Mastering the Bazooka Rocket Launcher
(Digitally Restored)
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The bazooka is the great grand daddy of all modern man portable anti-armor rocket launchers. It was a revolutionary weapon that combined a "stove pipe" rocket launcher, pioneered by Dr. Robert Godard, with a shaped charge warhead, originally developed by Swiss immigrant Henry Mohaupt for the US War Department in the 1930s. As you'll see, shaped charges focused a superheated penetrating jet of gas whose effect on armored targets was far out of proportion to it's relatively small size. The Bazooka put this awesome destructive power in the hands of a single soldier with a range of hundreds of yards.

When fired from the battery powered M1 launcher, the original M6 Rocket, introduced in 1940, could penetrate 4'' of steel armor, making it useful not only against tanks and armored vehicles, but also against pill boxes, walls, bunkers etc. with a range that far exceeded the capability of contemporary weapons like grenade launchers. The range of targets of an individual soldier was expanded geometrically with the introduction of the Bazooka. You'll learn how to calculate range, fire from different positions, arm the rocket and ready the launcher for firing, set up remotely detonated launches using buried tubes, skip firing, leading the target, and more. As you'll also see in this detailed training film, throughout the War the Bazooka went through a running series of combat inspired changes that improved reliability, accuracy, handiness, and hitting power. As the War progressed, increases in armor thickness on German tanks rendered frontal assault by even the improved M9 launcher with M6A3 rocket often ineffective, promoting a change in tactics, targeting tank tracks and the less well protected top, sides, and rear of enemy vehicles.
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Photo of a Bazooka being fired.
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