Striking by Night

German defences

88-millimetre Flak gun

Germany developed and improved its Flak (an abbreviation for Flugabwehrkanone, or anti-aircraft gun) defences throughout the war; and no city was more heavily defended than Berlin. By 1942, 15,000 88-millimetre guns formed the bulk of the German heavy Flak defence. The 88-millimetre gun was an extremely effective weapon when in four-gun batteries and radar assisted. There were larger anti-aircraft guns, especially the 128-millimetre Flak, but the 88-millimetre acquired almost legendary status. Famous for its versatility, it also had a lethal reputation as an anti-tank gun. This example (with its shield fitted) was captured by Australian troops in the 1942 North African campaign.

88mm Flak gun in Anzac Hall

88mm Flak gun in Anzac Hall

88-millimetre Flugabwehrkanone 36
Max. range 14,660 metres (at 45 degrees)
Max. ceiling 10,600 metres
Rate of fire 15–20 rounds per minute
Weight of projectile 9 kilograms