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The German Afrika Corps would make the gun famous in June 15 – 17, 1941. Thirteen Flak 36 guns of Rommel’s 15th Panzer Division were dug in outside Halfaya Pass at the Egypt-Libya border of North Africa when the British Operation Battle Ax started. The British 7th Army sent 190 tanks into the pass against the nearly invisible Flak guns from a low profile. The Germans lowered the barrel and fired directly at the attacking tanks. The British tankers would nickname it “Hellfire Pass” and set the British Army in retreat from heavy losses when Rommel counter-attacked.
8.8cm (88mm) Flak 36 Specifications
Crew: 5 to 10 Weight: 16,325 lbs (7,407 kg)
Length: 20 ft (5.791 meters)
Barrel Length: 16 ft 2 in (4.938m) Height: 6 ft 11 in (2.1m) in firing position Elevation: -30º to +85º Traverse: 360º
Rate of Fire: 15 – 20 rpm (rounds/minute)
Muzzle Velocity: 2,690 ft/s (820 m/s)
Effective Range: 16,200 yds (14,810m)
Direct Fire Aerial Ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,620m)
Maximum Ceiling: 39,000 ft (11,900m)
Breech: Horizontal Sliding Block, Semi-auto or Manual
One of the most famous artillery pieces in World War II was the German 88mm Flak Gun. The Flak 36 was both respected and feared by Allied Soldiers in World War II. Germany was prohibited to build any artillery guns after the Versailles Treaty that ended World War I. In 1928, the Weimer Republic authorized Krupp engineers to secretly design the Flak 18 in Sweden. After Hitler and the Nazis came to power in 1933, they rebuilt and armed the Werhmacht (German Army). The Flak 18 was used to flaunt their new military power. The Flak 18/36 would be first used in the Spanish Civil War. Germany’s Condor Legion deployed the mobile flak detachments with the 88mm’s. The gun proved its accuracy and versatility on the battlefield. It could be quickly set up in 2 minutes with a trained crew.
Pearl Harbor Display
Most recently, we expanded our Pearl Harbor display by adding pictures and educational material to enhance the existing artifacts. This newly expanded display now takes up a significant amount of space in the museum, and will help today’s generation learn how important this event was in our nation’s history. The first panel features photos of the attack, casualty counts, and personal photos of soldiers helping the wounded. The next panel uses newspapers released after the attacks, photos of people reading the news, and propaganda posters referencing Pearl Harbor to show how word spread throughout the country. The next two panels explain the events preceding the attack, the attack itself, and America’s response. At the end of the display is a mannequin of FDR and photos of his speech to congress on December 8th as well as a copy of the speech. We will be adding a short 5 minute video to the display in the coming weeks.
1st Lieut. Leora F. (Hawkins) Creakbaum and Sgt. Ronald A. Creakbaum
"A Love Story"
Leora F. and Ronald A. Creakbaum
"A Love Story"
In our Home Front Section we have another display that was donated by Gary Creakbaum. His mother, 1st Lieut. Leora F Hawkins, was an Army Nurse during the war. We used his generous donation of her items to supplement our display dedicated to the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Several photographs of hospital wards, nurses, medals, unique documents and photos from the English countryside during the bombing, shrapnel she removed from her future husband, a rare Caterpillar pin (see photo) and other personal items make the story behind this display come to life for our visitors. This display will continue to grow and we are looking forward to it becoming a major part of our new medical display.