Hafthohlladung file photo [21996]

Hafthohlladung Grenade

Country of OriginGermany
Weight3.500 kg


ww2dbaseThe Hafthohlladung hand-held explosive devices, nicknamed "Panzerknacker" ("Tank Breaker" or "Safe Cracker"), were shaped charges designed against heavily armored targets, particularly tanks and other armored vehicles. They were introduced into the German military in Nov 1942. They were capable of penetrating about 140 millimeters (about 5.5 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor or about 500 millimeters (about 20 inches) of concrete. At the base of each weapon there were three magnets for attachment to metal surfaces. The ignitors were at the rear of the mine, so that they could be activated (by pulling) after each weapon had been attached to the target. While the operators necessarily exposed themselves to great danger during their approach, once deployed these weapons were very effective. There were two variants of this weapon. The 3 HL variant charges had a weight of 3 kilograms and were shaped like sharp-sloped funnels, while the 3.5 HL variant charges had a weight of 3.5 kilograms and were shaped like softer-sloped bells. Both variants originally had a 4.5-second fuse; examples made after May 1943 had 7.5-second fuses. Production ceased in May 1944 after the introduction of the Panzerfaust grenade launchers, but charges already deployed to front line units continued to be used through the end of the European War. 553,900 examples were made between Nov 1942 and May 1944.

Source: Wikipedia ww2dbase

Last Major Revision: Nov 2014


3 HL (left) and 3.5 HL (right) shaped charges, date unknownGerman soldier with 3 HL shaped charge, spring 1944Camouflaged German soldier with 3 HL shaped charge, France, Jun 1944Lance Corporal Lodge of 278th Field Company, British Royal Engineers holding a captured German 3 HL shaped charge, near Caen, France, 26 Jun 1944
See all 5 photographs of Hafthohlladung Grenade

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Hafthohlladung Grenade Photo Gallery
3 HL (left) and 3.5 HL (right) shaped charges, date unknown
See all 5 photographs of Hafthohlladung Grenade

Famous WW2 Quote
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935