Flakpanzer 38(t) ausf M (SdKfz 140)

The Flakpanzer 38(t) ausf M (SdKfz 140) was a stop-gap anti-aircraft vehicle produced by mounting a single 20mm cannon on the chassis of Panzer 38(t) tank. The Flakpanzer 38(t) used the ausf M chassis, which had been designed specifically for use with the 15cm sIG infantry howitzer-armed Grille. This version of the chassis had the engine mounted in the centre, allowing the fighting compartment to he carried at the rear.

The single 2cm FLAK 38(L/55) gun was mounted centrally inside a octagonal armoured superstructure, which bulged out slightly over the normal width of the Panzer 38(t). The sides of the armoured compartment could be lowered to increase space or allow the gun to fire at ground targets.

The 20mm cannon could fire at 480rpm, but was normally limited to 240rpm. 540 rounds of ammo could be carried, and a mix of high explosive and armour penetrating shells was normal.

BMM built 140 of these vehicles, between November 1943 and February 1944. The Flakpanzer 38(t) suffered from a lack of firepower and was an expensive way to deploy a single 20mm cannon. It was used by the anti-aircraft platoons of the armoured regiments but only until it could be replaced by the more powerful Flakpanzer IV (Mobelwagen). They were also rather thinly armoured, making them vulnerable to Allied aircraft. The Flakpanzer 38(t) was issued early in 1944, and as a result many were involved in the fighting in Normandy in the summer of 1944.

Stats
Production: 140
Hull Length: 4.61m/ 15.1ft
Hull Width: 2.15m/ 7.1ft
Height: 2.25m/ 7.4ft
Crew: 4
Weight: 9.8 tons
Engine: Praga AC
Max Speed: 42km/hr/ 26 miles
Max Range: 210km/ 130 miles
Armament: One 2cm FlaK38 L/112.5

Armour



Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Superstructure

10mm

10mm

10mm

Hull

15mm

15mm

10mm

Gun shield

10mm

10mm

10mm

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 July 2013), Flakpanzer 38(t) ausf M (SdKfz 140) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_flakpanzer_38t.html

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