Definitions

8.8_cm_KwK_43

8.8 cm KwK 43

The KwK 43 L/71 was an 8.8 cm tank gun used by the German Wehrmacht, during the Second World War. The anti-tank gun version of this weapon was known as the PaK 43, and this name was also applied to versions of this weapon mounted in various armored vehicles. This was the primary weapon of the Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. B Tiger II. The weapon was also mounted on tank destroyers such as the Jagdpanther, Nashorn and SdKfz.184 Panzerjäger Tiger (P) Elefant/Ferdinand. The first vehicle to carry the KwK/PaK 43 series of guns was the Nashorn tank destroyer. When mounted on a tank destroyer it was designated PaK 43. KwK 43 and PaK 43's were at first manufactured with monobloc barrels, but towards the end of war the manufacturing process was simplified by the introduction of two-piece barrels. This had no effect on the weapons performance. This weapon, at 6.4 m, was longer than the Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf. E Tiger I's 8.8 cm KwK L/56 and used an 822 mm tall shell casing that was considerably taller and incorporated a heavier propellant charge than that of the Tiger I's KwK 36. Ammunition was fully interchangeable between all guns of the PaK/KwK 43 series. The series included: PaK 43 (cruciform mount), PaK 43/41 (two-wheel split-trail carriage), PaK 43/1 (Nashorn), PaK 43/2 (Ferdinand/Elefant), PaK 43/3 and 43/4 (Jagdpanther) and KwK 43 (Tiger II).

Ammunition

PzGr. 39/43 (APCBC-HE)

  • Projectile weight: 10.2 kg (22.48 lbs)
  • Muzzle velocity: 1,000 m/s (3,821 ft/s)

Penetration figures given for an armoured plate 30 degrees from the horizontal

Hit probability versus 2.5 m x 2 m target
Range Penetration in training in combat
100 m 202 mm 100 % 100 %
500 m 185 mm 100 % 100 %
1000 m 165 mm 100 % 85 %
1500 m 148 mm 95 % 61 %
2000 m 132 mm 85 % 43 %
2500 m n/a 74 % 30 %
3000 m n/a 61 % 23 %
3500 m n/a 51 % 17 %
4000 m n/a 42 % 13 %

PzGr. 40/43 (APCR)

  • Projectile weight: 7.3 kg (16 lbs)
  • Muzzle velocity: 1,030 m/s (3,379 ft/s)

Penetration figures given for an armoured plate 30 degrees from the horizontal

Hit probability versus 2.5 m x 2 m target
Range Penetration in training in combat
100 m 238 mm 100 % 100 %
500 m 217 mm 100 % 100 %
1000 m 193 mm 100 % 89 %
1500 m 171 mm 97 % 66 %
2000 m 153 mm 89 % 47 %
2500 m n/a 78 % 34 %
3000 m n/a 66 % 25 %

Gr. 39/3 HL (HEAT)

  • Projectile weight: 7.65 kg (17 lbs)
  • Muzzle velocity: 600 m/s (1,968 ft/s)
  • Penetration: 90 mm

References

  • Jentz, Thomas L.; Kingtiger Heavy Tank: 1942 - 1945; ISBN 1-85532-282-X

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