Thursday, March 02, 2006
The 88mm guns in Battleaxe
In Battleaxe, in June 1941, the Germans employed the 88mm gun to great effect. They were effective beyond their small numbers. Near Halfaya were perhaps five guns. Near Hafid ridge, there were four pitted against the 7th Armoured Brigade. The 8th Panzer Regiment was supported by another four 88's. The Official History says that the 50mm PAK38 was also very potent in Battleaxe. Already, they were firing the arrow shot, with a tungsten core covered by an aluminum cover that could compress and fit against the side of the gun without doing appreciable damage. In this period when the German tanks were not fitted with an effective armour piercing gun, they let the anti-tank guns attack the British tanks and used their tanks against infantry and soft vehicles. This was standard doctrine in the Deutsche Afrika Korps. This is based, in part, on data from Vol.II of the Official History.