Tag Archive for 'antiaircraft gun'

2 cm Flak 38: A.A./A.T. Gun

2 cm Flak 38: A.A./A.T. Gun

The Flak 38 was introduced in 1940 to replace the 2 cm Flak 30. Its performance does not differ materially from that of the earlier weapon, except for a higher cyclic rate of fire of 450 rounds per minute.

The gun is operated by short barrel recoil and the residual pressure of gas in the barrel. Recoil unlocks the breech and imparts rearward acceleration to the breechblock carrier. This rearward acceleration is assisted by gas pressure after unlocking has been completed so that the breechblock travels back with sufficient force to perform the operations of extraction, ejection, and compression of the return spring.

The energy required for closing the breech and carrying a fresh round to the chamber is provided by the return spring, assisted at first by the buffer spring.

The breechblock is of the Solothurn type. Any tendency toward rebound is counteracted by the impact of an inertia block at the end of the forward movement. The barrel has resistance rings which brake the recoil and forward movements of the barrel; a buffer and buffer spring arrest the backward movement of the breech block.

This weapon may be adjusted for either semi-automatic or full-automatic fire. It is fired by a foot pedal. Cartridges are fed from a 20-round curved box magazine hinged on the left of the gun.

The mounting consists principally of the base, cradle, traversing and elevating gears, firing mechanism, and lighting equipment.

Traverse is 10° per turn of handwheel in fine gear and 30° in coarse gear; rate of elevation or depression is 4° per turn in fine gear and 12° in coarse gear.

The weapon, which is transported on a trailer, may be mounted on railways cars or road vehicles. When traveling over difficult country, gun and mounting may be split into six loads.


Caliber         20 mm (.79 in.)
Length of tube
Weight (travelling position) 1,630 lb.
Weight (firing position) 924 lb.
Length (travelling position) 157 ins.
Height (travelling position) 67 ins.
Height (firing position) 30 ins. mounted flush
Width (overall) 71 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 44 ins.
No. of grooves
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (HE shell) 2,950 f.s. (A.P. shell)
2,624 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 5,246 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 4,012 yds.
Rate of fire 220 rds. (practical), 450 (theoretical)
Traverse 360°
Elevation +90°
Depression -20°
Length of recoil
Ammunition H.E. four types; A.P. two types
Wt. of 1 magazine of 20 rds 21 lb.

German: p. 136

2 cm Flak 30: Antiaircraft Gun

2 cm Flak 30: Antiaircraft Gun

The Flak 30 was the principal armament of German light antiaircraft units since the beginning of the war in Europe until the introduction of the 2 cm Flak 38 and 2 cm Flak 38 Vierling. The gun, which may be mounted on road or railway vehicles, is normally transported on a single-axle trailer which is drawn by either horse or motor vehicle. It is usually fired with its mounting on the ground and with the trailer removed. However, it can be fired from the trailer at both ground or aerial targets in emergencies.

This recoil-operated weapon is fed by a flat 20-round box magazine. The trigger mechanism is pedal-actuated; operation is either full-automatic or semi-automatic.

The barrel slides in the body with the barrel extension. A combined muzzle brake and flash eliminator is screwed to the muzzle and retained by a catch. The barrel extension is slotted on the right and left sides for ejection and feed respectively.

The body is formed to receive the barrel extension, which is hinged near the rear end of the body. The barrel return spring, buffer spring, buffer, and rod and sleeve are housed in a casing secured to the body at the rear.

The sights used are the Flakvisier 35, and the Linealvisier 21, the former is of the reflecting-mirror type with a data-calculating mechanism; the latter is a direct antiaircraft sight embodying course, speed, and range adjustment.

The gun carriage consists of a firm under carriage and a revolving top carriage supported on ball bearings. The under carriage is leveled by three adjustable feet, and is provided with a spirit level. The top carriage has a cradle which is adjustable for elevation. The elevation handwheel is located on the right side of the top carriage, and the traversing handwheel at the back.


Caliber         2 cm (.79 in.)
Length of tube
Weigth (travelling position) 1,697 lb.
Weight (firing position) 992 lb.
Length (travelling position) 160 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position) 63 ins.
Height (firing position) 29 ins. mounted flush
Width (overall); (travelling position) 72 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore
No. of grooves
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 2,950 f.s.
(A.P. shell) 2,624 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 5,246 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 4,012 yds.
Rate of fire 120 practical; theoretical 280
Traverse 360°
Elevation +90°
Depression -10°
Length of recoil
Ammunition H.E. (four types); A.P. (two types)
Wt. of 1 magazine of 20 rds 21 lb.

German: p. 135

10.5 cm Flak 38, 39: Multi-Purpose Gun

10.5 cm Flak 38, 39: Multi-Purpose Gun

This gun, of which two models are in service, is the standard German heavy antiaircraft weapon. While this is its primary use, it is also provided with antitank sights and A.P.C. shells. It is produced in both static and mobile versions and is also mounted on railed vehicles.

Its horizontal range is slightly greater than the 88 mm Flak, but it does not possess as great a vertical range. Elevation, depression, and traversing are the same as in the 88 mm gun.

Both the loading and fuze-setting mechanisms are power operated. The carriage has two outriggers which are folded up for transport. The traversing and elevating gears have two speeds for manual operation; provision is also made for power operation.

There are three types of ammunition fired in this weapon:

(a) H. E. Shell with Time Fuze—(10.5 cm SPGR. L/4.4 mit ZT.Z.S./30)

This shell is fuzed for antiaircraft firing and is fitted with the same clock-work fuze, the ZT.Z.S./30, that is used with the 8.8 cm AA ammunition.

(b) H.E. Shell with Percussion Fuze

(c) A.P.C. Shell

The following are estimated penetration figures for the weapon firing an A.P.C. Shell against homogeneous armor:

Range Thickness of Armor
     30°     Normal 
1,000 yds.         (5.5 ins.)         (6.5 ins.)
1,500 yds. (5.1 ins.) (6.0 ins.)
2,000 yds. (4.7 ins.) (5.6 ins.)


Caliber         10.5 cm (4.14 ins.)
Length of tube 21 ft.
Weight (travelling position) 13.8 tons
Weight (firing position) 9.8 tons
Length (travelling position) 27 ft., 7 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position) 9 ft., 6 ins.
Height (firing position) 71 in.
Width (overall); (travelling position) 96 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 18 ft., 2 ins.
No. of grooves 36
Width of grooves .23 in.
Depth of grooves .05 in.
Width of lands .13 ins.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 2,887 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 19,355 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 13,914 yds.
Rate of fire 12-15 r.p.m.
Traverse 360°
Elevation +85°
Depression -3°
Length of recoil (H.E.) 31 3/8 ins.
Ammunition H.E. and A.P.
Wt. of projectile (H.E.) 33.2 lb

German: p. 109

4 cm Flak 28 (Bofors): Antiaircraft Gun (Ex-Swedish)

4 cm Flak 28 (Bofors): Antiaircraft Gun (Ex-Swedish)

This gun, entirely of Bofors design, has been in service in Poland, Finland, and Norway, and, to a limited extent, in Sweden. A flash hider is screwed to the muzzle of the tube which is of forged alloy steel. The barrel is good for about 1,500 rounds, and may be changed very easily. The gun is fed by two four-round clips.

The automatic breechblock is of the vertical sliding type. A recuperator spring is assembled near the breech end of the tube. The hydrospring recoil system is housed in a cylinder underneath the recuperator spring, and is held in position by a supporting bracket secured to the breech casing.

Fire control equipment includes one elevation telescope, one azimuth telescope, a Le Prieur-Bofors ballistic corrector, sights, data receivers, and a fuze setter.

The elevating and traversing mechanism of this gun is hand-operated; firing is accomplished by a foot trigger on the lower left-hand side of the carriage.

The four-wheeled mount, which is standard for all calibers of antiaircraft gun up to 10.5 cm, is extremely maneuverable over all kinds of roads and terrain. Construction is simple and, with an experienced crew, the gun can be put in or taken out of action in approximately 30 seconds.


Caliber 4 cm (1.57 ins.)
Weight (travelling position)         3,800 lbs.
Weight (firing position) 3,800 lbs.
Length (travelling position) 23 ft.
Length of tube 7.8 ft. (60 cals.)
Width (overall) 5 ft., 10 ins.
Height (travelling position) 6 ft., 8 ins.
Height (firing posltion) 3 ft., 9 ins. (mounted flush)
Rate of fire 120 to 180 r.p.m.
Muzzle velocity (A.P. shell) 2,780 f.s.
Range (maximum)
     Horizontal 9,846 yds.
     Vertical 7,330 yds.
Elevation 90°
Depression -5°
Traverse 360°
Ammunition H.E. shell tracer effect Bofors (u);
Incendiary H.E. shell tracer effect
Wt. of projectile Magazine clip with 4 rds—4.6 lbs.

German: p. 129

8.8 cm Flak 41: Multi-Purpose Gun

8.8 cm Flak 41: Multi-Purpose Gun - German 88mm

This new German multi-purpose 8.8 cm gun is built on massive proportions. The piece, which has an overall length of approximately 262 inches, has a built-up tube with a securing collar at the forward end of the jacket.

A breech mechanism of the horizontal sliding type is operated manually by a handle on top of the breech ring; it may also be operated semi-automatically, opening action and extraction taking place during counter-recoil, and closing action following when a round is rammed home.

The hydropneumatic recuperator cylinder is fitted above the barrel; and the buffer is in the cradle. A lug riding in a cam below the left trunnion is geared to rotate the control rod, varying the length of recoil with the elevation. Spring equilibrators are located on either side of the upper carriage.

The elevating mechanism is of the single rack and pinion type. Three elevation speeds are provided and selected by positioning a lever on top of the gear box to which the handwheels are fitted. Three traverse speeds are also provided and selected in the same manner as the elevation speeds.

The cannoneer has the choice of two sitting positions. For direct fire he sits facing the front and fires the gun by pressing an electric push-button with his right foot. The left foot rest, when not depressed, brakes the traverse. When sitting in the antiaircraft position, the cannoneer faces the side of the gun and matches pointers. Here again the left foot rest is a brake pedal, braking the traverse when released. The gun has a total traverse of 360°. The gun crew is protected by a shield 5/16 inch thick and 7 feet, 3 inches high. Both steel casing and normal casing shells are used.


Caliber         8.8 cm
Length of tube 248 ins.
Weight (travelling position) 12.3 tons
Weight (firing position) 8.8 tons
Length (travelling position) 30 ft., 8 ins.
Height (travelling position) 7 ft., 6 ins.
Height (firing position) 50 ins.
Width (overall) 94 ins.
Length of tube and breech ring 8.8 ft.
No. of grooves 32 lands and grooves, R.H. twist
Width of grooves .110 ins.
Depth of grooves .038 ins.
Width of lands .242 ins.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) (3,280 f.s.); (A.P. 3,215 f.s.)
Max. range (horizontal) 21,960 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 16,075 yds.
Rate of fire 20-25 rds. per minute
Traverse 360°
Elevation +90°
Depression -3°
Length of recoil
Ammunition H.E. (3 types of A.P.)
Wt. of projectile H.E. 20.7 lb.; A.P. 22.4 lb.

German: p. 112

8.8 cm Flak 18, 36, 37: Multi-Purpose Gun

German 88mm Flak 18, 36, and 37

This multi-purpose weapon emerged as the most highly publicized artillery piece of the German army during the North African campaign. It is primarily an antiaircraft gun adaptable to antitank and general artillery use. In its antitank role it is fitted with a shield. In its mobile form it is towed on four wheels, usually with an 8-ton half-tracked tractor.

The tube assembly of the gun is of a construction not comparable to any design now in use in this country. It consists of an outer tube or jacket, an inner locking tube and a loose three-section liner. The front and center sections of the liner are keyed in place so as to align the rifling and prevent relative rotation.

The mount is provided with two outriggers for stability when firing in traverses other than directly front or rear. These are hinged to the bottom carriage to travel in a vertical position. During firing the outriggers are let down and secured by half-round locking pins.

The mount is equipped with three means of fire control depending on the usage: data transmission for antiaircraft fire, direct laying for antitank fire and indirect laying for indirect fire.

Specifications listed herewith are based on tests conducted at Aberdeen Proving Ground of a captured 88 mm model Flak 18, under Ordnance Program 5772. The mechanical-type fuse setter and the azimuth indicators were examined at Frankford Arsenal.

The differences implied by the nomenclatures, Flak 18, 36 and 41, refer to different methods of construction.


Caliber        8.8 cm (3.46 ins.)
Length of tube 184.6 ins.
Weight (travelling position) 7.9 tons
Weight (firing position) 5.5 tons
Length (travelling position) 25 ft., 3 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position) 102 ins.
Height (firing position) 63 ins.
Width (overall); (traveling position) 94 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 162.4 ins.
No. of grooves 32
Diam. of grooves 3.552 ins.
Depth of grooves
Diam. of lands 3.473 ins.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 2,690 f.s.
       (A.P.) 2,624 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 16,183 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 11,591 yds.
Rate of fire 15 to 20 r.p.m.
Traverse 2 x 360°
Elevation +85°
Depression -3°
Length of recoil (H.E.) 31.5 ins.
Ammunition H.E. and 3 types of A.P.
Wt. of projectile (H.E.) 20.35 lb.; (A.P.) 20.75 lb.

German: p. 111

88 mm Antiaircraft Gun Type 99

Japanese 88 mm Antiaircraft Gun Type 99

This weapon which was recovered at Rangoon has a barrel of monobloc construction, machined to take a rectangular breech ring. A large threaded brass locking collar holds the breech ring in position. Rifling is right hand twist. The breech mechanism is semi-automatic of the vertical sliding type; the firing mechanism is a percussion type.

The piece fits in a sleeve type cradle to which are fitted the buffer cylinder, the recuperator cylinders, the trunnions, and the elevating arc. The recoil mechanism is hydropneumatic. Two recuperator cylinders are located one on each side of the recoil cylinder which is centrally mounted above the piece. The elevating arc is mounted under the piece offset slightly to the left. It is operated by a handwheel and crank on the left of the gun, and like the traversing handwheel, on the right of the gun, is forward of the trunnions.

The upper carriage consists of two side plates joined by three cross members, and revolves on a ball race fitted to its base. A pintle, bolted to the center of the base, extends down into a bearing in the pedestal. Three brackets are set at regular intervals around the upper carriage to prevent lateral play. The pedestal is a single cast truncated cone, reinforced internally and externally by six ribs. Twelve bolts secure it to a circular steel base plate.

Follow-the-pointer dials are provided for azimuth, elevation, and fuze setting. Three mechanical fuze-setters are also provided. Some of the guns examined were equipped with open sights of very primitive design.


Caliber         88 mm (3.5 ins.)
Weight (complete) 14,560 lbs.
Weight of cradle 1,256 lbs.
Weight of carriage (including elevating & traversing mech.) 4,894 lbs.
Length (traveling position)
Length of barrel assembly 255.8 ins.
Height (traveling position)
Height (firing position)
Width (overall)
Length of bore
No. of grooves 32
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves 1 mm
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (shell) 2,650 f/s
Max. range (horizontal)
Max. range (vertical)
Rate of fire
Traverse 360°
Elevation 80°
Length of recoil (approx.) 14-15 ins.
Ammunition H.E.
Wt. of projectile (H.E.) (approx.) 18 lbs.

Japanese: p. 114.2 (August 1, 1945)

8 cm (7.62) High Angle Gun, Type 3

8 cm (7.62) High Angle Gun, Type 3 - Japanese

This weapon, previously erroneously called the Type 10, is a naval type antiaircraft gun, mounted on a pedestal which permits a traverse of 360 degrees. The gun tube, of built-up construction, recoils inside a sleeve type cradle. A guide on the bottom of the tube rides in a groove, preventing rotation of the tube. Since the trunnions are located at the rear of the tube, muzzle preponderance is compensated for by an equilibrator inside the pedestal.

A hand-operated, semi-vertical sliding type breechblock and a hydrospring recoil mechanism are used. Recoil and recuperator are located over the tube. A small cylinder above the recoil cylinder is apparently for storing an oil reserve.

The elevating handwheel is located to the left of the weapon, and the traversing handwheel to the right. Two platforms, one on either side attached to the superstructure, allow the layers to move with the gun in traverse.

A bracket on the left of the piece is believed to mount a telescope and range drum.


Caliber       76.2 mm (3 ins.)
Weight of gun and mount5,290 lbs.
Weight of gun1,100 lbs.
Length of barrel40 cals.
Length of tube9 ft., 6 ins.
Height (traveling position)
Height (firing position)
Width (overall)
Length of chamber1 ft., 8 ins.
RiflingR. H. twist
No. of grooves24
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell)2,200 f/s
Max. range (horizontal)
Max. range (vertical)26,000 ft.
Rate of fire10 to 12 r.p.m.
Length of recoil
AmmunitionH.E. w/ powder train time fuze

Wt. of projectile12 lb., 11 ozs.

Japanese: p. 114.1 (August 1, 1945)