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The bazooka is a man-portable anti-armor 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.


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