The 88

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Canadian Beer, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. Canadian Beer

    Canadian Beer Junior Member

    Hey everyone!
    Can someone fill me in the the German 88.
    How it was converted to a tank killer?
    On what scale was it used in the Russian Campaign(Operation Barbarossa)

    How effective was it against the Russian T-34's compared to the American Sherman?



    Thanks and have a good day
     
  2. Canadian Beer

    Canadian Beer Junior Member

    At the beginning of operation Barbarossa!!
     
  3. Ali Hollington

    Ali Hollington Senior Member

    Not sure of all the techincal details but I believe it wasn't converted as such, it was orginally an anti-aircraft weapon but could be depressed and used against ground targets. The rounds fired would have been of a different type, I'm guessing armour piercing instead of shrapnel, but I'm sure someone on the forum can give you the full details.
    Ali
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Friedrich H

    Friedrich H Senior Member

    Hi, Ali!

    Try here. Very good site and the article is very detailed.



    [​IMG]

    An 88mm gun with three Kiwi soldiers in front at North Africa. B)
     
  5. Doug Lewis

    Doug Lewis Member

    Canadian
    The 8.8 FlaK36( AA) was introduced in 1937,some were sent to Spain during the Civil war where its capabilities as an anti-tank and field artillery were discovered.As a result direct fire sights were fitted and anti tank shells provided.
    It's full potential was not realised until 1941-2 against the British Army in the desert.
    Krupp then went onto design the 88 anti tank gun which became the Pak43 and entered service in 1943. With the wheels removed it sat low to the ground with 360 degree traverse and 40 degree elevation,it was easily concealed. In an emergency it could be fired while on its wheels.
    The gun fired a 23lb piercing shell which could pierce 6 1/2in solid armour at 2,187 yards. With tungston-cored a shell could pierce 7in armour from the same distance. It also fired a high explosive shell to a range of 11 miles.
    The T-34 was impervous to the standard German 5cm anti-tank weopon,this led to a massive increase in demand for Pak43. Barrel production was faster than carriege production, an emergency version was created using a conventional carriage it was named 8.8cm PaK43/41.German soldiers had to push by hand through the mud in Russia. There are authenticated records of one gun which knocked out six T34 tanks at a range of two miles.
    Hope this is of help.

    Regards Doug.
     
  6. Simon Furnell

    Simon Furnell Junior Member

    One of the first,truly,multipurpose weapons,to be found during the 20th Century.
    I am no expert,but i believe the 88's dual purpose role's,were found by accident.
    High velocity,and very handy,in a desperate situation.
    Could take out Tanks,Aircraft and shell infantry.
    A fearsome piece of kit,especially when mounted in a tank.
    88mm,is not a scary measurement,but it scared the living daylights of many men,who served during WW2.
    All the best.
    Simon.
     
  7. plan_D

    plan_D Junior Member

    88mm as the number does not seem scary but since the Germans refined this on the Tiger and King Tiger which were both 88mm it could match the IS-2s 122mm.
    The 88mm in North Africa was were it was best served since it was the only thing that could knock out a Matilda Mk IIs frontal armour at over 100m..in fact it could do it at 1.5 km. No other anti-tank weapon or tank could destroy the Matildas frontal armour in 1941 and 1942.

    It's a pity the British didn't make such mass alterations to their 3.7 inch AA gun, I'm sure it would have been comparable to the German '88'.
     
  8. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by plan_D@Apr 1 2004, 06:16 PM
    88mm as the number does not seem scary but since the Germans refined this on the Tiger and King Tiger which were both 88mm it could match the IS-2s 122mm.
    The 88mm in North Africa was were it was best served since it was the only thing that could knock out a Matilda Mk IIs frontal armour at over 100m..in fact it could do it at 1.5 km. No other anti-tank weapon or tank could destroy the Matildas frontal armour in 1941 and 1942.

    It's a pity the British didn't make such mass alterations to their 3.7 inch AA gun, I'm sure it would have been comparable to the German '88'.
    When the British 17pr AT gun was introduced, it was as effective as the 8.8cm, particularly when supplied with APDS ammunition from the late summer of 1944 on. This was also mounted in the British Firefly variant of the M4 Sherman tank, but this entailed some not very satisfactory turret modifications. Also, no HE shell was supplied, so Fireflys were usually deployed in mixed squadrons with conventional M4's, which had HE for their 75mm gun.

    I believe that the 17pr was a derivative of the 3.7in AA.

    It was so effective that Bradley asked if it could be supplied to the Americans, only to be told that they could not keep up with demand from British forces, so no.

    Tiger turrets were designed to take the 8.8cm from the outset, so less of an operating problem for the crew. But all Tiger models, including the Ausf B King Tiger, had problems with mechanical reliability and frequently broke down.
     
  9. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Originally posted by angie999@Apr 11 2004, 04:28 AM
    Tiger turrets were designed to take the 8.8cm from the outset, so less of an operating problem for the crew. But all Tiger models, including the Ausf B King Tiger, had problems with mechanical reliability and frequently broke down.

    Tigers doing battle at long ranges were deadly, however, in the hills of Tunisia and Italy the size of their guns put them at a disadvantage.

    When two tanks were within killing range of each another, the one with the small gun had the advantage of getting off two/three shots while the opponent's gun was being reloaded - that is if the opponent had missed with his first shot. Major Leuder, commander sPzAbt501, in a battle report relates a confrontation between one of his Tigers and a Grant in Tunisia. Apparently the Tiger missed the Grant with its first shot which enabled the Grant to get off five shots, one of which broke the Tiger's track, before it was knocked out. Leuder, in a subsequent report to Schwere Panzer Abteilungen suggested that Tiger commanders should be urged to not fire too soon. His suggestion was either ignored or not accepted as Tigers and Panthers were to find out, to their cost, when coming up against the deadly quick-firing 6-pdrs in the hills.
     
  10. salientpoints

    salientpoints Senior Member

    Just out!

    'New' title from Naval & Military Press:

    GERMAN 88-MM ANTIAIRCRAFT GUN
    The famous German ‘eighty-eight’ anti-aircraft gun in complete detail, with many detailed photographs and drawings.
    2003 N&M Press reprint (original pub 1943). SB.183pp with 118 illustrations.
    War Dept Washington 29 June 1943
    7070
    £12.50


    Ryan
     
  11. 292956

    292956 Junior Member

    Rommel also used them in France in 1940 when a troop of tanks mounted a counter attack at Arras. I believe the tanks were British Matilda 11s
     
  12. Lina86

    Lina86 Junior Member

    Hmm, 17 pdr effective as 88?

    Yes, it was as effective as the 88 L 56 of the tiger 1, had similar penetration as the 88 m L 71, with APDS, but these rounds were not common, only a few units had little of them, they were also very in accurate. My opinion is that the 88 L 71 is the best anti tank gun in WW2, reload is as most tanks, 8 seconds approx. Whilst the 122 mm on is-2 was could only fire 1-2 rounds per minute, because the shell came in 2 pieces... And the 88 with FSAPDS outperfomred anything. Even with a normal Panzergranate it was a frightening weapon,
     
  13. Erich

    Erich Senior Member

    just a small notation but during the latter part of the war on the Ost front many of the Luftwaffe protection Abteilungs with 8.8cm Flak were called upon to provide local defence for the outskirts of cities and they in turn were portected by well camouflaged single and quad 2cm Fla pieces to ward off Soviet infantry. The 88 could tackle any Allied/Soviet armored vehicle with it's terrible long range. there manay pics of white kill rings placed for a/c knocked out but also rings and sometime a red tank plaed in the middle of the ring to indicate destroyed tanks.

    As I am not that knowledgeable on some of the British vs Heer/Waffen SS battles during Normandie as I should be...............I did think that one major distribution in July 44 ? of 88's (Luftwaffe) helped turn back a rather large English force of armor. yes ?

    Erich ?ô
     
  14. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    The 88 was converted before Barbarossa. Rommel saw how effective it was with 7th Panzer against British tanks, so he used them to ambush the oncoming British Matilda tanks in Operations Brevity and Battleaxe in May 1941. The 88s turned the "Queen of the Desert" into a crushed pumpkin, and a legend was born.

    The 88s used in the desert were the AA vesion, with no shields. Later models were designe as AT guns.


    How did these photos of mine turn up here on a thread from a year before I joined the Forum?
     
  15. Erich

    Erich Senior Member

    actually Kiwi quite a few of the Afrika Korps 8.8cm's had shields, we had a rather large contingent of Afrika Korps POW's stationed to my east in 43-46 in Oregon with many a story

    v/r

    Erich ~
     
  16. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial

  17. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member Patron

    Didn't those things have some sort of a sliding breech block that ejected the shells on recoil after firing? I like it, of course. Maybe the demo rounds don't have enough energy.

    They are blanks, right? :)
     

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