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ny PANZER TRACTS No.12 Flak Selbstfahrlafetten and Flakpanzer - Sd. Kfz.10/4 to 8.8 cm Flak auf VFW - Assembled by Thomas L. Jentz Scale Prints by Hilary Louis Doyle Cover Photo: The experimental “Ostwind” on a rebuilt Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.G (Fgst.Nr.83898) chassis, a production series “Moebelwagen” (Fgst.Nr.93296), and a “Wirbelwind” on a rebuilt Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.G (Fgst.Nr.82853) chassis on display in the Summer of 1944. (WJS) ‘The scale prints, drawn by Hilary Louis Doyle originally in 1/24 scale, have been reduced 69 percent to approximately 1/35 scale. Thanks are especially due to Walter J. Spielberger, Stephen J. Zaloga, Peter Chamberlain, Hilary L. Doyle, and George Fancsovits for providing copies of rare and unique photos. Photos were also obtained from the Bildarchiv, National Archives, Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, The Tank Museum, and the Sikorski Institute. This publication has been made possible by the professional photographic skills of Dr. David L. Jentz and his efforts to drag an older brother into the 21st Century. © Copyright Thomas L. Jentz 1998 Dartington Productions, Ine. P.O. Box 5884 Dariingten, Maryland 21034 Copyright © 1998 Al rights reserved. No ponin of this pblication ‘may be reprinted or reproduced in any fashion ot by Any means without the expressed writen permission Of the publish Flak Selbstfahrlafetten and Flakpanzer ‘The Wehrmacht’s first attempt in 1938 to mount an 88 mm anti-aircraft gun on a semi-tracked chassis as a self-propelled mount was for the purpose of obtaining a weapon that could quickly and effec- tively knock out bunkers. With elevation limited to 30 degrees, the first ten 8.8 cm Flak 18 Selbst- fahrlafetten auf 12 ton Zugkraftwagen could not be used nor were they intended to be used as anti- aircraft guns. Instead, all ten were issued to the 1.Kompanie/Panzer-Abwehr-Abteilung 8 and used as self-propelled artillery and in an anti-tank role. Directly before the war, in early 1939, the Wehrmacht designed and placed orders for the first self-propelled Flak guns mounted on semi-tracked Zugkraftwagen which were intended to be used in an anti-aircraft role. A total of 370 (195 for the Heer and 175 for the Luftwaffe) 2 cm Flak 30 auf Selbst- fahrlafetten Zgkw.1t (Sd.Kfz.10/4) and 63 3.7 cm Flak 36 auf Selbstfahrlafetten Zgkw.5t (Sd.Kfz.6/2) for the Luftwaffe were completed in July and August 1939 in time to be used in Poland. Orders were placed by the Heer and Luft- waffe for additional 2 cm Flak 30 and 3.7 cm Flak 36 Selbstfahrlafetten and a new series of 2 em Flak- Vierling 38 auf Selbstfahrlafetten Zgkw.8t (Sd.Kfz.7/2) to be completed starting in early 1940. Production of these three main types of Flak Selbst- fahrlafetten continued to the end of the war with vari- ants mounted on an armored Zgkw.3t (Sd.Kfz.11) and also an armored version of the schwere Wehrmachtsschlepper- Very few attempts were made to mount heay- ier Flak guns on semi-tracked chassis for use as anti- aircraft guns. A small series of only 85 5 cm Flak 41 were produced from February 1941 to September 1943, of which one was mounted on an experimental HKP 9.03 chassis, one on a Zgkw.8t, and several on 4.5 ton trucks. A single series of 12 8.8 cm Flak 37 Selbstfahrlafetten auf Zgkw.18t were completed and sent to Italy in 1943. ‘The fact that they could come into action immediately while on the move was the main advan- tage that self-propelled anti-aircraft guns had over towed versions of the same guns, However, self propelled guns could not be as easily dug in or camou- flaged. The choice of caliber was based on a combi- nation of factors including effective range, ceiling, rate of fire, and amount of ammunition that could be carried (not ability to knock down armored aircraft). Unlike the lighter 2 cm and 3.7 em Flak guns which engaged targets independently, the heavier 8.8 cm Flak guns were tied to central battery directors which couldn’t be employed while mobile and there- fore negated the main advantage of having self- propelled guns. Originally the Flak Selbstfahrlafetten were totally unarmored. Then, armor shields were added for the guns. But it wasn’t until late in 1942 that production series Selbstfahrlafetten were produced with 8 mm armor. This light armor only partially protected the engine and driver compartment from artillery shell splinters and small arms fire. Actions to acquire fully armored Flakpanzers to provide anti-aircraft protection for Panzer units in action were initiated relatively late in 1942. 1 concepts, based more on fanciful wishlists than on the reality of technical capabilities, only resulted in wasting engineers’ time on designs that never advanced beyond a few wooden models and drawings. The only Flakpanzers which made it into series production and service were expedients created by mounting available Flak weapons on tried and proven Panzer chassis. These included the Flak- panzer 38, “Moebelwagen”, “Wirbelwind”, and “Ostwind”. Versuchsflakwagen and “Kugelblitz” production was limited to a few experimental pieces. In order to obtain a 360 degree traverse, the armor protection was designed in one of two forms: as fold-down superstructure sides, or as traversable turrets, Due to hazards from backflash and burnt propellant fumes (as well as advantages of better vision and hearing), all Flakpanzers that were sent into action with units were open on top. P.S. The 2 cm Flak 38 mounted on the Pz, Kpfw.I chassis were not a purposefully designed and series-produced weapons system. They were created as field conversions from Munitionspanzer and will be covered in a future Panzer Tracts issue dealing with field conversions and modifications. Many Flakpanzer design projects will be covered in a future issue of Panzer Tracts entitled “Paper Panzers”. Very few “Ostwind” were produced and these had turrets with 16 mm (not 25 mm) thick armor sides. ‘The 2 cm Flak 38 auf Panzerkampfwagen 38 was Ausf.L (not Ausf.M). 12-1 2 cm Flak 30 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.10/4) 2 cm Flak 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.10/5) This self-propelled anti-aireraft gun was cre- ated by mounting a 2 cm Flak 30 on a flatbed plat- form on the rear of a Zgkw.1t (semi-tracked tow 1g, vehicle rated at 1 metric ton drawbar towing capabil ity). Hinged sides were lowered to provide a wider base for the crew of six to aim, traverse, direct fire, and feed ammunition to the gun. Starting in 1941, the 2 cm Flak 38 was mounted instead of the 2 cm Flak 30. The Selbstfahrlafette with a 2 em Flak 38 was designated as Sd.Kfz.10/5. Thin (8 mm thick) armor plates were added to protect the radiator and driver starting in 1942. The crew manning the 2 em Flak 38 was reduced to four “Kanoniere” by 1943. he 2 cm Flak 38 fired the same types of ammunition as the 2 cm Flak 30 but at a much higher cyelic rate of fire (450 vs. 280). However, the practi- cal rate of fire was less than half the eyclic rate (220 for the Flak 38 and 120 for the Flak 30). Although the maximum horizontal range for firing Sprgr. (high explosive shells) was 4800 meters and the ceiling was 3700 meters, the maximum range for engaging aircraft was limited to 2000 meters because of tracer burn out at 2000 to 2200 meters and self-detonating fuzes at 2100 meters. These self-propelled anti- aircraft guns were also used for engaging ground targets, such as machineguns, at ranges up to 2000 meters. Vulnerable points on the armored vehicles Belo (weapons, vision slits, tracks) could be engaged at ranges up to 1000 meters, but due to limited armor penetration by the Pzgr. (23 mm at 30 degrees at 100 meters), it was recommended that light tanks be engaged at ranges less than 300 meters, An initial order for 195 Sd.Kfz.10/4 for the Heer and 175 for the Luftwaffe (produced in July 1939) was expanded by an additional 1000 for the Heer and 225 for the Luftwaffe (produced in 1940) After these initial orders were filled, production slowed to a rate of about 20 to 25 per month from October 1940 to March 1942. An additional 962 Sd.Kfz.10/5 were produced by the firm of Mechanische Werke Cottbus in 1943 and 1944, with the last 85 completed in November 1944. Initially, the Sd.Kfz.10/4 were issued to inde- pendent —Fliegerabwehr-Bataillon (anti-aircraft battalions) at 12 per Kompanie (Heer) or Batterie (Luftwaffe). By 1941, a Fla-Kp.(Sf.) had been added to the Panzer-Jaeger-Abteilung in many Panzer- Divisions. The first time an anti-aircraft unit was authorized to be outfitted with Selbstfahrlafetten as an integral part of a Panzer-Regiment or Abteilung occurred in 1942, when nine Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz. 10/4) (six with 2 em Flak) were authorized as substitutes in the Fliegerabwehrzug of the Stabs- Kompanie of a schwere (Tiger) Panzer-Abteilung. : A2cm Flak 30 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.10/4) with Sonder anhaenger 51. (WJS) 124 2 cm Flak 30 or 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.K£z.10/4) and (Sd.Kfz.10/5) Weapons Data: 1-2 cm Flak 30 or 38 Elevation: =20°, +90° Traverse: 360° Gun Sight: Flakvisier 30 or 38 Ammunition: 240 - 2 cm on Z2gkw.1t 640 - 2 cmon Sd.ah.51 crew: Gun Commander, 5 Kanoniere, Driver Measurement: Length, overall: 4.750 m Width, overall: 2.156 m Height, overall: 2.000 m Firing Height: 1.65 m Wheel Base: 1:63 m Track Base 1.58 m Track Contact: 1.36 m Combat Loaded: 4.7 metric tons Fuel Capacity: 115 Liters Armor Protection: Starting in 1942: Automotive Capabilities: Maximum Speed: 65 km/hr Avg. Road Speed: 45 km/hr Range on Road: 220 kn Cross Country: 150 km Grade 28° Fording Depth: Ground Clearance: 32 cm Ground Pressure: 0.74 kg/cm’ Power Ratio: 21.3 HP/ton Automotive Components: Fahrgestell: Motor: Zgkw.1t D7 Maybach HL 42 TRKM 6 cyl., water-cooled 4.198 liter gasoline 100 HP @ 2800 xpm ve 102128 H ‘Transmission: 1.Gear (f+r) 5.5 km/hr 2.Gear (f+r) 9 km/hr 3.Gear (f+r) 13 km/hr 4.Gear 20° km/hr 5.Gear 31 km/hr 6.Gear 48 km/hr @ 2800 rpm Gear 65 km/hr @ 2400 rpm Steering: Differential Drive Front sprocket Roadwheels: 5 por side Tires 6.00-20 Luka Suspension: Torsion bars Track: Zpw.51/240/160 Links per side: 41 Right: A Luftwaffe 2. cm Flak 30 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.10/4) Right: A 2cm Flak 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd. Kfz.10/5) with 8 mm armor protecting the radiator and driver's cab. (WJS) 2 cm Flak 38 auf Schuetzenpanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.251) A special armored version of a self-propelled traverse for the Flak 38, sections were cut out of the anti-aireraft gun was created for the Luftwaffe by side plates and hinged extensions were fitted. No mounting a 2 cm Flak 38 in a modified mittlere original reports have been found revealing technical Schuetzenpanzerwagen (Sd.Kfz.251). ‘To allow full data or when and how many were produced “Ecorrncit MuaRr OU DOVE 1900 A 2 cm Plak 38 auf Schuet " Sd.Kfz.251) belonging to the 10.Batterie of Flak-Regiment “Hermann in the summer of 1942. There may have been only one or two Batterien with these vehicles. In early 1943, the 18.Batterie/ Flak Regiment “HG” was sent to Tunisia with nine of these 2 em Flak 38 auf SPW. (WJS) 2 cm Flak 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette Zgkw.3t (Sd.Kfz.11) An improved self-propelled mount was created by mounting the 2 cm Flak 38 on a Zgkw.3t chassis instead of on the Zgkw.1t. The 2 cm Flak 38 was mounted toward the rear of the Zgkw.3t on a flat platform with folding down sides. By mid-1943, both the Zgkw.3t (Sd.Kfz.11) and m.$.P.W. (Sd.Kfz.251) were being assembled on the same HKI6P chassis with its tilted-back steering wheel and twin fans for cooling the radiator. Only the front of the 2 em Flak 38 auf Selbst- fahrlafette (Zgkw.3t) was armored, The shape of the frontal armor protecting the radiator and engine compartment was borrowed from the m.S.P.W. (Sd-Kfr.251). But any similarity to the Sd.Kfz.251 stopped there, ‘The rest of the armor envelope was a new shape specifically designed to protect the stowed ES; gcorrmon = ammunition and the entire crew (when seated) to the front and sides. The firm of Auto Union AG in Chemnitz was awarded contract number 4911-021300306/42 to pro- duce 2400 superstructures for the 2 cm Flak 38 and mount them on their HKI6P chassis at their Werk Horch assembly plant in Zwichau. The first five were completed in March 1944, and a total of 604 were produced by the end of February 1945. Production was to continue in Mareh, April and May 1945 at a rate of 50 per month. But it isn’t known how many may have been produced, as statistics from Auto Union for this period did not survive the war. The 2cm Flak 38 auf Selbstfahriafette (Zgkw.3t) was employed in the same type of units as its predecessor the Sd.Kfz.10 = Left: Two 2 em Flak 38 auf Selbstfahriafette Zgkw.3t (Sd.Kfz.11). (BDIC) 2 cm Flak 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette Zgkw.3t (Sd.Kfz.11) Weapons Data: Automotive Capabilities: Maximum Speed: 53. kn/hr Elevation: Range on Road: 250 km Traverse Fording Depth: 50 om Gun sight: Flakvisier 38 Ground Clearance: 32 cm Ground Pressure: 0.5 kg/cm’ Ammunition 600 - 2 cmon Zgkw.3t Power Ratio: 12.3 HP/ton Gun Commander, Automotive Components: 4 Kanoniere, Fahrgestell: Zgkw.3t HK1Sp Driver Notor: Maybach HL 42 TUKRM 6 cylinder Measurements: water cooled 4,198 liter gasoline Length, overall: -5,8 m Width, overal “2.3 m 100 HP @ 2800 rpm Height, w/o gun: -1.8m Transmission: Road Wheel Base 1.65 m Reverse 9.1 +66 km/hr ‘Track Base 1.60 m 1.Gear 9.7 ken hr Track Contact: 1.80 m 2.Gear 18.8 km/hr Combat Loaded: 8.1 metric tons 3.Gear 33.4 km/hr Fuel Capacity: | 110 Liters 4.Gear 53 Steering: Differential Drive: Front sprocket Armor Protection: Roadwheele: 6 per side Saitanl eee ieee Tires: 7.25-20 extra Hull Front 15 mn Suspension: Torsion bars Hull side acne Track: Zgw.50/280/140 Links per Side: 55 left, 56 right Above: A 2 cm Flak 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette Zgkw.3t (Sd.Kfz.11) on the Western Front. (BA) 12-9 3.7 cm Flak 36 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.6/2) ‘The 3.7 cm Flak 36 had to be mounted on a larger self-propelled carriage, for which the Zgkw.5t chassis was chosen initially. The 3.7 cm Flak was mounted toward the rear on a flat platform folding down sides. No armor protected the crew, not even a gun shield for the Flak 36. ‘The 3.7 em Flak 36 had a cyclic rate of fire of 160 rpm but could only be fired at a maximum rate of 80 to 100 rpm. Although this was slower than the 2 cm Flak, the 3.7 cm Flak 36 had a longer horizontal range (6600 m) and ceiling (4800 m). However, tracer burn out (7.5 seconds) and self-detonating fuzes (7 to 10 seconds) limited the maximum range for firing at aircraft to less than 3500 meters. ‘These self-propelled guns were also used for firing against ground targets with Sprgr. and lightly armored targets with Pzgr.18 (penetrating 36 mm of armor at 30 degrees at 100 meters and 27 mm at 600 meters). An initial order for 63 Sd.Kfz.6/2 for the Luftwaffe (produced in June through August 1939) was followed by an order from the Luftwaffe for an additional 135, which were completed between June 1940 and December 1941. The BN9 and BN9B chassi were produced by Buessing-NAG, and the platforms for mounting the 3.7 cm Flak 36 were assembled at Lindner in Ammedorf. Sd.Kfz.6/2 were initially issued at nine per Luftwaffe Flakbatterie, increased to 12 by 1 October 1943, Regiment “Grossdeutschland” was the only Heeres unit known to have been issued Sd.Kfz.6/2. It was given two batteries, each with nine Sd.Kfz.6/2, in early 1942. {@cortnGnt MuAkY LOU'S BOWE 174 See di Weapons Data: Elevatio: Traverse: Gun Sight: Ammunition: Crew: Measurements: Length, overal. Width, overall: Height, overall: Wheel Base: Track Base: Track Contact: Combat Loaded: Fuel Capacity: cm Flak 36 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd. Kfz.6/2) 1 = 3.7 om Flak 36 +85° 360° Flakvisier sd.ah.57 Gun Commander, 5 Kanoniere, Driver 6.52 2.56 2.80 3:82 1:70 2.20 10.4 metric tons 190 Liters Perr Armor Protection: None Automotive Capabilities: Maximum Speed: 50 km/hr Range on Road: 300 km Cross Country: 120 km Grade: 24° Fording Depth: 60 em Ground Clearance: 39 cm Ground Pressure: 0.6 kg/cm’ Power Ratio: 11.0 BP/ton Turning Radius: 7.5 m Automotive Components: Fahrgestell: Zgkw.5t BN9 and BNIb Motor Maybach HL 54 TUKRM 6 cylinder water cooled 5.42 liter gasoline 115 HP @ 2600 rpm ‘Transmission: Reverse 8.06 km/hr 1.Gear 9.45 km/hr 2.Gear 17.5 km/hr 3.Gear 30.7 km/hr 4.Gear 50 km/hr Steering: Differential Drive: Front sprocket Roadwheels 6 per side Tires: 210-18 Gelaende Suspension: Torsion bars Track: Zqgw.50/320/200 Links per Side: 46 oe ae 3.7 cm Flak 43/1 auf Selbstfahrlafette schwere Wehrmachtsschlepper mit Behelfspanzerung Like most of the other semi-tracked prime movers, the schwere Wehrmachtsschlepper was adapted as a self-propelled chassis for anti-aircraft weapons. A 3.7 cm Flak 43/1 was mounted toward the rear on a flat platform with fold-down sides. Armor, designed to protect against direct hits from armor-piereing (8 mm) bullets, protected the engine and crew compartments. ‘The main advantage of the 3.7 cm Flak 43 over the earlier models of 3.7 cm Flak was the higher rate of fire (230/250 rpm eyelic, 150 rpm in practice), which increased the chances of hitting a high-speed target. The 3.7 cm Flak 43 fired the same ammuni- tion as the Flak 18, 36, and 37 and therefore had the same range and ceiling and fired at the same Buessing-NAG was awarded contract 213- 1001/42 to produce 375 s.W.S. with Flak superstru tures and contract 213-1003/43 for an additional 575. The first 3.7 cm Flak 43 auf s.W.S. was completed in December 1943, with a grand total of 80 produced by the end of February 1945. In accordance with K.St.N.1712 dated IMay44, three 3.7 em Flak 43/1 auf Selbstfahrlafette (schwere Wehrmachtsschlepper mit Behelfspanzer- ung) were included as a single self-propelled platoon in an otherwise towed, motorized Flal rgets. 12-12 Left and Right: 3.7 cm Flak 43/1 auf Selbstfahrlafette (.W.S.) with and out armor protection for the engine and crew BI compartinent. (SI) tae A Above: 3.7 cm Flak 43/1 auf Selbstfahrlafette (schwere Wehrmachtsschlepper mit Behelfspanzerung). (GF) 3.7 cm Flak 43/1 auf Selbstfahrlafette schwere Wehrmachtsschlepper mit Behelfspanzerung Weapons Data: 1 - 3.7 om Flak 43/2 Elevation: =10°, +90" Traverse: 360° Gun Sight: Flakvisier 36 ‘Ammunition 3.7 em on Sd.ah.58 crew: Gun Commander, 5 Kanoniere, Driver Measurements: Length, overall: ~7.0 m Width, overall: ~2.5 m Height, w/o gun: ~2.3 m Wheel Base: 2.10 m Track Base 1.95 m Track Contact: 2.04 m Combat Loaded Fuel Capacity: 14.1 metric 240 Liters Armor Protection: Nose: 15 mm @ 15° Engine Cmpt. Deck @ mm @ 80° Driver’s Front: 16 mm @ 30° Cab Roof 8 mm @ 90° Side Plates 12 mm @ 15° tons Automotive Capabilities: Maximum Speed: 27.4 km/hr Range on Road: 300 km Grad 24° Fording Depth: 100 cm Ground Clearance: 46 cm Ground Pressure: 0.5 kg/cm Power Ratio: 7.1 HP/ton Automotive Components: Fahrgestell: s.w.s Motor: Maybach HL 42 TREMS 6 cylinder water cooled 4.198 liter gasoline 100 HP @ 2800 rpm Transmission: Road ¢ Reverse 5 3.34 km/hr 1.Gear 4.200 2.8 km/hr 2.Gear 8155.7 km/hr 3.Gear 18.8 10.5 km/hr 4lcear 27.4 18.3 km/hr Steering: Differential Drive: Front sprocket Roadwheels 5 per side Tires: 270-20 Kr 4681 Suspension: Torsion bars Track: Gg.25/500/180 Links per Side: 110 : A 3.7 em Flak 43/1 auf Selbstfahrlafette (s.W.S. mit Behelfspanzerung) prepared for action with the platform sides folded down. 12-14 2 cm Flak-Vierling 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.K£z.7/1) Weapons Data: Automotive Capabilities: 4-2 om Flak 38 Maximal! S¢eed: ap kS0h Eafe Elevation: 10°, +100° Range on Road 250 km Traverse: 360° Cross Country: 100. km Gun sight: Flakvisier 38 Grade: 28 Fording Depth: 65 om aeaahet oes 600 < 21cm on sgkv.8t around Ciegsance: 40cm 1800 - 2 cm on Sd.Ah.56 Ground Pressure: 0.14 kg/cm’ Power Ratio: 23.2 H/ton Turning Radius: 8.0 m Crew: Gun Commander, Automotive Components: 8 Kanoniere, Fahrgestell: zgkw. ee. xMm22 Driver Motor: Maybach HD 62 TUK Starting in 1943 Maybach HE 64 TR 6 cylinder Measurements: water cooled Length, overall: 6.800 m 6.191 liter gasoline Width, overall: 2/500 m ido Hp @ 2600 rpm Height, overall: 3.300 m Transmission; Road GG Firing Herght: 2.400 m Reverse 7-0 2.9 kn/nr Whee! Base 2.00 m licear 912318 ka/ne ‘Track Base 1.80 m 2.Gear 17.4 7.1 km/hr Track Contact: 2.235 m 3.Gear 32.2 13.2 km/hr Combat Loaded 11.5 metric tons 4.Gear 50.5 20.7 km/hr Fuel Capacity: 203 Liters Steering: Differential Drive: Front sprocker Roadwheels: Gi perteiaa! Tires: 9.75-20 extra geet pcctesties: Suspension: Canegmpe tna Track: Zgw.50/360/180 Starting in 1942: Crew Cab: ors Links per Side: 54 Right: A2 cm Flak-Vierling 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd. Kfz.7/1) with armored cab captured from the 2.8S-Panzer- Division “Das Reich”. (NA) 2 cm Flakvierling 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.7/1) Directly after the demonstration of the experimental Geraet 400 (2 cm Flakvierling) for Hitler on 24 October, on 21 November 1939 the Luftwaffe ordered 100 to be mounted on 8-ton Zugkraftwagen chassis. Originally, the 2 cm Flak 38-Vierling was secured with a central pivot mounting; later, base supports and rachets were used to secure the normal ground mount. Starting in 1942, an armor radiator shield and crew cab were introduced as protection against shell fragments and small arms fir The high rate of fire of the 2 cm Flak-Vierling 38 (4 x 450 rpm cyclic, 720 to 800 rpm in practice) increased the chances of hitting a high-speed target. ecorvsiont 12-16 ‘The first series of 100 were completed from April 1940 through mid-1941, Continuing at a low rate of 10 per month in early 1942, production accelerated in August 1942 to meet the increased threat of Allied air power. Altogether about 7: 800 were produced by the end of December 1944. Initially, the Sd.Kfz.7/1 were organized as two or three in one platoon with the rest of the Flak- Kompanie/Batterie outfitted with Sd.Kfz.10/4 or 10/5. Later by 1943, complete Flak-Batterien were outfitted with 12 Sd.Kfz.7/1. Starting in 1943, a platoon of three Sd.Kfz.7/1 was added to the Stabs- Kompanie of Panzer-Abteilungen Above: One of the first series of 2 cm Flak-Vierling 38 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd. Kfz.7/1) (WJS) Below: An Sd.Kfz.7/1 with armor radiator shield and cab towing an Sd.Ah.56 (ammunition trailer). (PK) 3.7 cm Flak 36/37/43 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.7/2) Starting in 1942, the 5-ton Zugkraftwagen was superseded by the 8-ton Zugkraftwagen as the self- propelled mount for the 3.7 cm Flak, The 3.7 em Flak 36 was replaced by the 3.7 em Flak 37 and then by the 3.7 cm Flak 43 toward the end of 1944, Starting in 1943, an armor radiator shield and crew cab were introduced as protection against shell fragments and small-arms fire. ‘The 3.7 cm Flak 37 had a modified mount with an armor shield but still had the same rate of fire as The mount and armor shield were also changed for the 3.7 cm Flak 43, which had a much higher rate of fire. All three models fired the same ammunition and were used to engage the same targets. Production of the Sd.Kfz.7/2 began in 1942. and continued to the end of the war, with about 1000 produced by the end of January 1945. Initially, there were nine Sd.Kfz.7/2 in each Flak-Kompanie or Batterie; increased to 12 in October 1943 the 3.7 em Flak 36. An experimental 3.7 cm Flak 36 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.7/2) made in 1940, (NA) 12-18 3.7 cm Flak 36 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.7/2) with armor radiator shield and cab. (WJS) A captured 3.7 cm Flak 43 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.7/2). (NA) 12-19 3.7 cm Flak 36, 37, oder 43 auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.K£z.7/2) Weapons Data: 1 > 3.7 cm Flak 36,37,43 Elevation =8°, +85° (-10,490 Flak43) Traveri 360° Gun Sight: Flakvisier 36 Ammunition: 120 - 3.7 cm on Zgkw.8t 432 - 3.7 om on Sd.ah.58 Crew: Gun Commander, 5 Kanoniere, Driver Measurements: Length, overall: 6.550 m Width, overall: 2.400 m Height, overall: 3.200 m Firing Height: 2.400 m 2.00 m 1.80 m Track Contact: 2.235 m Combat Loade 11.5 metric tons Fuel Capacity: 203 Liters Armor Protection: Starting in 1943: crew Cab: 8 mm Automotive Capabilities: Maximum Speed: 50 kan/hr Range on Road: 250 km Cross Country: 100 km Grade: 24° Fording Depth: 65 om Ground Clearance: 40 om Ground Pressure: 0.14 kg/cm’ Power Ratio: 12.2 HP/ton Turning Radius: 8.0 m Automotive Components: Fahrgestell: Zgkw.8t KMml2 votor Maybach HL 62 TUK starting in 1943 Maybach HL 64 TR 6 cylinder water cooled 6.181 liter gasoline 140 HP @ 2600 rpm Transmission: Road C.C Reverse ma km/hr 1.Gear 522 km/hr 2.Gear 17.4 ka/hr 3 Gear sae7 km/hr 4.Gear 50.5 km/hr Steering: Differential Drive: Front sprocket Roadwheels: 6 per side Tires: 9.75-20 extra Suspension: Leaf springs Track: Zgw.50/360/180 Links per Side: 54 Left Below and This Page: 3.7 cm Flak auf Selbstfahrlafette (Sd.Kfz.7/2) with armor radiator shield and cab, towing a Sd.Ah.57 (ammunition trailer). (PK) 5 cm Flak 41 auf Selbstfahrlafette HKP 9.03 report dated 1 July 1942 on the status of icles being developed, Wa Pruef 6 reported that at quest of L Flak 4, one HKP 903 Fahrgestell fuer Sf. 5 cm Flak 41 had been completed by Buessing- NAG. The lightly armored (6 mm) vehicle with 8- man crew weighed 12.5 tons. The Maybach HL 45 engine provided the power to drive the self-propelled gun at 2 maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour. The 5 cm Flak 41 had a cyclic rate of fire of 130 rounds per minute and could be traversed 90 degrees in 6 seconds or 180 degrees in 9 seconds. A muzzle velocity of 840 meters per second propelled the 2.2 kilogram Sprgr. to a maximum horizontal range of 12,400 meters with a ceiling of 9400 meters. However, the tracer burnout at 12 seconds (about 4000 meters) and self-detonating fuze (8 to 11 seconds) limited the effective range to less than 5000 meters and the destructive range to 3000 meters. Only 85 5 cm Flak 41 were produced fron February 1941 to September 1943. Other than the single HKP 9.03 chassis (Fgst.Nr.2013), there is photographic evidence that the $ cm Flak 41 was mounted on an 8-ton Zugkraftwagen and several were mounted on 4.5-ton s.Lkw (heavy trucks). 5 cm Flak 41 auf Selbstfahrlafette (8-ton Zugkraftwagen) with stabilizing outriggers. (WJS) 12-22 8.8 cm Flak 37 Selbstfahrlafette (auf 18 ton Zugkraftwagen) In response to a demand from the troops in North Africa for more powerful weapons, the Heeres Watffenamt reported on 30 October 1942 that develop- ment of a 8.8 cm self-propelled gun had been worked on for along time. ‘The immediate solution was an 8.8 cm Flak 37 auf s.Zgkw.18t with armor protecting the engine and crew compartment. The first experimen- tal vehicle was completed by 31 October 1942 ‘The 8.8 cm Flak 37 could be fired at a rate of up to 20 rounds per minute. ‘The 9 kilogram Sprgr. fired at a muzzle velocity of 820 meters per second, had a maximum horizontal range of 14,860 meters and a ceiling of 10,600 meters. With a 25-second time fuze, the 8.8 cm Flak 37 had an effective range of 9000 meters for targets flying at an altitude of 3000 neters or 8000 meters for targets at an altitude of 5000 meters. Firing Pzgr. or Pz; shells), the 8.8 cm Flak 37 could destroy the heaviest armored tanks. Only 12. 8.8 cm Flak 37 Sfl. auf 18 ton Zgkw. were completed from July to September 1943 out of an order for 112. These 12 were used to outfit the I. and 2.schwere Batterie/Heeres_Flakartillerie- Abteilung (Sf.) 304, which was sent to Italy in September 1943 and assigned to the 26.Panzer- Division, 8.8 cm Flak 37 Selbstfahrlafette (auf 18 t Zgkw.) Weapons Data: 1 - 8.8 cm Flak 37 Elevatio: =3°, +85° Traverse 360° Gun sigh: 2.F.20E for Flak 37 Ammunition: 40 - 8.8 cm Crew: Commander 9 Kanoniere Driver Communication: Fu.Spr.Ger. Measurements: Length, 9.32 m Length, 8.25 m width, 2.65 m Height, overall: 3.67 m Wheel Base 2:10 m ‘Track Base 2:00 m Track Contact 2.86 m 25 metric tons 290 Liters Combat Loaded: Fuel Capacity Armor Protection: Front 14.5 mm Sides 14.5 mm Roof: 8 mm Automotive Capabilities: Maximum Speed 50 kn/hr Avg. Road Speed: 35 km/hr Range on Road: 250 km Cross Country: 100 km Grade: 24° Trench Crossing: 2.5 m Fording Depth: 80 cm Ground Clearance: 44 cm Power Ratio 9.2 HP/ton Steering Radius: 9.5 m Automotive Components Fahrgestel Zgkw.18t F3 Motor: Maybach HL 108 TUKRH v-12 cylinder water cooled 10.8 liter gasoline 230 HP @ 2600 rpm ‘Transmission: Road C.C. Reverse 11.3000 4.5 km/hr 1.Gear 9:2 3.64 km/hr 2.Gear 27.5 6.9 km/hr 3 Gear 31 12.25 km/hr 4.Gear 50 20 km/hr Steering: Differential prive: Front sprocket Roadwheels: 6 por side Tires: 12.75-20 extra Suspension: Torsion bars ‘Track: 2gw.50/440/260 Links per Side: 47 12-24 Above and Below: Panzerkampfwagen 38 fuer 2 cm Flak 38 (Sd.Kfz.140) Ausfuehrung Lat the B.M.M. assembly plant with superstructure sides folded up and down, (WJS) Flakpanzer TI Because Sturmartillerie-Brigaden urgently needed Flak protection and they couldn’t count on Flakpanzer IV being issued to them, another expedi ent solution had to be found. By the end of November 1944, 30 Sturmgeschuetz chassis per month and a to- tal of 90 Pz.Kpfw.II superstructures had been made available for Flakpanzer assembly, and an order placed by In 4 for acquisition of 90 special turrets. Having learned of the efforts to assemble Flakpanzer IV at Ostbau Sagen, Baurat Becker was sent there to learn the operation. As reported in December 1944, the director of Ostbau Sagen thought that it was impossible to convert the Pz.Kpfw.II to a Flakpanzer. Baurat Becker was certain that it could. ¢ mo agreement could be reached, Becker returned without having accomplished the task of designing a Flakpanzer II. In order for the Sturm- artillerie to quickly acquire Flakpanzers, creation of their own assembly facility like Ostbau Sagen at the Sturmgeschuetz-Schule Burg was ordered. The Sturmartillerie was to complete the design of the Flakpanzer II] by themselves. The equipment needed for this effort included two Pz.Kpfw.III chassis, two Flak-Vierling, two 3.7 cm Flak, and complete turret bodies with associated components for both the 3.7 em Flak and 2 cm Flak-Vierling. Trials completed at Burg proved that is was possible to install a 2 em Flak-Vierling or a 3.7 cm Flak-Kinling in an essen- tially unmodified Ostwind (“Keksdose” - cookie tin) turret mounted on a Pz.Kpfw.III superstructure on a Pz.Kpfw.III chassis. The Heeres Waffenamt reported on 5 March 1945 that from the 90 turrets requested by the General der Artillerie, 18 could be diverted from the Ostwind order, leaving 72 that would still have to be produced, for which it was thought that 16 mm thick M8 or L80 plates were still available. Chassis were to be diverted from the Artillerie’s Sturmgeschuetz contingent, while rebuilt chassis could possibly be considered. Rebuilt superstructures including the turret ball-bearing race were still available. Promises were also made to deliver the Flak guns needed for this purpose. On 12 March 1945, Sturmartillerie-Schule Burg reported that turret delivery had been delayed because of the situation on the Western Front. By 18 larch 1945, the Panzer-Kommission had decided to delete the contingent of “Keksdosen” from the emer- gency production program, even those 18 already available. General der Artillerie then requested that these 18 turrets be completed. No further original records have been discovered proving whether further attempts to complete a few Flakpanzer II] with “Keksdose” turrets were successful. Left 2 cm Flaky Panzerkampfwagen IV. (WJs) Above and Below: “Moebelwagen” (Fgst.Nr.93318) with 25 mm thick fold-down platform sides. (HLD) Above and Below: A “W Ausf.G (Fgst. Nr.83312) belwind” assembled at Ostbau Sagan using a refurbished Pz.Kpfw.IV ssis which had been coated previously with rit. (WJS) IIT E LS TSS SLIT TS ISSLD. 2 na A 12-40 Above and Below: A “Wirbelwind” assembled at Ostbau Sagan using a rebuilt Pz. Kpfw.1¥ Ausf.G (Fgst. Nr.82853) chassis with 50 mm thick frontal armor. (WJS) The experimental “Ostwind” with a 3.7 cm Flak 43 from a “Moebelwagen” in the soft-steel turret mounted on a rebuilt Pz. Kpfw.IV Ausf.G (Fgst.Nr.83898) chassis. (WJS) ap] ler geek Bat Above: The 1/10 scale wooden model of the “Kugelblitz” photographed on L1Aug44. (WJS) Below: ‘This photograph of a completed “Kugelblitz” was heavily “touched up” for printing in a British intelligence publication. (APG) 12-50 Above and Below: ‘The surviving “Kugelblitz” turret on display at Shrivenham, England. (TLJ) Versuchsflakwagen 8.8 cm Flak auf Sonderfahrgestell (Pz.Sfl.1Vc) Initially three Pz.Sf.1Ve mounting 8.8 em Flak L/56 guns were ordered from Krupp for the purpose of knocking out bunkers in the Maginot Line. After the fall of France in June 1940, the intended use was changed to self-propelled tank destroyers. As stated by Krupp in their 1940/41 ear report, the Pz,Sfl.[Ve were too lightly armored to be used offensively and were partially ‘outmoded by the Porsche and Henschel Tigers. It wasn’t until June 1942 that Krupp proposed this same chassis mounting an 8.8 cm Flak L/7L as a Versuchsflakwagen (VEW - experimental anti-aircraft tank). Orders were placed with Krupp for two experimental Flakwagen with 8.8 em L/71 (VEW) to be completed in April and May 1943. ‘The original SMG90_ transmission and Henschel L320C steering gears had failed during tests conducted in another vehicle in November 1942. L- k then agreed with Krupp’s proposal to install an S$G76 transmission and a Krupp-designed steering gear. Further driving trials, conducted with a Pz.Sf. IVc (8.8 L/S6) in December 1942, determined that the SMG90 and L320C were not combat serviceable. Due to bombing raids on Essen, assembly of one VFW was transferred in early October to Krupp- Grusonwerk in Magdeburg, where it was to be completed by early November 1943. On 5 November, Dipl.-Ing. Klein (L Flak 4) advised Krupp-Essen that the second VFW was not needed and authorized Krupp to scrap partially completed parts. In January 1944, Reichsminister Spee! ordered Krupp to cease development of the 8.8 cm Flak 41 auf Selbstfahrlafette because of other more urgent designs. The 8.8 cm Flakwagen was obsolete for escorting Panzers because high-altitude aircraft could be engaged by stationary 8.8 cm Flak guns, and 3.7 or 5.5 cm automatic Flak guns were needed for engaging strafing aircraft. In addition, control of a mobile battery wasn’t possible because equipment had not been developed that could transmit firing directions by optical or radio signals between the command vehicle and the Flakwagen, Connecting cables would have caused too great a hindrance to mobility and tactical flexibility After installation of an SSG76 transmission and Krupp steering gear, a Flakpanzer (Krupp) with 8.8 cm Flak 41 was test driven and fired at a range in Oxbol, Denmark from 3 to 9 March 1944. On sharply curving roads and trails it could maintain an average speed of between 40 and 50 km/hr and could be driven for long periods at 60 km/hr without over taxing the Maybach HL 90 engine. As ordered in March 194, an 8.8 cm Flak 37 was to be mounted on this same Flakpanzer chassis in place of the Flak 41. ‘The only schwere Flakpanzer with an 8.8 cm Flak 37 was sent to Italy for field trials with Heeres Flakartillerie-Abteihing (Sf.) 304 assigned to the 26.Panzer-Division. 12-52 12-53 4412.43 Above and Below: The only Versuchsflakwagen (VFW) with an 8.8 cm Flak 41 completed at Krupp-Grusonwerk in November 1943. (TTM) Above and Below: The only Versuchsflakwagen with an 8.8 cm Flak 37 (which replaced the worn-out 8.8 cm Flak 41) was modified before it was sent to Italy in 1944 for field trials. (TTM) Versuchsflakwagen 8.8 cm Flak auf Sonderfahrgestell (Pz.Sf£1.IVc) Weapons Data: Automotive Capabilities: 2. 8.8 om Flak 41 or 37 Maximum Speed: 60 km/hr Elevation: “5°, 485° Flak 37 Avg. Road Speed: 40-50 km/hr -5*; 490° Flak 42 Range on Road: 300 km vraverse: 360° Cross Country: 200 km Gun Sight: Z.P.20E for Flak 37 Grade: 28° Trench Crossing: 2.5 m Ammunition: 48 - 8.8 om Flak 42 Step: 70 om Fording Depth: 210 em crew: Commander, Ground Clearance: 40 cm Tetatadace: Ground Pressure: 0.77 kg/em Driver Power Ratio: 13.8 HP/ton Pressure on Wheel: 116 kg/cm Communication: Fu.spr.cor. Steering Ratio; 1.55 Automotive Components: Motor: Maybach KL 90 P water cooled Measurements: Length, overall: 7.00 m 1/56, 9.15 1/74 Length, w/o gun: 6.70 m 9.0 liter gasoline Width, overall: 3.00 m 360 HP @ 3600 rpm Height, overall: 2.80 mL/56, 2.75 1/74 rauentseaca! sua s03 Firing Height: 2.40 mL/56, 2.12 1/74 geese Seo vhs Wheel Baco: 258m ecead eS Track Contact: 4,00 m 3.Goar 10.8 km/hr Combat Loaded: 26 metric tons aC eee ae Fuel Capacity: 600 Liters ae iB po te ees 6.Gear 30 km/hr pee aes is SN Gun shield 12 mm Belge : Gunster ey Steering: Henschel £320C aT eee an Driv Front sprocket Hull Front 20 nn Roadwneele: xa per cide aay sides ages ae Tires: 700/70 Rubber pase aco Suspension: Leaf eprings pelty wee Trac! Dry pin, 420 mm wide