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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 rpm/250 rpm. The round weighed 1.4 lbs and had a muzzle velocity of 2,750'/sec. The maximum ceiling was around 5,000'.

Prototype

One prototype was completed in July 1944.

Production

  • 3.7 cm Flak 43 auf Flakpanzer IV "Ostwind": 36 converted, 7 produced
    • Production: March 1944 - ?, December 1944 - March 1945
    • Manufacturer: Deutsche Eisenwerke, Ostbau

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. Guns were mounted side by side. Ostbau was to build them, but the factory was attacked and production was disrupted.

Usage

Issued to Flugabwehrzüge (AA platoons) of Panzer regiments.

Specifications

  Ostwind "Eastwind", Flakpanzer IV/3.7 cm Flak
Crew 6, 7
Radio FuG5, FuG2
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 55,115 lb
25 tons, 25.4 tons, 26.9 tons
Length 19' 5", 19.5"
5.92 m
Height 9.5', 9' 10"
3 m
Width 9.5', 9' 8"
2.95 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 1' 3.75", 15.8"
Ground contact length 138.5"
Ground pressure 12.3 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 3.7cm FlaK 43/1 L/70
37 mm FlaK43/1 L/60
3.7 cm Flak 43
Secondary  
MG 2: 7.92 mm MG34
OR 7.92 mm MG34 and 7.92 mm MG42
MG - hull 7.92 mm MG34
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 1,000, 1,600, 4,216
Secondary  
MG 1,350
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) Turret: 25
Front: 2"
Side: 1.2"
Superstructure: 1"
Hull Front, Upper 80@10°
Hull Front, Lower 80@12°
Hull Sides, Upper 30@0°
Hull Sides, Lower 30@0°
Hull Rear 20@11° & 20@9°
Hull Top 12@85°-90°
Hull Bottom 10@90°
Turret Front 25@37°
Shield: 25 round
Turret Sides 25@30°
Turret Rear 25@30°
Turret Top Open
Engine (Make / Model) Maybach HL 120TRM112, Maybach HL 120 TRM
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders V-12
Capacity  
Net HP 300@3,000 rpm
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio 6.5:1
Transmission (Type) Synchromesh, type SSG 77
6 forward, 1 reverse
Steering Clutch brake
Steering ratio  
Starter Electric and inertia
Electrical system 24-volt
Ignition Magneto
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 125 gallon
Road consumption 1 mpg
Cross country consumption 0.6 mpg
Performance  
Traverse 360°, hand.
Speed - Road 24 mph, 25 mph
38 kph
Speed - Cross Country 10 mph
Range - Road 124 miles
200 km
Range - Cross Country 78 miles
Turning radius  
Elevation limits -6° to +90°
Fording depth 2' 7", 47"
Trench crossing 7' 6", 7.7'
Vertical obstacle 23.6"
Climbing ability 30° (57%) slope
Suspension (Type) Sprung in pairs on 1/4 elliptic springs
Wheels each side 8, 8x2
Return rollers each side 4, 4x2
Tracks (Type) Dry pin
Length  
Width 1' 3", 15.75"
Diameter  
Number of links 99
Pitch 4.75"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 8.1'

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
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site