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Anti-Tank Stick Grenade [ 1940 ]

The RPG-40 anti-tank grenade proved effective agains the earlier Panzer series tanks, lesser so from the arrival of the Panzer IV onwards.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/15/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

RPG-40 (ruchnaya protivotankovaya granata, translating to "hand-held tank grenade") was a standard anti-tank hand grenade utilized by the Soviet Union Red Army during the early years of World War 2. As its designation suggests, the RPG-40 entered service with the Red Army in 1940. It would be ultimately used by Soviet-allied nations as well and see extensive actions throughout World War 2. Early on in the conflict, the RPG-40 proved its worth against the first generations of German light tanks (namely the Panzer I and Panzer II series) and even against the Panzer III medium tank. However, with the arrival of the better-armored Panzer IV medium tank - and this being followed into service by the formidable Panzer V "Panther" series - the RPG-40 was somewhat outclassed for the anti-tank role in part due to its simple High-Explosive (HE) warhead. The RPG-40 was, therefore, replaced in Red Army service by the improved RPG-43 series of 1943 which sported a shaped charge HEAT (High-Explosive, Anti-Tank) warhead and proved much more effective against thicker armor sets.

Design of the RPG-40 was decidedly Soviet in nature - highly simplistic and easy to produce. It consisted of nothing more than a canister warhead mounted onto a cylindrical carrying handle. Weight was roughly 2.68lbs and length from top to bottom was 7.86 inches. The canister portion of the grenade housed 1.35lbs of TNT (TriNiTrotoluene). The explosive nature of the RPG-40 was actuated by contact, which meant that the Soviet soldier need only throw the RPG-40 onto or against his intended target. However, this also meant that the soldier was required to expose himself to the battlefield environment and, with the RPG-40 weighing more than a conventional lobbed hand grenade, this also meant that the soldier would have to be in relatively close proximity to the enemy vehicle. The 760 grams of TNT in the warhead could penetrate up to 20mm of armor protection.

The RPG-40 was used beyond the Red Army by army forces of Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, post-war East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Basics [+]
State Factories - Soviet Union
Albania; Bulgaria; Czechoslovakia; East Germany; Hungary; Poland; Romania; Soviet Union National flag of Albania National flag of Bulgaria National flag of Czechia National flag of modern Germany National flag of East Germany National flag of Hungary National flag of Poland National flag of Romania National flag of the Soviet Union
Service Year
National Origin
Soviet Union

Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.
Designed to engage and defeat armor / enemy tanks at range.

Overall Length
200 mm / 7.87 in
Weight (Empty)
2.69 lb / 1.22 kg
Contact Explosive; Thrown
Not Applicable
*May not represent an exhuastive list; Calibers may be model-specific dependent; Always consult official manufacturer sources.
Single Use
Not Applicable

Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information.

RPG-40 - Base Series Designation

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Image of the RPG-40
Artist profile view of the RPG-40 anti-tank stick grenade

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