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. Some flak batteries used guns worn out from firing beyond their operational lives, which typically limited their effective ceiling to 7,470 meters.. In the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), the German Condor Legion deployed a mobile flak detachment with 88s, which proved accurate and versatile in combat. Following the Spanish Civil War, more Flak 36 models arrived in 1943 (88 guns 88/56 mm Flak-36) and since 1943 they were manufactured under license in Trubia under the denomination FT 44 (about 200 guns). At the end of the war the Spanish Army was using all of the Flak 18 guns sent, some 52 units. In fact all 8.8 cm Flak guns were capable of operation in the dual role.. After the war these cannons remained in Finnish use as AA-guns until 1977 and after that as coastal guns until the early 2000s. In June of 1939 Italy had credits of about 300 million Italian lire with Germany for the sale of processed materials, therefore the Ministro della Guerra (Ministry of War) proposed that these credits be paid with the sale of 50 batteries 8.8 Flak (88/55 in the Italian nomenclature), equal to 300 guns with relative ammunition. 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. After Hitler took power in 1933, Germany rapidly re-armed. 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. More than sixty Matilda tanks were destroyed by these guns during this battle. Problems with the multi-part barrel construction of the Flak 37 were encountered and a new barrel based on the monoblock construction of the Flak 18 was designed. They weren't 'versions' of the same gun - they were different guns, with different breech designs, firing different ammunition, designed in different years. Krupp responded with another prototype of the long-barreled 8.8 cm gun, which was further developed into the anti-tank and tank destroyer 8.8 cm PaK 43 gun used for the Elefant and Jagdpanther, and turret-mounted 8.8 cm KwK 43 heavy tank gun of the Tiger II. 39 ammunition against a 30-degree sloped steel plate: Askey, Nigel (2014). 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. The 88 fired three main types of ammunition (88 x 571R). 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. Bundesarchive photo. [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. By 1915, the German command realized that these were useless for anything beyond deterrence, even against the vulnerable balloons and slow-moving aircraft of the period. 88 mm gun Flak 18, 36 and 37.  The batteries were supplied complete with a Zeiss firing station Mod. German 88mm artillery was used on armored trains as well as on flak towers and eventually the Tiger tank. The 79th Field Artillery Battalion (Provisional) was formed from personnel of the 79th and 179th Field Artillery Groups to fire captured German artillery pieces at the height of an ammunition shortage. The designers started again, using 88 mm caliber. The vehicle is affectionately nicknamed as the: 1. A German 88mm artillery piece in action in Russia, July, 1942. The original design was a 75 mm model. During 1942 tests were made using the Flak 41 barrel and Flak 37 chassis but these identified that the chassis could not take the strain even when strengthened. 8.8 cm Flak 18 Had a new semi-automatic breech, making it a high velocity gun.  The weapon saw continuous use on the eastern front. For Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, Germany deployed the 8.8 cm Flak in 51 mixed AA battalions. The loaders would keep the weapon fed with live ammunition which would fire immediately upon insertion—all while the gun layer aimed the weapon according to the data. 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. 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. History:  High explosive ammunition was used against aircraft and personnel, and Hitting aircraft in flight with a projectile is a very difficult technical problem. It was this muzzle velocity, combine… It is typically used as either mission objectives to plant explosives on, or more rarely controlled by the player. Faircount Media Group. Bundesarchive photo. The Allies' and Italian weapons were heavier and less mobile, with the Allied weapons being almost useless for ground fire until numerous modifications were carried out. It entered production in Germany in 1933 and used the Sonderanhänger 201 trailer. The Legendary 88 mm gun (eighty-eight) is a German anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery gun from World War II. Chow, Roy "Mistakes and Myths in German 8.8cm Flak Identification", German Flak Defences vs Allied Heavy Bombers: 1942–45 High-explosive shells with percussion fuse (impact or 0.11 second delay) were fired against ground troops or fixed targets. 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 resulting unit outperformed the 105 mm original and was called the 8.8 cm Flak 39/41. High-explosive shells with spring-wound or inertia-operated time fuse (up to 30 seconds) were fired at air targets. I./43 (Major Wegener) employed these guns against a commando landing raid called Operation Agreement by the British Royal Navy near Tobruk. The Flak 18/36/37 was roughly comparable to its Italian and Allied counterparts. The later model was the Flak 37, which included updated instrumentation to allow the gun layers to follow directions from the single director more easily. The 88s equipped armored trains, concrete flak towers, and, eventually, the fearsome Tiger tank. 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. 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. After losing the war, Germany had been forbidden under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles from procuring new weapons of most types. Kauppi forest, on top of Tuomikallio as a memorial, Tampere. The main armament of the Tiger II heavy tank, the KwK 43 tank gun, was the PaK 43 adapted for tank use, and it was considered for the Panther II tank. There were complaints that, due to the apparent ineffectiveness of anti-aircraft defenses as a whole, the guns should be transferred from air defense units to anti-tank duties, but this politically unpopular move was never made.  They were mostly Luftwaffe-subordinated units attached to the Heer at corps or army level, with approximately one battalion per corps.  The Flak 18s were extensively deployed during the all-aerial combat of the Battle of Chongqing and Chengdu.. , Throughout the entire war, the majority of 88 mm guns were used in their original anti-aircraft role. After other parts were strengthened this functioned as desired. 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. A mere two flak battalions destroyed 264 British tanks in 1941. Bundesarchive photo. It allowed general area fire without line of sight, but had poor accuracy compared to the visual systems. One 76 mm hole in outrigger.  Just as important, the success of the 8.8 cm Flaks spawned the development of dedicated 8.8 cm caliber PAKs (see discussion below) which were even more adept at anti-tank mission due to their lower silhouette design. 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. The prototype Flak 18 appeared in 1928. The first deliveries were made in March 1943 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. 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. “Well, it’s like this. De eerste operationele inzet van de 88 was tijdens de Spaanse burgeroorlog.Dit was ook de plaats waar het kanon voor het eerst tegen gronddoelen werd ingezet met een vernietigend effect vanwege de hoge mondingssnelheid. - August 19, 2013, A German 88mm artillery piece fires in Russia, ca. Gander, Terry.  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