Ostwind

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Flakpanzer IV/3.7cm FlaK "Ostwind"
Munster Flakpanzer Ostwind Modell (dark1).jpg
Scale model of an Ostwind
Type Self-propelled anti-aircraft gun
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Production history
Produced 1944
Number built 43–45
Specifications
Weight 25 tonnes
Length 5.92 m (19 ft 5 in)
Width 2.95 m (9 ft 8 in)
Height 3 m (9 ft 10 in)
Crew 5 (Commander, Gunner, Loader, Driver, Radio Operator)

Armor 10–80 mm
Main
armament
1x 3.7 cm FlaK 43 L/89
1,000 rounds
Secondary
armament
7.92 mm Maschinengewehr 34
1,350 rounds
Engine 12-cylinder Maybach HL 120 TRM
300 PS (296 hp, 221 kW)
Power/weight 12 PS/tonne
Suspension leaf spring
Operational
range
200 km (120 mi)
Speed 38 km/h (24 mph)

The Flakpanzer IV "Ostwind" (East Wind in German) was a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun based on the Panzer IV tank. It was developed in 1944 as a successor to the earlier Flakpanzer IV/2cm Vierling Wirbelwind.

The Panzer IV's turret was removed and replaced with an open-top, hexagonal turret which housed a 3.7 cm FlaK 43. In addition to its intended role as an anti-aircraft weapon, the fast-firing gun was highly effective against light vehicles and minor fortifications. A closed-top design would have been preferable, but this was not possible due to the heavy smoke generated by the gun.

The Ostwind's main improvement over the Wirbelwind was the FlaK 43's increased range and stopping power over the 2 cm Flakvierling 38 and slightly better armor on its turret.

Although an order for 100 vehicles was placed in August 1944, only 44 vehicles were completed (37 converted from existing Panzer IVs and 7 new production vehicles) from December 1944 to March 1945, all work being carried out by Ostbau Werke in Sagan, Silesia.

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