Anti-tank weapons and tactics progressed rapidly throughout the war in response to increasingly powerful and well-armoured tanks. The anti-tank rifle was a popular weapon in most armies towards the start of the war but gradually became less effective as an infantry tool as tank armour thickened. Hand-held anti-tank weapons progressed towards propelled explosive projectiles, such as the Bazooka and the Panzerschreck, which relied on kinetic energy supplied by explosion upon impact to pierce armour. Close-quarters defensive capabilities relied on explosive charges to disable tanks, as the explosive force provided by such charges is not focussed enough to pierce armour. A key defensive tactic for infantry forces confronted by tanks was to use the placement of diversionary defences such as mines or barricades to channel tanks into areas in which anti-tank weaponry could be concentrated.
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