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German 88mm - what's the point...


Sgt AA
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There is a set of orders for immo'd units (bunkers, immo'd vehicles). There is a set of commands for mobile units. Those few guns that are not able to move on their own except diesembarking did not get their own command set for their one and only move per game. Call it an economical design decision.

Gruß

Joachim

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  • 2 weeks later...

hey does anyone know where exactly the 88mm gets plopped down...when it is ported on its prime mover there is the location of the primemover no indication as to where the 88mm is - if you disembark it will it always be lets say 2 m to the rear of the prime mover?

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  • 4 weeks later...

I haven't done any tests, but it seems that I have been able to back trucks into woods and deposit guns there. However, those occasions might not have been with 88mm flak cannons, so a definitive answer might no be possible. A lot of times when i debark guns it seems they are dropped right in the middle of the vehicle location. Anyone who has done tests is invited, nay required, to post an answer!

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Ugh. I can think of no greater pain than trying to deploy an 88 offensively. I was playing an attack scenario set in October or November 1941, and my PBEM opponent had 3 or 4 KV tanks. So, the single 88 that I had was desperately needed. And, of course, when I attempted to place it, the gun was dropped in the wrong spot. Yay.

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In addition to the Borg spotting problem (huge), CM doesn't model German smokeless/flashless propellants , and doesn't allow the 88 to be fired while still being towed, which it could and did do historically.

Granted, if fired too far off fore and aft it might topple, but the only way to fire a towed 88 in CM is to drop it and unfold the outriggers. Once it's down, it's down. Rommel, by contrast, kept his on wheels behind the SdKfz 7s and could move them in minutes, relocating them to the schwerpunkt as it moved about during the course of a battle. That's how he used them offensively.

To regain at least partial mobility, some scenario designers substitute Pak 40s for 88s in offensive scenarios. Of course, they lack the range, hitting power, all round traverse and several other goodies the 88s had in real life.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Andreas,

Nice vid! While not smokeless in an absolute sense,

relative to what the Allies were using, it certainly was. That it was flashless is shown here in the Grisha post.

http://www.battlefront.com/cgi-bin/bbs/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=011118

Somewhere, I forget where exactly, there's a more complete version of what Grisha provided. There, you'll find explicit tank crew statements of coming under accurate tank/antitank fire and being utterly unable to locate the source, despite careful observation. There's plenty of literature, too, in which tankers report being mystified as to why their tanks were exploding, so much so that minefields were repeatedly blamed. See, for example, British experience at Halfaya Pass and Russian experience for quite some time until an example was captured and reported to Russia's allies. That is how the British first learned what was gobbling up their tanks.

Thus, the 88 was for a long time effectively unknown in its DF role, often couldn't be spotted when it did fire (propellant, dust suppression, dug in, poorer quality optics looking for it, buttoned Russian tanks, etc.), and if it was spotted, was for quite some time all but immune to counterfire, by virtue of range advantage and/or lack of suitable projectiles, as in no British HE on standard tanks. In the Western Desert, for example, the British were effectively helpless against it until the Grants arrived in combat at Gazala. Even then, 88s wrought havoc.

(roots around a bit)

Here (20-24) is not just a recap of the Grisha post but extensive discussion of many pertinent issues.

http://www.battlefront.com/discuss/Forum1/HTML/011342-20.html

Page 23, in one of the BTS posts, cites several examples in which the Germans, thanks to high quality sights which allowed them to see and fight when their foes couldn't, clobbered U.S. armor at 2000 meter range. A Tiger tank fires again and again from the edge of the woods and is never seen once, despite frantic efforts to locate the source of the fire.

Regards,

John Kettler

[ January 27, 2007, 09:02 AM: Message edited by: John Kettler ]

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Here's the Jentz North Africa table, taken from ASL Veteran's post on page 4 of the above thread. The listed guns are all using the same target size, and the hit percentages are based on doubled dispersion,

considered by both the British and the Germans to be a good reflection of combat performance by a competent gunner. ASL Veteran later added this quote from Jentz.

"These accuracy tables do not reflect the actual probability of hitting a target under battlefield conditions. Due to errors in estimating the range and many other factors, the probability of a first round hit was much lower than shown in these tables. However, the average gunner could achieve the accuracy shown by the number in parentheses after adjusting his fire onto the center of the target - if he remained calm." Note that if the 88 fires from outside of much more than 1500 meters, 2 pdr. equipped British tanks are screwed. Even if they somehow spot the gun, they can't shoot at it!

Weap mvel ammo 100m 500m 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000

2pdr 792m xxAP 100% x67% x26% x12% xxxx xxxx xxxx

25pr 472m xxAP 100% x66% x46% x28% xxxx xxxx xxxx

20mm 780m Pzgr 100% x87% x37% xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx

37mm 758m Pzgr 100% x95% x47% x15% xxxx xxxx xxxx

47mm 775m Pzgr 100% 100% x89% x59% xxxx xxxx xxxx

50mm 685m Pzgr 100% 100% x96% x71% xxxx xxxx xxxx

50mm 835m Pzgr 100% 100% x95% x68% xxxx xxxx xxxx

75mm 385m Kgrp 100% 100% x73% x38% xxxx xxxx xxxx

88mm 810m Pzgr 100% x98% x64% x38% x23% x15% x10%

105m 395m Pzgr 100% x98% x63% x32% xxxx xxxx xxxx

20mm 840m Ital 100% x87% x37% xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx

47mm 630m Md35 100% x95% x46% x17% xxxx xxxx xxxx

47mm 630m Md39 100% x95% x52% xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx

Regards,

John Kettler

[ January 27, 2007, 09:40 AM: Message edited by: John Kettler ]

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This page from the thread has some wonderful stuff on what a well handled 88 mit rangefinder battery could do, to include 9 tank kills in Russia at ranges from 5-9 kms. For comparison, 5 kms is the best anyone managed (Challenger 2) in OIF with a vastly better guns and state of the art fire control, to include laser rangefinder.

http://www.battlefront.com/discuss/Forum1/HTML/011342-13.html

Regards,

John Kettler

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To depart a little from where we are headed, and back to where we began, I absofreakinlutely hate 88mm flak kannon, at least when you get them as reinforcements. I was recently playing FlakFront from the AK cd, and had to quit after my first 88s showed because I stupidly set them up where they had no LOS. I should either start practicing more, or not use the bastards. 88mm Pak is waaaaay better anyways.

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Yes, they are extremely difficult to use as a reinforcement. You have to find them cover to maneuver to the front, then find a place to safely set them up that also has a good field of fire. That last part can be done by wasting some smoke. On the opposing side, as soon as one sees them everything attempts to shoot at them limbered in hopes of stopping their deployment or destroy them before the crew sets up.

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jwatts,

I haven't tried it myself, but can you check LOS from the 88 while it's under tow? You might be able to. If not, you certainly ought to be able to get a pretty good idea by checking from the tow vehicle. Better yet, put a man/team/squad where you want put your 88 and check LOS that way.

Baron von Beergut,

Have you tried throwing up some dust using vehicles, at least under dry conditions?

Regards,

John Kettler

[ January 30, 2007, 08:58 PM: Message edited by: John Kettler ]

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Hm that was a good point, and something I should have thought of. However, I zoomed to the lowest level and looked fine to me. The problem was that the 88s are set up where the tow vehicle is, not where the gun is SHOWN as being. All excuses aside, the scenario was Flakfront, so I was rushing to stop the hordes of Honeys and countless carriers.

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Which scale are you using when deciding where the gun is shown? It clearly does not work in +4. In a realistic scale, 5m behind the center of the vehicle is about where the gun is shown.

It still doesn't work in any case. When trying to deploy into scattered trees - drive into the trees to make sure the gun is in them. When trying to deploy into woods make sure the reverse command goes all the way to the edge of the woods.

When trying to deploy behind a rise - that's the tricky part. 1m can decide whether you have LOS or not and whether you are protected by the rise or sit on top of it. Lots of luck involved. But as you are trying to get a somewhat gamey effect you have to take the risks that come with it.

Apart from that I would have used some PaK 40 or 7.6® to model 88s as reinforcements as suggested above. Vs Honeys the 88s are overkill and their long distance targetting abilites are not modelled into CM anyway.

Gruß

Joachim

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It has a historical TOE. But if you can't use the 88s as they actually were used and thus can not use the historical tactics, the correct TOE alone does not make it historical - which might be more a limitation of CM than the scen authors fault.

My exact point is:

As scenario author I would have chosen a different gun to model fighting with historical 88s. Maybe added a mod pak so that gun looks like an 88.

Which of course would have provoked outrageous cries of grogs all over the world.

Gruß

Joachim

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  • 6 months later...

I always suspected that the way they made 88s so awkward in CM was possibly a design decision: most players come into WW2 simulations at this scale thinking 88s where everywhere and invincible.

Perhaps the result was to overweaken them for CMAK. (I don't recall reading so much about highly mobile 88s on the Western Front, nor, and here I am on shakier ground, Russia--though I am sure the grogs will correct me if I am wrong)

But to hear that they could be fired when towed! I learn something from the forum each time I come. In CM turns, however, given the spotting and usual ranges, and the prevelance of quick-response morters, an 88 out in the open on-tow would usually would be destroyed quickly.

As noted by others, I almost always prefer smaller AT guns that I can tuck, and truck, away more easily.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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