Detailed information is now available concerning the
German 88-mm (3.46-in.) antitank gun Pak 43/41 which
was first encountered by United States forces in France, although it had been employed
previously against the Soviets. General data:
|Length of tube, including muzzle brake||
|Length of muzzle brake||
|Maximum traverse (30° R, 30° L)||
|Rate of traverse||
||1 turn per 34".|
|Height of wheels||
||48 1/2 in.|
|Length of carriage without gun||
|Length of carriage with gun||
|Height of carriage in traveling position||
|Total weight of equipment||
The carriage of this equipment follows orthodox lines with trail
legs hinged to a bottom carriage upon which is mounted a cradle
providing lateral deflection and carrying the usual layout of
traversing and elevating gears. The wheels, on cranked stub-axles, are
independently sprung but there is no compensation between the wheels,
and the carriage is on four-point support when firing. In general,
the carriage appears as if it might be one of the earlier designs of
field carriage adapted to take the Pak 43/41 gun.
|German 88-mm antitank gun Pak 43/41.|
The barrel is made in two sections. The front end of the rear
section has an enlarged diameter which is prepared for the reception,
jointing, and securing of the rear end of the front section. The
correct positioning of the rifling is ensured by a key which is inserted
from the outside. A locking collar, similar to that used on all
German guns to lock barrel to breechring, locks the front section to the
rear section, thus preventing longitudinal movement. Use of this
locking collar obviates the necessity for start of thread. A gas seal
is provided by inserting a steel expansion ring between the two
sections of the barrel. This ring fits into recesses cut in each section.
The front section is supported by the rear section for a length of 32
inches and has two bearing surfaces, one at the front end and one at
the rear end: these have a clearance of 0.004 and 0.003 inch respectively.
The lug which takes the recoil cylinder is not connected to the
breech ring but is a part of a bracket welded to a band which splits
into halves and is forward of the breechring. Breechring and
mechanism are similar to the 75-mm Pak 40, slightly simplified. The gun
is fired electrically, with two 2-volt batteries in series provided on
the left side of the carriage. The muzzle brake is similar to that
found on the Pak 40, Pak 36, and other guns. but in this case the
rear baffle only is bushed.
The cradle is a welded design. It is attached to the carriage by a
pintle at the rear and two adjustable rollers in the front. These
rollers bear on a plain machined arc. Underneath the cradle a flat
machined plate is attached by two bolts, and this plate in turn fits
underneath the plain arc and serves as a stop to any upward movement
of the cradle in firing.
The hydropneumatic recoil mechanism is on top of the gun. The
pressure is 800 pounds per square inch. The buffer is housed in
the cradle underneath the gun and is of orthodox design.
The elevating gear is arc-and-pinion type and is normal with the
exception of two hand wheels, one on each side. The left handwheel
can be used for final aiming, as it has a ratio of one and one-half turns
to one of the right handwheel. The gun is fired from the left wheel. The
traversing gear is normal, controlled by a handwheel to a worm
on the center of the cradle, then to a worm-and-pinion onto the
traversing rack on the carriage.
The trail is split and of riveted construction. It is rather short,
only 10 feet 6 inches in length.
Attachment of the spades is interesting. They are forward, on top
of the legs, in the traveling position and fold back over the legs for
firing. The legs are locked in the traveling position by two locking
devices, one of which also locks the cradle, and the other also locks
the lunette in position. The lunette folds back and locks on the inside
of the right leg when in the firing position.
The 88-mm Pak 43/41 may be confused with the 88-mm Pak 43
because of similar designation. While both have tubes based on the tube
of the 88-mm Flak 41, the Pak 43 has a cruciform carriage not unlike
that of the 88-mm Flak 18 and 36. However, the Pak 43 carriage does
not permit sufficient elevation for AA fire.
|The German 88-mm antitank gun Pak 43.|
Ammunition listed below is fired by the 88-mm Pak 43/41:
|HE (with point-detonating quick and delay fuze)—88-mm Sprgr Patr 43, Kw. K. 43 m. A. Z. 23/28||
|HE (with combination point-detonating quick and time fuzes)—88-mm Sprgr Patr 43, Kw. K. 43 m. Dopp. Z. S/60 Fl. or Dopp. Z. S/60 V||
|APCBC—88-mm Pzgr Patr 39/43, Kw. K. 43 m. Bd. Z. 5127||
|AP40—88-mm Pzgr Patr 40/43, Kw. K. 43||