Military Review

Post-war service of 88–128 mm anti-aircraft guns manufactured in Nazi Germany

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Post-war service of 88–128 mm anti-aircraft guns manufactured in Nazi Germany

By the beginning of World War II, the German anti-aircraft artillery had very advanced large-caliber guns and fire control devices that ensured the destruction of air targets at medium and high altitudes. However, the number of 88–105 mm anti-aircraft guns deployed in Germany was relatively small.


After the territory of the Third Reich began to be subjected to massive bombing raids aviation The Red Army Air Forces and allies, the German leadership directed very serious resources to strengthen air defense cover for industrial facilities and cities. Simultaneously with the release of new fighter-interceptors and radars, 88-128 mm anti-aircraft guns were created and put into production, which in their characteristics were superior to artillery systems for similar purposes that were available at that time in other countries.

After the surrender of Nazi Germany, large-caliber German anti-aircraft guns were thoroughly studied by specialists from the countries that won World War II and tested at training grounds in the USSR, Great Britain and the USA, and were also used by the air defense forces of a number of European countries.

88mm anti-aircraft guns


After Germany's defeat in World War I, it was prohibited from owning or creating anti-aircraft artillery, and already built anti-aircraft guns were subject to destruction. In this regard, work on the design and construction of prototypes of new anti-aircraft guns was carried out in Germany secretly or through front companies in other countries.

At the end of the 1920s, specialists from the Friedrich Krupp AG concern, working in Sweden, began designing an 75-mm gun based on developments on the 7,5 cm Flak L/60 88-mm anti-aircraft gun. In 1930, the design documentation was secretly delivered to Essen, where the first prototypes were manufactured. The prototype was tested back in 1931, but mass serial production of 88 mm guns began after the Nazis came to power.

The gun, designated 8,8 cm Flak 18 (German: 8,8 cm Flugabwehrkanone 18), had very high performance characteristics for its time. Most of the artillery pieces designed in Germany before 1933 were designated “model. 18".

The mass of the gun in firing position reached 5 kg. The maximum firing range at air targets is 000 m. A fragmentation projectile weighing 14 kg could hit targets at an altitude of up to 800 m. Rate of fire is up to 9 rounds/min. Calculation – 10 people.

For transportation, two rolling single-axle trolleys were used, which was perhaps the only significant drawback, since it was not very convenient and increased the time required to transfer from the transport position to the combat position and back. Towing was most often carried out by the Sd half-track tractor. Kfz. 7.


8,8 cm Flak 18 anti-aircraft gun in a firing position

For the first time, 88-mm anti-aircraft guns were tested in combat in 1937 in Spain, where they received a positive assessment. Since there were few air targets worthy of attention, the main purpose of the 88-mm anti-aircraft guns was firing at visually observed ground targets and counter-battery warfare. At the end of hostilities, the German volunteer formation Legion Condor had 52 Flak 18 guns.

Based on the results of combat tests in Spain, the 8,8 cm Flak 18 guns received a number of improvements, some of which were proposed by the designers back in 1935. A noticeable innovation in appearance was the shield that covered the crew in front from bullets and shrapnel, introduced on parts of the guns. In order to reduce production costs, brass parts were replaced with stainless steel ones.

For the purpose of unification, a single gable bogie was introduced on the modernized 8,8 cm Flak 36 gun, which also improved maneuverability on soft soils. The use of a single transport trolley led to changes in the design of the gun. I had to redo the front and rear parts of the carriage. It was impossible to ensure the interchangeability of the carts in any other way.

But the main modernization affected the gun barrel, which received a detachable front part. At the same time, the ballistic characteristics of the gun and the rate of fire did not change. After all the changes were implemented, the anti-aircraft gun received the designation 8,8 cm Flak 36.


Transfer of the 8,8 cm Flak 36 to the firing position, the transport carts are already separated from the gun carriage

In 1939, production of the 8,8 cm Flak 37 anti-aircraft gun began. Externally, this model was almost no different from the 8,8 cm Flak 36. The modernization of the gun in this case affected not the mechanical part, but the anti-aircraft fire control systems. Flak 37 anti-aircraft guns received the Ubertransunger 37 centralized guidance system based on data transmitted via cable from the fire control equipment of the anti-aircraft battery. 88-mm anti-aircraft guns of this modification had the ability to interface with the FuMG 62 Wurtzberg 39 fire control radar.

In the late 1930s, Rheinmetall-Borsig AG began work on an 88 mm gun with increased range and height reach. This was due to the fact that the aviation design bureaus were developing high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft and bombers operating at altitudes inaccessible to existing anti-aircraft guns.

In 1941, testing began on the 8,8 cm Flak 41 anti-aircraft gun, adapted to fire ammunition with a reinforced propellant charge. A projectile weighing 9,4 kg in a two-section 72-caliber barrel accelerated to 1 m/s and could rise to a height of 000 m. Thanks to an improved loading system, the rate of fire increased to 14 rounds/min.


8,8 cm Flak 41 in firing position

Fire control devices have also been improved. The most significant innovation was the introduction of the Kommandogerät 40 optical rangefinder, coupled with an analogue mechanical computer.


After the target was tracked by an anti-aircraft fire control radar or an optical range finder with an analog mechanical computer, and the range, flight altitude and angular coordinates of the target were determined, based on them, firing data was generated, which was transmitted via cable to the guns. Subsequently, Kommandogerät 40 devices were also used to guide the firing of other large-caliber anti-aircraft guns.

The gun had two double dials with multi-colored hands. At the same time, one of the colored arrows on the dials indicated a certain elevation angle and direction to the target.


The gun crew combined the second arrows with the indicated values, using a special automated mechanical device, entered data into the remote fuse of the anti-aircraft projectile and sent it into the breech. The gun was electrically driven and automatically aimed at a given point, after which it was fired.

The 8,8 cm Flak 41 gun had the best characteristics among German 88 mm anti-aircraft guns. But this weapon was quite expensive and difficult to manufacture. Before the surrender of Germany, only 556 units were produced. At the same time, 8,8 units of 18 cm Flak 36/37/20 guns were produced.

In the initial period of World War II, 88-mm anti-aircraft guns played a leading role in providing air defense to the territory of the Third Reich. As of September 1, 1939, the Luftwaffe anti-aircraft units had 2 heavy anti-aircraft guns, the vast majority of which were 628 cm Flak 8,8/18/36. In mid-37, there were more than 1944 of these guns in the German armed forces.

In addition to the Luftwaffe anti-aircraft units, which mainly covered rear targets, 88-mm anti-aircraft guns were in service with anti-aircraft battalions tank and infantry divisions and were often used to fire at ground targets. 88-mm anti-aircraft guns were also used as universal artillery in coastal defense. The guns installed on the coast were the first to open fire on British and American bombers flying from the sea. They also repeatedly had the opportunity to engage in battle with enemy ships.

By mid-1943, Soviet troops captured several dozen 88-mm anti-aircraft guns suitable for further use. Thus, in a written report provided by Marshal of Artillery N.N. Voronov on September 15, 1943, it was said that the artillery of the Voronezh Front had two high-power artillery regiments armed with 88-mm anti-aircraft guns, which were primarily intended to counter German armored vehicles and counter-battery combat.


After the Red Army switched to large-scale offensive operations, it was possible to capture several hundred 88-mm anti-aircraft guns and a large amount of ammunition for them.


Subsequently, captured 88-mm anti-aircraft guns were transferred to the allies, and a certain number of guns were stored in the USSR until the early 1960s.

During World War II, 88-mm German-made anti-aircraft guns were available in the armed forces of Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Spain. In the post-war period in Bulgaria and Romania, Flak 18/36 served until the mid-1950s. In Spain they were put into reserve in the second half of the 1960s.

In 1943–1944, Finland received 90 8,8 cm FlaK 37 guns, which were supplied in two versions, the first batch included 18 anti-aircraft guns on a wheeled carriage, another 72 guns, delivered in June 1944, were intended for installation on stationary concrete bases . Simultaneously with the first batch of Flak 37, Germany transferred six FuMG 62 Wurtzberg 39 fire control radars.


Finnish 8,8 cm FlaK 37 gun at the Tuusula Anti-Aircraft Artillery Museum

88-mm anti-aircraft guns served in Finnish air defense until 1977, after which they were transferred to coastal defense. The Finnish armed forces finally parted ways with 88 mm guns in the late 1990s.

In the spring of 1945, the newly formed French 88st and 401rd anti-aircraft artillery regiments were armed with captured German 403-mm cannons. Due to the lack of regular German PUAZOs, British GL Mk radar systems were used to direct anti-aircraft fire. II and GL Mk. III. German anti-aircraft guns remained in service until 1953, after which they were used for training purposes for another 5 years.

Several dozen 88-mm anti-aircraft guns were permanently installed on anti-landing fortifications in Norway and Denmark. The last guns were removed from service in the early 1990s.

In the post-war period, the Yugoslav People's Army operated about 80 8,8 cm FlaK 18/36 anti-aircraft guns.


Yugoslav 88-mm FlaK 36 anti-aircraft guns with Soviet-made Ya-12 tractors

Active service of German anti-aircraft guns continued until the early 1970s, after which they were deployed on the Adriatic coast as coastal artillery guns. After the collapse of Yugoslavia, 88-mm German-made anti-aircraft guns were used to fire at ground targets during the Serbian-Croatian armed conflict.

In May 1945, there were up to 200 heavy anti-aircraft guns on the territory of Czechoslovakia: 88 mm Flak 36/37 and Flak 41. Most of them were offered to foreign buyers in the first post-war years, but several batteries equipped with 8,8 cm Flak 41 continued service until 1963.


Anti-aircraft gun 8,8 cm Flak 41 in the Czech Military Technical Museum of Lešany

In the late 1950s, the Soviet Union, along with another captured German weapons, taken from storage, donated several dozen 88-mm anti-aircraft guns to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. These guns took part in repelling the first American air raids, but due to the lack of the required amount of ammunition and spare parts, they were subsequently quickly replaced by 85-mm and 100-mm Soviet-made anti-aircraft guns.

105mm anti-aircraft guns


In the first half of 1938, the 105-mm anti-aircraft gun 10,5 cm Flak 38, created by specialists from the Rheinmetall-Borsig AG concern, entered service. Before the start of World War II, Renmetall managed to supply 64 of these anti-aircraft guns to the troops.


10,5 cm Flak 38 in transport position

Externally, the 105-mm anti-aircraft gun was similar to the enlarged 88-mm Flak 36 cannon. However, these artillery systems had significant design differences.

Initially, the 10,5 cm Flak 38 gun was designed for use as part of an anti-aircraft battery with automated anti-aircraft fire control. The guidance of 105-mm anti-aircraft guns was carried out by electro-hydraulic drives. The four-gun Flak 38 battery was equipped with a 24 kW DC generator, which was rotated by a gasoline engine. The generator supplied power to the electric motors mounted on the guns. Each gun had four electric motors: vertical guidance, horizontal guidance, rammer and automatic fuse installer.

The 105-mm gun weighed twice as much as the 88-mm anti-aircraft gun, in the combat position - 10 kg, in the stowed position - 240 kg. For transportation, a conveyor with two single-axle trolleys was also used.


When put into firing position, the 10,5 cm Flak 38 gun rested on the ground with a carriage with cross-shaped supports, which made it possible to conduct all-round fire with elevation angles from −3° to +85°. A crew of 11 people transferred the gun from traveling to firing position in 15 minutes.

The 10,5 cm Flak 38 gun had good ballistics. A fragmentation projectile weighing 15,1 kg left a 63-caliber barrel at a speed of 880 m/s. The altitude reach was 12 m. When a projectile containing 800 kg of TNT exploded, about 1,53 lethal fragments were formed, the confident zone of destruction of air targets reached 700 m. The rate of fire for such a caliber was high - up to 15 rds/min.

With a firing range comparable to the 8,8 cm Flak 41, the 105 mm gun had better efficiency. Since a 105-mm shell, when it exploded, formed a fragmentation field of a larger area, the average consumption of shells per downed aircraft for the FlaK 39 was 6 units, and for the FlaK 000 - 41 units.

The fairly high effectiveness of German anti-aircraft fire was largely due to the fact that the most advanced German radar and optical systems were used to control them. Preliminary detection of air targets was assigned to the Freya family of radars.


Surveillance radar FuMG 450 Freya

Most often these were stations of the FuMG 450 type, operating at a frequency of 125 MHz. In most cases, such radars with a detection range of more than 100 km were located at a distance of 40–50 km from anti-aircraft batteries.

Data issued by the radar about the azimuth to the target and the target's elevation angle were processed by the computer center. After which the course and flight speed of enemy bombers were determined. Based on visually observing targets, data for firing was provided by optical counting and solving devices.

At night, targeted shooting was controlled by radars of the Würzburg family. These radars with a parabolic antenna, after tracking a target, provided fairly accurate measurements of the target’s range, altitude and speed. The most advanced of the mass-produced radars was the FuMG 65E Würzburg-Riese radar. It had an antenna with a diameter of 7,4 m and a transmitter with a pulse power of 160 kW, providing a range of more than 60 km.

In addition to the towed version, 105-mm anti-aircraft guns were mounted on railway platforms and in stationary positions. Several dozen 105-mm anti-aircraft guns were deployed in the fortifications of the Atlantic Wall, where, in addition to countering enemy aircraft, they were supposed to fire at ships and carry out anti-landing defense.

In 1940, Luftwaffe anti-aircraft batteries began to receive 105-mm 10,5 cm Flak 39 guns, equipped with an electric drive with industrial-frequency AC motors, which made it possible to do without a special electric generator and connect to city power grids. The Flak 39 also differed from the previous model in the design of the barrel and carriage. The Flak 39 barrel was made composite, which made it possible to change not the entire barrel, but only its individual, most worn parts. To guide the firing of the Flak 39 anti-aircraft battery, a guidance system developed on the 8,8 cm Flak 37 was used.

Until February 1945, German industry was able to produce about 4 FlaK 200/38 anti-aircraft guns. Due to their significant weight and complex design, 39-mm anti-aircraft guns were mainly used in the anti-aircraft units of the Luftwaffe, without being widely used in the Wehrmacht.


In August 1944, the Luftwaffe anti-aircraft units were armed with 2 FlaK 018/38 cannons. Of this number, 39 are in a towed version, 1 are mounted on railway platforms, 025 are in stationary positions.

In addition to land use, the FlaK 38/39 artillery unit was used as part of the twin 105-mm naval universal installation 10,5 cm SK C/33. Early production units used barrels similar to FlaK 38, and later ones used FlaK 39.


Universal twin 105 mm naval artillery mount 10,5 cm SK C/33

The 10,5 cm SK C/33 installation weighed about 27 tons and could fire up to 18 aimed shots per minute. To compensate for the ship's pitching, it was equipped with an electromechanical stabilizer.

Twin 105-mm installations were part of the armament of heavy cruisers of the Deutschland and Admiral Hipper class, battle cruisers of the Scharnhorst class, and battleships of the Bismarck class. They were also supposed to be installed on the only German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin. A number of 105mm Sparos were stationed in the vicinity of naval bases, and they also took part in repelling enemy raids.

Soviet specialists became acquainted with the 105-mm Flak 38 guns in 1940, after four guns purchased from Germany were delivered to an anti-aircraft artillery range near Yevpatoria and underwent comprehensive testing.

German 105 mm anti-aircraft guns were tested together with Soviet 100 mm L-6 and 73-K guns. The ballistic characteristics of the German and Soviet artillery systems were close, but in terms of firing accuracy the 105-mm gun had a significant superiority.

In addition, German 105-mm shells had a greater destructive effect, producing twice as many lethal fragments when bursting. In terms of barrel survivability and reliability, the Flak 38 surpassed our 100 mm anti-aircraft guns. Taking into account the difficulty of copying a German gun, a 100-mm 73-K anti-aircraft gun was recommended for mass production, which, however, was not brought to an acceptable condition before the start of the Great Patriotic War.

Due to the fact that the main part of the 10,5 cm FlaK 38/39 defended objects on the territory of the Third Reich, until 1944 our troops did not capture serviceable 105 mm anti-aircraft guns. A large number of captured large-caliber anti-aircraft guns and ammunition for them were received at the final stage of the war.

In the first post-war decade, 105-mm German-made anti-aircraft guns, which underwent refurbishment, were in service with the USSR air defense forces. Instead of German anti-aircraft fire control devices, Soviet PUAZO-4s were used together with captured heavy anti-aircraft guns.

According to American data, 105-mm anti-aircraft guns, served by Soviet crews, were used against American Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers during the war on the Korean Peninsula. In the mid-1950s, captured 105 mm anti-aircraft guns were replaced in the Soviet Army by domestically produced 100 mm KS-19 guns.

The only state where 1963-mm Flak 105 anti-aircraft guns were in service until 39 was Czechoslovakia. Together with German anti-aircraft guns, captured surveillance radars of the Freya family were used: FuMG-44 and FuMG-480. FuMG-65 Würzburg D radars were used to accurately determine target parameters and generate firing data.


Antenna post of the German FuMG-65 radar on display at the Czech Museum of Lešany

The decommissioning of 88-mm and 105-mm German anti-aircraft guns in Czechoslovakia occurred after the Soviet-made SA-75M Dvina air defense system was placed on combat duty.

A number of 105 mm anti-aircraft guns deployed along the Atlantic coast were left by the Germans in France, Norway and the Netherlands.


105 mm anti-aircraft gun abandoned in France

In the post-war period, 105-mm German anti-aircraft guns were in service with French, Danish, Norwegian and Yugoslav coastal defense units. The lack of anti-aircraft fire control devices largely devalued their anti-aircraft potential and allowed only defensive anti-aircraft fire.

The 10,5 cm SK C/33 universal naval artillery mounts were used by the French Navy to rearm two Italian light cruisers of the Capitani Romani type transferred as reparations. During the modernization of the former light Italian cruisers, the 135 mm turret artillery mounts 135 mm/45 OTO/Ansaldo Mod.1938 were replaced by captured 105 mm German guns. Three 105-mm “sparky” guns were installed instead of turrets No. 1, 3 and 4. Instead of turret No. 2, a twin 57-mm anti-aircraft gun was installed.

In the French Navy, Italian cruisers became destroyers. The destroyers Chateauerenault and Guichen continued in active service until the early 1960s.

128mm anti-aircraft guns


The most powerful German serial anti-aircraft guns were the 12,8 cm Flak 40 and 12,8 cm Flakzwilling 42. Rheinmetall-Borsig AG began developing the 128 mm anti-aircraft gun in 1936. At the initial stage, the pace of work was slow, but it accelerated sharply after the raids of British bombers.

As part of the concept providing for the operation of large-caliber anti-aircraft guns in field units, the 128-mm gun was designed in a mobile version, and it was planned to use two single-axle dollies to transport the gun.

However, with the weight of the anti-aircraft gun in combat position being more than 12 tons, its transportation was only possible over very short distances. The load on the carts was excessive, and the gun could be towed at a speed of no more than 12 km/h only on paved roads. In this regard, engineers proposed removing the barrel and transporting it on a separate trailer. But during testing of the prototype, it turned out that such disassembly was impractical - the installation still remained too heavy.

As a result, a special four-axle conveyor was developed for transporting an undisassembled weapon.


Anti-aircraft gun 12,8 cm Flak 40 on a four-axle conveyor

During military tests of six 128-mm anti-aircraft guns carried out in the second half of 1941, it turned out that with a mass in transport position of more than 17 tons, these guns were completely unsuitable for use in field conditions. As a result, the order for towed anti-aircraft guns was canceled, and priority was given to anti-aircraft guns placed permanently.

128-mm anti-aircraft guns were installed on concrete platforms of air defense towers and special metal platforms. To increase the mobility of anti-aircraft batteries, Flak 40 guns were mounted on railway platforms.


Anti-aircraft gun 12,8 cm Flak 40 on a railway platform

The 128 mm Flak 40 anti-aircraft gun had impressive capabilities. With a barrel length of 7 mm, a fragmentation projectile weighing 835 kg accelerated to 26 m/s and could reach a height of more than 880 m. But due to the design features of the projectile fuses, the ceiling did not exceed 14 m. Vertical aiming angles: from –000° to +12°. Rate of fire – up to 800 rds/min.

The mechanisms for aiming, supplying and sending ammunition, as well as installing the fuse, were driven by 115 V AC electric motors. Each anti-aircraft battery, consisting of four guns, was attached to a 60 kW gasoline power generator.

A fragmentation shell containing 3,3 kg of TNT, when detonated, formed a fragmentation field with a damage radius of about 20 m. In addition to conventional fragmentation shells, a small batch of active-rocket shells with an increased firing range was fired for 128-mm anti-aircraft guns. Attempts were also made to create radio fuses that ensured non-contact detonation of a projectile when the distance between it and the target was minimal, as a result of which the probability of destruction sharply increased.

However, even with conventional fragmentation shells equipped with remote fuses, the firing efficiency of 128-mm anti-aircraft guns was higher than that of other German anti-aircraft guns. Thus, on average, 3 000-mm shells were spent on one downed enemy bomber. 128-mm Flak 88 anti-aircraft guns fired an average of 36 rounds to achieve the same result.

Serial production of 128 mm anti-aircraft guns began in 1942. Considering that the 12,8 cm Flak 40 artillery system was quite complex and expensive to produce, significantly fewer of these guns were produced than 105 mm anti-aircraft guns.

12,8 cm Flak 40 guns were sent to protect the most important administrative and industrial centers. In August 1944, the Luftwaffe anti-aircraft artillery units were armed with 449 128-mm anti-aircraft guns, of which 242 were stationary installations, 201 were in railway batteries and 6 were towed guns. The maximum number of 12,8 cm Flak 40s was deployed in January 1945, when there were 570 units in service.


The commissioning of powerful and long-range 128-mm anti-aircraft guns significantly increased the capabilities of the German air defense system. However, the German command, expecting an increase in the intensity of Allied air raids, demanded the creation of even more long-range and powerful anti-aircraft guns.

In the second half of 1942, development began on a 128 mm gun with an increased volume of the charging chamber and an extended barrel. This anti-aircraft gun, known as the Gerat 45, was supposed to have a range and ceiling increased by 12,8–40% compared to the 15 cm Flak 20. However, a sharp increase in the initial velocity of the projectile led to accelerated wear of the barrel bore, and the increased recoil required strengthening the design of the gun.

The development of the Gerat 45 was delayed, and it was not possible to launch the new 128-mm anti-aircraft gun into mass production before the end of hostilities. The same fate befell the 150 mm (Gerat 50) and 240 mm anti-aircraft guns (Gerat 80/85), developed by Friedrich Krupp AG and Rheinmetall-Borsig AG.

The idea of ​​creating a twin anti-aircraft gun based on the 12,8 cm Flak 40 turned out to be more viable. A double-barreled anti-aircraft gun with the same range and height reach made it possible to significantly increase the density of fire. In mid-1942, the assembly of 128-mm twin Gerat 44 anti-aircraft artillery mounts began at the Hannoversche Maschinenbau AG plant in Hannover, which after being adopted into service received the designation 12,8 cm Flakzwilling 40.


Twin 12,8 cm Flakzwilling 40 anti-aircraft gun in a firing position

Two 128-mm barrels were located in a horizontal plane and had loading mechanisms turned in opposite directions. The mass of the installation in the combat position exceeded 27 tons. A carriage from an experimental 150-mm Gerat 50 anti-aircraft gun was used for it. The installation was transported partially disassembled (with the barrels removed) on two biaxial carts or special platforms.

Thanks to the use of an automated charger, the total rate of fire reached 28 rounds/min. The anti-aircraft installation was serviced by a crew of 22 people.

Due to their heavy weight, twin 128-mm anti-aircraft guns were deployed only in stationary positions. Most of the 12,8 cm Flakzwilling 40 were placed on the upper platforms of anti-aircraft towers erected to protect large German cities. The anti-aircraft battery included four twin installations, which made it possible to create an impressive fire barrier in the path of enemy aircraft.


Due to the congestion of the German industry, high cost and metal consumption, the production rate of 128-mm “sparks” was low. By January 1, 1943, 10 units were produced. For the entire 1943, 8 installations were built. A total of 1945 34 cm Flakzwilling 12,8 anti-aircraft guns were delivered by February 40.

For the armament of large warships on the basis of the 12,8 cm Flakzwilling 40, the KM40 tower was created. Although they did not manage to install such 128-mm systems on any German ship before the surrender of Germany, several KM40 towers defended the large ports of Germany.

Soviet and Western specialists carefully studied the design of captured 128-mm guns 12,8 cm Flak 40 and 12,8 cm Flakzwilling 40 and tested them at training grounds.

The Americans delivered one 12,8 cm Flakzwilling 40 installation to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, where in 1946 several dozen shots were fired from it.


Twin 12,8 cm Flakzwilling 40 anti-aircraft gun on display at the Aberdeen Proving Ground museum

Acquaintance with German 128-mm anti-aircraft guns greatly facilitated the process of creating the Soviet 130-mm anti-aircraft gun KS-30. However, the Soviet gun did not copy the 12,8 cm Flak 40 and was structurally different from it.

A number of sources claim that in the first post-war years a small number of captured 12,8 cm Flak 40s were deployed near Moscow, but it was not possible to find out how true this is.

In any case, already in the second half of the 1950s, the positions of large-caliber anti-aircraft artillery were greatly displaced by air defense systems, and in the early 1960s, all anti-aircraft guns in the USSR were transferred to military air defense or put into storage.

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  1. bionik
    bionik 14 September 2023 05: 29
    +12
    88 mm German anti-aircraft gun in the UMMC museum "Battle Glory of the Urals". Verkhnyaya Pyshma.
    (my photo.)
  2. hohol95
    hohol95 14 September 2023 07: 40
    +7
    Yes, the Teutons have built “anti-airplane” guns!
    And thanks to the strength of the ground forces, the MZA took great pleasure in using large-caliber anti-aircraft guns against bunkers, field fortifications, armored vehicles and manpower.
    Like regular field guns.
    "They were mad about the fat..."
  3. your1970
    your1970 14 September 2023 07: 40
    +3
    I came across an article a long time ago (20-25 years) that mentioned the use of “Akht Akht” in the Caucasus in the highlands in anti-mudflow service.
    But there was no more material about this - there was a lot about our anti-aircraft guns and Alazan missiles, but there was silence about 8.8.
    Why it’s not clear - it’s quite suitable for this in terms of range and shooting accuracy
    1. Alf
      Alf 14 September 2023 18: 01
      +3
      Quote: your1970
      Why is it not clear

      Maybe there is a problem with the BC?
  4. 3x3zsave
    3x3zsave 14 September 2023 09: 29
    +10
    Thus, on average, 3 000-mm shells were spent on one downed enemy bomber. 128-mm Flak 88 anti-aircraft guns fired an average of 36 rounds to achieve the same result.
    When considering the effectiveness of a particular type of weapon, it makes sense to evaluate the cost of a shot. As they say, “there, the boots have flown.”
    Thank you, Sergey!
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 14 September 2023 09: 48
      +10
      “Do you want to throw a grenade?
      And that grenade costs the country a cow!”
      The commissar's phrase in response to his indignation that privates are not taught how to use hand grenades.
      I read a similar phrase a long time ago in an article about the battles on Lake Khasan.
  5. Des
    Des 14 September 2023 10: 02
    +7
    Thanks for a well thought out and interesting article.
    “In addition to conventional fragmentation shells, a small batch of active-missile shells with an increased firing range was released for 128-mm anti-aircraft guns.” I didn’t know). Good luck.
  6. Frettaskyrandi
    Frettaskyrandi 14 September 2023 10: 16
    +8
    An interesting point - the articles in the Russian and English versions of the site differ, both in content and in illustrations. Moreover, it is clearly not in favor of the Russian version.



    FuMG 65 E radar (Würzburg-Riese), which was a mobile version of the FuMG 65 radar.
    1. 3x3zsave
      3x3zsave 14 September 2023 11: 26
      +7
      Based on the illustrations, I didn't notice. In terms of content, as you recently noticed, the bar set by Linnik is very difficult to jump over. In this connection, I strongly doubt that anyone in the editorial office is capable of improving Sergei’s materials, especially in the English-language interpretation. However, I can ask the author if he writes more extended versions of articles in English.
      1. Frettaskyrandi
        Frettaskyrandi 14 September 2023 15: 05
        +9
        I apologize for the misinformation. It’s just that Sergei had a separate article a couple of years ago, “The Use of Captured German 105- and 128-mm Anti-Aircraft Guns,” and I opened it in the English version.
        1. 3x3zsave
          3x3zsave 14 September 2023 18: 22
          +4
          Everything is fine. Wrote to Sergei. Already figured it out.
  7. Toucan
    Toucan 14 September 2023 10: 18
    +8
    The author was right when in previous publications he stated that Germany in the World War had the most powerful ground anti-aircraft artillery of all countries. Of the options possible in this area, the Germans did not implement only the mass production of shells with a radio fuse. Otherwise, they were on par with the best world achievements, or surpassed them.
  8. D-Master
    D-Master 14 September 2023 12: 33
    +4
    Very interesting article - thank you very much!
  9. Wildcat
    Wildcat 14 September 2023 15: 15
    +6
    hi
    As always, an interesting article!
    In the first post-war decade, 105-mm German-made anti-aircraft guns, which underwent refurbishment, were in service with the USSR air defense forces. Instead of German anti-aircraft fire control devices, Soviet PUAZO-4s were used together with captured heavy anti-aircraft guns.

    I came across memories from English reconnaissance pilots (IMHO, Canberra, it seems) that during flights over the USSR they were accompanied by “strong, but not accurate, FOR fire.”

    A little video on the topic:
    1. Long technical. description

    https://youtu.be/BWm-TUkY28k


    2. Application, including "shooting from wheels".

    https://youtu.be/1C7Hl28MHio

    PS. IMHO, 88 and 105 Flac were always assigned to the Luftwaffe and were only assigned to the ground forces.
    1. Frettaskyrandi
      Frettaskyrandi 14 September 2023 19: 02
      +4
      Instead of German anti-aircraft fire control devices, Soviet PUAZO-4s were used together with captured heavy anti-aircraft guns.

      I came across memories from English reconnaissance pilots (IMHO, Canberra, it seems) that during flights over the USSR they were accompanied by “strong, but not accurate, FOR fire.”

      This is quite natural, since PUAZO-4, by definition, could not effectively control the firing of 105 mm guns.
      1. hohol95
        hohol95 14 September 2023 20: 39
        0
        Are there examples of the effective operation of large-caliber anti-aircraft batteries controlled by NE POISO-4 against jet aircraft flying at high altitudes?
        1. Frettaskyrandi
          Frettaskyrandi 15 September 2023 00: 56
          +5
          Are there examples of the effective operation of large-caliber anti-aircraft batteries controlled by NE POISO-4 against jet aircraft flying at high altitudes?

          I keep forgetting about your habit of jumping from one topic to another.
          The point was that using PUAZO-4 to control the German 10,5 cm FlaK 38/39 cannot be effective in principle when firing at any aircraft, jet or piston.
          As for the possibility of using large-caliber anti-aircraft artillery against jet aircraft, that is another topic.
          1. hohol95
            hohol95 15 September 2023 06: 08
            +2
            Where is the "jump"?
            Well, the Soviet device was not suitable for controlling German guns.
            This is probably the bitter truth of life.
            But I asked about effective fire from WWII-era anti-aircraft guns at jet aircraft that appeared after WWII.
            And these guns were probably controlled by all sorts of foreign “stuff” in the form of radars and other POISOs.
            That's all!
            So are there examples or not?
            1. Frettaskyrandi
              Frettaskyrandi 15 September 2023 07: 37
              +6
              Well, the Soviet device was not suitable for controlling German guns.
              This is probably the bitter truth of life.

              The bitter truth of life is to see the “bitter truth” everywhere and in everything. Really "life without joy."
              As for the guns, just as the Soviet PUAZO is not suitable for controlling German guns, the German one is also not suitable for controlling Soviet ones. The second generation PUAZO is, in fact, a mechanical computer, a computing device that works due to the mutual movement of mechanical parts. Because of this, it can only be effectively used with those artillery systems for which it was designed for ballistics. It doesn't matter which country.
              Therefore, for 76,2 mm anti-aircraft guns in the USSR, PUAZO-2 was used, for 85 mm 52-K - PUAZO-3, and when the 1944 mm KS-85 appeared in 12, it was necessary to make PUAZO-3 on the basis of PUAZO-4.
              The situation was exactly the same in Germany and other countries.
              But I asked about effective fire from WWII-era anti-aircraft guns at jet aircraft that appeared after WWII.

              Korean and Vietnam War. The main losses of American aviation in both wars were from anti-aircraft artillery fire, most of them from the Second World War, which was controlled by Soviet radars and PUAZO.
              At the same time, the fact that the USSR lagged behind Germany, the USA and Britain in creating PUAZO is true.
              1. hohol95
                hohol95 15 September 2023 08: 40
                0
                Are there any examples from the Middle East?
                Especially with the use of foreign systems.
                The Americans and the British did not cut up the WWII anti-aircraft systems that had become unnecessary.
                They probably sold it or gave it away “for next to nothing.”
                1. Frettaskyrandi
                  Frettaskyrandi 15 September 2023 09: 30
                  +5
                  Are there any examples from the Middle East?
                  Especially with the use of foreign systems.

                  Of course I have. For example, the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. There's a lot you won't see from anti-aircraft artillery there.
                  The Americans and the British did not cut up the WWII anti-aircraft systems that had become unnecessary.

                  You won’t believe it, but, apparently, they cut it, since after the 1948 war and before the collapse of the USSR, the Middle Eastern “brothers” only had Soviet-made anti-aircraft guns, starting with 61-K.
                  1. Wildcat
                    Wildcat 16 September 2023 14: 56
                    +2
                    hi
                    On this forum, A. Privalov posted a photo of an anti-aircraft gun, which was identified as “94 mm British” and “from the time of the War of Independence.”
                    https://topwar.ru/189325-pvo-vremen-2mv-britanskaja-qf-37-djujmovaja-tjazhelaja-zenitnaja-ustanovka.html

                    Judging by Wiki: “Nepal is still in service,” and was probably actually used for some time (including 1965?) by India and Pakistan.
    2. hohol95
      hohol95 14 September 2023 20: 21
      +6
      Didn't that Briton fly over Kapustin Yar by any chance?
      1. Frettaskyrandi
        Frettaskyrandi 14 September 2023 20: 38
        +7
        Didn't that Briton fly over Kapustin Yar by any chance?

        Judging by the available fragmentary information, yes, it was a reconnaissance flight to photograph Kapustin Yar in August 1953. A Canberra B2 or PR3 specially prepared for this flight took off from Giebelstadt in Germany and landed in Iran.
        According to the British, one of the MIG-15s managed to hit it, the holes caused vibration and the photographs turned out blurry.
        1. hohol95
          hohol95 14 September 2023 21: 38
          +3
          Did the MiG-15 guns only make even holes and this caused vibration?
          Couldn't those holes be from fragments of anti-aircraft shells?
          The anti-aircraft gunners also fired at this plane.
          1. Frettaskyrandi
            Frettaskyrandi 14 September 2023 23: 12
            +6
            There is very little information about this flight. As for shell holes, it depends where they hit.
            1. hohol95
              hohol95 15 September 2023 08: 33
              -1
              Some write that some of the photographs were of high quality and these photographs were shared with the Americans.
              Others write that nothing worked out with the photography.
              The vibration “ruined” the operation of the photographic equipment.
              The story is secret and murky.
          2. Toucan
            Toucan 15 September 2023 01: 31
            +5
            Quote: hohol95
            Did the MiG-15 guns only make even holes and this caused vibration?
            Couldn't those holes be from fragments of anti-aircraft shells?
            The anti-aircraft gunners also fired at this plane.

            Any damage to the skin or disruption of the aerodynamic shape can cause the airframe to vibrate.
            1. hohol95
              hohol95 15 September 2023 06: 10
              +1
              I don’t think that a 37mm OFS hit from a MiG-15 cannon on the Canberra would simply cause the airframe to vibrate.
              1. Toucan
                Toucan 15 September 2023 06: 50
                +5
                Quote: hohol95
                I don’t think that a 37mm OFS hit from a MiG-15 cannon on the Canberra would simply cause the airframe to vibrate.

                The 37 mm cannon had a low rate of fire; the probability of being hit by shells from two 23 mm cannons was much higher.
                1. hohol95
                  hohol95 15 September 2023 08: 35
                  0
                  Was 23mm shells more “acceptable” for jet aircraft design?
                  1. Toucan
                    Toucan 15 September 2023 10: 42
                    +5
                    Quote: hohol95
                    Was 23mm shells more “acceptable” for jet aircraft design?

                    I think you are exaggerating.
                    For obvious reasons, the Canberra could have suffered less from a single 23mm shell than from a 37mm shell.
        2. Crimean partisan 1974
          Crimean partisan 1974 15 September 2023 09: 46
          +2
          , one of the MIG-15s managed to hit it,
          ...if it had hit, Canberra would have collapsed like an iron...NS-37 and a pair of NS-23s simply tore apart the bombers...to confirm...the Korean War..."Black Friday" when the group of B-29s flashed they just tore it into the lashport... and the Canberra is not much different in strength from the B-29... maybe even worse... most likely it was the cannon artillery that was used in this incident
          1. Frettaskyrandi
            Frettaskyrandi 15 September 2023 09: 59
            +6
            ...if it had hit, Canberra would have collapsed like an iron...NS-37 and a pair of NS-23s simply tore apart bombers...to confirm...the Korean War..

            And a drop of nicotine tears the hamster to pieces. You compared God's gift and scrambled eggs. Compare the ceiling of the B-29 and the Canberra PR.3.
            1. Crimean partisan 1974
              Crimean partisan 1974 15 September 2023 10: 23
              0
              You compared God's gift and scrambled eggs. Compare the ceiling of the B-29 and the Canberra PR.3.
              ....yes, just a little above 13 km is empty... there is one unpleasant story in this incident... in all publications it is written that the Canberra was flying at an altitude of over 20 km... but this could not have happened.. a mistake crept in together picked up by vegetables who don’t care that altitude in the west is measured in feet... therefore 20 should be divided by 3... it turns out about 7 km... the MiG-15 can reach such a target and at the same time almost three times more than the B-29 difficult...if at all possible...and the air defense system was still in its infancy...then one thing...barreled artillery...and not a gift from God, much less scrambled eggs
              1. Frettaskyrandi
                Frettaskyrandi 15 September 2023 10: 40
                +6
                .all publications say that Canberra was flying at an altitude of over 20 km...but this could not have happened...an error crept in, picked up by vegetables who don’t care that altitude in the west is measured in feet...therefore 20 should be divided by 3.. .that turns out to be about 7 km...

                Well, you and I are not just vegetables, however, we won’t believe the “publieahs”, but let’s look at the original source and find out that the practical ceiling of the English Electric Canberra, depending on the options, ranges from 48 to 000 feet, which translated into meters is from 60 to 000 meters. And with Rolls-Royce Olympus engines even 14 feet (600 m).
                You understand that reconnaissance flights were carried out at the highest possible altitude.
                1. Crimean partisan 1974
                  Crimean partisan 1974 15 September 2023 13: 27
                  -1
                  You understand that reconnaissance flights were carried out at the highest possible altitude.
                  ...and even at maximum speed...so the talk about the MiG-15 should disappear by itself...but the cannon artillery with an active-reactive rocket...can quite reach...so...not destroy but create dirty tricks
                  1. Bongo
                    15 September 2023 13: 49
                    +5
                    Volodya, hello!
                    Quote: Crimean partisan 1974
                    and at top speed too.

                    A turbojet engine at maximum altitude is not capable of developing maximum thrust, therefore we cannot talk about maximum speed. In addition, the Canberra PR3 could accelerate to a speed of just over 800 km/h, and the maximum speed of the MiG-15 bis, I’m sure you know.
                    Quote: Crimean partisan 1974
                    but a barrel artillery with an active-reactive... can quite reach it... so... not destroy but do dirty tricks

                    Theoretically, there were no ARSs in the ammunition load of Soviet large-caliber anti-aircraft guns. And in general, there was no point in them, the filling coefficient of the ARS is much less than that of a standard fragmentation grenade.
                    1. Crimean partisan 1974
                      Crimean partisan 1974 15 September 2023 15: 20
                      +1
                      and the maximum speed of the MiG-15 bis, I’m sure you know.
                      ... Vladimirovich is glad to watch you on the air... yes, that’s it... The 15th couldn’t even catch a bloody nose... but since we’re talking about the Kapustin Yar training ground... then anything can happen be about ARS
                    2. hohol95
                      hohol95 15 September 2023 20: 06
                      +3
                      Dear Author!
                      Do you have any information about the use of American, British and other “Western” anti-aircraft guns (from 75mm and above) in wars that took place after 1945?
                      1. Bongo
                        17 September 2023 03: 18
                        +2
                        Hello!
                        There is very little information about the use of British and American anti-aircraft guns in the post-war period during real combat operations. It is reliably known that American 90-mm anti-aircraft guns fired at PLA Air Force aircraft when repelling raids on islands belonging to the Republic of China (Taiwan) and they carried out counter-battery combat during the Korean War. British 94 mm guns were used by both sides during the Indo-Pakistani wars.
                      2. hohol95
                        hohol95 17 September 2023 09: 27
                        0
                        The “creepy” Soviet Union overwhelmed the whole world with its own anti-aircraft systems. The “pacifists” from the countries of the “developed” West did not leave a single country for the sale of their anti-aircraft systems.
                        And only the “shards of the British Crown” used what they got from the “British master”.
                        What were the air defenses of the countries in the conflict called “Israeli War of Independence” armed with?
                        1947 -1949.
  10. Kostadinov
    Kostadinov 21 September 2023 16: 00
    0
    The use of German 105 mm and 128 mm anti-aircraft guns in 1945-47 was very important when only they could reach the B-29 "Silver Plate", carriers of US nuclear weapons of the first generation, at an altitude of 9-10 thousand meters and more.
    The same can be said about the Spitafair-9 fighters, which were saved for intercepting high-altitude targets in the air defense system.