Tag Archive for '8.8cm'

Pz. Kpfw. “Tiger” (8.8 cm Kw. K. 36 L/56) (Sd. Kfz. 181): Heavy Tank “Tiger”

Pz. Kpfw. "Tiger" (8.8 cm Kw. K. 36 L/56) (Sd. Kfz. 181): Heavy Tank "Tiger"

The Pz. Kpfw. VI was introduced into service by Germany in the latter part of 1942.

Its construction incorporates a notable departure from past German practice in that the superstructure is welded to the main hull instead of being bolted. The use of heavy armor called for flat plates wherever possible, resulting in a simple box-like contour. Another interesting development in construction involves plate interlocking, secured by welding, in addition to the normal step jointing. This has no doubt been made necessary by the use of thicker armor, which ranges from 102 mm in the front nose plate to 92 mm in the cast steel gun mantlet, and 80 mm in the side superstructure.

The hull is divided into four compartments. The floor of the fighting compartment is suspended from and rotates with the turret. The turret is centrally mounted between the hull side plates. A circular fixed cupola, with an inside diameter of 20 inches, is mounted in the turret roof.

The suspension consists of front sprocket, rear idler, and eight triple, rubber-tired bogie wheels 31 1/2 inches in diameter sprung on torsion bars. The wheel assemblies straddle each other in such a manner that the outer rims of four of the wheels on each side may be removed to accommodate the narrow (20 1/2 inch) transportation track. For combat a wider (28 1/2 inch) track is utilized.

The mechanical layout follows orthodox German practice. The Maybach, V-12, 642 hp. engine is mounted centrally at the rear.

The armament consists of an electrically fired 8.8 cm Kw.K. 36 with coaxial 7.92 mm MG 34 in the turret, a ball-mounted MG 34 in the vertical plate, a 9 mm machine gun stowed, six smoke generators, and three mine throwers mounted on the superstructure roof. The existence of a Model “P” has also been reported.


Weight (in battle order)         63 tons
Length (excl. gun) 20 ft., 8 1/2 ins.
Width 12 ft., 3 ins.
Height 9 ft., 4 3/4 ins.
Ground clearance 17 ins.
Tread centers 9 ft., 3 1/2 ins.
Ground contact 12 ft., 6 ins.
Width of track 28 1/2 ins.—20 1/2 ins.
Pitch of track 5 1/8 ins.
Track links 96
Fording depth 96 ft.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads 87 miles
     Cross-country 53 miles
     Roads 25 miles
     Cross-country 15 miles
     Front plate 102 mm at 70° to horiz.
     Sides 80 mm at 80° to horiz.
Armament 8.8 cm Kw.K 36
2 MG 34’s
M.V. 2624 f/s
Wt. of projectile 21 lb.
Ammunition 8.8 cm 92 rds.
MG’s—5100 rds.
Engine Maybach HL 210, V-12, 642 hp.
Transmission Preselector, hydraulic—8 speeds forward, 4 reverse
Steering Controlled differential, hydraulic
Crew 5

German: p. 38

8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 43 (8.8 cm R PzB 43) and 8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 54 (8.8 cm R PzB 54): Rocket Launcher

Panzerschreck Rocket Launcher: 8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 43 (8.8 cm R PzB 43) and 8.8 cm Racketenpanzerbüchse 54 (8.8 cm R PzB 54) Rocket Launchers

The German antitank rocket launcher (Racketenpanzerbüchse 43), one of which was recently captured in Italy, is a comparatively new design, similar in appearance and operation to the American “Bazooka.” The German weapon is of larger caliber and is heavier than its American counterpart. It employs an 8.8 cm rocket (3.5 inches) weighing 7.16 pounds; the 2.36 inch American rocket, M6A3, weighs 3.5 pounds. The launcher, which is shoulder fired and handled by a two-man team, has a maximum range of 132 yards and a muzzle velocity of 346 f/s. It is 64.5 inches long, has an outside diameter of 3.7 inches; weighs 20.5 pounds; and is equipped with a foresight, a rearsight, and a carrying sling. An improved model with a face shield is known as 8.8 cm R PzB54.

After insertion into the tube, the round is prevented from slipping back by a retaining catch and from slipping forward by a spring-loaded plunger which engages the front edge of the tail unit. An electric socket inside a housing is located at the rear left side of the tube. The firing mechanism, which is also situated underneath the tube, consists of a spring-loaded rod (which is drawn forward into a compressed position when the piece is cocked) and a cylindrical component which appears to contain a magnetized rod and a coil. Two wires attached to this current-producing component connect with the socket on the launcher and with the plunger which contacts the tail of the projectile. When the trigger is pressed, the magnetized rod under the action of the compressed spring passes through the coil generating a current which is transmitted to the sparking element of the propellant igniting it.

The projectile, which is of the hollow charge type, has a nose fuze; the motor tube contains the propellant; and the tail is of the circular-fin type.

8.8 cm Pzgr. patr.: 8.8 cm A.P.C.B.C., H.E. Ammunition

8.8 cm Pzgr. patr.: 8.8 cm A.P.C.B.C., H.E. Ammunition

The German 8.8 cm A.P.C.B.C., H.E. ammunition consists of an armor-piercing capped projectile of conventional design, crimped in a primed brass cartridge case. The projectile is loaded with a TNT bursting charge and fuzed with a base-detonating fuze containing a tracer. The brass cartridge case holds a double base, single-perforated propelling charge with a nitrocellulose powder igniter and a short percussion type primer.

The projectile as fired weighs 20.71 pounds. Both the projectile body and the armor-piercing cap are made of steel. The cap is soldered to the body, and a sheet steel windshield is attached to the cap by a series of spot welds. The large fuze body occupies a considerable part of the explosive cavity which is comparatively large for an armor-piercing projectile. The weight of the explosive charge is approximately 1.8% of the total weight of the projectile. The bursting charge is contained in an aluminum case conforming to the contour of the cavity except that the forward end is flat. A molded plastic button which conforms to the contour of the cavity is located between the front of the charge case and the small forward end of the cavity. This button acts as a cushion for the charge upon impact of the projectile on the target. A tar-like compound fills the space between the projectile walls and the aluminum charge case to prevent the case from slipping upon rotation of the projectile.

The pressed bursting charge has 5.5% wax blended with it. The base fuze has a steel body with a threaded extension at the base end to receive a tracer assembly.

The fuze has a slight delay and arms on centrifugal force.


Type of ammunition         A.P.C.B.C., H.E.
Weight of complete round         32.74 lb.
Weight of projectile         20.71 lb.
Weight of bursting charge         37 lb. (1.8% of wt. of proj.)
Weight of propellant         2,471 grams
Weight of fuze with tracer and detonator assembly         2.18 lb.

German: p. 308

8.8 cm R. Pz. B. Gr. 4312: Antitank Rocket Grenade

German 8.8 cm R. Pz. B. Gr. 4312: Antitank Rocket Grenade

This projectile is fired from the German 8.8 cm Raketenwerfer 43 (Püppchen—see page 352.1). From this weapon, as limited by the sight, a maximum effective range of 700 meters (765 yards) is obtained. The explosive head is identical to that of the rocket fired from the German counterpart of the “Bazooka” (page 357).

The fuze (AZ 5095) functions as follows: the force of set back causes the set-back ring to move rearward, bending the two prongs of the stirrup spring. These prongs, by engaging in the inside groove of the set-back ring prevent the ring from returning forward. Meanwhile, the striker needle is held away from the primer detonator by a flat, coiled clock spring inside the set-back ring. The clock spring unwinds, expanding against the inside of the fuze body, thus providing a slight delay in the arming of the fuze.

The propellant is a double base powder in the form of a single grain with 14 perforations. There is a hole .364 inch in diameter through the center of the grain. Three lands on the outside of the grain insure an outside burning surface. A triangular-shaped spacer holds the head igniter firmly against the quickmatch. The quickmatch fits in a slight indentation in the head igniter. The primer used in the “Püppchen” rocket is the standard No. 26 percussion primer found in many German artillery fuzes.


Weight (complete, as fired)        5 lbs., 13.06 ozs.
Weight of H.E. filler 1 lb., 7 1/4 ozs.
Weight of fuze with detonator 3.15 os.
Weight of motor and tail assembly 1 lb., 8.5 ozs.
Weight of propellant 1.63 ozs.
Overall length 19.64 ins.
Length of propellant grain 4.95 ins.
Diameter of propellant grain .85 ins.
External diameter 3.494 ins.

German: p. 358 (August 1, 1945)