Hungarian Bazooka/RPG?

Hungarian hybrid of bazooka and panzerschreck

Alexander Sirota

17 August '15

By the middle of World War II, a kind of “division of labor” had developed among the states of the anti-Hitler coalition in the European theater of operations: the USSR “sucked” the lion’s share of the land war, Britain specialized in naval warfare, and the United States performed the function of industrial support for military operations, helping the economies of the directly fighting countries with weapons, military equipment and strategic materials. Of course, such a model is very primitive, but, nevertheless, up to the Normandy operation, it can describe the relations between the Allied powers in Europe with a sufficient degree of conventionality.

In the camp of the Axis countries and their allies, the situation was fundamentally different. Germany had the most powerful economy (and captured many industrialized regions of Europe - the Czech Republic, Upper Silesia, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Northern France) and at the same time carried out its main operations both on land and at sea. In such conditions, its satellites from among the Eastern European states received German weapons (if they received them at all) on a residual basis, and usually of obsolete models.

Strange as it may seem, the relatively weak industry of these small countries (Finland, Romania and especially Hungary), which fell into the orbit of German geopolitical interests, turned out to be able to create and organize the production of quite interesting and effective types of weapons, from small arms to armored vehicles and aircraft inclusive.

As for the anti-tank weapons of infantry units, everything was very dull even in Germany until the end of 1943. Here is the opinion of an officer of the German General Staff during the war, Eike Middeldorf, on this matter:

"Anti-tank defense is, without a doubt, the saddest chapter in the history of the German infantry… Apparently, it will remain completely unknown why during the two years from the appearance of the T-34 tank in June 1941 to November 1943, no acceptable anti-tank infantry weapon was created.

Therefore, when in 1942, on the basis of the American Bazooka that fell into their hands, the Germans nevertheless created the 88-mm grenade launchers “Ofenrohr” (translated from German as “chimney”) and “Panzerschreck” (“terror of the tank”), there was no mass supply of these anti-tank weapons to the armies of the satellites. The German infantry, faced with an ever-increasing number of well-armored Soviet tanks, had no problem “mastering” all the grenade launchers produced by German industry. Of course, something fell to the Allied armies, but the priority for the Germans was supplies for their army. In 1943, the Germans were able to transfer only samples of the Panzerschreck to the Allies (Hungarians), and by the fall of 1944, a limited number of grenade launchers were received by the combat units of the 1st Hungarian Army.

The Hungarians did not want to put up with such discrimination - new and at the same time inexpensive weapons (the Panzerschreck cost only 70 Reichsmarks) qualitatively improved infantry units on the battlefield, allowing the image of the invincibility of the tank compared to the infantry to be buried forever. Hungarian designers began work on their own grenade launcher quite late, when the Panzerschrecks were already massively entering the German troops. The result of their work was a good hand-held anti-tank weapon, which combined the features of the Bazooka and Panzerschreck. The 44.M grenade launcher borrowed the handles and shield from its German counterpart, but the Hungarians chose the “American” caliber - 60 mm.

Hungarian anti-tank crew with 44.M grenade launcher (with shield removed) - Hungarian hybrid of bazooka and panzerschreck | Military History Portal

Hungarian anti-tank crew with a 44.M grenade launcher (with the shield removed)

Thanks to the smaller caliber, the Hungarian brother of the Panzerschreck turned out to be a little less bulky - its weight (with a shield) was 10.7 kg against 11.25 kg for the “German”. The difference in weight became more significant after the soldier’s “upgrade” with the removal of the shield. In addition, the choice of a smaller caliber for the hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher was due to considerations of the rate of fire - a lighter grenade could be easier (and faster) to reload.

Hungarian Honvéds with 44.M Grenade Launchers - Hungarian Bazooka-Panzerschreck Hybrid | Military History Portal

Hungarian Honveds with grenade launchers 44.M

The rocket-propelled grenade weighing 2.55 kg had a muzzle velocity of 80 m/s. The maximum firing range of 600 meters was declared for the grenade launcher, but in practice the effective range was about the same as that of the Panzerschreck - about 150 meters. The armor penetration of the grenade was 100 mm, which made it possible to confidently hit Soviet light and medium tanks in any projection, and heavy tanks (IS-2) in the side and rear. The cumulative warhead of the grenade consisted of a steel body filled with TNT, the detonation was carried out from the impact when hitting the target. The jet engine body and stabilizing tail (6 blades) were made of zinc-aluminum alloy. Ignition of the powder charge during the shot took place using an electric detonator.

Appearance of the 44.M grenade - Hungarian hybrid of bazooka and panzerschrek | Military History Portal

Appearance of the 44.Mgrenade

The 44.M grenade launcher entered service with the Hungarian army too late and could not significantly affect the course of the war. Hungarian industry in the difficult conditions of 1944 was unable to establish its mass production, and the 44.M was rarely used in combat. Nevertheless, it remained captured in video footage showing the preparation of Hungarian youth for the defense of Budapest in December 1944:


The 60 mm 44 M. rocket pr. garnet

The 60 mm 44 M. live rocket pr. Grenades

Ammunition of the 60 mm 44 M. hand-held anti-tank rocket launcher.


In 1942, German troops fighting on the Eastern Front faced a new kind of weapon. The cumulative rocket projectile hand-held anti-tank launcher (along with many other munitions) of the Lend-Lease He arrived in the Soviet Union with shipments, but this is only the first stage of his interesting career volt.

The American weapon, originally called Bazooka, aroused the interest of the Germans, and in 1943 they came up with their own pipe diameter, called Ofenrohr, increased to 88 mm with their seeder, the improved version of which, the Panzerschreck, is replaced by the It was used until the end of the war and was also distributed to Hungarian troops.

However, it seems that Hungarian troops also met Bazooka, which is indicated by the fact that The Hungarian hand-held rocket launcher, which appeared in 1944, is in many respects more similar to this than the Panzerschreck. The space of its rocket remained 60 mm, and its layout also more closely resembles that of the American Type II, such as the German missile No. 4322. However, its seed tube clearly has the German design follows, albeit with a number of differences.
The 60 mm 44 M. pr. Nevertheless, the (armour-blasting) missile and its launch tube cannot be considered simple copy, with the help of Hungarian engineers, became in many respects a better weapon than even American, like its German predecessor.


Only a live version of the 44 M. missiles is known, but it is likely that they are explosive charges There were also training and training versions, or at least plans to produce them. That During takeovers, a certain number of rocket grenades equipped only with dampers was also required launch.

The 60 mm 44 M. live rocket pr. garnet

Diameter: 60 mm
Weight: 2,55 kg
Explosive charge:… g TNT, a cast filling a small press body and head filling in the form of
Detonator: … g nitropenta, in the form
of 2 presses Starter: 35 M. grenade detonator
Incendiary: 43A M. Incendiary
Propellant: … g cordite, in the form
of 5 powder sticks Starting speed: approx. 80 m/s
Maximum range: 600 m
Effective range: 150 m
Armor penetration: 100 mm

The peak of the trajectory is 0.5 meters at 50 meters, and still only 2 meters at 100 meters, so to the finish An enemy tank taken within this range is scanned by the rocket projectile. 150 meters away However, this figure is already 4.5 meters.

The rocket grenade consists of three main parts: the warhead containing the explosive charge, the rocket engine and the It consists of a nozzle supporting stabilizing wings.
Both the body and the head bolt of the head part are made of zinc-aluminum alloy by casting, which They are formed to their final shape by cutting. Streamlined head screw that compresses on impact l Its most important role is to ensure the optimal distance at the moment of explosion, and Its splashing molten material also enhances the rocket’s ignition effect. The head screw is connected with thread to body, screwed in on the outside is facilitated by two flattenings.
The body contains a cumulative liner cone made of steel surrounded by cast TNT. At the bottom The two nitropenta detonators are placed inside the TNT press body, the lower of which in a deepened cavity is the 35 M. grenade detonator. The ignition device 34A M. is the threaded neck part of the head This anti-tank rifle grenade, also used and manufactured in Hungary, was made by modifying the 43 M. incendiary.
The head part is connected by thread to the sleeve of the gearbox made of steel pipe. Inside the vagina are five cordites: A powder rod wraps around the flame guide tube, each end of which contains a flame retardant powder press body be. The powder rods and flame guide are supported by a grille at the top and bottom. Above the top grille there is the hateful charge.
The nozzle closing part is connected to the end of the gearbox by thread, the 6 stabilizers welded to it wings, the ends of which are held together by a stiffening ring. In the nozzle opening fit 44 M. conical bakelite ignition head of an electric rocket lighter attached to the closing part by a cap. The The ignition head and the simple design of the connector are connected by an insulated wire about 23 cm long.
At the upper end of the gearbox sleeve we find the steel safety wire secured by a lead seal. If the However, the secured missile will not be used, it can be reinsured by putting the fuse wire back.

The rocket grenade engine sleeve and stabilizer wings are painted camp green, the head section unpainted. In the deplorably poor quality photos of the time, a dark stripe can also be seen on the head of the rocket, this probably the orange ring indicating the cumulative charge (which was present on the 44 M. mace launcher rocket, but also on artillery PR. grenades such as the 10.5 cm 42 M. PR. grenade). At the same time It should be noted that, unlike the original drawings, on the museum specimen in the photos there is a ring in this place shape indentation is visible, this may also explain the dark stripe.

According to regulations, the head part of the rocket grenade and the engine sleeve are used for production, assembly and Signs of acceptance shall be struck.

5 rockets in a 44 M. rocket ammunition case. On the lid of the unpainted crate is red “5 drb. 60 m/m 44M. sharp rocket pr. grenade” and indications of manufacture and assembly, which are the crate are repeated on shorter sides. The longer sides also bear red inscription "Exploding"l. A On the inside of the lid there are also black stamps indicating production and receipt. To the same place a white index plate shall be affixed to which particulars of manufacture and acceptance shall also be given they can be found (this is missing from the presented chest).

Carefully crates for previous artillery and other ammunition (including, for example, grenade rounds for 2 cm heavy rifles or 5 cm mortar grenades) They were prepared ironed wooden crates, the crate of 60 mm rockets, on the contrary, was extremely undemanding elaborate. Its carrying handle is made of a canvas strap, two simple strips of sheet iron for the purpose of a hinge which are nailed to the already makeshift crate and lid. The missiles are positioned in the crate by a few pieces of wood, which is also quite a far cry from the earlier ammunition from the elaboration of nests inside crates. However, it was perfectly suited to the purpose also.


Remove the rocket grenade from the ammunition case, then tear off the lead lock and pull out the fuse wire from the gear sleeve. The wire of the launcher of the rocket, pushed and fixed in the launch tube, is covered with banana plugs mounted on it with its help, connect it to the place formed on the pipe. The rocket is now ready for launch.

When fired, the generated electric current activates the incandescent lighter installed in the starter, it is an active mass With his help, he ignites the powder amplifier, which gives a stinging flame about 30 cm long. This stinging flame starts Insert the rocket engine.
The stinging flame ignites the flame retardant powder presses in the flame guide tube, which in turn a hater charge that ignites the powder sticks. The resulting pressure ejects the rocket igniter from the nozzle and Under the influence of exhaust products, the rocket grenade flies out of the launch tube. All this goes in such a short time After all, the engine actually ejects the rocket only from the tube, and it is only left to momentum keeps flying.
Under the influence of the forces during launch, the inertia ring of the ignition device is fixed in the lower position, and then The acceleration that ceases when the engine burns out allows the igniter to sharpen. All this process from the launch pipe is already a meters away, and the rocket grenade flies forward armed.
On impact, the slapper swinging forward under the influence of inertia pierces the damper, which ignites the 35 M. grenade detonators, the detonator nitropenta press bodies, which in turn contain the TNT charge. That The explosion of hollow charges and the cumulative liner cone create the ignition beam, which in the meantime On impact, no longer obstructed by a shattering head screw, it is aimed directly at the target. Meanwhile, the Exploding missile parts even have considerable shrapnel and incendiary effects.

The effectiveness of the cumulative charge is not affected by the distance to the target, as it does not depend on the force of impact, Thus, the armor penetration capability of the missile is 100 mm even at the range limit.

End of service

The 44 M. hand-held anti-tank rocket launcher, like many other modern Hungarian weapons, has a short service life got there. The supply ceased with the capture of the factories, so the troops in the final stages of the war they were forced to rely on similar German types, the Panzerschreck and the 43 M. anti-tank launcher (Püppchen), the source of which was not yet available dried up.