Initially conceived as an anti-aircraft weapon, the 8.8 cm Flak 37 (or Eighty-Eight, as it was known to Allied troops) had a high initial speed that allowed it to reach the high altitudes to which modern bombers could climb in that period. This feature made it an exceptionally lethal anti-tank weapon, a lesson that many Allied tank crews would learn to their regret. Moreover, the 88 could also be deployed as a conventional artillery piece; as one private put it, the 88 was ‘anti-everything’….
The 88’s feared reputation grew significantly during its service in the Western Desert, where it emerged as one of the few weapons capable of taking on British Matilda II infantry tanks.
Able to fire accurately even while remaining attached to its wheeled carriages, piercing armor plates up to 108 mm thick at ranges of up to 1,100 yards, the 88 could be fully deployed on its cruciform firing platform and ready to fire in approximately two and a half minutes.
Many 88s were equipped with an extensive piston shield, although examples abounded in the desert where they dispensed with such an accessory.
In the wargame Bolt Action
He uses the Flak 37 in the same way as Rommel did in the Western Desert, strategically placed with a wide field of fire, as far away as possible from enemy units and well fortified. It uses the super-heavy anti-tank gun on a rotating platform to tear apart enemy armor at considerable distances. With the addition of an observer in a forward deployed position transmitting coordinates, nothing will be safe!
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