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Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun



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The Flakpanzer IV Möbelwagen suffered from poor crew protection due to the need to drop down its armour plates from around the gun on going into action. In December 1943, therefore, a new design of Flakpanzer was produced. The Flakpanzer 2cm Wirbelwind (Whirlwind) had the main armament housed in a lightly armoured, nine-sided, revolving barbette in place of the fixed superstructure of the Möbelwagen. This gave satisfactory protection to the crew and allowed the weapon to be brought into action more quickly. The laying speed was reduced, however, due to the increased weight of the mounting.
The Wirbelwind was built by Ostbau of Sagan, Silesia. Some 3200 rounds of ammunition were carried for the quadruple cannon. This was a modified version of the 2cm Flakvierling 38 and was known as the Sagan Gerät. The chassis used included PzKpfw IV Ausf H or J, with early or late-type sprockets, as well as Ausf F and G returned from the front line for rebuilding. They retained their original superstructure and their machine gun. The main armament could be used against ground targets, when a wire mesh grill could be secured across the open top of the barbette.
Ostbau built 86 of these vehicles starting in the early summer of 1944. They entered service with the anti-aircraft platoons of tank battalions from late 1944 and were the best Flakpanzers to see service with the Germany army.

Model Id:
223
Manufacture:Fahrzeug- und Motoren-Werke (FAMO) GmbH, Stare Miasto, Wrocław, Dolnośląskie, Poland (Turret manufacturer)
Ostbau Werke, Żagań, Żagański, Lubuskie, Poland (Sole assembly location 1944)


1) BWB Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung, Koblenz, Germany

Number of Photos:
0
Sample Photo from Album Number 209

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Unique ID: 209
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This Wirbelwind is based on a PzKpfw IV Ausf H chassis with late-type sprockets. It has been in storage for some time at the Trier depot and before that at Meppen.

2) Base Borden Military Museum, Canadian Forces Base Borden, Canada

Number of Photos:
20
Sample Photo from Album Number 210

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Unique ID: 210
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Other Identification: “19 35437 3507”, “H17 98”, “06998”? and “98” stamped into left transmission cover. “1659 ?7495 54 9 ?9 W8 105”? stamped into left turret side.

This Wirbelwind has fake gun barrels and is in a very poor internal state (source: W.E. Storey). It is based on a PzKpfw IV Ausf J chassis with late-type sprockets and all-steel return rollers.