TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



5. Self-Propelled Antiaircraft Guns

a. GENERAL. The growth of Allied air power and the decline of the Luftwaffe have forced the Germans to devise self-propelled antiaircraft guns to defend transport columns from low-level air attack.

b. Flakpanzer. Light antiaircraft guns of 20-mm or 37-mm caliber mounted on half-tracked vehicles have been in existence for some time, but the appearance of the so-called Flakpanzer or antiaircraft tanks is a new development. These consist essentially of a tank with turret removed and replaced by a light antiaircraft gun protected by an armored shield. The following types of Flakpanzer have been identified so far:

(1) The 2 cm Flak 38 mounted on the chassis of the Czech 38 (t) tank.

(2) The 3.7 cm Flak 43 mounted on the Pz. Kpfw. IV chassis.

(3) The 2 cm Flakvierling 38 (four-barreled antiaircraft automatic cannon) mounted on the Pz. Kpfw. IV chassis with a thin eight-sided shield.

c. HALF-TRACK CARRIAGES. The 15-mm or 20-mm M. G. 151, a standard aircraft machine gun, has been recently mounted on the 3-ton, lightly armored, half-tracked vehicle, Sd. Kfz. 251/21, in a triple mounting with maximum elevation of 49°. The maximum cyclic rate of fire for the three guns is 2,100 rounds per minute. (Details of antiaircraft weapons are given in Section IV.)


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