Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

The Soviet Union had one undeniable advantage over foes, no matter how desperate or woeful their position in war time, it had plenty of manpower. The ability of the Soviets to heave massive amounts of men into a battle, as wasteful as it was to human life, allowed the nation to stem or turn the tide in many a battle. This idea that men should be that final "weapon system" in the quiver of the Soviet general staff was best exemplified by the RPG-43.

When taking on a tank, its a pretty good idea to stay as far away and as concealed as possible from the armored monster. Anti-tank rockets, fired from over a hill or from a obscured position allows a soldier a certain level of survivability.However, during World War II, Soviet war planners decided that an oversized handgrenade would be a valuable weapon in the hands of their soldiers. A weapon that could only be utilized by getting "up close and personal" with a 25 ton Panzer.

The RPG-43 was a standard stick grenade in layout, but it was topped by a 600 gram high explosive shaped charge. That charge, the first Soviet shaped charge hand grenade, was designed to take out the medium tanks of the Nazi juggernaut. While earlier large warhead hand grenades worked pretty well against first generation German tanks; by Pazners III and IV, a new hand grenade was needed by the Soviets.

The RPG-43 went to war in the fist of the Soviet infantry. It was deployed by yanking a pin, and the stick grenade was hurled at the target (tank.) As it arched through the air, a spring pushed a stabilizing cone and fabric tail from the warhead assembly. Detonation was achieved by an impact fuse inside the shaped charge.

For the hand grenade to work properly it essentially needed to strike the tank at a 90 degree angle. The weight of the RPG-43, as well as soldiers raw survival instinct to not expose themselves to sure death, worked against the hand grenade. 

Interestingly, the RPG-43 could have been a superb urban fighting weapon. Ideally, the hand grenade worked best at the aforementioned 90 degree angle. Also, the traditionally softest armor had been top or suface armor, with the sides and front being the thickets.

Dropping the RPG-43 down onto passing tanks in urban fighting could have seen the weapon reach its peak potential. 

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