Next to the better known 88mm cannons, those of smaller caliber were also used – the 20 and respectively of 37 mm Rheinmetall. Once the allied bombings over Romania started again in Ploiesti, on the 4th of April 1944, the Germans brought heavier cannons of 128mm. These came to boost the artillery round that had only included cannons of 20, 37 and 88 mm up to then.

The Ploiesti area was among few of the areas outside Germany where these heavy-weight cannons were installed. The 128mm cannon, the strongest ground-to-air cannon was capable of shooting a 27.9 kg projectile with a speed of 880m/s at a maximum height of 14800m. Due to its propelling charge, which was four times stronger than that of the 88m cannon, the time it took to hit the target was shorter, making the cannon more effective in hitting quick-moving targets. The cannon’s great weight – 26.5 tons – reduced its mobility. Such cannons were placed in fixed positions or were carried on railway platforms. These platforms allowing mobility to the 128mm cannon were equally used in the Ploiesti area and around Boldesti-Scaieni.


The pictures of the 128mm cannon were taken by an American aviation committee that came to Ploiesti at the end of August 1944, after the German troops had withdrawn, in order to evaluate the bombing damage. The number of planes that were shot down is marked with white stripes on the cannon’s gun.