The German 88

In the BMW S1000RR comments, the German 88 was brought up.  Great weapon system that.  88mm, or 3.4 Inch, it was a big bore gun for Anti-Aircraft work, but it also served very well in both Field Artillery and Anti-Tank roles.  Especially since our tanks were not burdened with an overabundance of Armor.

They used the 88 for everything… mounting it on everything they had that needed a big gun.   The concept of the 88 was used by us, in the form of our 105mm guns.  But still, the 105 as good as it is, especially in Smooth Bore versions, just never had that same Jack of All Trades utility of the 88.

Just take a look at this.  Too many good pics to post up, even cherry picking the best ones.

On trains, on tracks, direct fire, AA, Arty, on wheels… And the fact that they could all fire the same shells made Logistics a breeze.  Simple and Multi-Role effective.  And at the time, allied forces didn’t really have anything quite like it.

9 thoughts on “The German 88”

  1. The Americans and the British had 90mm AA guns, but it never occurred to them to use them against tanks.

    When Rommel captured Tobruk, his men captured a battery of American made 90mm AA guns from the brits … and immediately started destroying British tanks with them, using the piles of non-armor-piercing HE that were abandoned near them.

  2. It’s a good thing Hitler was a micro manager. Imagine if the Sturmgewehr 44, 262, or Fritz X came out a wee bit earlier in the war.

  3. The American 90mm was placed into the anti-tank role, it just took a while.

    Here is the entry for the 90mm

    And the M36 Tank Destroyer which entered combat service in September 1944, would have been nice to have it by Normandy.

    It was also fitted to be the main gun of the M26 Pershing tank which didnt see action until January 1945 (and only 20 of them at that)

    Considering the first prototype of the M36 entered trials in March of 1943, it is criminal it didnt enter service faster. Gods know how many armored vehicle crewmen would have lived through Normandy and Cobra had they been available and how the Ardennes would have turned out if they had been ubiquitous by then. The M26 also could have easily been available for the Ardennes campaign.

    1. Eisenhower was honestly surprised when his troops informed him that the Sherman was inadequate.

      The Pershing tank was stalled in development because Army Ordinance was being retarded as usual, and was still designing tanks to destroy pre-1940 equipment. These are the same kind of idiots that put a magazine cut-off in the Springfield, and dragged their heels on the Garand, because they were worried that troops would waste ammo if they had too high of a rate of fire.

      The only reason the french 75 was used in US tanks was because they still had a lot of them. They thought it was still a bit of overkill.

  4. Both Uncle Jim and Father-in-law Joe faced the 88. They HATED the damn things. Both agree there was nothing that sounded like an 88 passing overhead. As Infantry they pitied the Sherman crews. Of course the HE and flack shells used against Infantry were bad enough but “tanks can’t dig fox holes.”
    Both Jim and Joe were at The Ardennes and The Bridge at Remagen. R.I.P.

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