What the red army did not like the Soviet grenade RPG-40

Weapons 25/12/19 For what the red army did not like the Soviet grenade RPG-40

Resembling a tin can with a thick handle, the first antitank grenade of the great Patriotic war was not only ugly appearance, but also very bad “reputation”. “Tanya” as it was called in the infantry, the soldiers did not like. It is extremely dangerous to use, some time after the outbreak of war grenade RPG-40 was almost useless against German tanks.

the Appearance of

Adopting high-explosive anti-tank grenade type was accelerated after the events of the Winter war. In 1940, the Soviet command gave preference to the constructor design Puzyreva, an employee of plant No. 58 Voroshilov. A grenade was characterized by a cylindrical body with thin tin walls, and the weight of ammunition was 1,200 grams.
Established in 1941, the release of “Tanya” reached a million copies a month (3 million grenades during the war, put only the enterprises of the Gulag).
the RPG-40 was distributed to the Marines fighting on those areas where there was danger of the appearance of tanks, and the guerrillas.

application Features

due to the specific design fuse with inertial fuse in order to blow up the RPG-40 was required to make a powerful shot to the side of the enemy tank.
the Infantryman had to calculate the force at the same time fall from a distance of 20-25 meters under the tank so that the grenade will not bounce. The throw should have been done very quickly – after removing the fuse checks even react to small fluctuations. A grenade could work, even if it is accidentally dropped on the ground.

“Tanya” should throw only in vulnerable places “Panzer” – under the tracks, under the tower or on the roof of the engine compartment. In this case, the soldier had to be on the side or rear of the tank. After throwing the instruction immediately hide in the trenches, in extreme case, a wall or tree – or marine risked being hit by the explosion. In open areas the use of RPG-40 and is considered suicidal.
of Course, in order to meet the required conditions, it required some skill and learn how to throw a grenade, unfortunately, I had not all. Sometimes, however, the soldiers were killed rather by his own stupidity, not from lack of experience. Cases are known, when the red army took the fuse from the RPG-40 and tried to use it with anti-personnel grenade RGD-33. The incompatibility of the designs led to an explosion in his hands.


the idea of the designer, the RPG-40 was supposed to penetrate the armor thickness of 20 mm. For light tanks Panzer II and Panzer 38, the thickness of the armor which did not exceed 14.5 mm, it was a good fit. But with medium tanks of the enemy Tanyusha did poorly – the explosion was only a dent, and not dangerous to the tank crew.
“a More effective tool, I thought of a bottle filled with a flammable mix,” spoke about the RPG-40 Vasily Gladkov, hero of a documentary book by Vladimir Persantine “I fought in two wars”.

Trying to improve their creation, the recently created two times more powerful grenade RPG-41 – but it was ineffective, both because of the increased weight of the throwing distance significantly decreased. In 1942, the army reverted to using the earlier version. But by 1943, 760 grams of compressed TNT RPG-40 is absolutely not enough to penetrate the armor just descended from the conveyor of the new German “Panther”. However, when the situation was quite desperate, infantry used the ligaments RPG-40, but for a soldier shot of the ammunition meant certain death.

In the end, in anti-tank combat “Tanya” was replaced by the RPG-43 grenade with less explosive, but had a fundamentally different design. Due to the effect of cumulation of explosive energy was focused in one direction – this grenade had a 3 times greater armor-piercing and could penetrate the armor tolness 75 mm.

However, the RPG-40 until may 1945 continued to be used against armored vehicles and for the destruction of bunkers. The guerrillas also used it to undermine the trains – fuses “Tanya” was triggered from the vibration of the rails with the appearance of the whole.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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