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"How to operate the Bazooka, M1/M1A1" Topic

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Tgunner02 Nov 2017 7:01 p.m. PST


YouTube link

Please be aware that the information in this training film is classified, restricted, by the Department of the Army. Divulging the information presented in this film to unauthorized personnel is punishable through the UCMJ.

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP03 Nov 2017 4:56 a.m. PST

Don't look into the front part if it mis-fires!

Mark 103 Nov 2017 11:31 a.m. PST

Thanks for posting that link, Tgunner. Although I have seen it before in my wanderings across YouTube, I appreciate having it brought back to my attention to view again.

I like the demonstration of the danger of back-blast. Of course, if you stop and think about it it's just a sheet -- I mean how many things are happening around you in combat that WON'T ruin bedsheets? Still, it was done in a manner that built a little suspense, and then provided a dramatic, and therefore memorable, illustration of "wow, I don't want to stand there".

But then you read the comments, and one of the first ones is "They warn you not to stand behind it, but they don't warn you not to stand in front of it?"

IDK, maybe your average recruit / draftee does need to be told not to stand IN FRONT of the weapon he is using.

I do find it interesting to see how the weapons of WW2 actually worked -- what the guys using them needed to know and to do to make use of them.

But for the only-occasionally-looks-at-the-details hobbyist, I would offer the counsel that you shouldn't don't take the battery issue too seriously. The M1 / M1A1 bazookas used batteries in the firing mechanism, but the M9 / M9A1, which was put into production in the 4th Quarter of 1943, and was rather common by the time of the ETO campaign, used a magneto mechanism driven by the trigger to ignite the projectile's rocket, so the batteries were already on their way out before the US Army landed in France.

(aka: Mk 1)

Legion 403 Nov 2017 12:18 p.m. PST

Just like, e.g. the M72 LAW … you must check your back blast area before firing ! One of the first things we were taught about the M72 … For Obvious reasons …

Mark 103 Nov 2017 1:25 p.m. PST

Just like, e.g. the M72 LAW … you must check your back blast area before firing !

A subtle but perhaps interesting difference over time in approach to the lesson … in the Bazooka training film there is no statement or inference that it is the responsibility of the gunner, or even the loader, to check the back blast area. Rather the emphasis is to the loader to be careful not to place himself in the back blast area.

I suspect the difference in training comes from a combination of two issues. First of course is that the LAW was not crew served, but rather a one-man weapon system. So there was no loader to warn about the back blast area. But I wonder if the bigger influence was because other soldiers who were not part of the bazooka crew got quick-fried too many times. So it migrated from training based on "don't go there" to training based on "you are responsible for ensuring no one ELSE goes there".

(aka: Mk 1)

Legion 403 Nov 2017 3:02 p.m. PST

Yes, the Bazooka basically was the "precursor" to the LAW. They had the same function giving the Infantryman a light man packed AT weapon.

But again no matter what, the back blast area has to be checked/cleared before firing. And I wouldn't fire a LAW, RPG, RR, etc. while inside a building, or even if a wall is too close behind you, etc. Ouch ! Again, we were trained to check if your back blast area is clear. Before firing …

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