8.8 cm Pak 43: Antitank Gun

German 8.8 cm Pak 43: Antitank Gun

The 8.8 cm Pak 43 is an electrically fired, semiautomatic gun, mounted on a cruciform platform (Kreuzlafette) and transported on two single axle limbers similar to those used on the 8.8 cm Flak 18. It has a very low silhouette, on wheels the height to the top of the shield is 5 feet, 6 inches, and to the trunnions, 4 feet. When emplaced it is 12 inches lower.

The gun can be fired from its wheels without extending the side legs, if the direction of fire does not exceed 30° either side of the longitudinal girders. If the direction of fire is greater than 30°, the side legs must be extended and the pads brought firmly in contact with the ground. There is an automatic electric cut-out to the firing gear which restricts elevation to 12° on early equipments and 16° on later equipments when firing over the mounting legs.

There are several other versions of the Pak 43. The Pak 43/41 (page 113) has a two-wheeled carriage with split trails. The Pak 43/1 (page 34) is a self-propelled gun called the “Rhinoceros.” Its chassis is a combination of a Pz. Kw. III and Pz. Kw. IV. The Pak 43/2 (page 39) is a self-propelled gun called the “Elephant”; it is also mounted on the chassis of the Panther (Pz. Kw. V). All of these guns use the same ammunition and have the same ballistic characteristics.


Caliber      88 mm (3.46 ins.)
Weight (traveling position)13,000 lb.
Weight (firing position)7,900 lb.
Length (traveling position)
Length (firing position)
Height (traveling position)5 ft., 6 ins.
Height (firing position)4 ft., 6 ins.
Width (overall)
Length of barrel (w/o muzzle brake)247.5 ins.
Length of bore236.9 ins.
No. of grooves32
Width of grooves.202 in.
Depth of grooves.048 in.
Width of lands.134 in.
Muzzle Velocity (A.P.C.B.C. shell)3,280 f/s
       (H.E. shell)2,460 f/s
Max. range (horizontal)17,500 yds. (H.E. shell)*
Max. range (vertical)
Rate of fire
Length of recoil (normal)47.5 ins.
AmmunitionA.P.C.B.C.; H. E.
Wt. of projectile(H.E.) 20.68 lbs.*
 (A.P.C.B.C.) 22 lbs.

**AP 40 round (tungsten carbide core)
          Pzgr. Patr. 40/43  . . . . . . . . . 16 lb.
          Gr. Patr. 39 HL/A and B . . . . . 16.8 lb.

German: p. 112.1

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