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2 cm Flak 30/38*
The Flugabwehrkanone 30 and improved Flugabwehrkanone 38 were 20 mm anti-aircraft guns used by various German forces throughout World War II. It was not only the primary German light anti-aircraft gun but by far the most numerously produced German artillery piece throughout the war. It was produced in a variety of models, notably the Flakvierling 38 which combined four Flak 38 autocannons onto a single carriage.
2 cm Flakvierling 38*
Even as the Flak 30 was entering service, the Luftwaffe and Heer branches of the Wehrmacht had doubts about its effectiveness, given the ever-increasing speeds of low-altitude fighter-bombers and attack aircraft. The Army, in particular, felt the proper solution was the introduction of the 37 mm caliber weapons they had been developing since the 1920s, which had a rate of fire about the same as the Flak 38 but fired a round with almost eight times the weight. This not only made the rounds deadlier on impact, but their higher energy and ballistic coefficient allowed them to travel much longer distances, allowing the gun to engage targets at longer ranges. This meant it could keep enemy aircraft under fire over longer time spans.
The 20 mm weapons had always had weak development perspectives, often being reconfigured or redesigned just enough to allow the weapons to find use. Indeed, it came as a surprise when Rheinmetall introduced the 2 cm Flakvierling 38, which improved the weapon just enough to make it competitive once again. The term Vierling literally translates to quadruplet and refers to the four 20 mm gun constituting the design.
The Flakvierling weapon consisted of quad-mounted 2 cm 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. When raised, the weapon measured 307 cm (10 feet 1 inch) high.
Each of the four mounted guns had a separate magazine that held only 20 rounds. This meant that a maximum combined rate of fire of 1,400 rounds per minute was reduced practically to 800 rounds per minute for combat use – which would still require that a magazine is replaced every six seconds, on each of the four guns.
The gun was fired by a set of two pedals — each of which fired two diametrically opposite barrels — in either semi-automatic or fully automatic mode. The effective vertical range was 2,200 meters. It was also used just as effectively against ground targets as it was against low-flying aircraft.
3 cm MK 303 Flak*
The 3 cm MK 303 Flak (K) and twin-mounted 3 cm MK 303 Flakzwilling (M44) were experimental 30 mm anti-aircraft guns developed in Germany. They fired the powerful 30x210mm round and only 222 were produced. The gun was to be installed on Type XXI submarines as AA defense, and its use as AA defense replacing 2 cm Flak and 3.7 cm Flak weapons was also considered. The use of 3 cm MK 303 Flakzwilling on Flakpanzer IV Kugelblitz was considered but rejected. The development began in late 1941 and production started in late 1944.
In the 1950s, the MK 303 was produced in Czechoslovakia under the designation M53, with the clip feed replaced by a 10-round box magazine. It was also used as an armament of SPAAG M53/59 Praga.
3.7 cm Flak 18/36/37*
The 3.7 cm Flak 18/36/37 was a series of anti-aircraft cannon produced by Germany that saw widespread service in the Second World War. The cannon was fully automatic and effective against aircraft flying at altitudes up to 4,200 m. The cannon was produced in both towed and self-propelled versions. Having a flexible doctrine, the Germans used their anti-aircraft pieces in ground support roles as well, and 37 mm caliber guns were no exception to that. With Germany’s defeat, production ceased and overall 37 mm caliber anti-aircraft cannon fell into gradual disuse. They were replaced by the Bofors 40 mm gun and later by 35-mm anti-aircraft pieces produced in Switzerland.
3.7 cm Flak M42*
The 3.7 cm Flak M42 (K) was the marine version of the 3.7-centimeter (1.5 in) Flak 36/37 and used by the Kriegsmarine on surface ships and as the M42U on Type VII and Type IX U-boats. The 3.7 cm Flak M42U used several types of mounts and entered service in autumn 1943.
3.7 cm Flak 43*
The 3.7 cm Flak 43 (K) was a light anti-aircraft gun used by Germany during World War II. It was derived from the 3.7-centimeter (1.5 in) Flak 18/36/37 series of AA guns. It was provided with single- and twin-gun mounts, the latter being designated as the 3.7 cm Flak 43 Zwilling and was in service from 1944 to 1945. In addition to versions used by the Kriegsmarine, it served as the main armament of the Ostwind and Möbelwagen and was proposed for use in the Flakpanzer Coelian self-propelled AA guns.
3.7 cm SK C/30*
The 3.7 cm SK C/30 (K) was the Kriegsmarine’s primary 3.7 cm (1.5 in) anti-aircraft gun during the Second World War. It was superseded by the fully automatic 3.7 cm FlaK 43 late in the war.
5 cm FlaK 41*
The Flugabwehrkanone 41 was a German 50 mm (2.0 in) anti-aircraft gun produced for defending the intermediate zone above the range of light 37 mm (1.5 in) guns, but below the ceiling of the heavy 75 mm (3.0 in) and above pieces. The gun proved inadequate and was produced only in small numbers.
10.5 cm FlaK 38
The 10.5 cm FlaK 38 was a German anti-aircraft gun used during World War II by the Luftwaffe. An improved version was introduced as the 10.5 cm FlaK 39.
12.8 cm FlaK 40
The 12.8 cm FlaK 40 was a German World War II anti-aircraft gun. Although it was not produced in great numbers, it was one of the most effective heavy AA guns of its era.
105 mm FlaK 38
The 10.5 cm FlaK 38 was a German anti-aircraft gun used during World War II by the Luftwaffe as a competitor to the famed 8.8 cm FlaK 18. An improved version was introduced as the 10.5 cm FlaK 39.
The Gebirgsflak 38 was a German anti-aircraft weapon of World War II, a lightweight version of the 2 cm FlaK 38 designed for airborne and mountain troops as a dual-purpose gun for use against air and ground targets. The main difference was that the carriage was smaller and lighter than the carriage for the FlaK 38. The gun and carriage were designed to allow the weapon to be broken into several pack loads for transport. The carriage has two wheels and when raised the gun has a 360° traverse. Unlike the Flak 38, the light carriage is not designed for high towing speeds.
The Gebirgsflak 38 was fired using a foot pedal on the right front of the flak mount. The gun layer’s seat was mounted behind the gun and rotated with the mount in traverse. Elevating and traversing of the gun were manual using handwheels located on the right and left sides of the mount respectively. There are two speeds, high and low, in both elevating and traversing.
The Kommandogerät or Kappagerät 40 is the standard German predictor used to control the fire of 88-mm, 105-mm and 128-mm antiaircraft guns.
It is used with the various guns by fitting it to the appropriate cams. In the operation of the Kommandogerät 40 allowances can be made for a change of course as well as a change of height. The height and range-finder used is a stereoscopic instrument.
The low-UHF band Würzburg radar was the primary ground-based gun laying radar for the Luftwaffe and the Wehrmacht Heer (German Army) during World War II. Initial development took place before the war and the apparatus entered service in 1940. Eventually, over 4,000 Würzburgs of various models were produced. It took its name from the city of Würzburg.
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