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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's 3.7 cm Flak 43 auf Flakpanzer IV "Ostwind"

Design

The Flakpanzer IV "Ostwind" (east wind) had a 6 sided turret. 100 were ordered on August 18, 1944. Turret was similar to Möbelwagen.

Main Armament

The Ostwind had a 3.7 cm FlaK 43/1 L/60 mounted. The main armament could fire 160 rpm2/250 rpm3. The round weighed 1.4 lbs and had a muzzle velocity of 2,750'/sec.3 The maximum ceiling was around 5,000'.3

Prototype

One prototype was completed in July 1944.1

Production

  • 3.7 cm Flak 43 auf Flakpanzer IV "Ostwind": 36 converted1, 7 produced1
    • Production: March 1944 - ?2, December 1944 - March 19451
    • Manufacturer: Deutsche Eisenwerke, Ostbau1

Variants

  • 3.7 cm Flak 43 auf Flakpanzer IV "Ostwind"; 3.7 cm Flak 43 auf Sf Ostwind:
  • Ostwind II: Had a 37 mm FlaK 44.1 Guns were mounted side by side.1 Ostbau was to build them, but the factory was attacked and production was disrupted.1

Usage

Issued to Flugabwehrzüge (AA platoons) of Panzer regiments.

Specifications

  Ostwind "Eastwind", Flakpanzer IV/3.7 cm Flak
Crew 61, 73
Radio FuG51, FuG21
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 55,115 lb
25 tons1, 25.4 tons2, 26.9 tons3
Length 19' 5", 19.5"3
5.92 m1
Height 9.5'3, 9' 10"
3 m1
Width 9.5'3, 9' 8"
2.95 m1
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 1' 3.75", 15.8"3
Ground contact length 138.5"3
Ground pressure 12.3 psi3
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 3.7cm FlaK 43/1 L/70
37 mm FlaK43/1 L/601
3.7 cm Flak 432,3,4
Secondary  
MG 2: 7.92 mm MG341
OR 7.92 mm MG341 and 7.92 mm MG421
MG - hull 7.92 mm MG34
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 1,0001, 1,6003, 4,2162
Secondary  
MG 1,350
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Turret: 252
Front: 2"3
Side: 1.2"3
Superstructure: 1"3
Hull Front, Upper 80@10°1
Hull Front, Lower 80@12°1
Hull Sides, Upper 30@0°1
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°1
Hull Rear 20@11°1 & 20@9°1
Hull Top 12@85°-90°1
Hull Bottom 10@90°1
Turret Front 25@37°1
Shield: 25 round1
Turret Sides 25@30°1
Turret Rear 25@30°1
Turret Top Open1
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 120TRM1121, Maybach HL 120 TRM3
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water3
Cylinders V-123
Capacity  
Net HP 300@3,000 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.5:13
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh, type SSG 773
6 forward, 1 reverse1,3
Steering Clutch brake3
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric and inertia3
Electrical system 24-volt3
Ignition Magneto3
Fuel (Type) Gasoline3
Octane  
Quantity 125 gallon3
Road consumption 1 mpg3
Cross country consumption 0.6 mpg3
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.1
Speed - Road 24 mph, 25 mph3
38 kph1
Speed - Cross Country 10 mph3
Range - Road 124 miles3
200 km1
Range - Cross Country 78 miles3
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -6° to +90°1
Fording depth 2' 7", 47"3
Trench crossing 7' 6", 7.7'3
Vertical obstacle 23.6"3
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope3
Suspension (Type) Sprung in pairs on 1/4 elliptic springs3
Wheels each side 83, 8x2
Return rollers each side 43, 4x2
Tracks (Type) Dry pin3
Length  
Width 1' 3", 15.75"3
Diameter  
Number of links 993
Pitch 4.75"3
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8.1'3

Sources:

  1. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, 1999
  2. German Tanks of World War II, Dr. S. Hart & Dr. R. Hart, 1998
  3. Tank Data, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, 1968?
  4. Profile, AFV Weapons #55, German Self-Propelled Weapons, Peter Chamberlain, H.L. Doyle, 1973
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