It is well known that antiaircraft guns are used for direct fire against
ground targets, and a recent report gives some details on their use by the
Germans in indirect fire with air bursts against such targets.
Usually this type of fire is conducted by use of a mobile predictor. The
ammunition used is H.E. with time fuse.
The mobile predictor is almost certainly the Kommandohilfsgerät 35 (auxiliary
mechanical predictor), which is sometimes used with the 88-mm. dual-purpose gun
instead of Kommandogerät 36 (predictor). The auxiliary predictor is admirably
suited for mobile operations, as it only weighs about 400 pounds, was designed for ease of
production and simplicity, and does not need any electrical equipment.
Apart from direct fire with the 88-mm. gun, the Germans are known to
use both predictor control and fire directed from an observation post for the
engagement of tanks and ground targets.
With predictor control the data for the first round are calculated in the
same way as for an aerial target. Corrections for deflection, range, and fuse
setting are made from observation of fire and set off on the respective scales
on the predictor.
When the target is below the horizontal, or at ranges greater than 10,900 yards, the
predictor is not used, and fire is directed from an observation post. The observation
post officer takes direction, range, and elevation from his fire control map. From these
he calculates the gun data with a range table and passes the information to the gun position
by telephone. A predictor is sometimes used for giving the original line to the guns. Corrections
are ordered from observation of fire and set off on the gun.
Adjustment is carried out with air bursts with a low height of burst. Fire for effect
follows with the fuse setting adjusted for the most effective height of burst.