The 88 fired three main types of ammunition (88 x 571R). Most 88mm guns served in Luftwaffe flak regiments (24 guns) or Wehrmacht mixed anti-aircraft battalions (FlaK Abteilungen with 4 to 8 guns). The only thing they had in common was the caliber and that they were German. It was used to fire at Allied bombers and fighters. It allowed general area fire without line of sight, but had poor accuracy compared to the visual systems. The light anti-aircraft battalion usually did not deploy any 8.8 cm Flaks, the heavy battalions were rarely used in practice. Berlin. Initially these were APCR (armor piercing composite rigid) projectiles with a tungsten core. Initially, anti-aircraft artillery guns of World War I were adaptations of existing medium-caliber weapons, mounted to allow fire at higher angles. The KwK 36 (abbreviation of Kampfwagenkanone 36) was a tank gun developed and built by Krupp in parallel to the Flak 36, with which it shared ammunition and ballistics. The parts of the various versions of the guns were interchangeable, and it was not uncommon for various parts to be "mixed and matched" on a particular example. [American troops] knew that the greatest single weapon of the war, the atomic bomb excepted, was the German 88 mm flat-trajectory gun, which brought down thousands of bombers and tens of thousands of soldiers. In June 1941 at Halfaya Pass on the Libya-Egypt border, thirteen dug-in 88s from the flak battalion of Rommel’s 15th Panzer Division decimated repeated British tank charges. It was also provided with a much stronger and more angled armour shield to provide better protection to the crew. Tamiya model kit in scale 1:35, 35283 is a rebox released in 2006 | Contents, Previews, Reviews, History + Marketplace | 8.8 cm FlaK | EAN: 4950344352838 The 8.8 cm Flak 18/36/37/41 is a German 88 mm anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery gun, developed in the 1930s. About the Model High-quality 1/35 scale assembly kit of the German 88mm Flak 36 in the service in North African theatre. Its performance was said to be comparable to the 12,8 cm Flak, with a lower silhouette than its predecessor and an increased firing rate (up to 25 rounds per minute). 8 artillery crew figures included for great diorama possibilities. [citation needed], Initially, the Flak 18 batteries were deployed to protect the airfields and logistics bases of the German Condor legion. [9] During the prototype phase, the army asked for a gun with considerably greater capability. The original design was a 75 mm model. [4] Both modes of operation made the gun much more suitable for fast-moving operations, the basic concept of the blitzkrieg. The Flak 37/41 had the simplified fuze setter of the 8.8-cm Flak 41. [9], Throughout the entire war, the majority of 88 mm guns were used in their original anti-aircraft role. [4] While this was potent against US daylight raids, which generally flew at altitudes of 6,400 to 7,600 meters, some aircraft were able to fly higher than the gun's effective ceiling. This experience also demonstrated a number of minor problems and potential improvement opportunities. The gun would then fire and recoil; during the return stroke, the empty case would be thrown backward by levers, after which a cam would engage and recock the gun. Later in that theater, in the Battle of Faid in Tunisia, Rommel camouflaged many 8.8 cm Flaks (with additional 7.5 cm Pak 40s and 5 cm Pak 38s) in cactus-filled areas. The versatile carriage allowed the 8.8 cm FlaK to be fired in a limited anti-tank mode when still on its wheels;[4] it could be completely emplaced in only two and a half minutes. The 8.8cm Flak 37 Selbstfahrlafette auf 18 ton Zugkraftwagen is a rank II German tank destroyer with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB), 4.0 (RB), and 3.7 (SB). [18] Its success was due to its versatility: the standard anti-aircraft platform allowed gunners to depress the muzzle below the horizontal, unlike most of its contemporaries. This complex device took five men to operate, combining a four-meter optical range finder with a mechanical computer that transmitted elevation and azimuth settings to the guns. After Hitler took power in 1933, Germany rapidly re-armed. Flak 36s were often fitted with an armoured shield that provided limited protection for the gunners. 1. Developed in 1941 by Rheinmetall, in response to the Luftwaffe's request for improved weapons, FlaK 41 fired a 9.4 kg shell at 1,000 m/s, with an effective ceiling of 11,300m. The Flying Heritage Collection, Everett, Washington, Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs, California, National WWII Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2-FlaK 37, Private collection, J Bostek, Michigan www.709th.org. In addition to the towed version, there were also self-propelled versions of the PaK 43 gun, including the lightly armored Nashorn, and the strongly armored, fully casemate-enclosed Elefant and Jagdpanther tank destroyers. This gun used the same size 88 x 571R mm cartridge employed by the Flak 18/36/37. Other uses included firing in support of the troops at the front and as a more static anti-aircraft gun for home defence. For direct fire against ground targets, each gun had a ZF 20-E telescopic sight. Radar aiming systems were also developed to complement these systems. On 14 September 1942, Flak-Abt. At the end of the war the Spanish Army was using all of the Flak 18 guns sent, some 52 units. Used mainly on flak towers. These shields could be retro-fitted on older Flak 18s as well. The third is a T-34/85 rearmed with a Tiger’s 8.8cm gun – the “T-34(r) mit 8.8cm KwK 36 L/56“. [N 1] Flak is a contraction of German Flugabwehrkanone (also referred to as Fliegerabwehrkanone)[5][N 2] meaning "aircraft-defense cannon", the original purpose of the weapon. Bundesarchive photo. [31], During the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s, various Flak guns were used, mainly by the naval artillery of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). It is typically used as either mission objectives to plant explosives on, or more rarely controlled by the player. But Krupp designers were already working on a longer-barreled 88 that could penetrate Allied tank armor even without tungsten. 'Flak-Bus' 2. The FlaK 88 and the naval 88 were different guns. All Rights Reserved. The German 88mm Flak has to be considered the most famous artillery piece of World War II. In some sources it is mistakenly stated that the Flak 37 was not equipped for anti-armor operation. Photo: Mark Pellegrini / CC BY-SA 2.5 Flak 18 88 30 German Flak 18 88 mm anti aircraft artillery Flak 8,8 cm Flak Crew Paint Victory Kill Rings Flak 18 88mm gun Flak 88 gun ready to firing against aircraft Flak 88 Regiment 24 Artemowsk Winter 1941 Two 88 … Clever and deceptive photoshops are one of the best ways to invent a fake tank. Flak 37 gun at the Deutsches Panzermuseum, Munster, Germany, Flak 37 gun at the Anti-aircraft Museum in Hyrylä, Finland, Flak 36 gun in position at Bir Hakeim, North Africa, June 1942, Flak 36 battery in firing position, Germany, 1943, FuMG 39 “Würzburg” radar at an anti-aircraft position on the Atlantic Wall, France, 1942, 8.8 cm Flak 36 with Flak Rohr 18 barrel at the, Comparison with similar anti-aircraft guns, Weapons of comparable role, performance and era, In German, the comma is used as the decimal separator, hence official punctuation was actually "8,8 cm" and not "8.8 cm". Rheinmetall responded with a new 88 mm design with a longer cartridge and a longer barrel. As an anti-aircraft gun it fired a 9.2 kilogram (20 lb) shell at a muzzle velocity of 840 m/s to an effective ceiling of 8000 meters,[33] with a maximum ceiling of 9900 meters. [25] In addition to the cannons that arrived for the canals established in 1940, in 1943, 24 pieces and their tractors were transferred to Italy intended for equipping the 1ª Divisione corazzata "M" (1st Armored Division "M"). Over 21 000 of these 88 mm guns were built. The 88mm was typically towed by a half-track that carried the gun crew and ammunition. It features the famous 8.8 cm FlaK 37 cannon on a half-track mount, presenting heavy firepower at the cost of armour and even mobility due to its heavy weight. University Press of Kansas. The Allied weapons' capabilities were augmented by the introduction of proximity fuzes. All versions were able to penetrate about 200 mm (7.9 inches) of armour at 1,000 m (3280 feet), allowing it to defeat the armor of any contemporary tank. 'Flak-Track' The first deliveries were made in March 1943[12] and, as of August 1944, only 157 were fielded; with 318 in January 1945. The less open terrain in Italy and Northern France was less suitable for long-range AT guns. A trained crew took about two minutes to bring the piece into action. While the proposal was accepted in principle, the German authorities stated that they did not have that quantity of pieces available, so they paid off the debt in part with 8.8 cm Flak and partly with the 7.5 cm kanon (75/50 in the Italian name). armour-piercing and high-explosive anti-tank against tanks and other armored vehicles. The higher-level tactical unit was usually a mixed anti-aircraft battalion (gemischte Flak-Abteilung). The FlaK 41 was used primarily for air defense in the West, so its anti-armor use was limited. Allied diplomacy eventually cut off the German supply of tungsten ore from Spain and Portugal. It was later fitted with a gun shield to protect the crew when engaging … The 88mm saw action wherever the Third Reich did battle. A mere two flak battalions destroyed 264 British tanks in 1941. The prototype Flak 18 appeared in 1928. [9] Repeated high tank loss from well-placed 8.8 cm Flak guns in the battles of Halfaya Pass earned it the nickname "Hellfire Pass". A battery of four guns typically deployed for the anti-aircraft role in a square formation connected by cables to a fire-control unit (Kommandogerät 40) in the center. High-explosive shells with percussion fuse (impact or 0.11 second delay) were fired against ground troops or fixed targets. Compared to other artillery types, German industry built for example, 570 heavy (caliber 88–128 mm) flak guns, 1,020 field artillery pieces (caliber 75–210 mm), and 1,300 tank guns, anti-tank guns, plus self-propelled guns in December 1943. [21] The weapon saw continuous use on the eastern front. Thousands of 88 mm guns were produced throughout the war in various models and mounts. [N 4] It totaled 12 such guns on average, supplemented by light guns. Because the Versailles Treaty prohibited Germany from developing new weapons, the “88” was designed by Krupp engineers in Sweden. As WW2 progressed, it was becoming increasingly clear that existing anti-tank weapons were unable to pierce the armor of heavier enemy tanks and ground commanders began increasingly to use the 8.8 cm Flak against tanks. [citation needed]. It was widely used by Germany throughout World War II and is one of the most recognized German weapons of that conflict. "German 88: The Most Famous Gun of the Second World War" Pen and Sword Books Ltd, This page was last edited on 23 December 2020, at 05:24. 8.8cm Flak. Bundesarchive photo. [19] Erwin Rommel's use of the gun to blunt the British counterattack at Arras ended any hope of a breakout from the encirclement of May 1940. Kauppi forest, on top of Tuomikallio as a memorial, Tampere. Four batteries (16 guns) of 88 mm guns (Flak 18) initially reached Spain as AA with the Condor Legion in 1936, but it was soon used as anti-tank, anti-bunker and even as anti-battery. Hitting aircraft in flight with a projectile is a very difficult technical problem. Effective range: 14,810 m (16,200 yds) ground target, 7,620 m (25,000 ft) effective ceiling, Maximum range: 11,900 m (39,000 ft) maximum ceiling, Breech: Horizontal sliding block, semiautomatic or manual. The Germans found that it could outperform the older but larger caliber 10.5cm FlaK 38 and 39 heavy antiaircraft guns. A German 88mm artillery piece is towed by a SdKfz 6 half-track in North Africa, April, 1941. Westermann, Edward B (2001). Designed as an anti-aircraft gun in the 1920s, it proved to be a devastating anti-tank gun on battlefields from Belgian farmland to the North African deserts and Russian steppes. [12] Improvements in reloading raised the firing rate, with 20 to 25 rounds a minute being quoted. The gun had a semi-automatic Krupp horizontal sliding-wedge breech to … That said, nice vid! [citation needed]. Between them and Italian 155 mm (6-inch) shore batteries the destroyer HMS Sikh was so severely damaged that she sank while being towed by HMS Zulu. Mike Markowitz In early 1937 in the fighting around Malaga, a battery of 88 mm guns was assigned to support an infantry brigade. Beginning in 1954 the Democratic Republic of Vietnam received a number of Flak 88s from the Soviet Union. One 76 mm hole in outrigger. The 88/55 in the Regio Esercito was used in its natural role, that is, as an anti-aircraft weapon, its use as an anti-tank cannon was limited to the theaters of Northern Africa (Libya and Tunisia) and only for a few gruppi autocampali (self-transported field artillery groups). [citation needed] On July 18 and 19 1944 a Luftwaffe 8.8 cm anti-aircraft battery was re-purposed by then Major Hans von Luck to attack British tanks near Cagny taking part in Operation Goodwood. Both Flak 18 and Flak 36 had the same permanently attached fuze setter with two "Zünderstellbecher". The vehicle is affectionately nicknamed as the: 1. D 2030 – 8,8 cm Panzerjägerkanone 43/2 (L/71), Beschreibung, 28 January 1944. [9] By the beginning of World War II the Luftwaffe's anti-aircraft artillery employed 6,700 light (2 cm and 3.7 cm) and 2,628 heavy flak guns. Of 190 British tanks engaged (including the heavily armored Matilda II) about 100 were knocked out; German gunners claimed one kill for every 20 rounds fired. 88 mm Flak ready for firing during Operation Battleaxe (North Africa, June 1941). - August 19, 2013, A German 88mm artillery piece fires in Russia, ca. During the war German 88 mm guns were involved in 377 combat engagements, only 31 were against enemy aircraft. It was the main armament of the Tiger I heavy tank. As early as 1939 the Luftwaffe asked for newer weapons with an even better performance, to address the problems of defending against attack by high-flying aircraft. [30] The guns remained in service with second-line units until 1953 and then were used for training for a few years. III radars. “Small plane, big sky,” say the air defense gunners. Of the latter, a small number were 10.5 cm Flak 38s or 39s, the majority were 8.8 cm Flak 18s, 36s or 37s. The financial costs associated with anti-aircraft cannon were substantial, especially when compared with fighter aircraft. This allowed multiple guns to be aimed precisely at the same target by a single command crew of 5 men, instead of requiring trained crews on each gun.[17]. Given appropriate ammunition it proved quite capable in both roles. Le Grand Bunker "Musée du Mur de l´Atlantique", Musée du Débarquement, Arromanches-les-Bains, Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr, Berlin-Gatow, Muzeum Śląskie (Silesian Museum), Katowice, Poland. In English, "flak" became a generic term for ground anti-aircraft fire. It appears as though the T-34(r) mit 8.8… Targeting indicators were attached to the central controller to each of the four guns of a battery, allowing for coordinated fire. Production started in 1942 with 10 twin sets produced, another eight in 1943, and in February 1945 a total of 34 were available. Widespread production started with the Nazi rise to power in 1933, and the Flak 18 was available in small numbers when Germany intervened in the Spanish Civil War. The Flak 30 (Flugzeugabwehrkanone 30) and improved Flak 38 were 20 mm anti-aircraft guns used by various German forces throughout World War II.It was not only the primary German light anti-aircraft gun, but by far the most numerously produced German artillery piece throughout the war. Design. The German Condor Legion made extensive use of the 8.8 cm Flak 18 in the Spanish Civil War, where its usefulness as an anti-tank weapon and general artillery piece exceeded its role as an anti-aircraft gun. The 88 On the Tiger II Developments continued on the basic FlaK gun, resulting in the emergence of the 88 FlaK 41 that first saw real action in late 1943 in Tunisia. Many of these improvements were incorporated into the Flak 36, which had a two-piece barrel for easier replacement of worn liners. 88 mm gun Flak 18, 36 and 37. Bundesarchive photo. The Flak 41 had the disadvantage of complexity, and was prone to problems with ammunition, empty cases often jamming on extraction. Inexperienced U.S. tankers and commanders rushed into a valley at Faid only to be obliterated. Some groups were subsequently assigned to mobile motorcycle sections. The 8.8 cm Flak performed well in its original role of an anti-aircraft gun and it proved to be a superb anti-tank gun as well. The weapon could be fired with its wheels attached, but for more stable firing (and a lower silhouette) the wheels were usually detached and the arms of the X-shaped gun mount lowered and staked to the ground. [12], A prototype was ready in early 1941[12] leading to the designation 8.8 cm Flak 41. When German “Condor Legion” troops, supporting the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, came under tank attack they turned their anti-aircraft guns on the Republican tanks. Extra features such as KS750 motorcycle, ammunition rack, shells, and range finder included for a realistic display. It allowed extremely precise fire, and would even take into account how far away the guns were from one another and the aiming crew, cancelling out the offset and aiming all weapons at the same point. Similarly, the 244th Field Artillery Battalion was temporarily equipped with a miscellany of captured German 88 mm guns and 105 mm and 150 mm howitzers. High-explosive shells with spring-wound or inertia-operated time fuse (up to 30 seconds) were fired at air targets. Krupp continued development, resulting in the dreaded 8.8 cm PaK 43 anti-tank gun and the related 8.8 cm KwK 43 tank gun. This early model, the Flak 18, used a single-piece barrel with a length of 56 calibers, leading to the commonly seen designation L/56. The designers started again, using 88 mm caliber. [9] This was twice as many heavy AA guns as the Air Defence of Great Britain (ADGB) had at the time, with France and the United States having even fewer. After the war these cannons remained in Finnish use as AA-guns until 1977 and after that as coastal guns until the early 2000s. The first such German gun, the Flak 16, was introduced in 1917, using the 88 mm caliber, common in the Kaiserliche Marine. The FlaK 88 is a German anti-aircraft/anti-tank artillery gun featured in all WWII Call of Duty games, as well as a brief appearance in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. More guns were sent later, and some 88 mm guns were also supplied to Spanish army units. The name applies to a series of related guns, the first one officially called the 8.8 cm Flak 18, the improved 8.8 cm Flak 36, and later the 8.8 cm Flak 37. 39) A simple-to-operate "semi-automatic" loading system ejected fired shells, allowing it to be reloaded by simply inserting a new shell into a tray. [13], A further attempt was made to use a Flak 41 barrel on an existing mount from the 10.5 cm FlaK 39. At the time that Rheinmetall developed the Flak 41, Krupp tried to compete with their 8.8 cm Gerät 42 proposal, which was not accepted for production as an anti-aircraft gun. Cm Flak 37 barrel re-chambered for the battle of France, the heavy battalions rarely. Aeronautica during the prototype phase, the entire War, the guns sent... The dreaded 8.8 flak 88 firing Flak 39/41 cm PaK 43 and Flak 36 had the simplified fuze of... Ready for firing during operation Battleaxe ( North Africa, April, 1941 rushed a. Mounted to allow fire at higher angles high cost and complexity of this,... In length augmented by the introduction of proximity fuzes outperform the older but larger 10.5cm! 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