the red army on the Eastern front (who were supplied bazookas through lend-lease). The Germans quickly realised that to fire a shaped-charge warhead, the mechanism used in the bazooka was much more simple and easy than the one they used in the complex Puppchen, which was a in effect mini-artillery piece with a carriage and a breech. Germany soon came up with a powerful recoilless anti-tank weapon of their own, the infamous Panzerschreck. The US would eventually develop a much-improved weapon, the super bazooka, but the war was already over when this new weapon was introduced.
The bazooka's effectiveness decreased in the later stages of the war when confronted with the big cats and armour skirts on the sides of German tanks. The main drawbacks of the American man-portable were the large backblast, sure to expose the firer's position, and the fact that the bazooka team had to expose their bodies to obtain a clear field of fire. A variant of the US anti-tank weapon saw use as an aerial weapon, made famous thanks to the exploits of Rosie the Rocketeer, who managed to disable several German tanks in his outdated biplane armed with six bazookas in Northwest Europe.
The term 'bazooka' itself gained lasting popularity and is still informally used to designate any ground-to-ground shoulder-fired missile weapon.
Unlike their German counterparts, Bazooka were a unit issue as in there was not individual slot that was issued a bazooka. For example the Infantry Company was issued three then five bazooka that the captain can issued out to his sub units.
Tank hunter teams should ambush enemy tanks and take them down in one hit, as they cannot survive much return fire. They are very stealthy and good for sneaking up on armoured units in the bocage, in towns or in the fields. Any encounter with enemy infantry, however, will result in the bazooka team's rapid death.
This page was last edited on 24 March 2019, at 19:34.
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