What anti-tank measures did Germany come up with? And was there any effective solution in the pipelines that didn’t make it to the front because the war ended?

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Dang I got all excited about Panzerfäust and Panzerschreck but evidently I’ve come to the wrong bloody war.


While not immediate, the Germans did respond with the world’s first anti tank rifle, the Mauser T-Gewehr.


The most immediate solutions for British tanks were improvisational. The Germans would bundle multiple stick grenades together in an attempt to stop the tanks. They also used direct fire artillery brought forward if the tanks advanced far enough. They would also dangerously use mortars parallel to the ground to direct fire at the tanks like a roman candle. Close to the lines they would also use flamethrowers. All these exposed them to counter artillery and fire from the tank itself. More likely that the tank would break down or that the crew would be overcome by fumes since the engine wasn’t compartmentalized in early tanks. Most of the development that really didn’t make it to the front was smaller direct fire anti-tank guns firing Armor Piercing ammunition like the early German PAK 36 3.7cm direct fire anti-tank gun.


You may want to clarify which world war you are talking about.


Because of the major mechanical problems suffered by early tanks when they were first introduced into combat by the British, the Germans underestimated them as a serious threat, and the development of good antitank weapons was delayed to the point of not being ready by the end of the war. The measures the Germans did use in 1917 and 1918 were: – Mauser Tankgewehr. A scaled-up single shot Mauser rifle in 13.2mm. It ammunition used a hardened armor piercing core, and it was effective again tank armor in some circumstances. It was also very heavy, not very mobile, and allied reactions were mixed. It does not appear to have been overall a very effective weapon. – Armor-piercing standard rifle ammunition. Called “Spitzgeschoss mit Kern” (bullet with core), this was a relatively easy measure to implement, but generally ineffective. – Direct artillery fire. This was the most effective counter to tanks, and by far the one of most concern to Allied tankers. The 77mm German light field guns were plenty powerful enough to destroy a tank with a direct hit, and they were put into this role. Indirect fire was also used with significant effect, when observation posts were able to spot tanks and call in artillery fire. By the end of the war, the Germans were siting artillery pieces in hidden positions where they could be quickly rolled out of cover and fire directly at advancing tanks. This led to changes in French tactics in particular, with an emphasis on suppressing observation points and having friendly artillery standing by to support tanks with fire on German guns as they were located. Of course, mechanical unreliability remained a huge flaw in tanks through the end of the war, and many would simply break down on the battlefield. However, this was being addressed by 1918 and the vehicles were improving. In addition, planners learned to place vehicles as close as possible to the jump off lines before attacks, so that the tanks could run as long as possible in the attack, instead of breaking down on approach marches (which happened a lot in early battles). In addition, simple things like wide trenches could be effective in stopping tanks (particularly the French tanks, which used modern track systems instead of the British style). By the end of the war, Germany was working on a couple new and better AT weapons systems. One was the TAK (tankabwehrkanone; anti-tank canon), which was a 37mm direct-fire gun. It used a very minimal carriage to allow maximum mobility and concealment, and would have been an ideal weapon, but was not put into service in time to see combat. The other was the TuF machine gun (tank und flieger; tank and aircraft), a belt-fed 13.2mm gun that probably also would have been fairly effective. It used the same ammunition as the Mauser T-Gewehr, but again was not in service by the end of the fighting. Note that the US used the 13.2mm cartridge as the basis for developing the .50 BMG cartridge and in turn the Browning M2 machine gun right after the war.