Category: Term of the day
The bazooka is a man-portable anti-tank rocket launcher, made famous during World War II where it was one of the primary infantry anti-tank weapons used by the United States Armed Forces.
It was one of the first weapons based on the High explosive anti-tank (HEAT) shell to enter service. It was nicknamed "bazooka" from a vague resemblance to the musical instrument of the same name invented and used by Bob Burns. It saw widespread use throughout WWII.
The German armed forces copied the design increasing the caliber to 88 mm, as well as other changes, and issued it as the Raketenpanzerbüchse "Panzerschreck".
In addition to the actual weapon, the word "bazooka" is often incorrectly used to refer to any shoulder-launched missile weapon.
The original 60mm bazooka (2.36-inch) in its various models served in all theatres of the Second World War and later in the Korean War. After it proved inadequate against the Soviet T-34 tank during the latter war (as it had against German Tigers and Panthers in the former), it was replaced with the M20 Super Bazooka of 89 mm (3.5-inch ) model. The M20 was in turn supplanted by the LAW (Light anti-tank weapon) in the opening stages of the Vietnam War. Bazookas were replaced in some roles by 57 mm M18 and 75 mm M20 recoilless rifles in the last battles of WWII (1945).
Armoured Personnel Carrier