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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's leichte Flakpanzer 38(t) Selbstfahrlafette 38(t) Ausf L, SdKfz 140

Design

The leichte Flakpanzer 38(t) used a Czechoslovakian 38(t) chassis and was the first self propelled anti aircraft vehicle.

Due to the urgent need for a Flakpanzer Hitler agreed on October 15, 1943, to the production of 150 Flakpanzer 38(t)s to be used until the Flakpanzer IV became available. The Flakpanzer 38(t) was demonstrated to Hitler on December 16, 1943. The remaining 10 vehicles that weren't completed were used to produce 150 mm sIG33/2 Sf.

Armament

The 2cm Flak gun was placed at the rear of the chassis.

Folding Superstructure

The superstructure had eight sides that folded down.

Armament

Rate of fire for the 20 mm gun was 180 - 220 rounds per minute. The 20 mm had a ceiling of 3,200 meters.

Production

  • leichte Flakpanzer 38(t) auf Selbstfahrlafette 38(t) Ausf L; Leichte Flakpanzer 38(t); SdKfz 140: 140, 1 converted, 162
    • Production: 1943, November 1943 - February 1944
    • Conversion: November 1943
    • Manufacturer: BMM

Variants

  • leichte Flakpanzer 38(t) auf Selbstfahrlafette 38(t) Ausf L; Leichte Flakpanzer 38(t); SdKfz 140: Production model.

Usage

Issued in January and February 1944, to the AA Platoon of each tank regiment in the Panzer divisions.

The leichte Flakpanzer 38(t) was primarily used on Western Front.

Specifications

  leichte Flakpanzer 38(t) auf Selbstfahrlafette 38(t) Ausf L, SdKfz 140
Crew 4
Radio FuG2
OR FuG5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 21,952 lb, 21,605 lb
9.8 tons
Length 16 2.5", 15' 1"
4.61 m
Height 7' 6", 7' 4.5"
2.25 m
Width 7' 1", 7' 0.75"
2.15 m
Ground clearance  
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 2cm Flak 38
2cm FlaK 38 L/112.5
2 cm Flak 38 L/55
OR 2 cm Flak 30 L/55
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 360: Br Sprgr L Spur
360: Br Sprgr
320: Pzgr L Spur Zerl
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 10@67°
Hull Front, Lower 20@15°
Hull Sides, Upper 10@25°
Hull Sides, Lower 15@0°
Hull Rear 10@25° & 10@41°
Hull Top 8@90°
Hull Bottom 10@90°
Turret Front 10@17°
Turret Sides 10@25°
Turret Rear 10@25°
Turret Top open
Engine (Make / Model) Praga AC
Cylinders  
Net HP  
Transmission 5 forward, 1 reverse.
Fuel type  
Octane  
Capacity  
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.
Speed - Road 25 mph, 26 mph
42 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 115 miles, 130 miles
210 km
Turning Radius  
Elevation Limits -5° to +90°
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical Obstacle  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Track length  
Tires  
Track width  
Track centers/tread  

Sources:

  1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  2. German Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1914 - 1945, B. T. White, 1966
  3. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H.L. Doyle, 1973
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site