Tag Archive for 'flak'

2 cm Flak 38: A.A./A.T. Gun

2 cm Flak 38: A.A./A.T. Gun

The Flak 38 was introduced in 1940 to replace the 2 cm Flak 30. Its performance does not differ materially from that of the earlier weapon, except for a higher cyclic rate of fire of 450 rounds per minute.

The gun is operated by short barrel recoil and the residual pressure of gas in the barrel. Recoil unlocks the breech and imparts rearward acceleration to the breechblock carrier. This rearward acceleration is assisted by gas pressure after unlocking has been completed so that the breechblock travels back with sufficient force to perform the operations of extraction, ejection, and compression of the return spring.

The energy required for closing the breech and carrying a fresh round to the chamber is provided by the return spring, assisted at first by the buffer spring.

The breechblock is of the Solothurn type. Any tendency toward rebound is counteracted by the impact of an inertia block at the end of the forward movement. The barrel has resistance rings which brake the recoil and forward movements of the barrel; a buffer and buffer spring arrest the backward movement of the breech block.

This weapon may be adjusted for either semi-automatic or full-automatic fire. It is fired by a foot pedal. Cartridges are fed from a 20-round curved box magazine hinged on the left of the gun.

The mounting consists principally of the base, cradle, traversing and elevating gears, firing mechanism, and lighting equipment.

Traverse is 10° per turn of handwheel in fine gear and 30° in coarse gear; rate of elevation or depression is 4° per turn in fine gear and 12° in coarse gear.

The weapon, which is transported on a trailer, may be mounted on railways cars or road vehicles. When traveling over difficult country, gun and mounting may be split into six loads.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         20 mm (.79 in.)
Length of tube
Weight (travelling position) 1,630 lb.
Weight (firing position) 924 lb.
Length (travelling position) 157 ins.
Height (travelling position) 67 ins.
Height (firing position) 30 ins. mounted flush
Width (overall) 71 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 44 ins.
No. of grooves
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (HE shell) 2,950 f.s. (A.P. shell)
2,624 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 5,246 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 4,012 yds.
Rate of fire 220 rds. (practical), 450 (theoretical)
Traverse 360°
Elevation +90°
Depression -20°
Length of recoil
Ammunition H.E. four types; A.P. two types
Wt. of 1 magazine of 20 rds 21 lb.

German: p. 136

2 cm Flak 30: Antiaircraft Gun

2 cm Flak 30: Antiaircraft Gun

The Flak 30 was the principal armament of German light antiaircraft units since the beginning of the war in Europe until the introduction of the 2 cm Flak 38 and 2 cm Flak 38 Vierling. The gun, which may be mounted on road or railway vehicles, is normally transported on a single-axle trailer which is drawn by either horse or motor vehicle. It is usually fired with its mounting on the ground and with the trailer removed. However, it can be fired from the trailer at both ground or aerial targets in emergencies.

This recoil-operated weapon is fed by a flat 20-round box magazine. The trigger mechanism is pedal-actuated; operation is either full-automatic or semi-automatic.

The barrel slides in the body with the barrel extension. A combined muzzle brake and flash eliminator is screwed to the muzzle and retained by a catch. The barrel extension is slotted on the right and left sides for ejection and feed respectively.

The body is formed to receive the barrel extension, which is hinged near the rear end of the body. The barrel return spring, buffer spring, buffer, and rod and sleeve are housed in a casing secured to the body at the rear.

The sights used are the Flakvisier 35, and the Linealvisier 21, the former is of the reflecting-mirror type with a data-calculating mechanism; the latter is a direct antiaircraft sight embodying course, speed, and range adjustment.

The gun carriage consists of a firm under carriage and a revolving top carriage supported on ball bearings. The under carriage is leveled by three adjustable feet, and is provided with a spirit level. The top carriage has a cradle which is adjustable for elevation. The elevation handwheel is located on the right side of the top carriage, and the traversing handwheel at the back.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         2 cm (.79 in.)
Length of tube
Weigth (travelling position) 1,697 lb.
Weight (firing position) 992 lb.
Length (travelling position) 160 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position) 63 ins.
Height (firing position) 29 ins. mounted flush
Width (overall); (travelling position) 72 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore
No. of grooves
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 2,950 f.s.
(A.P. shell) 2,624 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 5,246 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 4,012 yds.
Rate of fire 120 practical; theoretical 280
Traverse 360°
Elevation +90°
Depression -10°
Length of recoil
Ammunition H.E. (four types); A.P. (two types)
Wt. of 1 magazine of 20 rds 21 lb.

German: p. 135

2 cm Flak 38 Geb.: A.A./A.T. Mountain Gun

Gebirgsflak 38: 2 cm Flak 38 Geb.: A.A./A.T. Mountain Gun

The 2 cm Flak 38, used in mountainous territory, is a semi- or full-automatic, short recoil operated gun. It is fed with a box type magazine containing 20 rounds. The breechblock is of the Solothurn type. The barrel is equipped with a flash hider. It is the 2 cm Flak 38 gun on a light mount.

This weapon is fired by means of a foot pedal on the right front of the mount. The layer’s seat behind the gun rotates with the mount in traverse. Elevating and traversing are manual by means of handwheels located on the right and left sides of the mount respectively. There are two speeds both in elevating and traversing; high speed is obtained by compressing a lever in the handwheel grip.

A small shield is attached to the front of the cradle, and a large shield of two sections is attached to the front of the mount. This mount is a two-wheeled, pneumatic-tired trailer and pack type which may be towed by a prime mover or taken apart and transported in sections by horse or foot troops.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         20 mm (.79 in.)
Length of tube (with flash hider) 56.6 ins.
Weigth (travelling position) 825 lb.
Weight (firing position) 690 lb.
Length (travelling position) 143 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position) 50-57 ins.
Height (firing position) 31-42 ins. mounted flush
Width (overall); (travelling position) 47 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 44 ins.
No. of grooves
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 2,950 f.s.;
(A.P. shell) 2,624 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 5,246 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 4,012 yds.
Rate of fire 220 yds. (practical): 450 (theoretical)
Traverse 360°
Elevation +90°
Depression -20°
Length of recoil
Ammunition H.E. (four types): A.P. (two types)
Wt. of 1 magazine of 20 rds 21 lb.

German: p. 137

2 cm Flakvierling 38: A.A./A.T. Gun

2 cm Flakvierling 38: A.A./A.T. Gun

The 2 cm Flakvierling 38, consisting of four 2 cm Flak 38′s on a quadruple mounting, may be employed against both ground and aerial targets. It is normally transported on a trailer (Sd. Ah. 52) but may be mounted on railed or semi-tracked vehicles. The Trailer 52 consists of a wishbone-shaped, welded 1/4 inch steel plate frame supported on pneumatic tires. Because of its collapsing seats, folding handles, and handy ammunition racks, the Flakvierling 38 is a trim, compact, and conveniently operated weapon. The monobloc barrels may be quickly and easily changed, and the piece rapidly emplaced for fire.

The method of operation is basically that of the Solothurn. Both barrel and bolt recoil a short distance together; the barrel stops, and the bolt continues on to the rear. The guns fire from an open bolt position and may be operated either automatically or semi-automatically. Each one is equipped with a spring type equilibrator that is attached to the mount.

The mount consists of a triangular base which has a jack at each apex for leveling the gun when it is in firing position; a traversing ring which is fixed to the base and upon which the carriage body sits; and the carriage body, which in turn supports the four barrels and accessories. A compensator bolted to the carriage body counteracts muzzle preponderance.

The guns are fired by a set of foot pedals; each of two pedals fires two diametrically opposite guns. The mount is traversed and elevated manually by the tracker who has the two handwheels within easy reach. Empty cartridge cases are ejected toward the center of the gun mount into chutes leading to a deflector box which holds about 500 cases.

Sighting equipment for the Flakvierling 38 consists of the tachymetric sight, Flakvisier 40, or for ground targets, the Linealvisier 21.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         2 cm (.79 in.)
Length of tube 45.82 ins. plus flash hider of 5.75 ins.
Weight (travelling position) 4,890 lb.
Weight (firing position) 3,200 lb.
Length (overall) 169 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position) 84 ins.
Height (firing position) guns elevated 10 ft., 1 in.
Width (overall), (travelling position) 95 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore
No. of grooves 8 lands and grooves
Width of grooves
Depth of grooves
Width of lands
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 2,950 f.s.
(A.P. shell) 2,624 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 5,246 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 4,012 yds.
Rate of fire 800 practical; 1,400 cyclic rds. per min.
Traverse 360°
Elevation 100°
Depression -10°
Length of recoil
Ammunition H.E. four types; A.P. two types
Wt. of 1 magazine of 20 rds 21 lb.
Ammunition stowage 320 rds.

German: p. 133

2 cm Flak (Madsen): A.A./A.T. Gun (Ex-Danish)

2 cm Flak (Madsen): A.A./A.T. Gun (Ex-Danish)

The Madsen 20 mm automatic antiaircraft and antitank gun, a Danish weapon used largely by the German Navy, is also in service in the Bulgarian, Finnish, Hungarian, Portuguese, and Spanish armies. This rapid-fire model is a heavy-caliber, air-cooled, recoil-operated cannon, which is much more sturdy than the ordinary Madsen.

The fixed parts of the gun comprise the barrel casing with the sights, the frame with the magazine receiver, and the trigger plate with the trigger device. Recoiling parts comprise the barrel, the breech, and the breechblock. The connection between the fixed parts and the recoiling parts is established by means of the recoil arm and the link of the breech, together with the return mechanism.

The muzzle of the barrel is threaded externally to take the muzzle brake, and at the chamber to fit into the breech. It is secured to the breech by a locking pin. The oblong breech has an elongated opening in its left wall to accommodate the 60-round drum magazine feeding device.

The trigger mechanism can be set for either single-shot or automatic firing by means of a change over swivel.

The sighting gear, placed on the upper side of the barrel casing, consists of a leaf rear sight graduated from 100 to 1,800 m, and can be set in accordance with the graduations by means of the rear sight slide.

The cannon employs a universal mount.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         20 mm (.79 in.)
Weight in action 390 lb.
Weight of cannon 119 lb.
Length of cannon (overall) 7.38 ft.
Length of barrel 3.94 ft.
Rifling 10 lands and grooves; 5° twist
Rate of fire (practical) 200 rds./min.
Muzzle velocity 2,950 f/s
Range 6,015 yds.
Effective ceiling 6,960 ft.
Elevation 85°
Depression -5°
Traverse 360°
Ammunition H.E.; A.P.

German: p. 132

10.5 cm Flak 38, 39: Multi-Purpose Gun

10.5 cm Flak 38, 39: Multi-Purpose Gun

This gun, of which two models are in service, is the standard German heavy antiaircraft weapon. While this is its primary use, it is also provided with antitank sights and A.P.C. shells. It is produced in both static and mobile versions and is also mounted on railed vehicles.

Its horizontal range is slightly greater than the 88 mm Flak, but it does not possess as great a vertical range. Elevation, depression, and traversing are the same as in the 88 mm gun.

Both the loading and fuze-setting mechanisms are power operated. The carriage has two outriggers which are folded up for transport. The traversing and elevating gears have two speeds for manual operation; provision is also made for power operation.

There are three types of ammunition fired in this weapon:

(a) H. E. Shell with Time Fuze—(10.5 cm SPGR. L/4.4 mit ZT.Z.S./30)

This shell is fuzed for antiaircraft firing and is fitted with the same clock-work fuze, the ZT.Z.S./30, that is used with the 8.8 cm AA ammunition.

(b) H.E. Shell with Percussion Fuze

(c) A.P.C. Shell

The following are estimated penetration figures for the weapon firing an A.P.C. Shell against homogeneous armor:

Range Thickness of Armor
     30°     Normal 
1,000 yds.         (5.5 ins.)         (6.5 ins.)
1,500 yds. (5.1 ins.) (6.0 ins.)
2,000 yds. (4.7 ins.) (5.6 ins.)

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         10.5 cm (4.14 ins.)
Length of tube 21 ft.
Weight (travelling position) 13.8 tons
Weight (firing position) 9.8 tons
Length (travelling position) 27 ft., 7 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position) 9 ft., 6 ins.
Height (firing position) 71 in.
Width (overall); (travelling position) 96 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 18 ft., 2 ins.
No. of grooves 36
Width of grooves .23 in.
Depth of grooves .05 in.
Width of lands .13 ins.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 2,887 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 19,355 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 13,914 yds.
Rate of fire 12-15 r.p.m.
Traverse 360°
Elevation +85°
Depression -3°
Length of recoil (H.E.) 31 3/8 ins.
Ammunition H.E. and A.P.
Wt. of projectile (H.E.) 33.2 lb

German: p. 109

4 cm Flak 28 (Bofors): Antiaircraft Gun (Ex-Swedish)

4 cm Flak 28 (Bofors): Antiaircraft Gun (Ex-Swedish)

This gun, entirely of Bofors design, has been in service in Poland, Finland, and Norway, and, to a limited extent, in Sweden. A flash hider is screwed to the muzzle of the tube which is of forged alloy steel. The barrel is good for about 1,500 rounds, and may be changed very easily. The gun is fed by two four-round clips.

The automatic breechblock is of the vertical sliding type. A recuperator spring is assembled near the breech end of the tube. The hydrospring recoil system is housed in a cylinder underneath the recuperator spring, and is held in position by a supporting bracket secured to the breech casing.

Fire control equipment includes one elevation telescope, one azimuth telescope, a Le Prieur-Bofors ballistic corrector, sights, data receivers, and a fuze setter.

The elevating and traversing mechanism of this gun is hand-operated; firing is accomplished by a foot trigger on the lower left-hand side of the carriage.

The four-wheeled mount, which is standard for all calibers of antiaircraft gun up to 10.5 cm, is extremely maneuverable over all kinds of roads and terrain. Construction is simple and, with an experienced crew, the gun can be put in or taken out of action in approximately 30 seconds.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber 4 cm (1.57 ins.)
Weight (travelling position)         3,800 lbs.
Weight (firing position) 3,800 lbs.
Length (travelling position) 23 ft.
Length of tube 7.8 ft. (60 cals.)
Width (overall) 5 ft., 10 ins.
Height (travelling position) 6 ft., 8 ins.
Height (firing posltion) 3 ft., 9 ins. (mounted flush)
Rate of fire 120 to 180 r.p.m.
Muzzle velocity (A.P. shell) 2,780 f.s.
Range (maximum)
     Horizontal 9,846 yds.
     Vertical 7,330 yds.
Elevation 90°
Depression -5°
Traverse 360°
Ammunition H.E. shell tracer effect Bofors (u);
Incendiary H.E. shell tracer effect
Wt. of projectile Magazine clip with 4 rds—4.6 lbs.

German: p. 129

8.8 cm Flak 41: Multi-Purpose Gun

8.8 cm Flak 41: Multi-Purpose Gun - German 88mm

This new German multi-purpose 8.8 cm gun is built on massive proportions. The piece, which has an overall length of approximately 262 inches, has a built-up tube with a securing collar at the forward end of the jacket.

A breech mechanism of the horizontal sliding type is operated manually by a handle on top of the breech ring; it may also be operated semi-automatically, opening action and extraction taking place during counter-recoil, and closing action following when a round is rammed home.

The hydropneumatic recuperator cylinder is fitted above the barrel; and the buffer is in the cradle. A lug riding in a cam below the left trunnion is geared to rotate the control rod, varying the length of recoil with the elevation. Spring equilibrators are located on either side of the upper carriage.

The elevating mechanism is of the single rack and pinion type. Three elevation speeds are provided and selected by positioning a lever on top of the gear box to which the handwheels are fitted. Three traverse speeds are also provided and selected in the same manner as the elevation speeds.

The cannoneer has the choice of two sitting positions. For direct fire he sits facing the front and fires the gun by pressing an electric push-button with his right foot. The left foot rest, when not depressed, brakes the traverse. When sitting in the antiaircraft position, the cannoneer faces the side of the gun and matches pointers. Here again the left foot rest is a brake pedal, braking the traverse when released. The gun has a total traverse of 360°. The gun crew is protected by a shield 5/16 inch thick and 7 feet, 3 inches high. Both steel casing and normal casing shells are used.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber         8.8 cm
Length of tube 248 ins.
Weight (travelling position) 12.3 tons
Weight (firing position) 8.8 tons
Length (travelling position) 30 ft., 8 ins.
Height (travelling position) 7 ft., 6 ins.
Height (firing position) 50 ins.
Width (overall) 94 ins.
Length of tube and breech ring 8.8 ft.
No. of grooves 32 lands and grooves, R.H. twist
Width of grooves .110 ins.
Depth of grooves .038 ins.
Width of lands .242 ins.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) (3,280 f.s.); (A.P. 3,215 f.s.)
Max. range (horizontal) 21,960 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 16,075 yds.
Rate of fire 20-25 rds. per minute
Traverse 360°
Elevation +90°
Depression -3°
Length of recoil
Ammunition H.E. (3 types of A.P.)
Wt. of projectile H.E. 20.7 lb.; A.P. 22.4 lb.

German: p. 112

8.8 cm Flak 18, 36, 37: Multi-Purpose Gun

German 88mm Flak 18, 36, and 37

This multi-purpose weapon emerged as the most highly publicized artillery piece of the German army during the North African campaign. It is primarily an antiaircraft gun adaptable to antitank and general artillery use. In its antitank role it is fitted with a shield. In its mobile form it is towed on four wheels, usually with an 8-ton half-tracked tractor.

The tube assembly of the gun is of a construction not comparable to any design now in use in this country. It consists of an outer tube or jacket, an inner locking tube and a loose three-section liner. The front and center sections of the liner are keyed in place so as to align the rifling and prevent relative rotation.

The mount is provided with two outriggers for stability when firing in traverses other than directly front or rear. These are hinged to the bottom carriage to travel in a vertical position. During firing the outriggers are let down and secured by half-round locking pins.

The mount is equipped with three means of fire control depending on the usage: data transmission for antiaircraft fire, direct laying for antitank fire and indirect laying for indirect fire.

Specifications listed herewith are based on tests conducted at Aberdeen Proving Ground of a captured 88 mm model Flak 18, under Ordnance Program 5772. The mechanical-type fuse setter and the azimuth indicators were examined at Frankford Arsenal.

The differences implied by the nomenclatures, Flak 18, 36 and 41, refer to different methods of construction.

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber        8.8 cm (3.46 ins.)
Length of tube 184.6 ins.
Weight (travelling position) 7.9 tons
Weight (firing position) 5.5 tons
Length (travelling position) 25 ft., 3 ins.
Length (firing position)
Height (travelling position) 102 ins.
Height (firing position) 63 ins.
Width (overall); (traveling position) 94 ins.
Width of trail spread
Length of bore 162.4 ins.
No. of grooves 32
Diam. of grooves 3.552 ins.
Depth of grooves
Diam. of lands 3.473 ins.
Muzzle velocity (H.E. shell) 2,690 f.s.
       (A.P.) 2,624 f.s.
Max. range (horizontal) 16,183 yds.
Max. range (vertical) 11,591 yds.
Rate of fire 15 to 20 r.p.m.
Traverse 2 x 360°
Elevation +85°
Depression -3°
Length of recoil (H.E.) 31.5 ins.
Ammunition H.E. and 3 types of A.P.
Wt. of projectile (H.E.) 20.35 lb.; (A.P.) 20.75 lb.

German: p. 111

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.

SPECIFICATIONS

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)