M1 (Bazooka) / (2.36-inch Rocket Launcher M1) Reusable, Shoulder-Fired, Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher
The United States Army enjoyed considerable success with its simplistic Bazooka rocket launcher series.
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The M1 "Bazooka" proved one of the stars of the Allied cause during World War 2 and eventually inspired the German "Panzerschreck" series. The Bazooka was a special weapon which promoted ease-of-use, simple maintenance/operation and could be produced in vast numbers to supplement a growing war effort. The Bazooka was cited by General Dwight D. Eisenhower as one of the major reasons the Allies won World War 2, proving effective in the field and popular amongst its many operators the world over until replacement weapons began to ebb its position during the 1960s. A true multi-role performer, the Bazooka was used to tackle tank threats and assail fortified positions. Her service life placed her at the heart of fighting. World War 2 (1939), the Chinese Civil War (1946-1950), the Korean War (1950-1953), the Vietnam War (1955-1975) and the Cambodian Civil War (1967-1975) were among her more notable engagements. The Bazooka proved revolutionary for its time when infantry held little to no portable anti-tank measure like the M1.
The Bazooka Name
The "Bazooka" nickname stems from its resemblance to the trombone-like wind instrument developed by radio comedian Bob Burns. Burns used the instrument in his skits and copyrighted the design as early as 1920 and, for whatever reason, granted it the name "Bazooka". When Brigadier General Gladeon M. Barnes of the Ordnance Department saw the weapon, he commented on how the weapon resembled Burns' "Bazooka" and this nickname was, unofficially and forever, attached to the M1 weapon and subsequent developments. The weapon was also known by troops in its shortened "Zooka" nickname form or simply called the "stovepipe" for its obvious resemblance to a stove's exhaust stack. "Shoulder 75" was a lesser-used term which likened the firepower of the simple little M1 to that of a larger 75mm artillery piece.