3.7 cm Flak 18 and 36: Antiaircraft Gun

3.7 cm Flak 18 and Flak 36: Antiaircraft Gun

The performance of both the Flak 18 and the Flak 36 are approximately the same, the latter being the lighter and the more mobile version. The weapon is transported on a trailer; the chassis consisting of a “U” shaped steel frame mounted on two pneumatic tires. The weapon and its firing mount may be detached from the chassis by the aid of two winches. In firing position the mount rests on three adjustable firing pads. There are three seats provided; two for the gun pointers and one for the ammunition loader.

The gun has a monobloc tube. The firing mechanism is operated by recoil and residual pressure of gas in a manner similar to the 2 cm Flak 38.

The recoil mechanism is located inside the trough-shaped cradle with the buffer above and the recuperator below. Traversing and elevating mechanisms are operated by handwheels; the former providing a 360° traverse with 35 1/2 turns, and the latter giving a rate of about 4° for each turn. The gun is fired by means of a foot pedal connected to the trigger by a system of levers.

Armor-piercing ammunition is provided in addition to the regular high explosive ammunition, permitting the guns to be employed as antitank weapons.


Caliber       37 mm (1.45 ins.)
Weight (traveling position) Flak 36—5,290 lbs.
Weight (firing position) Flak 36—3,430 lbs.
Length of piece (including flash hider) 129 ins.
Length of rifling 71 ins.
Height of trunnions 44 ins.
Width (overall)
Length of bore
No. of grooves 20—R.H. plain section,
  Twist, increasing (1 in 50 to 1 in 40)
Width of grooves 0.197 in.
Depth of grooves 0.02 in.
Width of lands 0.08 in.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. Shell) 2,610 f/s*
Max. range (vertical) 13,775 ft.*
Max. range (horizontal) 7,080 yds.*
Effective ceiling 5000 ft.*
Rate of fire (practical) 80 r.p.m.
Traverse 360°
Elevation 85°
Depression -5°
Length of recoil
Ammunition A.P., H.E.
Wt. of projectile A.P.—1.5 lb.
  H.E.—1.4 lb.

*Not verified.

German: p. 130.1 (August 1, 1945)

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