1⁄188mm Pak 43/41
The following is information from the display card present with this artillery gun. Probably the most famous gun of World War Two, the German 88 had a reputation second to none. Designed originally as an anti-aircraft weapon it was first used against tanks, with devastating effect, during the Spanish Civil War and became the mainstay of Rommelís anti-tank defences in North Africa. Even so it was a large, cumbersome arrangement, hard work to handle and difficult to hide. In 1943 a new version of the 88, featuring a two piece barrel was developed with the intention of creating tank and anti-tank guns that shared the same ammunition. This appeared as the Pak 43 on a low slung, four wheeled carriage and as the KwK43 in the Tiger II heavy tank. However production of the field carriage for the anti-tank version was slow and in order to meet demand from the Russian Front a simplified model was built using existing components. The result was a massive gun on a split trail, two wheeled carriage which, inevitably, was difficult to crew and handle. The Pak 43 had a maximum range of 17,500m and a muzzle velocity of 1,000 metres per second. Firing standard armour piercing shot the gun could penetrate 159mm of armour at ranges up to 2,000 metres and there is anecdotal evidence for one of these guns knocking out six Soviet T-34 tanks at a range of 3,500 metres.
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