Flakpanzer 38(t)

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Flakpanzer 38(t)
Type Self-propelled anti-aircraft gun
Place of origin  Nazi Germany
Service history
In service 1944–1945
Wars World War II
Production history
Produced 1943–1944
Number built 141
Specifications
Weight 9,800 kg (21,600 lb)
Length 4.61 m (15 ft 1 in)
Width 2.15 m (7 ft 1 in)
Height 2.25 m (7 ft 5 in)
Crew 4

Armor 10 mm - 15 mm
Main
armament
1 x 2 cm FlaK 38 L/112.5
1,040 rounds
Engine 1 x Praga AC, 6-cylinder petrol engine
147 hp (110 kW)
Power/weight 15 hp/tonne
Suspension Leaf spring
Operational
range
210 km (130 miles)
Speed 42 km/h (26 mph)

The Flakpanzer 38(t) - officially named Flakpanzer 38(t) auf Selbstfahrlafette 38(t) Ausf M (SdKfz 140) - was a German self-propelled anti-aircraft gun used in World War II.

Design[edit]

American soldiers playing cards in front of a destroyed Flakpanzer 38(t) in Normandy, 1944.

The Flakpanzer 38(t) was designed around the chassis of the Czech-built LT-38 tank and was built from November 1943 to February 1944, entering service in 1944. As the vehicle used the 38(t) Ausf M chassis, the engine was near the middle of the vehicle, and the armament was placed at the rear in a specially designed armoured section. The upper part folding down to allow 360-degree traverse at low elevation. During World War II, a total of 141 Flakpanzer 38(t)s were built, including the single prototype vehicle.

Service record[edit]

The Flakpanzer 38(t) was intended to be issued to the anti-aircraft platoon of each tank battalion (Panzer Abteilung) in a Panzer division. Most of the Flakpanzer 38(t)s were issued to Panzer Divisions on the Western Front, the remainder served on the Eastern Front. An example user being the 12th SS Panzer Division.

Later in the war, the Flakpanzer 38(t)'s single 2 cm FlaK main armament was no longer sufficient to ward off enemy aircraft, and it became easy prey for Allied fighter-bombers[citation needed].

As its folding superstructure allowed a very low (-5°) elevation the Flakpanzer 38(t) was often used against enemy infantry and unarmoured or lightly armoured vehicles.

Survivors[edit]

Today, four complete vehicles exist, having been recovered from a French scrapyard in Trun, Normandy. They went to the following museums.

  • Bayeux memorial
  • Musee Automobiles de Normandie, Cleres (Now believed to be in private hands in the UK)
  • Saumur armour museum
  • Becker private collection

References[edit]

Notes
Bibliography
  • Chamberlain, Peter; Hilary L. Doyle and Thomas L. Jentz (Technical Editor) (1978 (revised edition 1993)). Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two: A Complete Illustrated Directory of German Battle Tanks, Armoured Cars, Self-propelled Guns, and Semi-tracked Vehicles, 1933–1945. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-214-6. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Ledwoch, J. (Shackleton, M. J. edited). Armour in Focus: Flakpanzer 38 (t) ISBN 9788372190260

External links[edit]

External images
Flakpanzer 38(t) [1]