Junker Ju 88P

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The Ju 88P was an anti-tank version of the Ju 88, designed to carry a large anti-tank cannon. It was developed in 1942, after the invasion of Russia did not achieve a knockout victory in 1941. The prototype was tested in mid 1942, and carried a single 75mm KwK 39 (Kampfwagen-kanone), in a large gondola under the fuselage. The KwK 39 tended to damage the aircraft when fired, and was replaced with a slightly less destructive PAK 40 cannon. The P series were not very successful – their low speed made them easy targets for ground fire, and they were too slow for use against heavy bombers.

P-1

The P-1 retained the 75mm PAK 40 cannon. It was powered by two 1,400hp Jumo 211 engines. At tests in early 1941 it performed poorly, but still entered service in limited numbers. The PAK 40 did not make a good aircraft weapon. Its rate of fire was perfectly acceptable for a normal anti-tank weapon, but when used in an aircraft meant it could only fire twice during a single pass.

P-2

Junkers Ju 88P-3
Junkers Ju 88P-3

The P-2 carried two 37mm BK 3.7 cannons and Wolfram-core anti-tank rounds. These smaller guns had less recoil and a fire rate fast enough for it to be used against heavy bombers.

P-3

The P-3 was similar to the P-2 with the addition of extra armour to protect the crew from ground fire. It was a pure ground attack aircraft.

P-4

The P-4 saw an increase in the size of cannon, this time to a single 50mm BK 5. A small number of aircraft were produced during 1944.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 June 2007), Junker Ju 88P, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_ju88P.html

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