New Vanguard 46 88mm FlaK 18/36/37/41 & PaK 43 1936-45

John Prigent

Here's a treat for fans of German guns - the whole history of the "88".  The books traces its story from the very beginning, with the 8.8 cm FlaK gun used to defend the Ruhr in 1917.  This was of course scrapped under the Treaty of Versailles, but Krupp designed a new 8.8 cm gun and when Hitler overruled the Treaty restrictions it went straight into production.  Subsequent modifications produced the FlaK 36, 37 and 41 versions and all are discussed in detail.

Successful use of the 88 in an anti-tank role led naturally enough to its adaptation both as a tank gun and as a pure anti-tank gun.  The modifications needed ranged from new recoil systems to new longer barrels and, of course, to the development of new carriages.  All of these are described here, and the book’s coverage extends to the self-propelled Nashorn and Elefant as well.  A briefer final section covers the naval 88 and the end-of-war prototypes and proposals for new self-propelled mounts and even new versions of the gun.

With such a wide-ranging scope there’s no room for after-action reports or details of combat use, but there are plenty of photographs and of course the invaluable colour plates, which even include the 88 mounted on a rail wagon for mobility.  Those combat reports, and much else on the anti-tank use of 88s, can be found in Jentz and Doyle's Dreaded Threat (Darlington Productions) but this book is what you need for the other uses of the gun.  Modellers will find it very useful, too.  Recommended.