German 88mm Anti-Aircraft Gun

CREW: 10
DIMENSIONS: Length 17 ft 5 in / Width 7 ft 7 in
WEIGHT: 18,000 lbs
MAXIMUM RANGE: Vertical 11,000 yards / Ground 16,000 yards
RATE OF FIRE: 15 rounds per minute

A Lethal German Anti-Tank Gun
The German 8.8cm Flak (known as 88mm Flak, or just 88) is one of the most famous weapons of World War II. Designed in the early 1930s primarily as an anti-aircraft gun, the 88 was best known for its lethal anti-tank capabilities.

A Barrel in Three Replaceable Sections
More than 18,000 88s were built before and during the war. The first-generation 88mm Flak 18 entered service in 1933. (Flak is short for flugabwehrkanone, meaning "aircraft defense cannon.") In 1936 Krupp began production of the Flak 36, a more economical weapon with a barrel in three sections rather than one. If a section was worn down from firing, it was possible to replace only that section rather than the entire barrel.

Difficult to Conceal, but Superior Range and Power
The 88 was pressed into service as an improvised anti-tank weapon in 1940 when existing German anti-tank guns were proving less adequate against Allied armor. Though large, heavy and difficult to conceal, the weapon compensated with its range and power. During the 1941 campaigns in North Africa and the Eastern Front, the 88 demonstrated its superior effectiveness. The Allies did not have a comparable weapon early in the war, magnifying the 88's success and sealing its reputation as a formidable tank killer.