Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks
Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter


Anti-Tank Grenade [ 1943 ]

The RPG-43 series replaced the RPG-40 as a more viable option to disable the newer breed of German tanks in World War 2.

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

In June of 1941, the German Army invaded the Soviet Union through "Operation Barbarossa" beginning the East Front which would go on to become one of Adolf Hitler's critical mistakes in World War 2. Hitler was convinced that his blitzkrieg steamroller could overtake the vast reaches of the Soviet Empire within time and made large gains in the open rounds of the offensive, taking the Soviets completely by surprise. The Red Army, however, was not without hope for it held an array of weapons in which to help defend and, hopefully, stave off complete elimination at the hands of the Germans. Chief among these weapons were anti-tank systems directly designed to meet armored drives head-on.

While these weapons - to include the RPG-40 anti-tank stick grenade of 1940 - proved effective against the early generations of German tanks - mainly the Panzer I and Panzer II light tank series - they became less effective when the German Army began unveiling their Panzer III and Panzer IV medium tank series. The Soviet need for improved anti-tank weaponry became readily apparent by the time the Germans delivered their new Panther (Panzer V) medium-heavy and Tiger I heavy tanks to the East Front. This pushed Soviet authorities to request much improved weapons from their manufacturing districts to which the RPG-43 series anti-tank stick grenade - a much improved form of the original RPG-40 series - resulted. Beyond its obvious external differences to the RPG-40, the RPG-43 featured a shaped charge HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead against the HE (High-Explosive) type as featured in the preceding RPG-40 series. As the designation would suggest, the RPG-43 entered Soviet Army service in 1943, directly replacing the RPG-40 in service as the standard Red Army anti-tank hand grenade for the duration of the war.

Design of the RPG-43 followed along the same lines as that of the RPG-40. It was based around the relatively handy concept of a "stick" grenade in which the design was characterized by its long wooden handle capped by the canister containing the explosive content. The handle and canister were separated by a tapered conical housing. The weapon weighed in at 1.24 kilograms and featured a diameter measuring in at 95mm. The warhead was filled with a TNT shaped charge weighing in at 0.61 kilograms designed to inflict maximum damage against armored surfaces. Detonation was by way of an inertial impact fuse, detonating upon contact against the target or target area.

The operator activated the RPG-43 by pulling a safety ring from the wooden handle stem. From there, the operator proceeded to throw the grenade against the intended target. As such, the range of the grenade was really only as far as the use could throw it. This often times meant that the operator would need to be relatively close to the target, unnecessarily exposing himself to enemy fire. Additionally, the weight of the stick grenade worked against the thrower as it was much more heavier than the standard infantry hand grenade - throwing ranges were therefore about half of that as found in the lighter and smaller hand grenades. Regardless, the cumbersome system was effective against armor up to 75mm in thickness at a 90-degree angle. The type was also easy-to-use, requiring little training, and - perhaps more importantly - cheap to mass-produce for the wartime Soviet Union.

The RPG-43 proved highly efficient and effective upon its introduction and immediately moved to replace the RPG-40 as the standard Soviet Army anti-tank grenade. An improved version of the RPG-43 - the conically-capped, air-stabilized "RPG-6" - appeared later in 1943 and was used throughout the remainder of the war as well. Both the RPG-43 and RPG-6 would see use in the post-war years and throughout the Cold War decades thereafter, finding homes in the inventories of several Warsaw Pact and Soviet-allied nations and states. Beyond combat actions in World War 2, the RPG-43 also saw service in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the follow-up Six Day War and the upcoming Yom Kippur War.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

Soviet Union national flag graphic
Soviet Union


Anti-Tank Grenade

State Factories - Soviet Union
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Albania National flag of Algeria National flag of Bulgaria National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of modern Germany National flag of East Germany National flag of Hungary National flag of Iraq National flag of Israel National flag of Jordan National flag of Libya National flag of Morocco National flag of Poland National flag of Romania National flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Sudan National flag of Syria National flag of Tunisia National flag of Yemen Albania; Algeria; Bulgaria; Czechoslovakia; East Germany; Egypt; Syria; Hungary; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Libya; Morocco; Poland; Romania; Saudi Arabia; Soviet Union; Sudan; Tunisia; Yemen
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.
Anti-Armor / Anti-Tank / Anti-Material
Designed to engage and defeat armor / enemy tanks at range.

Empty Wgt
2.75 lb
1.25 kg

Not Applicable


Contact Explosive; Thrown

(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)



Rounds / Feed

Single Use
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
RPG-43 - Base Series Designation

Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Images Gallery

1 / 1
Image of the RPG-43
Profile illustration view of the RPG-43 anti-tank stick grenade; color


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing all American military medals and ribbons.

© www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003- (yrs)