| 88 mm Flak 18|
|General Historical Information|
|Place of origin:||Germany|
|Category:||Anti-Aircraft Gun/Anti-Tank Gun|
|Debut in FHSW:||Debut in FH mod|
|Ammunition:||88 × 571 mm R|
|Elevation:||-3° to +85°|
|Rate of Fire:||15-20 rpm|
|Maximum Range:||11,900 m metres|
|Used by vehicles / ships:|| Sd.Kfz. 8 with 8.8 cm Flak 18|
Sd.Kfz. 9 with 8.8 cm Flak 37
The Flugabwehr-Kanone 18, probably the most well known artillery piece of the war, is technically an anti aircraft artillery gun, but that is an oversimplification. Like its opponents, the Wehrmacht of 1939 had underestimated the need for powerful anti-tank guns and equipped its anti-tank units with weapons that proved too small for their job. Unlike other armed forces, it had a ready substitute for the underpowered AT guns already in place - the notorious '88'.
Although designed for an anti-air role, and deployed in large numbers by the Wehrmacht, which emphasized the tactical use of air power in its doctrines, its high velocity projectiles were also deadly to enemy armor. While the armies of other nations struggled to play catch-up, Germany had an effective anti-tank weapon avaialble in abundance from the start of the conflict. Also useful as direct support artillery it was a flexible and justly feared weapon that deserves much of the credit for creating the legend of German armored prowess.
It is often said that KwK 36 gun, used in Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger was based on the FlaK 36 88 mm gun anti-aircraft gun. There are similarities between these weapons but they must be considered merely parallel designs. The KwK 36 could fire the same ammunition as the FlaK 18 or 36. The only difference were the primers that were of percussion type in the FlaK guns and electric in KwK 36. Also the ballistics were identical and both guns had a 56 caliber barrel. The KwK 36 was built to practically the same design as the 7.5 cm and 5.0 cm guns already used in German tanks, but with the structure scaled up considerably.