8.8 cm FlaK 41 Anti-Aircraft Gun
|Country of Origin||Germany|
|Ammunition Weight||9.40 kg|
|Rate of Fire||20 rounds/min|
|Muzzle Velocity||1,000 m/s|
Contributor: C. Peter Chenww2dbaseWhile the predecessor FlaK 18/36/37 anti-aircraft guns were very successful especially considering its versatility of being great anti-tank weapons as well, in their intended anti-aircraft role they could not reach the high altitude that Allied bombers were able to operate. In 1939, the German air force Luftwaffe issued the request for a new anti-aircraft design that also made use of the same 8.8-centimeter shells. Rheinmetall responded with a new design that, aside from an increased effective ceiling of 11,300 meters (max 15,000 meters), they also had a lower silhouette for better protective particularly in the field. The high cost, largely due to the design's complexity, kept them from being produced in great numbers, however; only 279 were built by Feb 1944, and just another 277 by the end of the war. In North African service, FlaK 41 guns were prone to jam in the desert climate, thus most of them were withdrawn back to Germany where they could be regularly serviced by engineers. In Jan 1945, 318 FlaK 41 guns were reported to be in active service by the German military.
Krupp also developed a design as an answer to the 1939 Luftwaffe request. Although it was not chosen, Krupp's 8.8 cm Gerät 42 design was developed into the very effective 8.8 cm PaK 43 anti-tank design. The design was also modified to produce the 8.8 cm KwK 43 tank guns that equipped the Tiger II heavy tanks, Nashorn tank destroyers, and Jagdpanther tank destroyers later in the war. As anti-tank weapons, these Krupp-built 8.8-centimeter guns were able to penetrate 200-millimeter of armor at the range of 1,000 meters.
Informally, all 8.8 cm FlaK guns (including the FlaK 18/36/37 predecessors) were known by the German military as Acht-acht, 8-8.
Source: Wikipedia. ww2dbase
Last Major Revision: Apr 2010
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