View Full Version : AAA ranges and engagement envelopes in game?

Jul-24-2014, 19:23
Gents, I find myself plotting the positioning of some 88s and 4CM Quick flak, and have done a mild skim on German TO&Es and flak employment. However, I suspect that that is all predicated on the flak engaging within the parameters it performed at historically (7.6 KM effective range at 25000 feet for the 88s for example). Does anyone know what the range is for these two guns in game, and at what point they begin engaging enemy planes?

Jul-24-2014, 20:58
Hi GR,

Got your PM and will try to answer from memory, I'm away from home and without any references. I believe the AI for the various guns is set to engage targets at historically accurate ranges. What confuses me is exactly why the guns may choose to engage or ignore a target that's within range...I think Spiritus M. can speak to his experiences testing his missions. Basically the AI gunners can be very fickle...wide awake expert marksmen one mission, lazy half-blind idiots the next.

As for early-WWII German AA doctrine, my understanding is that the most basic heavy AA (HAA) unit was comprised of four 88s and perhaps six light AA (LAA) guns (20mms) The HAA was served by a primary and a secondary fire control computer (gun laying "predictor" to the Brits). The guns would generally be placed in a line or perhaps a U-shape, with the fire control computer and a stereoscopic range finder directly to their rear (secondary computer might be off to the side). Everything was relatively close together because they had to run signal cables from the computer(s) to each gun. The way the system worked is that the analog fire control computer developed a ballistic solution and fed elevation, bearing, and fuse setting signals to each gun. The gunners then set the time on the projectile's fuse and then matched the elevation and bearing of the gun to the calculated solution, and fired. For AA work these big guns were never aimed directly by the gunners, only via the fire control equipment. In practice two or more HAA batteries were often deployed around important assets (eg Luftwaffe airfields). I think they were usually sited within a couple of kilometers of the asset (but not right on it).

The German LAA guns seem to have often been deployed in groups of three (perhaps 75 to 100 meters apart for 20mms) for specific point defense purposes. Exact placement would have been determined by terrain, threat direction, etc. Larger caliber LAA (37mm and 40mm) would likely been spaced differently and often had their own fire control computers and rangefinders (though not as elaborate as the HAA). Key for placing these guns is visibility and field of fire.

That's all that comes to mind right now. I'm happy to try and answer more but as I mentioned, will be away from my references until this weekend.

Looking forward to your mission!


AKA Knutsac

Jul-24-2014, 23:41
Well, haven't gone full mission yet. This is just supplementing others. None the less, I am pretty sure AKA will see them.

Jul-25-2014, 02:21
AttackMaxDistance 8000
AttackMaxRadius 8000
AttackMaxHeight 8000

AttackMaxDistance 12000
AttackMaxRadius 12000
AttackMaxHeight 12000

Jul-25-2014, 12:35
Salmo and KnutSac, thank you much. That will be very helpful in helping smite things.

Jul-25-2014, 15:22
So I found a bit more detail re: early war German Flak organization, from the book "Flak" by Edward B Westerman. The most basic units were:

Heavy Flak Battalion - 3 batteries of four 88mm guns (plus one replacement battery), 1 battery of six 37mm guns, 1 battery of nine 150cm searchlights and six sound detectors. Each 88mm battery had two 20mm guns. Total strength - twelve (plus four replacement) 88mm guns, six 37mm guns, six 20mm guns, plus searchlights and sound detectors.

A Heavy Flak Regiment was composed of two Heavy Flak Battalions.

A Regular Flak Regiment was made up of a Heavy Flak Battalion and a Light Flak Battalion. The Light Flak Battalion was composed of 3 batteries of six 20mm guns (plus a replacement battery), and 1 battery of twelve 60cm searchlights. Total strength - twelve (plus four replacement) 88mm guns, six 37mm guns, twenty-four 20mm guns, plus searchlights and sound detectors.

As for employment, I suspect it was very fluid, depending on the circumstances. While I'm confident that for AA purposes the 88s would not have been employed in any number smaller than a battery (because of the complexity of the fire control problem), I bet the battalion sub-units may have been placed at various locations in a larger geographic area. For example, a Regular Flak Regiment might be tasked with defending two airfields within a certain region. So each airfield might get three 37mm guns and a handful of 20mm guns with the 88mm batteries deployed to cover both airfields.

So from a pilot's perspective, flak might be non-existent over most enemy territory, but near or over defended assets, flak would be terrific.


AKA Knutsac