Monthly Archive for October, 2009

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3.7 cm Flak 43: Antiaircraft Gun

3.7 cm Flak 43: Antiaircraft Gun

The 3.7 cm Flak 43, a light, fully-automatic, gas-operated antiaircraft weapon, may be statically emplaced, transported on a mobile mounting, or mounted on a self-propelled chassis. The gun consists of a removable, monobloc barrel fitted with a muzzle brake with six elongated ports and multi-perforated flash eliminator, and a breech casing which houses the breech mechanism. The gun is fed horizontally from the left in clips of eight rounds from a fixed loading tray, and is operated by the recoil of the gun itself. A hydro-spring buffer with variable recoil is located below the barrel, and two return springs lie side by side above the barrel.

Mounting is of the pedestal type, the gun being hung from a single-ring type trunnion on the right. The feed to the gun is mounted through the ring and on the axis of the trunnion, making unnecessary any alteration in the position of the center of gravity of the gun and other elevating parts with variation in the quantity of ammunition in the clips and feed mechanism. Elevating and traversing handwheels are both on the right of the gun, the former being vertical and the latter horizontal.

The equipment, which is of low build, is fitted with a shield varying in thickness from 9 mm at the center to 6 mm at the outer edges. The shield slopes backward at a 30° angle and is 4.2 feet high. In the middle is a space through which the mantlet elevates and depresses. A twin version of the 3.7 cm Flak 43 also exists. It is known as the 3.7 cm Flakzwilling 43.

The weapon fires only the single rotating band projectiles.


Caliber       37 mm (1.45 ins.)
Weight (traveling position)4,180 lbs.
Weight (firing position)2,750 lbs.
Length (traveling position)
Length (firing position)
Height (traveling position)
Height of trunnion29.9 ins.
Length of piece (excluding muzzle brake)9.68 ft.
Length of muzzle brake14.96 ins.
Length of bore7 ft.
No. of grooves20
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (HE shell)2,750 f/s
Max. range (horizontal)7,200 yds. (approx.)
Effective range (vertical)9,000 ft. (approx.)
Rate of fire (theoretical)250 rds./min.
     (practical)150 rds./min.
Type of recoilVariable
AmmunitionAP/HE; H.E.; HE/T-HE/I/T;
HE/I and HE/I/short T

German: p. 130.2 (August 1, 1945)

10.5 cm Geb. H. 40: Mountain Howitzer

10.5 cm Geb. H. 40: Mountain Howitzer

The 10.5 cm Geb. H. 40, introduced into the German Army in 1942, is the companion piece to the 7.5 cm Geb. G. 36 described on page 118. Its design is basically the same as that of the 10.5 cm le. F. H. 18 (M). The weapon can be split into nine loads for transport.

The barrel, of monobloc construction, is fitted with a double baffle muzzle brake with wide side flanges; the breech mechanism is of the horizontal sliding block type. A hydraulic buffer is built into the cradle on which the barrel slides in recoil, and a hydro-pneumatic recuperator is mounted above the barrel.

The split trail carriage has trails of riveted box construction which are fitted with large detachable spades. It is mounted on wheels of cast light alloy with detachable rims and solid rubber tires. The wheels are mounted on stub axles fitted to the trail legs and remain parallel to the legs when they are opened. Internal expanding brakes, adjusted by a handwheel from the front, are fitted to both wheels. The traversing and elevating handwheels are located on the left and right sides of the carriage respectively.

There are two range drum scales: one in mils ranging from 0 to 1,250; the other in meters ranging from 0 to 1,500 for hollow charge ammunition and from 1,500 to 9,675 for high explosive shells, both with charge 6 in the lower register.


Caliber         105 mm (4.14 ins.)
Weight (traveling position)
Weight (firing position) 3,660 lb.
Length of piece 10 ft., 4 ins.
Length (firing position) 18 ft., 6 ins.
Height (traveling position)
Height (firing position) 4 ft., 11 ins.
Width (overall) 4 ft., 6 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 9 ft., 5 ins.
No. of grooves 32
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity 1,870 f/s
Max. range (horizontal) 13,807 yds. (Chg. 7)
Max. range (vertical)
Rate of fire
Traverse 25°, 20′ left and right
Elevation 70°
Depression -4°, 47′
Length of recoil (variable) 19.7 ins. to 49.2 ins.
Ammunition 10.5 cm F.H. Gr. Al. (32 lb.)*
10.5 cm F.H. Gr. 38 Al.
10.5 cm F.H. Gr. Buntrauch (32 lb.)
10.5 cm 39 rot HL/A and HL/B (25.8 lb.)–Chg. 6 only.
10.5 cm 39 rot AL/C

*A star shell is also reported to be fired with Charge 6.

German: p. 108.2

Pz. Sp. Wg. II Luchs (Sd. Kfz. 123)—”Lynx”: Full-Tracked Armored Car

Pz. Sp. Wg. II Luchs (Sd. Kfz. 123) -- Lynx: Full-Tracked Armored Car

This vehicle, one model of which is shown above, is called an armored car by the Germans. Production began in 1941 and continued through 1943. Models VK 1201, VK 1202, and VK 1303 were manufactured by Maschienfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg.

The box-shaped superstructure is built in with the hull chassis. The thickness of armor of the Lynx is 30 mm on the front of the turret and hull and 20 mm on the turret and hull sides. One gasoline tank located inside on the right holds 83 gallons.

Track guards are provided well over the sprockets and idlers only. The turret roof slopes down towards the front and terminates in a cylindrical shape. The engine compartment is at the rear. Old models had smoke projectors, three on each side which were electrically operated. New model 1303 has no such provision.

Throat microphones were used for intra-tank communication. Periscopes and an optical sighting device are provided in the turret.

The suspension consists of torsion bar straddle-mounted Christie type bogie wheels with center guide steel track, front drive sprocket and rear idler.

The first two models were equipped with Dreislufenlenkung, three-step clutch type steering, while Model VK 1303 has the same system as the Panther—Einradien-Lenkgetriebe, one radius steering. Evolution of this vehicle stems from development of the Pz. Kpfw. II, Models D and E. It is believed that this vehicle served its main purpose in perfecting one radius steering.

The transmission is synchromesh selective and adapts itself to the steering mechanism. There are seven speeds forward and one reverse; synchromesh cones are provided for all gear ratios except low and reverse.


Weight       12.9 tons
Length (overall)15 ft., 2 ins.
Width (overall)8 ft., 1 1/2 ins.
Height (overall)7 ft., 3 ins.
Ground clearance16 ins.
Tread centers6 ft., 10 ins.
Ground contact7 ft., 3 ins.
Width of track14 ins.
Pitch of track
Track links67
Fording depth4 ft., 7 ins.
Theoretical radius of action
     Roads155 miles
     Cross-country93 miles
     Roads50 m.p.h.
     Cross-Country25-30 m.p.h.
     Front30 mm
     Sides20 mm
ArmamentOne 2 cm Kw. K. 38 and one 7.92 mm M. G. 34
Ammunition (Rds.)400 (2 cm): 1.200 (M. G. 34)
Engine178 British B.H.P.
TransmissionSynchromesh, 7 speeds forward; 1 reverse
SteeringOne radius double drive epicyclic

German: p. 8.1