Tuesday 9 June 2015

8,8 cm L/100 Pak

The Germans considered that the 130 caliber long 8.8 cm anti-tank gun might be a tad too long, so Krupp designed a slightly smaller weapon.

Note that this is a Pak, not a KwK. Players of World of Tanks will be disappointed to learn that no E-50s were going to be driving around with this monstrosity plugged into them, especially since, as Yuri Pasholok writes, the project was cancelled in 1943 when the superheavy Soviet tanks it was designed to fight failed to materialize.

Impressive statistics! The extra barrel length increased the penetration of the AP shell to 251 mm (estimated with DeMarre formula using the KwK 43 as a reference, by German penetration standards). 


  1. that is really interesting thing that 130 caliber was too long as german shorten it.

  2. These projects are more or less theoretical exercises intended to explore how large and heavy these gun systems might become in the quest of hyper velocities.

    At the time they were conceived, nobody knew yet whether or not the projectile could survive a hyper velocity impact. Tests with 75mm and 88mm PzGr. 39 were staged in the summer of 1944.
    It was established that the presently manufactured 88mm PzGr39 could penetrate 305mm RHA vertical plate at slightly above 1250m/s but at higher velocities, even these projectiles broke up, considerably reducing the penetration performance (raising the velocity actually reduced penetration past the point of projectile breakage).

    The actual step taken in the future gun system approach was a different solution.
    Shorter barrel length and larger gun cal was advisable. This allowed for more flexibility: more potent HE shell and better HEAT shells as well. AP Projectiles would be fired from larger calibre guns with lower barrel length either as a full bore projectile or with a discarding sabot ring at lower pressures than full calibre projectiles, allowing a longer service lifetime of the barrels. These projectiles would still be hyper velocity ones in consequence.

    As an example, the 12.8cm PAK 44 / KWK 44 could be fired with a 12.8cm/8.8cm Patr. TS 44. This projectile, a regular 88mm PzGr 39 with discarding sabots to fit 12.8cm barrel had a muzzle velocity in excess of 1260m/s but operated at lower pressures than the full calibre 12.8cm PzGr.

    Similar projectile studies existed for 15cm/10.5cm TS and 10.5cm/7.5cm TS.