Panzerfaust literally translates to “tank fist,” and it was one of several desperation weapons fielded by the Germans in the closing months of World War II to blunt the Soviet juggernaut and the increasing threats on the Western Front. First developed in 1942, as Germany’s fortunes waned, the combination of low cost and ease of training made the Panzerfaust a mainstay of the final defense of the Reich in 1943 and beyond. In Normandy, the Panzerfaust accounted for 6% of the Allied tanks knocked out in combat. By war’s end, when the battlefield was dense with poorly trained Volkssturm units, that number climbed to 34%.
*See also the German Panzerschreck