Bu 181 Panzerjäger – Warbird Wednesday Episode #211

Welcome to another episode of Warbird Wednesday! Today we are looking at the Bu 181 Panzerjäger. Also known as the Bestmann, it was primarily used as a liaison aircraft but later repurposed for combat as a “Panzer Jäger” or tank hunter. With a top speed of 134 MPH, it was an aircraft that could fly down low with a primary function of supporting infantry. This leads us into the historical genesis of later helicopter borne anti-tank weapons, focusing on the Panzerfaust (“tank fist”) used during World War II. The effectiveness of the Panzerfaust, which utilized a cone shaped charge to penetrate tank armor, caused devastating spalling and huge Allied armor losses late in WWII. Interestingly, the Bu 181 had an appearance in the movie “The Great Escape.”