Flakpanzer IV/2cm Vierling, 'Wirbelwind'

Model by Brandon Sutherland

In spring of 1944, the Inspector for the Panzer Troops (In 6) indicated that current flakpanzers in the Wehrmacht inventory were unsatisfactory, and that new vehicles should be developed with the following minimum requirements:

The Wirbelwind design met most of these requirements. Vehicle height was kept low by recessing the gun mount into the top of the hull. The recess allowed for a smaller turret design and kept the overall vehicle height well under the 3 meter limit. Addition of a hydraulic traverse to the turret allowed a traversing speed of 60o/sec. A total of 3200 rounds for the four 2cm guns was carried (with storage for spare barrels provided on the sides of the engine compartment).

The Wirbelwind was developed as a conversion for Panzer IV chasses which had been returned from the front for rebuilding. Armored protection on the hull varied because the chasses used for conversion included Ausf F through Ausf G Panzerkampfwagen IV. As the 2cm Flakvierling was not as effective as the 3.7cm FlaK 43/1, the project was discontinued in autumn of 1944 after a total of 86 vehicles were converted.

Model by Brandon Sutherland

Flakpanzer IV/2cm Vierling, ‘Wirbelwind'
Crew: 5 Armament: One 2cm Flakvierling 38, one 7.92mm MG34
Weight: 22 tons Traverse: 360o (mechanical)
Length: 5.92 meters Elevation: -10o +90o
Width: 2.90 meters Engine: Maybach HL 120TRM
Height: 2.76 meters Gearbox: 6 forward, 1 reverse (electric)
Radio: FuG5 + FuG2 Speed: 38 km/hr


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