Fixed mount 88mm Flak 18 AA Gun
This German heavy 88 mm anti-aircraft gun, which gained great fame in World War II, was used in Finland as well. The gun was universally known as the Acht-acht (“eight-eight”) by Germans and the “eighty-eight” by the Allies.
In 1943, Finland acquired 18 guns on field carriages as well fire control equipment to reinforce Helsinki’s air defence. This equipment was used to form three six-gun anti-aircraft batteries, with battle stations in Lauttasaari, Käpylä and Santahamina. In July 1944, after the so-called Ryti-Ribbentrop letter of agreement, Finland received equipment for 12 batteries, i.e. seventy-two fixed-mount 88 mm guns as well as fire control devices. Six of the fixed batteries were deployed in Helsinki and two in each of the towns of Kotka, Tampere and Turku.
The 88 ItK/37 was ideal not only in the anti-aircraft role but also in a direct and indirect fire role on the ground. The equipment was used in anti-aircraft training until 1969, after which some of the cannons were deployed in a standby role in Hyrylä, with the task of firing at Helsinki Airport if necessary. The rest of the equipment was transferred to coastal artillery units. The coastal artillery phased out the cannon in the early 2000s.
This particular cannon was previously located behind Kerho Restaurant along Tuusulanväylä road, where it was placed in November 2000 to remind us of the efforts of our anti-aircraft troops and other veterans of our wars during 1939–1945. The monument was donated by Aarne J. Aarnio, a Finnish industrialist. Lifting bars were installed at the base of the cannon during the war to facilitate its handling. The cannon itself is an unmodified wartime RMB. In 2017, the cannon became a heritage gatekeeper cannon for the abolished garrison. In 2020–2021, apartment buildings were built on the site where the cannon was located, so it had to be relocated.
88 ItK/37 RMB
Manufacturer: Rheinmetall-Borsig, Germany
Calibre: 88 mm
Muzzle velocity: 825 m/s
Effective firing range, aerial target: 8000 m
Effective ceiling: 6000 m
Cartridge weight: 14.7 kg; shell weight: 9.6 kg
Rate of fire: 15–20 rounds per minute
Firing weight: approx. 4000 kg