8.8 cm Flak 16

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8.8 cm Flak 16
88 Flak 16 3397921.jpg
8.8 cm Flak 16 cannon
TypeAnti-aircraft gun
Place of originGerman Empire
Service history
In service1917-1918
Used by German Empire
WarsWorld War I
Production history
No. built169
MassTransport: 7,300 kg (16,100 lb)
Combat: 3,100 kg (6,800 lb)
Barrel length3.9 m (12 ft 10 in) L/45[1]

ShellFixed QF
Shell weight9.4 kg (20 lb 12 oz)
Caliber88 mm (3.46 in)
BreechHorizontal sliding-block
CarriageFour-wheeled cruciform outriggers
Elevation0° to +70°
Rate of fire10 rpm
Muzzle velocity785 m/s (2,575 ft/s)
Maximum firing rangeHorizontal: 10.8 km (6.7 mi)
Vertical: 6,850 m (22,470 ft)[1]

The 8.8 cm Flak 16 was a German 8.8 cm anti-aircraft gun from World War I, forerunner of the 8,8 cm FlaK/PaK Flak 18/36/37 of World War II. Its contemporary name was the 8,8 cm K.Zugflak L/45.


Early anti-aircraft artillery guns of World War I were primarily adaptations of existing medium-caliber weapons, mounted to enable fire at higher angles. By 1915, the German military command realized that these were useless for anything beyond deterrence, even against vulnerable balloons and slow-moving aircraft.[2] With the increase of aircraft performance, many armies developed dedicated AA guns with a high muzzle velocity – allowing the projectiles to reach greater altitudes. The first such German gun, the Flak 16, was introduced in 1917, using the 88 mm caliber, common in the Kaiserliche Marine.[2]


The barrel for the 8.8 cm K.Zugflak L/45 was built from steel and was 45 calibers in length. The gun had a semi-automatic Krupp horizontal sliding-wedge breech to boost its rate of fire. There was a hydro-pneumatic recoil system located above and below the barrel, along with an equilibriator to balance the gun. The gun was capable of 360° of traverse and 0° to +70° of elevation.

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  1. ^ a b c Fleischer, Wolfgang (February 2015). German Artillery:1914-1918. Barnsley. p. 94. ISBN 9781473823983. OCLC 893163385.
  2. ^ a b Westermann, Edward B. (2005–2009) [2001]. Flak: German Anti-aircraft Defenses 1914-1945. Modern War Studies. University Press of Kansas. pp. 19, 36–38, 44, 53, 58, 83, 90, 108, 128–129. ISBN 9780700614202.

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