The next t shirt design: German WW2 88mm gun

I just had a request for a t shirt design of the 88mm artillery flak gun that the Germans used in World War 2.  I thought this was an excellent suggestion since I was thinking of doing that design anyway.  We of course have many German panzer tank t shirts and gun t shirts, so this would be a perfect match for all the WW2 theme tee’s.  As a matter of fact I was just thinking of doing it today.  I have been working on a diorama of the the 88 gun with a Tiger 1 and several figures.  I started this diorama back in 1981 and am still working on it.  I go in phases with my model building, a few months into it and then a few years out of it.  I am finding that the old Tamiya kits are not that detailed compared to the new stuff coming out.  So I look at what I have finished and then redo it with new photoetched or metal figure heads, etc.  So it may never be done, but the 88mm flak gun t shirt will be done this week so check out my ebay store  Achtung T Shirt for it’s debut.  Here’s some more info the 8,8 cm FlaK 18, 36 or 37:

The 88 mm gun (eighty-eight) is a German anti-aircraft and anti-tank  artillery gun from World War II . They were widely used throughout the war, and could be encountered upon nearly all fields of battle. Developments of the groundbreaking models led to a wide assortment of guns that could be distinguished as “an 88”.
The name applies to a series of anti-aircraft guns formally known as the 8,8 cm FlaK 18, 36 or 37. FlaK is a German  contraction of either Fl(ugzeug)a(bwehr)-K(anone) or Fl(ug)a(bwehr)-K(anone) (therefore the capital letter K, now one word) meaning anti-aircraft gun, the original purpose of the eighty-eight. In informal German use, the guns were universally known as the Acht-acht (8-8), a contraction of Acht-komma-acht Zentimeter (German: 8.8 cm). The name could as well identify newer and more powerful models, the FlaK 41 and 43, although these were different weapons. In general terms the gun was less capable in the anti-aircraft role than the British  QF 3.7 inch AA gun  or United States 90 mm gun  models. Unlike those weapons, however, the 88 was built in very large numbers, and in the anti-tank role it was mounted on a versatile base from which it could be fired without unlimbering.
Its success as an improvised anti-tank gun led to a separate line of guns for anti-tank use, the Panzerabwehr-Kanone (PaK) 88 (German: “anti-tank gun”) and as the main armament for tanks such as the Tiger I , the 8.8 cm KwK 36 , with the “KwK” abbreviation standing for Kampfwagenkanone (“fighting vehicle cannon”).

The German forces employed the 88 extensively in World War II, not only in its original role as an anti-aircraft gun,  where it performed well, but also as an anti-tank gun.
The German Condor Legion made extensive use of the FlaK 88 in the Spanish Civil War, where its usefulness as an  anti-tank weapon and a general artillery piece exceeded its role as an anti-aircraft weapon. Erwin Rommel also used  the 88 as an anti-tank weapon, first in France and later in North Africa. His timely use of the gun to blunt the  British counterattack at Arras ended any hope of a breakout from the blitzkrieg encirclement of May 1940. In Libya and  Egypt, he lured British tanks into traps by baiting them with apparently retreating panzers. When the British pursued,  concealed 88s picked them off at ranges far beyond those of the 2-pdr and 6-pdr guns of the British tanks. The British  8th Army eventually learned to coordinate their heavy artillery with their ground advances, destroying the relatively  immobile 88s in their emplacements once they revealed their positions.
The weapon saw continuous use on the Soviet Front. The appearance of the outstanding T-34 shocked the German tank  crews, whose 37 mm and 50 mm tank guns could only penetrate the Soviet tank’s armour at extremely close range.
The less open terrain in Italy and Northern France was less suitable for the 88. The success of the 88 caused the  Allies to take steps to defend against it in new tank design. Stopgap measures included adding together more armor, or even  employing sandbags, to try to defeat the 88’s projectiles. The Germans took advantage of this effective design in the  armament of vehicles such as the Tiger tank and the Elefant tank destroyer (with an 88 mm Pak 43/2 anti-tank gun).
In the civil war in Yugoslavia various FlaK guns were applied mainly by the naval artillery unit of the Yugoslav People’s Army  (JNA).
The FlaK 36 was briefly issued in January 1945 to the American 7th Army as captured weapons.


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