Originally developed as an anti-aircraft weapon, the Flak 37 8.8cm (or Eighty-eight as it became known by Allied troops) had a high muzzle velocity to allow it to reach the higher ranges modern bombers were capable of at the time. This would make it an exceptionally deadly anti-tank weapon as many Allied tank crews would learn to their peril. The 88 could also be deployed as a conventional artillery piece – as one infantryman noted, the 88 was 'anti-everything'...
Capable of firing in extremis whilst still attached to its wheeled carriages (although with limited traverse or elevation), the 88 could be fully deployed onto its cruciform firing platform and ready to fire in around two and a half minutes.
Many 88s were fitted with a large gunshield although there were many examples of this being dispensed with. Being such a large and heavy weapon it could only be towed by larger prime movers such as the Sd.Kfz 7 halftrack.
The 88 saw service during the Spanish Civil War as well as on all fronts in which the Germans fought during WWII. Capable of penetrating armour plate up to 108mm thick at ranges of up to 1,100 yards, the 88’s fearsome reputation grew immensely during its service in the Western Desert where it was one of the very few weapons capable of dealing with the British Matilda II infantry tanks. A similar scenario unfolded on the Eastern Front as the 88 was among the rare weapons able to tackle the new Soviet heavy KV tanks.
The Flak 37 was the final production iteration of the 88, almost identical to the Flak 36 bar the updated instruments allowing for a greater level of autonomy in fire control.
This Flak 37 kit is supplied with 8.8cm shells and shell cases and can be built to both traverse and elevate - neither enemy armour nor aircraft will be safe!
One 1/56 scale hard plastic WWII 8.8cm Flak 37 dual-purpose AA/AT gun