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Pak 43 Problems, Round 2

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Issues with the size and weight of the Pak 43 came up before. The slightly smaller and lighter Pak 43/41 had the same issues.

"Use of 88 mm Pak 43/41 (towed) during mobile combat operations

Data in instruction 18/9 issued on June 27th, 1943, "directions on applying and using the 88 mm Pak 43/41 (towed) can only be used on stabilized sections of the front, and proved themselves in this respect.

On the other hand, experience in recent battles shows that the weapons are only of limited usefulness in mobile warfare, and one should not follow the aforementioned instructions.

The causes for this are as follows:
  • The mass of the Pak, 4.3 tons, and height, 1.9 meters, as well as the bulky and unarmoured motorized transport significantly limit its mobility on the battlefield.
  • There is not enough time to set up a firing position.
  • Large guns can seldom be hidden from enemy observation, especially from the air.
  • These guns are especially helpless against infantry attacks, under powerful horizontal fire.
For these reasons, this valuable weapon has high losses, both in materiel and personnel, which are not compensated by achieved results. These losses can, and should, be easily avoided. This is only possible if the following conclusions are made, given the limited mobility of the weapons on the battlefield:

It is necessary to cease the use of the 88 mm Pak (towed) in front line mobile warfare, especially to cover the retreat of infantry, since the use of these guns in this way leads to senseless losses.

88 mm guns are only useful in mobile warfare from specifically prepared locations in so called fortified regions, possession of which is decisive (railroad junctions, important highway crossroads, fortifications in front of bridges, river crossings, etc.)"

These instructions were issued on April 10th, 1944, so it looks like it took the Germans a while to figure out the glaring issues with their latest wonder weapon.


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