88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces. Hosted by Christian Ankerstjerne
User avatar
BDV
Financial supporter
Posts: 3701
Joined: 10 Apr 2009 16:11

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by BDV » 05 Oct 2018 22:26

critical mass wrote:
03 Oct 2018 13:57
The 88L/56 might better be considered as a gun upgrade for assault guns, where the additional HE performance might come in handy. However, the 105mm StuH42 can do everything better than the 88L/56 on lighter weight, except for long range anti tank accuracy.
Thank you for the nice clarification. Explains why Germans built a fair number of 105L/28 armed turretless AFVs (>2000). So they almost did that, but with a slightly different weapon, for a slightly different use.

However, if the 105L/28 was preferable to the 88L/56, it opens the question of suitability of the 105L/28 as the weapon for a breakthrough/ counterstrike heavy tank;

especially given the (historically taken) option of going whole hog to the 88L/71 - maybe the bad experiences of '40-'41 soured them (somewhat excessively) against short guns for tank use.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

Paul Lakowski
Member
Posts: 1432
Joined: 30 Apr 2003 05:16
Location: Canada

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Paul Lakowski » 06 Oct 2018 07:59

There was a model of the Hetzer "D" that was widened to accept the 75L70 Pak-42/1 . It was to start production in April 1945 , reaching 1250 units per month later that year. It was due to replace all other assault guns and Jagd Panzers in production. It was to have front armor strengthened to 80mm/60o, while the side superstructure armor was to be 20mm/55o .

More importantly the Hetzer design finally appeared to solve the Waffentragger production and design limitations.

Yoozername
Member
Posts: 2111
Joined: 25 Apr 2006 15:58
Location: Colorado

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Yoozername » 06 Oct 2018 16:08

The StuH was an easy modification since the 10,5 cm howitzer had an existing ground mount which could be adapted to the Sturmgeschutz. It gave the Sturmartillerie much better HE capability and also large shaped charge rounds. It would not be easily adapted to either the 'Hetzer' or the jagdpanzer IV (pak 39 mounts). Just like the 88mm L56 would not be easily adapted into any of the StuG or Jagdpanzer.

critical mass
Member
Posts: 602
Joined: 13 Jun 2017 14:53
Location: central Europe

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by critical mass » 07 Oct 2018 15:11

They managed to plant a 15cm Sig33/2 on the Hetzer, so I am not convined that the leFH18 wouldnt fit.
The 88/56 was obsolete by late 1944. HEAT had improved so much that 105mm was approaching PAK43 performances, except for in the field of long range accuracy.
Tanks and PAK or Jagdpanzer needed long range accuracy in addition to Penetration. The StuH42 could only provide penetration and HE, the latter of which did come in handy for sturmartillery but not for pak.
Thats why late ww2 projects focussed on large cal howitzers firing HE & HEAT or HEATFS for close range and medium cal long barreled but high mv and high accuracy guns with APCBC or APCBCDS.

User avatar
Grzesio
Member
Posts: 731
Joined: 11 Jul 2005 14:55
Location: Poland

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Grzesio » 08 Oct 2018 10:04

Yoozername wrote:
03 Oct 2018 18:15
The Tiger I AP projectile was designed for it. One of the reasons being the FlaK AP would strike the muzzle brake. So, technically, the FlaK later used the Tiger I 'ammunition'. I would assume that manufacturing of the 8,8 cm Pzgr 39 ammunition would primarily have been used by the Tiger I before production could catch up to supply the FlaK weapons.
8,8 cm Pzgr m Bd.z. and 8,8 cm Pzgr 39 were externally just identical, so I really have no idea, how there could be any difference with the muzzle brake.
From a production standpoint, the actual projectiles were eventually common as far as Pzgr 39 and HE, though I have never read of a Tiger using the FlaK fuses (which might have been a neat trick). I believe that Tiger I HE might have been painted green and the FlaK had the typical yellow?
8,8 cm KwK 36 ammunition used Dopp Z S/60 double action fuzes (and AZ 23/28 impact fuzes of course), so there was no need to use ZtZ S/30 time fuzes.
As far as colour of the 8,8 cm KwK 36 ammunition is concerned, HE shells were yellow, AP were black and shaped charge ones were field gray. Flak shells (shown below) had the same colours.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Yoozername
Member
Posts: 2111
Joined: 25 Apr 2006 15:58
Location: Colorado

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Yoozername » 08 Oct 2018 20:08

The 8,8 cm FlaK weapons had a large capacity HE Pzgr originally.

Image

The 'Tiger I' program, that featured the muzzle brake (actually considered secret at first), had issues with the "large capacity HE filler" in the APHE not being stable after emerging from the barrel. The Pzgr 39 solved this.

Image

Obviously, since the Tiger I needed this, and the FlaK 8,8 cm could use either, the Tiger I would have this first, but it would seem equally obvious that production of all 8,8 cm ammunition would convert to this. It is my understanding that all 8,8 cm weapons, including the L71, would fire a common projectile...

Image

User avatar
Grzesio
Member
Posts: 731
Joined: 11 Jul 2005 14:55
Location: Poland

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Grzesio » 09 Oct 2018 07:57

The 'Tiger I' program, that featured the muzzle brake (actually considered secret at first), had issues with the "large capacity HE filler" in the APHE not being stable after emerging from the barrel. The Pzgr 39 solved this.
Are there any hard proofs? 8,8 cm Pzgr seems to be one of the most stable shells for the 8,8 cm Flak/KwK, due to its shape and weight distribution. But, on the other hand, moving its CoG back could help in spin stabilization indeed.

By the way...
FlaK 8,8 cm
Flak, if you please, not FlaK. ;)

Yoozername
Member
Posts: 2111
Joined: 25 Apr 2006 15:58
Location: Colorado

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Yoozername » 10 Oct 2018 18:55

Tony Williams wrote:
05 Oct 2018 04:58
If you look at the picture of German and British tank ammo below, you can see that the 8,8 cm L/56 (88 x 571R) round, while being slightly longer overall than the 7,5 cm L/70 (75 x 640R), is actually more slender. No reason why an 88 mm gun would be any heavier or more difficult to mount in a turret than the 75 mm, given guns designed to the same standards.

Image

The 88 mm would have made a better general-purpose tank gun, with much better HE performance and adequate AP, but not quite so good for an AT gun or tank destroyer which is only concerned with punching holes in armour.
You are comparing an AP with HE. A better comparison is to imagine the 75X495 HE projectile on the Panther cartridge. In which case it would be longer than the 88mm. Both weigh about the same I believe as far as the full cartridge. The 88mm cartridge might actually be a bit nose heavy.

I would not say the guns are designed to the same standards. Mostly due to penetration and accuracy differences. Also, most German AFV designed later in the war had high explosive rounds that were of a lower velocity than the AP round. This saves on wear and tear of the barrel and recoil mechanisms.

I don't see how a 88mm is a better general purpose tank gun. The Germans really had a general purpose KWK/StuG/Pak39 ammunition for the Panzer IV, StuGs, Jagspanzer IV, and Hetzer. The only 88mm application in a tank might be the Panther, and that would be a loss of performance. In fact, the 7,5 cm L70 was being considered as a replacement for the Tiger I 8,8 cm but it would have upset the already low production numbers.

Yoozername
Member
Posts: 2111
Joined: 25 Apr 2006 15:58
Location: Colorado

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Yoozername » 11 Oct 2018 00:54

Paul Lakowski wrote:
06 Oct 2018 07:59
There was a model of the Hetzer "D" that was widened to accept the 75L70 Pak-42/1 . It was to start production in April 1945 , reaching 1250 units per month later that year. It was due to replace all other assault guns and Jagd Panzers in production. It was to have front armor strengthened to 80mm/60o, while the side superstructure armor was to be 20mm/55o .

More importantly the Hetzer design finally appeared to solve the Waffentragger production and design limitations.
Hitler had some specific requests...
Written school of the Minister of Armament and War Production Albert Speer dated 9.3.1945 and where the order of Hitler to accelerate the introduction of the Jagdpanzer 38 d as well as that the Jagdpanzer 38 t during the transition period was equipped with engine is communicated diesel.
Considering the situation in the fuel sector, the Führer claims the rapid transition from 38 t to 38 d with 12-cylinder Tatra engine air-cooled and 7.5 cm L / 70 barrel. Assembly of the 8 cylinder Tatra diesel engine and air cooled in the 38 t.
Also...
Excerpt from a report written on 19.3.1945 summarizing the decisions taken during a meeting with the Chef des Stabes des Gen.Insp.d.Pz.Tr. on 14.3.1945 and where current developments in the Armored Weapons sector are treated.

This section deals with the Jagdpanzer 38: it is announced that these vehicles would be equipped in the short term with diesel engines and give some details about the new Jagdpanzer 38 D (prototype, planning, armoring and armament).
[...]


2.) Panzerjäger 38 (ty D)

The Panzerjäger 38 t continues in production until about June, experience indicates that probably until later.

The Jagdpanzer 38 D , as planned, will be produced from June with a diesel engine. Due to the shortage of fuel, the Jagdpanzer 38 t will also be equipped with a diesel engine - 8 cylinders - until its production actually ends. The Inspector General of the Armored Troops orders the immediate transition to the 8-cylinder diesel engine as well as the equipment with this Jagdpanzer 38 t engine .

The first Jagdpanzer 38 D of this new series will be presented on 20.4.1945.

This model will be equipped from the beginning with a 7.5 cm L / 70 barrel, at the moment with recoil - approximately 50 projectiles on board - it has accepted a 50 mm frontal armor - 16 tons combat weight - engine power "honest "200 horses.

In this way the wish of the Inspector General of the Armored Troops to equip the Jagdpanzer 38 from model D with the 7.5 cm L / 70 barrel is fulfilled .
I don't think the D chassis could supply all needs as the FlaKPanzer 38 D was not achievable and only old Hetzer chassis were to be committed to it. I think the first 'D" was presented to Hitler on 4/20/1945.

https://topwar.ru/37553-istrebitel-tank ... r-38d.html

Tony Williams
Member
Posts: 1342
Joined: 18 Feb 2004 04:31
Location: UK

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Tony Williams » 11 Oct 2018 03:30

Yoozername wrote:
10 Oct 2018 18:55
I don't see how a 88mm is a better general purpose tank gun. The Germans really had a general purpose KWK/StuG/Pak39 ammunition for the Panzer IV, StuGs, Jagspanzer IV, and Hetzer. The only 88mm application in a tank might be the Panther, and that would be a loss of performance. In fact, the 7,5 cm L70 was being considered as a replacement for the Tiger I 8,8 cm but it would have upset the already low production numbers.
The reason is simple: tanks in WW2 fired mostly HE shells at soft targets. An 88 mm HE shell has a considerably greater destructive effect than a 75 mm one of comparable design. So by choosing a 75 mm HV like the L/70 over an equivalent 88 mm L/56 (i.e. designed as a tank gun, not modified Flak), the Germans achieved an increase in AP performance (which arguably was not needed, as most Allied tanks were vulnerable to 88 mm), but sacrificed a lot of HE effectiveness.

For anti-tank guns and tank destroyers, the 75 mm is obviously a better choice.

It is possible that in 1944-5 the German Army was more concerned with using its tanks against Allied armour rather than as fire support to troops; if true, that would explain the choice. The US/UK used tanks mainly for fire support, so HE was more important for them. Note that the standard UK allocation of tanks became three Shermans with medium velocity 75mm (mainly HE-throwers) and one Sherman Firefly with 17 pdr (which was the direct equivalent of the German 75 mm L/70.
Military Guns & Ammunition website http://quarryhs.co.uk

Yoozername
Member
Posts: 2111
Joined: 25 Apr 2006 15:58
Location: Colorado

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Yoozername » 11 Oct 2018 07:58

The Germans 1945 programs looked forward to King Tigers, Panthers and jagdpanzer 38 variants...where does your 'HE' theories fit into this? The Germans fully realized the tank threat and left your theory behind?

Tony Williams
Member
Posts: 1342
Joined: 18 Feb 2004 04:31
Location: UK

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Tony Williams » 11 Oct 2018 10:56

The point I was making was a general one: that taken across all armies, a tank has multiple duties of which knocking holes in other tanks is just one, and overall not the most common one. It is not a "theory" that the majority of ammunition fired by Allied tanks was HE - it's a fact. I'm not sure of the proportion of German tank ammo fired which was HE - do you know?

I have already acknowledged that "It is possible that in 1944-5 the German Army was more concerned with using its tanks against Allied armour rather than as fire support to troops; if true, that would explain the choice" [of 75mm for the Panther]. However, it made the Panther more of a tank destroyer, with excellent AP performance but not much good in the fire support role - the same comment applies to the Sherman Firefly. Neither of them made good general-purpose tanks as a result.
Military Guns & Ammunition website http://quarryhs.co.uk

critical mass
Member
Posts: 602
Joined: 13 Jun 2017 14:53
Location: central Europe

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by critical mass » 11 Oct 2018 18:28

I have objections with the contention that the KWK42 made the Panther not good in the fire support role.

The 75mm Spgr.42 fired a 635g HE charge at a V0=700 (rated, range table) to V0= 724 m/s (average new gun velocity).

The 75mm M3/M5 with M48 fired a 667g HE charge at a V0= 463m/s (normal charge) to V0= 604m/s (supercharge)

Arguably, I would rate the 75mm Spgr42 as superior owing to the noticably higher initial velocity which gives shorter time of flight and longer range.

The M48 has a 5% larger HE charge than the 75mm Spgr.42

The 76mm M42 has aprox. 100m/s higher V0 (820m/s) than the Spgr42 but also a 401g HE charge, which is genuinely inferior to the 1/2 larger HE burster charge of the Spgr42.
The Spgr42 also has a 100m/s higher V0 than the supercharged M48 but it does not have a noticably smaller HE charge than the M48. So if You consider it ineffective what ois the 75mm M48 then?
And extending this argument, what are the the two 17pdr HE projectiles then, in light of the fact that neither of them has as much HE charge (490g and 580g) as the Spgr42 (635g).

Yoozername
Member
Posts: 2111
Joined: 25 Apr 2006 15:58
Location: Colorado

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Yoozername » 11 Oct 2018 19:17

@ TW
The subject is actually "88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon". Not sure why you are speaking on tanks. Again, what AFV do you imagine it could be put in besides the Tiger I?

The load-out on Jagdpanzer is normally 75% Pngr 39 and the rest a mix of Sprgr and HL/C. A JagdPanzer with a 7,5 cm L70 would not have HL/C or Smoke for that matter (not made). Panzers and Sturmartillerie could be 50/50 (AP:HE) depending on mission. Obviously, since the Germans had a large fleet of enemy tanks outnumbering them on all fronts, they would bomb-up accordingly. In some cases, HE was in short supply and they would substitute HL type rounds.

I suppose that the muzzle energies of the 8,8 cm L56 can be compared to the 7,5 cm L48 as far as HE. It is about 3.2 times. The 'Hetzer', Jagdpanzer IV L48 did not need a muzzle brake. The 88mm certainly needs one in the Tiger I.

Tony Williams
Member
Posts: 1342
Joined: 18 Feb 2004 04:31
Location: UK

Re: 88 L56 as Jagdpanzer weapon

Post by Tony Williams » 12 Oct 2018 05:09

Thanks for the information, gentlemen.

I was principally comparing the ammunition characteristics of the 75 mm L/70 with the 88 mm L/56, since these rounds are about the same size and AFV guns designed to fire them would take up about the same space in the vehicle, so the pros and cons of both may be compared fairly. Does anyone have the weight of contents in the 88 mm HE shell to compare with that of the 75 mm?

The US/UK 75 x 350R ammunition is very much smaller than either of the two German rounds above, and so is the gun to fire it - it's about one-third of the weight, and fits in much smaller tanks. I mentioned it only in the context of the Allies favouring HE over AP for most of their tanks (i.e. more 75 mm tanks than 17 pdr).

As a matter of interest I looked at a "what if" recently, concerning necking-up the 17 pdr to 87 mm calibre to fire the 25-pounder artillery shells. The ballistics for AP would have been more or less the same as the 88 mm L/56. I suspect that the British would have preferred this over the 17 pdr as an AFV gun, if only they had an AFV big enough to put it in!
Military Guns & Ammunition website http://quarryhs.co.uk

Return to “The Ron Klages Panzer & other vehicles Section”