- For the Steel Division: Normandy 44 unit see SD:FlaK 41 88mm
FlaK 41 88mm is a German Anti-air unit in Steel Division II.
The iconic 8.8 cm FlaK (Flugzeugabwehrkanone or aircraft defense cannon) was a weapon whose initial designs dated back to the time of World War I and the emergence of aircraft as a tool of war. Introduced in 1917, 8.8 cm Flak 16 used the standard caliber of the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy), firing a heavy projectile at high velocities to reach aircraft at high altitudes. This feature allowed it to excel against enemy tanks in World War II.
Experiments with a new 8.8 cm Flak began shortly after the end of the war, in spite of the Treaty of Versailles. In collaboration with the Swedish Bofors, Krupp created the first new model Flak in 1928, designated Flak 18. This early variant incorporated most of the features the Flak would become known for: High muzzle velocity, large caliber, multiple types of ammunition (high explosive, armor piercing, HEAT), and a very high rate of fire, thanks to its semi-automatic method of operation, allowing for firing 15 to 20 rounds per minute. The Flak 18 distinguished itself in the Spanish Civil War, where small numbers were made available to Nationalist forces, proving to be an excellent weapon against all targets on land and in the air.
Flak 41 was an updated design based on the perfected Flak 36, which in turn was a perfected version of Flak 18. Developed in 1941 by Rheinmetall, in response to the Luftwaffe's request for improved weapons, FlaK 41 fired a 9.4 kg shell at 1,000 m/s, with an effective ceiling of 11,300m. Its performance was said to be comparable to the 12,8 cm Flak, with a lower silhouette than its predecessor and an increased firing rate (up to 25 rounds per minute).
However, the complexity of the design greatly impacted their reliability and limited their deployment to Germany and select units outside of it. A total of 556 guns were manufactured from March 1943 until 1945, less than 1/40th of the total production of Flak 18/36/37.
21. Panzer's Heeres-FlaK-Abteilung 305 had two batteries with equipped with four Flak 41 along with two self-propelled 2 cm flak guns.
Panzer-Lehr's Heeres-FlaK-Abteilung 311 had three batteries of six 88mm Flak Guns supported by 2 cm flak guns.
Heeres-Flak-Artillerie-Abteilung 293 of the 78. Sturm was originally attached to the Artillery Regiment but was detached to divisional command.
3. Fallschirmjäger (SD2)'s Fallschirm-Flak-Abteilung 3 was planned to be equipped with two batteries of 6 FlaK 41 88mm (SD2) each along with three batteries of 6 Flak 38 but during the Normandy landing wasn't equipped with guns. instead the Fallschirm-Flak-Abteilung 2 from the 2 Fallschirmjäger Division was attached to the 3. Fallschirmjäger.
Panzergrenadier "Großdeutschland"'s Heeres-Flakartillerie-Abteilung Großdeutschland has three batteries equipped with Flak 41.
|5. Panzer||4. Fallschirmjäger||20. Panzer||21. Panzer||Panzer-Lehr||17. SS-Panzergrenadier (SD2)||Panzerdivision Tatra||Panzergrenadier "Großdeutschland"||78. Sturm||352. Infanterie||Korück 559||Fallschirm-Panzer "Hermann Göring"||3. Fallschirmjäger (SD2)||Verteidigungsbereich Toulon|
Tanks` nightmare, Airplanes` devastator, but a slow walker
This is my favorite, as it can anti-everything. To airplanes, 88 can easy blow them down, with its large firing rage. To tanks, my advise, place 2-3 88s together in woods, cause woods can provide very good camouflage and protection. And 2-3 units can provide relatively intense firepower, giving enemies no time to response (88s` shells don`t have 100% peneration rate to T-34/85s, I know it sounds ridiculous, but this is how this game run. So you need 2-3 shells hit the tank at the same time!). Furthermore, place those Führer near 88s, cause there are morale, accuracy and reloading addition.
One major drawback of 88s is its moving speed. I don`t know why, in 1st generation, 88s are transported by half-tracks, meaning they can be deployed any place in short time. But in Belarus, all these units become hand pushed. Based on my test, moving like 1500m distance will take crews 7-8 mins, and this is test on flat territory, let alone those bumpy places. Such slow speed makes it impossible to deploy 88s in an assault operation, as those turtles are even faster than them.....
But there is another way to use 88s in offensive operations. You can use other units, like infantries, panzers to take points quickly, while launch those 88s at very beginning of the game and direct them to those points you want to take. Then as long as you have secure those points and 88s just arrive in time, you can deploy them accordingly and wait for enemies counter attack. The key of this strategy is time, cause you need a strong unit-combinations in A phase, to push enemy back and set every 88 in right place. When B phase comes, those T-34/85s will come really quick and you don`t have time to relocate your units. So basically, you just set a trap for those tanks and pray they would step in. Don`t forget protect your flank and use artillery, bombers or whatever you have to suppress enemies` attempts to attack your flank, cause you don`t have enough time to turn your 88s to those breach points of two wings.