As we all know, the first type of rocket launcher produced by the People's Republic of China was the 51 type rocket launcher that played a huge role in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. This rocket launcher was officially finalized and put into production in May 1951, and 4,800 were produced by the end of the year. Most of them were sent to the Korean battlefield, greatly enhancing the anti-tank firepower of the Volunteers.
Regarding the technical source and reference prototype of this type of rocket launcher, the mainstream domestic saying is: In October 1950, the Volunteer Army's 40th Army seized a US-made M20 "Super Bazuka" during the battle in Pingdong. The rocket launcher and 1 rocket were sent back to the country for research. Based on this, Shenyang 52 arsenal imitated the 51-type rocket launcher. In addition, there is a view that the 51-type rocket launcher is an imitation of the "trial-produced 90mm paratrooper anti-tank rocket launcher" developed by Japan at the end of World War II.
Due to the age,Whether it is a 51-type rocket launcher or a "trial-produced four-type 90mm paratrooper anti-tank rocket launcher," there are very few technical data and appearance photos. Therefore, later generations can only get a glimpse of it through this very little information.
The M20 "Super Bazooka" rocket launcher was actually developed as early as the end of 1944. Only because the war is nearing end, the US military believes that the active M9 series "Bazooka" rocket launchers are capable of use, so the M20 has not been put into production. After the outbreak of the Korean War, the invading US troops suddenly discovered that the M9 series "Bazuka" rocket launchers had too small caliber to deal with the T34-85 tanks equipped by the Korean People's Army. So the U.S. Army Ordnance Department immediately pulled out the M20 blueprint and organized the arsenal to rush out thousands of M20 and supporting ammunition to the Korean battlefield within a few weeks, effectively curbing the Korean People's Army's tank offensive.
"Trial production of a 90mm paratrooper anti-tank rocket launcher" was the end of World War II, Japan In order to deal with the US tanks, an anti-tank weapon was imitated based on the German "Panzerschreck tank killer" drawing. The German "Panzerschreck tank killer" is based on the American M1 "Bazu" captured on the battlefield in North Africa.The basic principles of the two are the same, but there are many differences in technical details. However, after Japan obtained the technical information of the "Panzerschreck Tank Killer", in view of the large gap between its industrial base and Germany, The physical fitness and combat environment of the domestic soldiers are also very different from those of the Germans, so some re-innovations were made in the process of imitation. Because they were very satisfied with the test results, Japan issued the blueprint for the "Trial-produced Type 4 90mm Paratrooper Anti-tank Rocket Launcher" To the four major arsenals (Tokyo Kokura, Ai Mingguya, North Korea Incheon, Manchuria), intends to mass production. However, as the war has come to an end, Japan’s military industry has collapsed in strategic bombing and blockade, so this type of rocket launcher The yield is very low.
However, it is certain that the Fengtian Military Forces Center under Japanese control was Have the technical data of this type of rocket launcher. It is said that trial production was carried out at the urging of the Kwantung Army. This Fengtian Military Base was the predecessor of the various ordnance factories in Shenyang and even the entire ordnance industry system in the Northeast after liberation. The 52nd Arsenal of Shenyang, which is responsible for the development and production of 51-type rocket launchers, was made in Fengtian.One of the "descendants" of the military station.
M20 type "Super Bazooka" actually has 3 sub-models, namely M20, M20A1, and M20B1. The M20's body tube is processed from a seamless steel tube with an inner diameter of 88.9 mm (3.5 inches) and a length of 1.53 meters. The mouth of the body tube is welded with a horn-shaped flame retaining ring, and the tail is welded with a horn-shaped guard ring. Its function is to prevent the barrel tail from being deformed due to collision and affecting the loading of the rocket. The end of the body tube is welded with a rocket baffle plate and a wire connection fixing device.
M20A1's body tube is a detachable two-section type, and the front and rear cylinders are both about 0.76 meters long. The front cylinder is a smooth-bore seamless steel tube with a simple structure, with a mass of about 2 kg , The mouth is welded with a horn-shaped flame retaining ring, the barrel is welded with a fixed ring and a front sight, etc., and the rear is welded with a connecting protrusion, which can be matched with the annular groove at the front of the rear barrel to fix the two launch barrels together. The weight of the barrel is about 4.3 kg. The main body is still a seamless steel pipe, but the structure is more complicated, with a card slot welded at the front and a horn-shaped guard welded at the tail.ring. The barrel structure of M20B1 is exactly the same as that of M20A1. The only difference is that a large amount of aluminum alloy is used, and the total mass is reduced to 5.9 kg.
The body tube of the "Trial-produced Type Four 90mm Paratrooper Anti-tank Rocket Launcher" is made of seamless steel pipes. There is no horn-shaped flame ring at the mouth, but a steel pipe reinforcement ring is welded. There is a horn-shaped bracket made of steel wire at the tail. The bracket has a semi-circular shape with a gap of about 100 degrees left on the upper part to facilitate loading. In addition, the end of the body tube is also welded with a rocket baffle and a wire connection fixing device.
From the outside, the shape of the 51-type 90mm rocket launcher is almost the same as the M20. The only difference is that the 51 type has two arc-shaped grooves symmetrically opened in the upper half of the tail horn-shaped retainer. In addition, because our country adopts the metric system, the inner diameter of the rocket launcher is changed to 90 mm for the convenience of production, and the length of the barrel is also revised to 1.45 meters accordingly.. It can be seen that the 51-style barrel is the closest to the M20.