bazooka, in warfare, portable, lightweight metal tube from which rockets are launched, usually operated by two men. It is used by infantry as an antitank weapon and also for attacking pillboxes and bunkers. In general, the bazooka is a short-range weapon with low accuracy; however, it gives the individual soldier the means of destroying heavily armored vehicles and fortified positions. An American invention, it was widely used in World War II—first by the Allies and later by the Germans—and in the Korean War by the UN forces. Since then, bazookas have largely been replaced by recoilless rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, antitank missiles, and other weapons. In modern warfare, the first major use of the rocket as a weapon was in the bazooka. See rocket.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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