Doyle states this to be a real Kugelblitz. Even the famous 88 mm anti-aircraft guns were installed on some fully-tracked and tank chassis’, but again only in very limited number. This was however abandoned as impractical, as development of this gun had not yet been completed, and in any case the entire production run of this gun turret was reserved for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine. Flakpanzer IV "Kugelblitz" Flakpanzer IV "Kugelblitz" Originální název: Original Name: Leichter Flakpanzer IV mit 3cm Mk 103 als Zwilling Waffe ("Kugelblitz") Výrobce: Producer: Deutsche Eisenwerke AG-Werk Stahindustrie, Duisburg / Daimler Benz AG, Berlin-Marienfelde / Období výroby: Production Period: DD.MM.RRRR-DD.MM.RRRR : Vyrobeno kusů: One or more vehicles (in addition to possibly an unknown number of turrets) were sent to Berlin, and during the final Soviet assault on the German capital all were lost. Original plans for the Kugelblitz production predicted that the first five vehicles would be built by September 1944. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. As all were open top (because of the easier construction, guns exhaust gases and the need to produce them as fast as possible) it made the gun crews exposed to air attacks. In some sources (like the Valka internet site), the left side crew operator was the gunner, but as the position of the foot pedals is behind the gun, this is incorrect. What is know from photographic evidence is that at least two were used in combat and were destroyed. Leichte Flakpanzer IV 3 cm “Kugelblitz” Nazi Germany (1944-45) Self Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun – 2-5 Built. The suspension and running gear were the same as those of the original Panzer IV, with no changes to its construction. Additionally, Jentz affirms that one complete vehicle was ready in October 1944 and that two more vehicles were built in March 1945. The Flakpanzer IV Kugelblitz ("Ball Lightning") was a German self-propelled anti-aircraft gun developed during World War II. They also note that the highly developed and advanced construction of this vehicle and its impact on later models built after the war. 1 Description 2 History 3 Variants 4 References Flakpanzer IV Kugelblitz: 6 pilot models produced, no record What can be said with certainty though is that at least two fully operational vehicles were built, as there is evidence of their existence (photographs and remains of one turret). The serial production was to start in late 1944, but due to Allied bombing raids over German territory, many factories were not at full capacity. Gepard The History of German Anti-Aircraft tanks, Walter J. Spielberger, Bernard & Graefe, Munich, Pierwsze prototypy pojazdu powstały w 1944 roku, a produkcja seryjna trwała w okresie 1944-1945, kończąc się wytworzeniem ok. 80-100 wozów. Summer 2015, The Flakpanzer IV Kugelblitz was a late-war, self-propelled anti-aircraft initiative by Germany. Entdecke (und sammle) deine eigenen Pins bei Pinterest. One Kugelblitz was also involved in the fights near the town of Spichra [de], Thuringia, where it was destroyed and remained buried in the Spatenberg Hill [de] until its excavation in 1999.[4]. Leichte Flakpanzer IV (3 cm) Kugelblitz (suom. This project was carried out by Altmärkische Kettenwerke G.m.b.H (Alkett), starting in January 1944. H or J) tank chassis. The spare ammunition was located on the right side. Nuts & Bolts Vol.08 Experimental Flak-weapons of the Wehrmacht part 2, Heiner F. Tony Greenland and Frank Schulz. Photo: SOURCE This differs substantially from standard Panzer IV hull as this part was slightly sloped. This project was never implemented as originally intended, but it would instead inspire a development of a fully protected Flakpanzer with similar armament. Production numbers are hard to find. External parts of the two 3 cm canons barrels were protected by an armored casing and held in the center by three screws on each side. These cookies do not store any personal information. The biggest negative side was the fact that it was never properly tested to see if the whole Kugelblitz design was successful and efficient. Photo: SOURCE Flakpanzer-IV Wirbelwind (niem. Mass production was planned, but never happened due to the disruption by Allied bombing efforts.[2]. The first attempt was the Flakpanzer I, which was built only in limited numbers and was more an improvisation of an existing design rather than a purpose-built vehicle. On the front mantlet, the place where the two armored plate are welded together, it is visible. This bridge was defended with few anti-tank guns, some Panzer IIIs (marked as training vehicles) and one Kugelblitz (from the Panzerflak Ersatz und Ausbildungsabteilung). Initially, the manual traverse was tested by using reduction gears, but it proved to be a slow process. In theory, the Kugelblitz would have provided more effective anti-aircraft fire against Allied low-flying attack aircraft and significantly reduced the danger they posed for German ground forces and thus reduce losses. It is important to notice that these were prototypes (pre-production) vehicles, and their combat potential thus was limited, having been hastily constructed and possibly not even properly tested. As the American forces advanced through central parts of Germany, they came to a small village named Spichra. The positions of the radio operator (Fu 2 and Fu 5 radios were used), who also operated the hull mounted MG 34 machine gun, and the driver were same as on the original Panzer IV. All structured data from the file and property namespaces is available under the Creative Commons CC0 License; all unstructured text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. However, these designs were tall, open-topped designs with sub-optimal armor. mihla.de The version of Panzer IV chosen for this modification is unknown. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. There were two front drive sprockets, two rear idlers and eight return rollers in total (one, one, and four on each side respectively). preservedtanks.com, I noticed a small error – in conclusions there is ZSU-52-2 instead of ZSU-57-2. This was done in order for the crew to follow the movement of the main weapon itself and thus targeting the target more precisely. But in practice, besides the Panzer IV it was never used in any other vehicle. The complete turret (together with the protective mantlet) had a larger diameter than the original Panzer IV turret. These cannons were already in use by the German Air Force (under the designation MK 103), mostly for ground attacks. The biggest change in the design was the new enclosed oblate spheroid turret (with a fully 360° traverse) armed with two 3 cm cannons. A tank-based anti-aircraft vehicle (German: Flakpanzer) could solve this problem, but little effort was done in this direction. As this vehicle was designed to fight fast and nimble ground attack aircraft, it was insufficient for the job, so a hydraulically driven mechanism controlling the traverse and elevation by means of a control stick, providing increased speed. In this article, the place where the two armored plate are welded together, it could be easily to! As can be seen here torreta totalment tancada Shrivenham, United Kingdom this, but you opt-out. 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