RPG 7V Rocket Launcher : Viet Cong

Place Asia: Vietnam, Phuoc Tuy Province
Accession Number RELAWM40058
Collection type Technology
Object type Rocket launcher
Physical description Alloy, Steel, Wood
Place made Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Date made 1966
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975

RPG 7V Rocket Launcher or Anti Tank Grenade Launcher. Tubular construction having a reinforced centre section covered with a brown wood fibre heat shield, two pistol grips and a conical rear that has a rolled edge. On the left side is a dovetail bracket for an optical sight or night image intensifier. The forward alloy trigger pistol grip section with brown chequered side plates, has a rear cocking hammer and a button safety. It is marked 'RPG 7V' together with the serial number and '1966'. The battle sights are a double folding front post and an adjustable rear leaf. The cocking lever has been welded to render it inoperable and there appears to be bullet or shrapnel damage to the front grip. The weapon is complete with an adjustable sling and a leather strap for the muzzle covers. The cone cover is missing.

History / Summary

This weapon was captured during Operation Duntroon by V Company 1 Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) who were attached to 2 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR). At 8.47 pm on 13 January 1968, 1 Platoon, V Company made contact with a group of Viet Cong (VC) killing seven VC. Ten minutes later 2 Platoon, V Company also made contact, killing one VC. B Company 2RAR made contact at 10.20 pm resulting in two VC killed. At 12.16 am the next day 2 Platoon V Company was again contacted by a few VC moving down a track. Two New Zealanders and one Australian were wounded. At 7.27 am contact was made by 3 Platoon V Company and one VC was killed. Further intermittent contacts occurred during the day, but resulted in no further deaths. Later that evening the body of a VC, killed the day before was encountered. The actions resulted in 12 Viet Cong soldiers killed and this grenade launcher and 17 other weapons captured. The RPG 7V portable rocket launcher was the standard man portable antitank weapon of the Warsaw Pact countries and their allies. It was widely used during the Vietnam campaign and is regarded as an effective and efficient weapon.