|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Includes photo etch fret and brass tubes|
The 12.8 cm Pak 44, (Panzerabwehrkanone) was a German anti-tank gun used during World War II. It was designed as a result of experiences on the Eastern front in 1943. The German army had encountered the Russian 122 mm guns and had issued a requirement for a similar weapon. Development initially concentrated on a field gun known as the Kanone K 44. However once heavier Russian armour such as the IS-2 started to appear the design requirements were altered to include an anti-armour role. Contrary to some claims this design had nothing in common with the 128 mm Flak gun.
The choice of 128 mm was made because of the availability of tooling due to the use of this caliber on naval weapons, design contracts being awarded to Rheinmetall Borsig and Krupp, the first prototype guns were delivered for testing in late 1944. After initial tests the Rheinmetall design was dropped and development continued with the Krupp design. However the service tests showed that a towed anti-tank gun weighing nearly 11 tonnes was impractical so the towed design was terminated.
In the anti-tank role it fired an armor-piercing capped projectile, capable of penetrating just over 200 millimetres (7.9 in) of armor at 1000 meters, and 148 millimetres (5.8 in) at 2,000 metres (2,200 yd) range. Although its short-range performance was similar to the 88 mm gun, the 128 maintained its performance over longer ranges.
Approximately 50 barrels and breeches were used on existing carriages. The weapon that used the ex-French GPF-T carriage was known as the K 81/1 while the K 81/2 used the ex-Russian carriage. Both of these designs were rushed, and were too heavy, making them cumbersome to deploy. In 1943 the design was started for a gun to mount on the Jagdtiger (Sd.Kfz. 186) and the Maus super-heavy tank was started using the Pak 44 as its starting point. This weapon of which approximately 100 were made was known both as the Pak 44 and Pak 80 / Pjk 80. Performance was identical to the initial design. The only difference between Pak 44 & K 44 were mode of operation the weapon itself was identical.
Another excellent piece of artillery from the folks at Great Wall Hobby. There is an aftermarket set that provides a brass gun shield and multi-piece aluminum barrel if one wishes to spend the additional money on these items.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours at your favorite retailer.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page