The 88 mm gun (eighty-eight) was a German anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery gun from World War II. It was widely used by Germany throughout the war, and was one of the most recognized German weapons of the war. Development of the original models led to a wide variety of guns.
The name applies to a series of 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.[N 1] Flak is a contraction of German Flugzeugabwehrkanone[N 2] meaning "aircraft-defense cannon", the original purpose of the eighty-eight. In English, "flak" became a generic term for ground anti-aircraft fire. In informal German use, the guns were universally known as the Acht-acht ("eight-eight").[N 3]
The versatile carriage allowed the eighty-eight to be fired in a limited anti-tank mode when still on wheels, and to be completely emplaced in only two-and-a-half minutes. Its successful use as an improvised anti-tank gun led to the development of a tank gun based upon it. These related guns served as the main armament of tanks such as the Tiger I: the 8.8 cm KwK 36, with the "KwK" abbreviation standing for KampfwagenKanone (literally "battle vehicle cannon", or "tank cannon").
Full link here.
The 88, was easily towed, by the SdKfz7 halftrack, with boggies attached to front and rear sections of the cruciform mount, with side sections raised to either side of the gunshield whilst on the move.
The gun could still be fired, whilst on its carriage, though with limited elevation and traverse. Amazingly it could be rapidly deployed for full action, in as little as two and half minutes.
Once deployed, with its semi automatic loading mechanism, it could put out 15-20 rounds a minute.
Here you can see it deployed in anti aircraft roll, with boggies detached and the gunshield appearing to be lowered slightly...
An iconic German weapon of WWII, used throughout the war in both Anti-Aircraft and Anti-tank roles. I believe its use as an anti-tank gun, was first devised from use in the deserts of North Africa... where attacking British Armour would be drawn onto a position of 88's and rapidly destroyed. The 88 could penetrate the armour of any allied tank, at great range.
The 88 in action...
I have long wanted to add a battery of these guns to my German forces and I finally managed to do that this week. I got lucky ordering from WaylandGames when they had a free shipping deal on, and once they arrived last weekend, I rapidly set to working on them and had them assembled and painted up in a week, just in time for them to be tried out in a game on Sunday arvo...
I am glad to say they did not disgrace themselves (as is usual with the first in game use of freshly painted troops!), though they only really provided a deterrent role, but they did pick off some British pack howitzers at extreme range.
Painted up in my style of German, Late War tri colour camo pattern.
I hope to make regular use of them in both my MidWar and LateWar armies, in both Europe and Eastern Front theatres.
The boxed set also came with the detachable boggies, an interesting touch, that I will get round to painting up eventually to add to the scene, though they are not a priority... now that I have these completed, I must get back to adding the tile shingles to the roof of my Victorian Terrace building...