The Eighty-Eight:

Of all the weapons in the German arsenal, none left a greater impression on the G.I. mind than the 88. Undoubtedly enemy mortars caused us more casualties, and their anti-personnel mines were sinister and cruel. But those of us who, at one time or another, attracted the attention of an 88mm gun crew. . . and lived have never quite forgotten the experience. That this weapon was a product of a joint German-Swedish (Krupp & Bofors) effort in the 1920's, that it actually came in several forms, and that it was intended primarily as an anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapon, were historical niceties of little consequence to a Timberwolf enduring the concussion and the horrendous crack as a 21 pound shell, traveling faster than an M-1 rifle bullet, impacted close to one's foxhole or farm house. There was, indeed, more than a hint of truth in the grim humor of Bill Mauldin's famous cartoon that showed an irritated American officer, while interrogating a German POW, assuring the famous G.I. caricature "Willie": "I'll let ya know if I find th' one wot invented th'88"
Author, unknow Timberwolf.


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