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Yugoslavian Panzerfaust - The M57 Infantry Antitank Weapon

 
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jackehammond



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 330
Location: Indiana, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 6:09 am    Post subject: Yugoslavian Panzerfaust - The M57 Infantry Antitank Weapon Reply with quote

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Note - At end of article texts several thumbnails



Folks,

During the breakup of Yugoslavia and the battles the media would sometimes along with various WW2 tanks and other weapons (ie after WW2 Yugoslavia it seems discarded or destroyed no weapon) ID a weapon as the famous RPG. It was not. It was the M57 Hand Launcher Antitank weapon. The M57 was developed shortly after the Korean War and was Yugoslavia's version of the famous WW2 German Panzerfaust. Only they took design features from some other manportable antitank weapons that they had. One was the US 3.5 inch Super Bazooka. The Yugoslavian Army liked the effect of the Super Bazooka's HEAT round but they did not like its bulkiness and problems in dirty conditions. Also the fact a few gunners got burned by unspent rocket propellents did endear it. So they adopted the 3.5 inch HEAT warhead to a Panzerfaust type launcher. And they did away with the rear fuse for a system that MECAR had developed where a nose detonator set it off but a flame path went through the center of the shape-charge to the booster (ie for HEAT warheads to be effective you have to have the detonation of the high explosive start at the rear). In addition unlike the WW2 German Panzerfaust the Yugoslavian engineers copied a feature from the post WW2 German PZF-44 where metal filing were ejected to the rear. This feature is added because it was discovered that in a pure recoilless feature where the exploding gases push forward against the projectile and the rest of the gases exit the rear, 80% to 95% of the gases escape to the rear drastically reducing the range of the weapon. But adding some weight that the gases have to push against to the rear increases the range. The best is the same weight of the antitank projectile, but except in rare cases that is not done. Usually manufactures try to have 25% to 50% of the weight of the antitank projectile for the "resistor" weight that is expelled to the rear.

Last, the following pictures are from the now defunct Federal Directorate of Supply and Procurement in Yugoslavia. The book was sent to me around 1982. How they got my name and address has always been a mystery. But unfortunately I misplaced it then and never got to use it in an article till this online article. To be honest the photos and texts from this book is a good primer for how recoilless antitank weapons operate. The M57 is sort of a technological bridge between the WW2 German Panzerfaust and the 1960s Russian RPG-7. I hope the members will find it of interest.


Jack E. Hammond/Moderator


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jackehammond



Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 330
Location: Indiana, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:06 am    Post subject: Slovenian Army training with M57 Reply with quote

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dendirrek



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 361

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice post. Note that there is also an improved version of the RB M57, the M57A2 with optical sight.
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