Flakpanzer IV/3.7cm FlaK/ Ostwind I/ Gerät 582

The Ostwind I (East Wind) was the last of a series of Flakpanzers (anti-aircraft tanks) based on the Panzer IV chassis to enter production, albeit in very small numbers.

The Ostwind was designed by the Ostbau Company, and was very similar to their Wirbelwind. This vehicle had carried quadruple 2cm anti-aircraft guns in a distinctive angular turret, and had reached the prototype stage by May 1944. By this time Ostbau had also completed work on the design of the Ostwind.

The Ostwind carried a single 3.7cm FlaK43 gun, which was rather more effective than the less powerful 2cm guns of the Wirbelwind, and also needed less space in the turret, as well as only needing a crew of two (gunner and loader) in place of the gunner and two loaders of the quadruple guns. Like the Wirbelwind the Ostwind had a distinctive angular turret, this time six sided, and with the gun emerging from a slot in the pointed front of the turret.

Most of the Ostwind Is were based on existing Panzer IV chassis returning from the front for refurbishment. Seven were built on new chassis that had originally been intended for the Kugelblitz.

After trials in July, on 18 August 1944 Ostbau were given a contract to produce 100 Ostwind Is. Less than half of these vehicles would be produced – the first fifteen of the eventual total of forty-three were completed in December 1944, far too late to have any impact on the war. Like the earlier Möbelwagen and Wirbelwind the Ostwind I was issued to the Flugabwehrzug (AA platoons) of Panzer regiments in the Panzer divisions.

Ostbau also produced a design and prototype for the Ostwind II, armed with twin 3.7cm guns, but the design never entered production.

Names
Ostwind I
Gerät 582
Flakpanzerwagen 604/17
Flakpanzer IV/3.7cm FlaK

Stats
Number produced:
1 prototype July 1944
36 converted from Panzer IV and 7 new production
Produced: December 1944-March 1945
Length: 5.92m
Hull Width: 2.95m
Height: 3m
Crew: 6
Weight: 25 tons  
Engine: Maybach HL120TRM112
Max Speed: 38km/hr
Max Range:  200km
Armament: One 3.7cm FlaK43/1 L/60 and two 7.92mm MG34s

Armour

Armour

Front

Side

Rear

Top/ Bottom

Turret

25mm/ 1in

25mm/ 1in

25mm/ 1in

open

Superstructure

80mm/ 3.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

12mm/ 0.5in

Hull

80mm/ 3.2in

30mm/ 1.2in

20mm/ 0.8in

10mm/ 0.4in

Gun shield

 

 

 

 

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 August 2008), Flakpanzer IV/3.7cm FlaK/ Ostwind I/ Gerät 582 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_ostwindI.html

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