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Home > Vehicles> Military
The Flakvierling 38 was a German anti-aircraft gun used in World War II. Originally produced for the Kriegsmarine in 1938, it was accepted by the Luftwaffe and ground forces in 1940 and remained in production until 1945. It was widely used against low-flying Allied aircraft and was often installed in flak towers and other permanent mounts. The gun was as effective against armoured vehicles as it was against aircraft.
The weapon consisted of quad-mounted 2cm Flak 38 AA guns with collapsing seats, folding handles, and ammunition racks. The mount had a triangular base with a jack at each leg for leveling the gun. The tracker traversed and elevated the mount manually using two handwheels. The gun was fired by a set of two foot pedals—each of which fired two diametrically opposite Flak 38s—and could be operated either automatically or semi-automatically.
Each of the four mounted guns fired from a 20-round magazine at a maximum combined rate of fire of 1,800 rounds per minute (reduced to 800 rounds per minute for combat use). The guns could be fired in pairs (diagonally opposite) or simultaneously, in either semi or fully fully automatic mode. Its effective vertical range was 2200 meters, but it was used just as effectively against armoured vehicles as it was against low-flying aircraft.
The gun was normally transported on a Sd.Ah.52 trailer, and could be towed behind a variety of half-tracks or trucks, such as the Opel Blitz, SdKfz 251 and SdKfz 11. It was also mounted onto half-tracks and tank bodies to produce mobile anti-aircraft vehicles, such as the SdKfz 7/1 (based on the SdKfz 7 half-track) and the Mobelwagen and Wirbelwind (both based on the Panzer IV tank). In Kriegsmarine use it was fitted to boats and ships to provide short-range anti-aircraft defense, and was also employed in fixed installations around ports, harbours and other strategic naval targets.
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