Red Army Anti-Tank Weapons in WW2?

Despite having 2 different 14.5mm Anti-Tank Rifles (The PTRD and the PTRS), the Red Army in WWII seems never to have developed a “close quarters” Anti-Tank Weapon like the German Panzerfaust/Panzerschrek, the American Bazooka, or even the British PIAT gun. The only thing remotely equivalent to these would seem to have been the “Molotov Cocktail”. Was there a reason for this? Or did I just miss something?

(I know about the “Tank Dogs” ; but I’m referring to Anti-Tank “Projectiles”.)

Despite some prewar research in the area of recoilless hand held weapons, the Soviets did not produce them before after the war due to economical and logistical issues.
Soviet “substitute” for bazooka was the antitank grenades, which in sertain urban conditions could be preffential over bazooka kind of weapon, as well as 45 mm anti-tank guns.

The Soviets also received some lend-lease bazookas, but reportedly did not care for them much, seeing them as under-powered. They far preferred captured panzerchreks to the bazooka. They also made extensive use of captured panzerfaust, and are said to have kept up production in captured factories; some say that is the origin of the RPG-1.

When you think about it, rifle grenades are not bad at all for house to house fighting. And the Russians did have those and hand thrown AT grenades.

But yes, that and the 45mm was not much, so I suspect the Russians decided the best anti-tank weapon was another tank…

And they did a pretty good job with them.


Didn’t the Red Army also make good use of magnetic AT mines forcing the Germans to coat their armor with plastic?

Yes, ZIMMERIT made many Soviet soldiers happy as they did not have to longer use the magnetic mines. :slight_smile:

Yes, but such are not the “Anti-Tank ‘Projectiles’” the original poster wanted to know about. :wink:

Well, in that case it seems to me that certain less-known wartime developments of the Soviet Main Artillery Directorate are deserving some additional popularization amongst distinguished members of our forum. :slight_smile:

During the war GAU independently initiated and produced some highly intriguing, although fairly less-known weaponry. In 1944, for example, engineering team of the GAU, led by Chief Constructor G. P. Lominski (Г.П. Ломинский) actually constructed the reloadable light anti-tank grenade launcher LPG 44, based upon a simple steel tube with 30 mm diameter and 1 m length, weighing 2 kg, and being equipped with the thermo-resistant wooden veneer, as well as an independently designed over-caliber (70 mm) cumulative grenade PG 70, intended for launch by a gunpowder booster charge, and capable to penetrate up to 150 mm of armor.

Projectile PG 70

After the completion of firing trials in 1945 the launcher was redesigned and renamed as RPG-1 (Ручной противотанковый гранатомет - Hand-held anti-tank grenade-launcher), but it never was adopted for regular service, due to insufficient penetrability and inadequate longitudinal stability of the projectile.

RPG - 1

Although unused during the war, this weapon paved the way for the superior variant named RPG-2, which was officially adopted and pressed into service in 1949.

Another, even more astounding “universal” (anti-tank and anti-personnel) weapon was the Ampulomet, designed by I. Kartukov (also know as “Molotov Projector”) –


This highly unusual mortar-type weapon of 127 mm caliber, barrel length of 845 mm, and weight of 26 kg, was capable to throw 8 specially designed incendiary projectiles (ampoules!) in a minute up to 400 meters!

Ampulomet in action, Stalingrad, 1942

Ampoules were filled with the self-igniting KS incendiary mixture (white phosphorus mixed with sulfur, and capable to achieve temperatures above 1000 degrees of centigrade), and launched by a standard 12-gauge shotshells filled with ordinary gunpowder.

Combat ampoule filled with the KS mixture

Nevertheless, these weapons were abandoned in 1942 due to low range and inaccuracy.

Well, that’s all for today. In the meantime, honorable ladies and gentlemen, as always – all the best! :wink:

Thank you for the interesting post, Librarian.

As to magnetic anti-tank mines,the Soviet military never issued nor even developed a magnetic anti-tank mine.Neither did the U.S.,the British,the Canadians,nor any other Allied country.Only the German Army and the Imperial Japanese Army used magnetic anti-tank mines.In November 1942 German soldiers were issued the Hafthohlladung 3 Mine,Land,Shaped charged Magnetic mine containing 6 pounds of High Explosives and capable of blowing a hole in the armor of any known tank.Fearing that the Allied Forces might develop a similar weapon ,zimmerit,a paste that prevented magnetic mines from being attached to a tank’s armor was developed.Zimmerit was a solution to a problem that never transpired.And the myth of the brave Russian soldier running up to a German Panzer and attaching a magnetic mine is just that…a myth.