Friday 12 June 2015

8,8 cm Pak L/130

Having seen the 88L/100 Pak, might as well take a look at its larger predecessor, the L/130.

Just the barrel of the gun weighs 5300 kilograms, almost as much as a T-60 tank (5.8 tons). To compare, an entire Pak 37 weighs 327 kg in combat. If this thing was built, it was not going to work like a traditional AT gun.

Naturally, such an enormous beast could not be carried around in one piece, or the barrel would deform under its own weight. Here is a drawing of a connection that joined two parts of the barrel. The barrel separated into three parts in total.

1330 m/s, very nice. DeMarre (with the KwK 43 as reference, by German penetration standards) gives this gun 304 mm of penetration. 


  1. Insane lol.
    But whats your source this time - isnt it Yuri pasholok?

  2. Sorry, but i have to call this BS. Why we never hear from such plans? Why the source (who is that?) show only parts of the blueprint, but not he whole? And a Blueprint? AFAIK the german engineers use mostly whiteprints in this time...

    1. You've never heard of them because the archives are very, very vast. I can guarantee you that there is a wealth of knowledge that you have never heard of.

      Yuri Pasholok is a historian, he's published quite a number of books and articles and such. His materials are in Russian, so that's why you never heard of him.

      The blueprints are only partial because Bundesarchiv charges crazy royalties for full reproductions.

      Yuri Pasholok posted many blueprints from the time period, I'm more inclined to believe him than "AFAIK".

  3. It is unlikely that the barrel came apart because it would bend. If that was true how would it be expected to work in action when it got hot?

    As it was German 88mm and 128mm flak guns were produced with three part barrels during the war for the straightforward reason of conserving resources. Most of the erosion in a barrel is in the first meter or so of length while the rifling is still seating on the driving band, with ever reducing damage to the muzzle. By making the barrels in three pieces only the most worn piece had to be replaced at any given point. This savings outweighed the higher cost of making the barrel with joints. Barrel life would be absurdly bad on a WW2 gun with this kind of velocity.

    While a 130cal barrel would indeed be hard pressed to support itself if left alone, no reason exists why it couldn't be supported with an extended cradle acting as a box beam. Such an approach would be vastly more rational then a gun which needs its barrel assembled to fire.

    If anything, a need might exist to remove the barrel from the carriage simply to keep down the total length for road transport over long distances, this had to be done with some artillery pieces that actually went into production in various armies, but that's a very different consideration. More likely the gun would just be hauled out of battery for transport, something you can see on many medium and heavy field guns. Often this wasn't about length, but simply to balance the gun and make it easier to tow on surfaces other then paved roads.