Object Title

88 mm anti-armour gun - 88 mm Flak 36

88 mm anti-armour gun - 88 mm Flak 36

Date

1939-1945

Object Number

XIX.331

Provenance

Purchased via Andrew Lumley, March 1985, from Eddie Kenten, a dealer in general military material of Tewin Water Farm, Hertford Rd, Diggswell, Hertfordshire.

Physical Description

This gun, one of the well-known family of 88mm German guns, is mounted on the usual 'Spider' type four armed mounting, the large side arms hinging upwards for travelling. The larger fixed arms are fitted with trunnions for the attachment of four-wheeled steerable bogies (steered by a towbar). The breech is a variation of the Krupps horizontal sliding block capable of being operated both semi-automatically and manually. The ignition system is percussion and is housed within the breech block, which is square in section.
The outer right hand face of the breech block has in the lower left hand corner a circular engraved motif: a galleon flanked by 'S.E/D.C over NAVAL', over crossed gun barrels surmounted by a ball. Beneath this device is the word 'REINOSA'. To the right of this is stamped 'N.42' (It appears that the breech block is new or at least a reconditioned one from Spain). When the gun was acquired the breech block transversing lever was missing. This lever has now been replaced by a replica There are relatively few marks visible on the gun; the rear end of the barrel is stamped 'R 148', and possibly '110 or 118' [this is obscured by paint]. The top of the barrel is stamped R over 'FL 7738 fue'. The muzzle is stamped '2 1' and has incised quarter lines.


The barrel is rifled with 32 rectangular grooves, slightly wider than the lands and with a right hand twist. When travelling the barrel was supported by a strut which is stamped with '**48'. On the left side of the breech, approximately 2.5 feet forward of the breech block the barrel has been burnt through by an oxy-acetyline torch, leaving a jagged rectangular aperture. This was to render the gun harmless. (Indeed the firing pin is also missing). An elevation scale on the right of the breech is stamped with the Nazi eagle over 'W (?) A 872.
The gun is largely complete, retaining many of the original dials, levers, handwheels and electrical equipment. The gun is painted overall in green drab, but traces of the original paint within the fuze-setter suggest that it was formerly sand yellow. The tyres ( with the exception of one pair) are Spanish Pirelli covers of what is still a standard size.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length of barrel: 16ft 2.5 in

Component parts

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number 7738

Calibre

88 mm

Associations

Places Germany

Notes

It appears that this gun has been modified after 1941 with the replacement of its original barrel by the more advanced Flak 41 barrel which is compatible. The evidence for this is represented by the increased number of grooves from 28 to 32, which provided for higher velocity at the expense of a higher erosion rate. The effective ceiling rose from 32,154ft to 49,215ft. (The use of the different barrel would have entailed the use of the more powerful H.E. round normally associated with the Flak 41).
Another pointer to this gun being of mid-war manufacture are the indicators, which are boxed behind glass. In the guns of pre-war manufacture the dials are of a cruder mechanical manufacture.