Anti-tank rifle

From Academic Kids

An anti-tank rifle is a rifle designed to penetrate the armour of tanks. The tug of war between armor and projectiles had been going on for before, especially among naval ships since the advent of the Iron-clads. The rise of armoured vehicles on land meant the extension of this conflict of design. The advent of armored cars, and especially the tank resulted in the first anti-tank weapons. There were a number of weapon systems used against these early tanks, and among them were high powered rifles.

High powered rifles had been in development even in the 1800s, in particular in the hunting of big game. Anti-tank rifle would become even larger, and be especially focused on not just on high-power, but on the ability to go through armor.

In response to the first tank deployment in WWI by the British, Germany developed a special armor-piercing bullet the K bullet (Patrone SmK Kurz 7.92mm), which could be fired from a regular infantry rifle. This had about a 30 percent chance of penetrating the 8mm armor with a direct (perpendicular hit) of the first tanks. The next generation however had more armor which made these ineffective.

In The first purpose designed anti-tank rifle was designed by Germany in World War I in response to the ineffectivness of the K bullets. The large-caliber rifle was capable of penetrating early tanks' relatively thin armour and allowed infantry a better chance at stopping them.

During the World War II anti-tank rifles were effective against early light tanks, like German Panzer Is and Panzer IIs, but later as armor became thicker on newer tanks the anti-tank role soon required much more powerful weapons. Anti-tank rifles were were replaced by small, hand-held rocket and grenade launchers using rocket-propelled grenades like Bazooka and Panzerfaust.

The weapon is the conceptual forbear to modern anti-tank weapons wielded by modern infantry, and both large-caliber sniper rifles and anti-materiel rifles owe some part of their design heritage to it.


Some examples of anti-tank rifles include:


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