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Is this 88mm Round a put together round

Article about: Hello, new to the forum. I picked up these rounds as part of a rifle purchase. I am not that familiar with German ordnance so I posted a couple of them on other ordnance forums. Yesterday I

  1. #1

    Default Is this 88mm Round a put together round

    Hello, new to the forum. I picked up these rounds as part of a rifle purchase. I am not that familiar with German ordnance so I posted a couple of them on other ordnance forums. Yesterday I found this forum. The round I am interested in is the yellow painted round. While I believe the paint has been added the round is in fairly good shape but it has me confused. My research leads me to believe it is a normal Flak (yellow) round for a FLaK 18; however, the fuze is different (steel/metal -AZ23/28 ) and not aluminum. The round also is FES marked and the bands are steel (FES?) verse brass/bronze of the others. Unfortunately the bottom of the casing has been heavily polished and about all you can read is the 1936 date and a something 50 opposite. The primer is C22 which would make it a tank round(?). I believe the shell came out of Finland as the word VAARATON is stamped on the top driving band - translated on the web to be the Finnish word for harmless. Is this round just a put together round or was it a tank round. I thought tank rounds were not painted yellow.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Is this 88mm Round a put together round

    Welcome to the forum and awesome ordnance collection! Could the fuse be made of bakelite and just covered in a type of sheet metal/steel? I was reading this somewhere recently and thought it was neat. And I thought only Flak High Explosive rounds were painted yellow??
    Still trying to learn this particular thanks for sharing, and hope I can learn something new with other members' answers!
    Is your other one a 8,8cm Kw.K.43 round?
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Is this 88mm Round a put together round

    Thank you for the reply. I do not believe the fuze is bakelite. It appears to be steel (magnet sticks) and it has a coated material that is cracking. Yes the other round is a KwK43 round. The original owner I got it from said it had a C22 primer but he cannot find it. It is marked 8.8 KwK 43 on the base of the rim. This is all new to me so I've contacted some friends and have been doing a lot of web search in my spare time. Other forum members have been very helpful. I had a couple of other tank rounds but they have been sold, 50mm AP mkIII, and a 75mm KwK 42 AP. I have also been offered a KwK 40 HE with C/22 primer but funding has run out.. ha

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is this 88mm Round a put together round

    Welcome to the forum

    Actually Panzerclub is right- that's the later form of the AZ23/38 fuze that is bakelite with a sheet steel cladding. It was a wartime material pressure necessity.

    You're right though that the paint for the 8,8cm Sprgr. L/4,5 is not original- it's pretty awful actually LOL The driving bands are sintered iron- FES is the indicator for this. The earlier alternative was a copper alloy indicated by the marking KPS, although that form was discontinued fairly early on because of the strategic value of copper. It was still used on naval rounds though because of the sea environement corrosion issue, that's why your 8,8cm SK C/35 shell has them. Your base screw type 8,8cm Sprgr. L/4,5 (the cutaway) has them because it is an early form of the shell- filled from the bottom.

    As for the fuze issue, the AZ23/28 is an impact fuze, so not for Flak- at least not for anti-aircraft use; since the Flak was sometimes employed on ground targets, it's reasonable to expect they had some of these for use if necessary. The only other weapon to use this exact shell was the 8,8cm KwK36 L/56, which would only impact or very short timed fuzes rarely, however with only 1400 or so Tigers ever produced, it's more likley a given fuze was for the Flak.

    The 8,8cm KwK36 L/56 did have its own specific ammunition- it didn't just use the same ones as the Flak (although it might have been able to)- however I've only ever seen one case that's definitely for that gun and no complete HE rounds, so I don't know if the shells were yellow or green. The 8,8cm Sprgr.43 for the KwK/Pak 43 gun was painted green as was everything below 8,8cm (although early 3,7cm Pak 36 HE round were oddly painted silver), however the 8,8cm Sprgr. L/4,5 may be the exception; since it was made in such incredible quantities for the Flak, it's hard to imagine they wouldn't just be used for the KwK rounds as-made (painted yellow). I seem to recall having seen a wartime photo or two of a Tiger reloading and the HE shells looked to be painted yellow, but it's hard to say for sure. I've seen lots of German ammunition and never once a green-painted 8,8cm Sprgr. L/4,5.

    Yes, the C/22 electric primer is for tank guns almost, if not absolutely, exclusively. So the round you have is put together to be a tank round, however it's rather difficult to say it was always that way. Cases were reloaded, although my understanding is that a centerpunch mark was put on the base for each time since a case could only be re-used so many times. Yours, being of such an early date, would have to have been reloaded to really be a tank round, so with the base so badly damaged, there's no way to really prove it. I'd think it's by far most likely it's just a composite piece- properly assembled as far as it can be- but a composite. The paint on the shell really has to go though- as I said, it's awful and detracts from the whole thing more than a paintless-shell would. I'd take some stripper to it for sure.

    The Finnish marking all but proves the shell is from a Flak round though- I've heard many times that the Finns got a lot of 8,8cm Flak ammunition after the war, and I'd doubt they got any Tigers LOL

    And that 8,8cm Pzgr.Patr. 43 is a beauty; definitely the correct projectile- you can tell because the Pzgr.43's driving bands are wider than the 39/1's and the forward one was flat, while the rear one was rounded. It looks to be in quite nice shape too. They're big suckers, eh?
    Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...

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