Anti-tank weaponry is the main component of anti-tank warfare.
They came about during the First World War as a countermeasure against British tanks. The first of these was developed by the Germans and came in a few different varieties. The most common ones were specialized explosives. There were also rifles built for the sole purpose of dealing with heavily armored targets. These would eventually evolve into the modern anti-tank rifles.
Also popular during the time were primitive anti-tank guns. They were large, stationary pieces of artillery with long barrels that fired small caliber shells. The development of ammunition, of course, followed along with these advancements and led to increased production of armor-piercing ammunition.
Development History of Anti-Tank Weaponry
Throughout the 20th century up to contemporary time, anti-tank weaponry has seen numerous variations in its coevolution with warfare in general. Anti-tank guns improved to the point that the stationary design is now deemed too lacking in mobility. To make them useful, they are now mounted on lightly armored vehicles to form ‘tank destroyers’. Plus, the introduction of aerial troops, though none were specifically made to combat tanks, has taken on the job of dispatching them via bomb drops.
In terms of infantry, there are several anti tank weapons used to provide ground troops with a means to defend themselves from enemy tanks. These are the anti-tank rifles, rocket launchers like the bazooka, anti-tank explosives such as mines and sticky bombs, and obstacles like Czech hedgehogs and dragon’s teeth. These forms of weaponry provided not only practical use but a boost to morale, as they have made the prospect of facing a tankless daunting and far more plausible to accomplish by men alone.
Anti-Tank Weapons in Contemporary Time
In contemporary times, anti-tank weaponry, like most forms of wartime weaponry, has shifted towards the use of missiles. High-explosive anti-tank missiles or HEAT missiles are a common example. The means of delivery has largely remained the same, though the use of guiding systems and aircraft-mounted artillery have made anti-tank warfare that much more efficient.