Military Review

ZSU 3.7 cm FlaK auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV (sf) / Möbelwagen (Germany)

22
From a certain time, Hitlerite Germany began to pay great attention to promising projects of anti-aircraft self-propelled guns. The situation on the fronts is constantly changing, aviation the enemy posed an increasing danger, because of which the troops needed self-propelled air defense equipment. The first projects in this area made it possible to partially solve the urgent task, supplying the troops with new ZSU, but further development of a promising area was required. In 1943-44, the creation of new self-propelled guns based on the medium tank Pz.Kpfw.IV. The first such machine was the Zaku Flakpanzer IV or 3.7 cm FlaK auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV (sf), also known as Möbelwagen.


Work on the creation of self-propelled anti-aircraft based on the tank Pz.Kpfw.IV started at the beginning of 1943 year. The industry has already mastered the mass production of such tanks, which allowed them to be used as the basis for new armored vehicles. In addition, the use of such a chassis made it possible to achieve maximum unification with front-line equipment and thereby facilitate operation. Also, unified chassis allowed self-propelled guns to operate freely in some combat formations with tanks.


Möbelwagen at the front. On the site and on the ground are boxes with shell clips. Photo Worldwarphotos.info


At the very beginning of 1943, Krupp began work on a relatively simple ZSU project based on a production tank. With the machine Pz.Kpfw.IV it was proposed to remove the tower and mount a solid roof. It, in turn, should have installed a quad-mounted automatic cannon Flak 38, known as 2 cm Flakvierling 38. Such a system could fire at a practical rate of fire to 700-800 shots per minute and hit targets at ranges of the order of 2-2,2 km. Thus, a promising self-propelled gun had the ability to deal with various modern anti-Hitler coalition aircraft.

The project of a similar ZSU, designated 2cm Flakvierling auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV, was presented to the army. In the first months of 1943, the company-developer built a prototype of such a machine and conducted its tests. The checks were successful, but the military was not interested in such a proposal. Some features of the proposed machine did not suit the potential customer, because of which in mid-May the project was officially closed.

One of the complaints about the 2cm Flakvierling auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV project concerned the use of 20-mm guns. Even with four automatic weapons, the firepower of the self-propelled gun might not be enough to solve some problems. In addition, the prospective enemy aircraft could be too difficult a target for 20-mm guns. For this reason, it was decided to continue the development of the existing project by using the new weapons with higher performance. The new version of the anti-aircraft armored vehicle was proposed to be equipped with an automatic gun caliber 37 mm.


Tank Panzerkampfwagen IV, which became the basis for a whole series of ZSU. Wikimedia Commons Photos


The basis of the promising ZSU, as in the case of the previous project, was to become a serial medium tank Pz.Kpfw.IV. For the installation of tools and auxiliary equipment, he had to lose some units, first of all towers with all the appropriate equipment. In addition, on the podbashennoy box should be mounted solid armor sheet roof, serving as a support for weapons. The rest of the body of the tank remained the same, which, among other things, allowed to build self-propelled self-propelled guns on the basis of tanks of various modifications.

During the modernization of the new project, the base tank retained the armor hull with homogeneous protection up to 80 mm thick. The corps had a traditional German tank layout with a front control compartment, a central combat compartment and aft engine compartment. At the same time, part of the transmission units was moved forward and tied to the engine using a propeller shaft. After installing the roof inside the hull of the prospective ZSU, there remained a relatively large space that was proposed to be used for the transportation of various cargoes, primarily ammunition.

ZSU 3.7 cm FlaK auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV (sf) / Möbelwagen (Germany)
The first version of the ZSU based on Pz.Kpfw.IV, equipped with quad installation with 20-mm guns. Photo Aviarmor.net


Tanks Pz.Kpfw.IV equipped with gasoline engines of various types with power from 250 to 300 HP With the help of a cardan shaft passing through the central part of the body, torque was transmitted to the main clutch connected to the manual gearbox. Depending on the modification of the tank used five or six-speed gearbox. Transmission transmitted torque to the drive wheels of the front location.

The undercarriage of the tank and, accordingly, the new self-propelled gun had eight small compact wheels on each side. The rollers were installed in pairs on balancers with leaf springs. Driving wheels were placed in the front of the hull, guides - in the stern. To support the upper branch of the caterpillar there were several rollers.

During the rework, the tank was to lose the tower and get a new roof. In addition, as in the case of the previous project, the use of armored cutting was envisaged. Above the sides, as well as in front and behind, the platform for the instrument had to be covered by folding armor plates with a thickness of 25 mm. In the stowed position, the sheets rose to a vertical position and formed a duct covering the gun and its calculation from bullets and fragments. During combat work, the sheets should be lowered into a horizontal position, after which they did not interfere with the movement of the instrument, and also formed a platform for calculation. In addition, it was possible to maintain protection during the shooting. To this end, swinging devices of a complex shape were provided on the front and stern sheets, with the help of which it was possible to fix the beads in an inclined position, increasing the available space for the calculation.


Self-propelled gun in the fighting position: the tailgate is lowered, the side ones are set at an angle, the gun is raised. Photo Aviarmor.net


As the main weapon for attacking air targets, the 37-mm Flak 43 automatic gun was chosen. In the center of the upper platform of the hull, it was necessary to install the installation, which would provide guidance of the gun in a circle and with elevation angles up to 90 °. The installation was equipped with manual guidance drives. There was a shield to cover the gunners from the shelling in front, equipped with a movable gun mask.

The FlaK 43 cannon was supposed to use 37x263 mm B ammunition with several types of shells. She had a 37-mm barrel length 57 calibers. Automatics based on a gas engine made it possible to fire at a technical rate of fire up to 250 shots per minute. However, due to the use of an ammunition system based on clips with 8 shells, the practical rate of fire could not exceed 150-170 rounds per minute. Depending on the type of projectile, the initial velocity was 770-820 m / s. Effective firing at air targets was provided at distances of no more than 4,5-4,8 km, at ground targets - up to 6,5 km. In several packings inside the case, it was possible to place the ammunition as part of 52 clips with 416 shells.


Self-propelled gun while shooting. All sides are lowered and form a platform for the work of gunners. Photo Worldwarphotos.info


The new anti-aircraft self-propelled project also provided for the use of additional weapons. It was proposed to place the MG34 machine gun with ammunition in the styling of the hull. In addition, the crew could have personal weapons, which also should be used for self-defense.

The crew of the self-propelled gun consisted of six people. Two of them, a driver and a radio operator, were located in front of the hull. Others (commander, gunner and shells carriers) were to be placed and work on the gun platform. Their task was the operation of weapons and the implementation of various operations for its maintenance. According to other data, the crew was supposed to consist of four or seven people, depending on the assigned combat mission.

The combat weight of the new ZSU reached 26 m. The length of the vehicle did not exceed 6 m, width 3 m, height –2,7 m. The 300-strong engine could accelerate the self-propelled gun to 38 km / h. Fuel tanks with a total volume of 470 l allowed to go to 200 km on the highway or 130 km on the road.


"Furniture van" in Normandy, 1944 g. Photo by Wikimedia Commons


The new project, taking into account the basic components, received the official designation 3.7 cm FlaK auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV (sf). In addition, by analogy with previous developments, the alternative designation Flakpanzer IV was introduced - “Anti-aircraft tank based on Pz.Kpfw.IV”. However, a similar name was applied to other vehicles based on this medium tank. The project received the unofficial nickname Möbelwagen (“Wardrobe for furniture”). The appearance of such a name has contributed to the form of armor felling guns in the stowed position.

In October 1943, the company Krupp assembled the first prototype of a new self-propelled anti-aircraft installation. Perhaps it was based on the chassis, which was used as the basis for the previous prototype with four 20-mm guns. In early December, “Van for furniture” was shown to the country's leadership, after which it determined its further fate. In view of the temporary lack of alternatives, it was decided to adopt the new machine and deploy its mass production. The corresponding order appeared at the end of January 1944.


Armored car at the front. Photo Aviarmor.net


The production of machines was entrusted to the enterprises of Deutsche-Eisenwerke and BMM. It was planned to launch the assembly of machinery in February, but in fact it began only in March. In order to save manpower and resources, as well as to avoid reducing the supply of armored vehicles to the front, it was decided to abandon the construction of tracked chassis specifically for assembling ZSU. Instead, it was proposed to use the tanks available in the troops. Some of the armored vehicles of the Pz.Kpfw.IV type arriving to the rear were supposed to undergo repairs and receive new weapons, changing their role on the battlefield. This approach to the production of self-propelled guns allowed to reduce costs, as well as speed up the necessary work.

The first 3.7 cm FlaK auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV (sf) serial machines were built by the beginning of April 1944. After some checks, two dozen cars went to the troops. In mid-June, this equipment was delivered to Western Europe and transferred to one of the units already engaged in hostilities. In the future, production and delivery of self-propelled guns continued.

ZSU Flakpanzer IV was produced during the year. The assembly of the first machines of this type began in March 1944, and the latest serial self-propelled guns left the assembly shops in March of the 45. Due to some technical and technological limitations, the two contracting plants for the year managed to build only 240 (according to other data, 250) “Vans for furniture”. All this equipment was sent to various anti-aircraft units of armored forces. Deliveries were made mainly in units fighting in Western Europe. Since the opening of the Second Front, the Allied forces seized the initiative in the air, as a result of which German troops suffered heavy losses from aviation and needed means of protection against such threats.


The only surviving sample in combat configuration. The logging sides are fixed at an angle. Wikimedia Commons Photos


The operation of the 3.7 cm FlaK auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV anti-aircraft self-propelled gun (sf) continued until the very end of the war in Europe. Such equipment, being a significant threat to the aviation of the anti-Hitler coalition, was at particular risk, which led to serious losses. However, by the end of the war at least a few dozen self-propelled guns remained in the ranks. After the end of hostilities they became trophies of the allies. Due to the development of the resource and the lack of serious prospects, almost all of these machines were disposed of as useless. Only one sample of the Möbelwagen machine has been preserved, which is now stored in one of the German museums.

Since the beginning of 1943, the German industry has been working on the creation of promising self-propelled anti-aircraft installations based on the Pz.Kpfw.IV medium tank. The first result of these works, which reached mass production and operation in the army, was the “Van for furniture”. Soon there were several other projects that are often referred to by the general name Flakpanzer IV. According to some reports, the 3.7 cm FlaK auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV (sf) machine was launched into the series as a temporary solution in anticipation of a newer technology with enhanced performance. In practice, the production of Flakpantser-4 several options for several months was conducted in parallel.

ZNU 3.7 cm FlaK auf Fahrgestell Panzerkampfwagen IV (sf) became the founder of a whole family, and also remained in stories as the most massive of his representative. Nevertheless, two and a half hundreds of combat vehicles could hardly have a serious impact on the course of hostilities. New technology with enhanced characteristics appeared quite late, which did not allow it to seriously delay the defeat of Nazi Germany.


On the materials of the sites:
http://aviarmor.net/
http://achtungpanzer.com/
http://armor.kiev.ua/
http://wehrmacht-history.com/
http://panzerworld.com/
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22 comments
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  1. bionik
    bionik 31 March 2016 07: 33
    +15
    "Family Photo" - Flakpanzer IV Ostwind, Möbelwagen, Wirbelwind.
  2. tchoni
    tchoni 31 March 2016 08: 38
    +4
    and yet it was one of the most successful zsu of that war
  3. kugelblitz
    kugelblitz 31 March 2016 08: 58
    +12
    Unfortunately, ours released their analogs of the "furniture car" quite a bit, and did not participate in battles either. But it could have become a serious problem for the same Fw.190F-3, when escorting tank columns.

    1. hardroc
      hardroc 31 March 2016 12: 04
      +2
      Quote: kugelblitz
      But it could become a serious problem for the same Fw.190F-3, accompanied by tank columns.

      Could. If it was armed with a 72-K cannon. Or a pair of DShK.
      A 61-K were anti-aircraft guns are not very successful. The rate of fire is only 120 rounds per minute with a rate of fire of 160-170 rounds. For an accidentally flying nearby aircraft, this was enough. For intense fire during an enemy attack, no.
      With sufficient training calculation 72-K provided twice the density of fire per minute. Those. at working altitudes of aircraft up to 2 km (and there are no higher attacks) the 72-K replaced the 2 61-K.
      Spark DShK gave a rate of 160 rounds per minute with a firing rate of 1100-1200 rounds with a reach of 2,5 km in height.
      1. hohol95
        hohol95 31 March 2016 21: 05
        0
        The whole world of the Bofors L60 40 mm suited and was used in all theaters of World War II, and its Soviet counterpart 61-K, in your opinion, was no good?
        And the combat rate of fire was 60 rounds per minute - BATTLE !!!
        And I think in his Western analogue no more! And the BOFORES of Aglitsky and American production were delivered under Lend-Lease and fought together with 61-K!
        1. hardroc
          hardroc 31 March 2016 22: 56
          0
          Quote: hohol95
          and its Soviet counterpart 61-K, in your opinion, was no good?

          Well, to begin with, the rumors circulated in the internet that the 61-K is almost a complete analogue of the Bofors L60 are just rumors. DE 900g. Beaufors's projectile was 325 kJ. DE 758g. the 61-K projectile was 293 kJ. It is clearly seen that the number of explosives in the shells differed very significantly. At the same time, in the land version 61-K LOOKS LITTLE AND HARMONIOUS than Bofors. Because despite the same projectile weight being thrown per minute, it provided 20% greater fire density. And although its power is also clearly overestimated, it is less than that of Beaufors.
          But the fact of the matter is that the land Bofors is a sea-based Bofors rework. And the real Bofors, he is sea-based, i.e. water cooling. This Bofors was famous for its performance characteristics, and not the ground garbage based on it.
          But the Soviet analogue of such a sea Bofors did not exist. Marine 37-mm 70-K from 61-K differed little. And it was just as unsuitable for its intended use as the 61-K.
          Therefore, it is necessary to compare 2 different types of weapons:
          1. Sea-based - here Bofors did not leave the 70-K any chance.
          2. Land based - here 61-K was noticeably better than Beaufors. Although, I repeat, 72-K in those days was more appropriate than 61-K and Bofors.
          Quote: hohol95
          And the combat rate of fire was 60 rounds per minute - BATTLE !!!

          Do not fantasize. Bofors combat rate of 100 rounds per minute.
          Quote: hohol95
          And I think in his Western analogue no more!

          Good concept. The main thing is very specific.
          Quote: hohol95
          And the BOFORES of Aglitsky and American production were delivered under Lend-Lease and fought together with 61-K!

          I assure you, one Bofors is much better than one empty place. And even one trilinear is better than him. Therefore, this argument is extremely doubtful.
          Quote: hohol95
          The whole world Bofors L60 40 mm arranged and it was used in all theaters of the Second World War

          I can tell you a lot of weapons that were widely used in the Second World War, and then removed from weapons. Because of his crap. Or a very radical redo.
          1. hohol95
            hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 14
            +1
            Because of its lustiness based on the L60, the Swedes made and sold L70s!
            1. hardroc
              hardroc 31 March 2016 23: 41
              -1
              Quote: hohol95
              Because of its lustiness based on the L60, the Swedes made and sold L70s!

              L70, it's a little different.
              1. hohol95
                hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 50
                +1
                They added 60 to exactly 10 and got 70! Other but the parent is L60!
                1. hardroc
                  hardroc April 1 2016 00: 22
                  0
                  Quote: hohol95
                  They added 60 to exactly 10 and got 70! Other but the parent is L60!

                  So you can derive a pedigree from the musket.
                  I repeat, L70, this is not L (60 + 10).
          2. hohol95
            hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 16
            +1
            Do not fantasize. Beaufors fighting rate of 100 rounds per minute. !!!!
            Do you think it is realistic to load 100 shells per minute into a firing gun? Even packs of 4 or 5 shells?
            1. hardroc
              hardroc 31 March 2016 23: 42
              -1
              Quote: hohol95
              Do you think it is realistic to load 100 shells per minute into a firing gun? Even packs of 4 or 5 shells?

              Easy. In 61-K and 120 rounds per minute they managed to charge.
              1. hohol95
                hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 51
                +1
                25 mm is not the same as 40 mm or 37 mm!
                1. hardroc
                  hardroc April 1 2016 00: 24
                  -1
                  Quote: hohol95
                  25 mm is not the same as 40 mm or 37 mm!

                  Read again what I wrote.
                  1. hohol95
                    hohol95 April 1 2016 19: 47
                    +1
                    What you are not quick-witted! And did you think about the mass of the shell shell? Her shells! Pick it up! And put it in the receiver! At the same time, in the clip of 25 mm 72-K shells there were 7 pieces !!! And the L60 has 4 pieces (alas, I don’t know the weight)! 61-K has 5 pieces - 8 kg clip !!!
                    1. hardroc
                      hardroc April 1 2016 23: 13
                      -1
                      Quote: hohol95
                      At the same time, in the clip of 25 mm 72-K shells there were 7 pieces !!!

                      Stumble. But where does the 72-K?
                      1. hohol95
                        hohol95 April 2 2016 18: 04
                        0
                        Cunningly you do! For the DP-27, it means your rate of fire is 600 rounds per minute and the combat rate of fire is 60-80 rounds, but for small-caliber anti-aircraft guns you deny this !!
                      2. hardroc
                        hardroc April 3 2016 16: 31
                        0
                        Quote: hohol95
                        and with small-caliber anti-aircraft guns you deny it

                        Do not invent nonsense. These are 2 different characteristics of any automatic weapon. Therefore, I have never denied anything like this.
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  4. Denimax
    Denimax 31 March 2016 21: 15
    +1
    There were many applicants. DShK and ShVAK guns were available on light tanks. But they did not have anti-aircraft angles vertically.
    By the way, the word "wagen" is more of a figurative concept, you can add another word to it and get a very definite meaning. For example Lastwagen: cargo + cart = truck.
    1. hohol95
      hohol95 31 March 2016 22: 45
      +1
      TNSH-20 (tank ShVAK) is understandable, BUT DSCHK that the machine gun was anti-aircraft! The only downside is the one-sided tape feed! Drum discs were no longer made and it was therefore very difficult to make paired installations DShK!
      1. hardroc
        hardroc 31 March 2016 23: 00
        0
        Quote: hohol95
        and because of this it was very difficult to make twin DShK installations

        Not really.
        1. hohol95
          hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 13
          +1
          This photo was not the only one with the three DShK receiver system! But how many were made?
          1. hardroc
            hardroc 31 March 2016 23: 24
            -1
            Then this option arr. 1938
            1. hohol95
              hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 41
              +1
              and where does this product stand? by chance not in the Israeli museum?
              1. hardroc
                hardroc 31 March 2016 23: 43
                -1
                Quote: hohol95
                and where does this product stand? by chance not in the Israeli museum?

                Not excluded. And what does it matter?
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            2. hohol95
              hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 45
              +1
              This is a post-war product !!! Not in 1938!
              1. hardroc
                hardroc 31 March 2016 23: 48
                -1
                Quote: hohol95
                This is a post-war product !!! Not in 1938!

                So be it. Nevertheless, they somehow managed to feed the tape.
                1. hohol95
                  hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 52
                  +1
                  This is an installation based on DShK-M! Ribbon feed on both sides! Post-war modernization! From such installations knocked down turntables over the island of GRENADA!
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                  3. hardroc
                    hardroc April 1 2016 01: 00
                    0
                    Quote: hohol95
                    Post-war modernization!

                    Hard to tell. The receiver cover is not visible. A DT of this design was also on the DShK. But what can I say unequivocally, this installation is not arr. 1938
                    During the war there were many sparks based on the DShK with various types of food.
                    This is a tape 2-UK (the very first, still pre-war). And store MSTU, 2-M1, DShKM-2 and DShKM-2B (tower). At the same time, the DShKM-2 installations were based on the DShK machine gun, and not the DShKM arr. 1946
                    At the bottom of the boat Komsomolets project 123bis with 2x2 2-UK.
                2. hohol95
                  hohol95 April 1 2016 19: 51
                  0
                  Let it be or you - FALSE ???
                  On yours it turns out - "IF ON THE CAGE WITH AN ELEPHANT IS WRITTEN A BUFFOL - DO NOT BELIEVE YOUR EYES !!!"
            3. hohol95
              hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 47
              0
              Sparks were on torpedo and armored boats !!!
              1. hardroc
                hardroc April 1 2016 01: 02
                0
                This is a 2-M1 arr. 1945
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    2. hardroc
      hardroc 31 March 2016 23: 39
      -1
      Quote: Denimax
      There were many applicants. DShK and ShVAK guns

      No, TNS was not suitable for anti-aircraft. She wasn’t good for tank. Yes, and in aviation, so-so.
      In fact, just as it was a powerful short-range machine gun, it remained with them. Although for aviation, such a rework probably made some sense (although at its rate of fire this is also doubtful). But on the ground there was little sense from the 20-mm TNSh. Speaking very figuratively, then the 14,5-mm CPV, this is the TSP, only in the correct caliber.
      1. hohol95
        hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 58
        +1
        What was then used!
        1. hardroc
          hardroc April 1 2016 00: 25
          -1
          Quote: hohol95
          What was then used!

          Where was it? At the department store? This "was" organized for themselves.
      2. hohol95
        hohol95 April 1 2016 19: 55
        0
        A 20-mm Breda 35 was suitable or German KwK 30 and KwK 38 (although they had the ability to conduct a single fire) ??? But TNSH-20 is better in penetration and off-line impact than DShK!
        1. hardroc
          hardroc April 1 2016 23: 16
          -1
          Quote: hohol95
          But TNSH-20 is better in penetration and off-line impact than DShK

          But does anyone argue with this? This is actually a weapon of a different class. Of course, weapons of a higher class (TNSH / ShVAK) possessed more advanced TTX than DShK.
          True, KPV in all respects is better than TNSh / ShVAK. And this weapon is exactly the same class.
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  • Volga Cossack
    Volga Cossack 31 March 2016 10: 09
    +5
    a good series of articles - thank you - I read it with pleasure! we are waiting for - Kugelblitz.
  • Morglenn
    Morglenn 31 March 2016 13: 25
    +3
    I am following this series of articles with interest. The author is very grateful for the work! I look forward to an article about Kugelblitz and Coelian.
  • hohol95
    hohol95 31 March 2016 22: 56
    +1
    72-K in the back of the Gas-MM
    1. hardroc
      hardroc 31 March 2016 23: 05
      0
      Then we do not forget such an option.
      1. hohol95
        hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 19
        0
        shovel my entire archive?
  • hohol95
    hohol95 31 March 2016 22: 57
    +1
    DShK in the back of a pickup truck Gaz-M415
  • hohol95
    hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 00
    0
    YAG-10 with 76 mm 3-K
  • hohol95
    hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 05
    0
    Abandoned GAZ-60 with ZPU M4.
    1. hardroc
      hardroc 31 March 2016 23: 08
      0
      It was much more so.
      1. hohol95
        hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 22
        +1
        It was! One of the Teutonic pilots of "SHTUKI" complained that the Russians had not loaded cartridges with tracers into such an installation and he practically did not see the tracks of the anti-aircraft gunners! Shot down his poor fellow !!!
  • hohol95
    hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 06
    0
    The Germans did not disdain the trophy lawn with the DShK !!!
  • hohol95
    hohol95 31 March 2016 23: 28
    0
    And the German truck body did not disdain!
  • Zeeke
    Zeeke April 4 2016 16: 36
    0
    YAG-10 with 76 mm 3-K - a decent car.