Book Review: Panzerfaust vs Sherman: European Theater 1944-45


by Steven J. Zaloga

Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2019. Pp. 80. Illus., maps, tables, chron., biblio., index. $22.00 paper. ISBN: 1472832310

The Effectiveness of German Shaped-Charge Anti-Tank Weapons

In Panzerfaust vs Sherman Zaloga, author of numerous works in military history and technology, “examines the confrontation between German shaped-charge weapons such as the Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck and U.S. Army M-4 medium tanks” in the ETO during the final two years of the Second World War. And he does a very good job of it.

Zaloga opens with a short introduction on the evolution of anti-tank weapons in the inter-war period. He follows this with a long discussion on the nature of a “shaped charge” and the rise of anti-tank weapons using this technology. There follow several chapters that explain how these weapons and – and contingent counter measures -- were integrated into the armies and how they affected the war in western Europe.

Zaloga makes use of vignettes about particular actions and even the personal experiences of some soldiers to illustrate how the weapons and the counter measures were used in action. He then offers some analysis of the relative effectiveness of the various type of weapons and follows with a brief discussion of subsequent developments in shaped-charge military technology.

Panzerfaust vs Sherman, a volume in the Osprey “Duel” series, is a good handbook on the role of shaped-charge weapons in the Second World War and the vulnerabilities and strengths of the Sherman, particularly useful for anyone needing a quick, accurate introduction to these weapons systems.


Note: Panzerfaust vs Sherman is also available in several e-editions.

StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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