During World War II there became a clear space on the battlefield for personal rocket-propelled grenade launchers, missile launchers and the like. Advances in tank armour and grenades whose blast radius exceeded the distance soldiers could throw them meant the bazooka was an invention waiting to happen.
And it did: fielded by the Americans in 1942, it was a basic beast consisting of a wired tube and pistol grip. The rocket was loaded and connected to the weapon’s ignition wiring from the open rear end by one soldier, while another aimed and fired.
Modern ‘bazookas’ are specialised for use against personnel, tanks and even buildings. The British Army currently uses the light anti-structures missile (LASM) for urban warfare. The missile is loaded into a telescopic, disposable launcher designed for single use. The rocket comprises a warhead, fuse and a propulsion unit and, when the
trigger is pulled and the rocket fired, spring-loaded fins deploy to stabilise its flight while the force of its propulsion enables it to penetrate the target structure before its explosive payload is detonated.