Wirbeiwind: what was the Wehrmacht ZSU, built on the basis of Panzerkampfwagen IV

Wirbeiwind: what was the Wehrmacht ZSU, built on the basis of Panzerkampfwagen IV

In 1944, Nazi Germany began developing a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun with a turret that could rotate 360 ​​degrees. At the same time, the vehicle was supposed to protect the crew with its armor.

The requirements for the new ZSU were formulated by Wehrmacht Colonel General Heinz Guderian. The main ones were: low height, an open tower at the top where three soldiers could fit, and high density of fire.

For the production of the above-mentioned SPAAGs, it was decided to use medium-sized ones coming from repairs. Tanks Panzerkampfwagen IV. At the same time, the car itself did not undergo any special modifications. To exaggerate it, the old tower was removed from it and a new one was installed.

In total, 1945 of these “anti-aircraft tanks” were assembled by January 105. The ZSU was named Wirbeiwind (“Whirlwind”).

Regarding the characteristics of the machine. As already mentioned, it was based on the Panzerkampfwagen IV tank. In turn, a nine-sided turret with armor plates 16 mm thick was installed on it.

As prescribed, there were three people in the turret - a gunner in the rear and two loaders on the sides. The weapon used was the FlaK-Vierling 38, a 20mm quad automatic cannon.

This weapon could reach Aviation at an altitude of up to 3,5 km. Moreover, its rate of fire was 600-700 rounds per minute.

Ammunition was supplied by 20-round magazines. The total ammunition load is 3200 shells. Two types of ammunition were used: fragmentation and armor-piercing.

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  1. 0
    26 March 2024 17: 37
    The chassis seems to have been stolen from the KV.
    1. 0
      26 March 2024 17: 53
      Ball lightning
      the Fritz had it completely beyond their expectations. Thank God they were not able to build them in the series...
    2. +1
      26 March 2024 18: 09
      Quote: Aerodrome
      The chassis seems to have been stolen from the KV.

      Come on, the KV has the drive wheel at the stern, while the Nemchura traditionally has the drive wheel in front. From here the cardans go through all the BOs, through the power take-off, and the gearbox in front.
      1. 0
        26 March 2024 18: 10
        agree. but the configuration is... not like the T4. T 3 had a similar one, yes. although... school is school... the panther was terrified.
        1. 0
          26 March 2024 18: 12
          Quote: Aerodrome
          agree. but the configuration is...

          Well, it’s like everyone is spying on each other. But with four and KV it’s unlikely. They had a very vague idea about our HF, if at all.))
          1. +1
            26 March 2024 18: 19
            I love watching films from "Starina".
  2. 0
    26 March 2024 18: 33
    On the base of the four they installed not only Flak38x4 but also 3.7cm in series. But there was no tower there. Only a shield, Flak43 itself. But the sides are thick around the perimeter. In general, they loaded anti-aircraft guns on everything that rolled around. Military air defense is the best in WW II in terms of equipment.
  3. 0
    26 March 2024 18: 45
    What prevented you from using belt feed with 20 caliber?
    And instead of 2 loaders, put a second gunner and rangefinder?
  4. 0
    26 March 2024 20: 12
    An example of the successful use of an outdated tank chassis. The only remark (albeit insignificant) for the end of 1944, the Flakvierling based on 30-mm MK103 guns would have been more promising. This would make it possible, while maintaining the density of fire, to increase the destructive power of the projectile.
    1. +2
      26 March 2024 21: 40
      Well, it’s just so outdated. The most workhorse of the Wehrmacht. If it were not for the passion for all sorts of prodigies, the production of fours would be many times greater. And a tancheg quite appropriate to the times. I understand that you are a cat apologist?))
      1. 0
        27 March 2024 07: 18
        Of course, I will get a bunch of minuses for this, but the Pz-IV was outdated from birth. The fact that it was produced throughout the war speaks of the plight of the Panzerwaffe in 1942 - 1945.
        There is no need to blindly believe Guderian, a completely beaten commander and a completely worthless engineer, especially based on one phrase spoken in January 1943: “The innovators who proposed completely switching to the production of Tigers and Panthers did not understand that with a monthly production of 25 - 30 Manin, we would have been left without tanks at all, and the Russians would have taken Berlin within a year."
        In the specific situation of 1943, he was absolutely right, but one should not pass off need as good. It’s just that the leaders of Germany didn’t have enough brains to build a new tank plant, like Tankograd and Uralvagonzavod, along with the development of new vehicles. Instead, they continued to play in the investment economy and state defense orders. Well, we finished the game. As for the production of "fours" - its limit at existing capacities is 6000 per year, the same as the total of Panthers and Fours in 1944.
        The tank is bad in everything except reliability. Armament is at the lowest limit, protection is provided by the main anti-tank guns and enemy tank guns in all projections. Passability and mobility are disgusting. The chassis is overloaded, which does not allow the creation of decent self-propelled guns on its basis (here the Guderian Duck Pz IV/70(V) looks most clearly).
        The result for 1943-1945: it cannot go on the attack, it is not suitable for deep breakthroughs, it can only be used for counterattacks from ambushes. And for this purpose the quite budget Stug and Hetzer are quite suitable.
        1. 0
          27 March 2024 07: 24
          And the main drawback of the Panther is its “fishing rod”, which turned a rather interesting vehicle into a tank destroyer, an extremely suboptimal vehicle. Oddly enough, the Tiger-1 was a more versatile and popular vehicle, despite a bunch of shortcomings. And again - the caliber of a 105-mm tank gun with moderate ballistics was determined back in 1940, but there was not enough courage to develop such a machine.
          1. 0
            27 March 2024 07: 36
            Time has shown that a mass sample turned out to be preferable to an even more advanced, but piecemeal product. Our designers also did not stand still; there was both the T34M and the T44. Absolutely new samples.
            1. 0
              27 March 2024 08: 39
              Yes, neither the Panthers, nor the Pershings, nor the Centurions were a piece product. Also quite massive. That's not the point.
              Simply rebuilding factories for a new product during a war always risks losing production volumes, and this is an operational pause at the front. So they drove the T-34-85 to victory. And so - the tank in 1944 was already quite obsolete (albeit much better than the Pz-IV).
              Or they could completely switch to the IS as the main tank from the summer, arming it with an 85-mm cannon with an initial armor-piercing projectile speed of 920 m/s. The gun successfully passed tests, but did not go into production. But the T-34 chassis could be used for various self-propelled guns, in particular, a ZSU with a twin V-11 turned out quite well.
              1. 0
                27 March 2024 08: 56
                I meant Tigger, KT and Jagdtiger. The Panther, yes, was produced in quite a large series. But again there are nuances; for one panther it was possible to produce two fours.
                1. 0
                  27 March 2024 09: 45
                  Pasholok's latest articles refute this. Unlike the T-34-85/IS, the weight ratio does not apply at German factories. Maximum 500 vehicles per month versus 380 Panthers. And the rest - other technological lines. They might have succeeded on DB if they discontinued Stug, I don’t know. And for me, Stug was simpler and more useful in that environment.
                  1. 0
                    27 March 2024 09: 47
                    Oooh, are you a fan of Pasholok? I welcome you very much. Don't you hang out at Tiger Corner for an hour? I'm participating there too.))
                    1. +1
                      27 March 2024 11: 58
                      Yes, I’m too old to get excited, it’s just that he comes across interesting materials, in particular on projects for the development of KV tanks. I myself work at Kirovsky, I often crossed paths with tank crews in my youth, so I’m reading.
                      In particular, the idea that if it had been decided to develop main rather than medium and heavy tanks since 1944, the IS-8 (T-10) would have been completely different, I heard from those involved in the creation of this vehicle.
                      1. 0
                        27 March 2024 13: 38
                        There are also a couple of very knowledgeable people, Alexey Makarov and Igor Zheltov. Both are employees of the T34 museum. Very knowledgeable people. I recommend.
        2. +1
          27 March 2024 07: 25
          Well, one can argue endlessly about German tank building during WWII.

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