War Master WMTK010 German Krauss-Maffei Sd. Kfz. 10/5 Prime Mover w/ 2cm Flakvierling Anti-Aircraft Gun - Unidentified Unit, Germany, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The Sd.Kfz. 10 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug - special motorized vehicle) was a German half-track that saw very widespread use in World War II. Its main role was as a prime mover for small towed guns such as the 2 cm FlaK 30, the 7.5 cm leIG, or the 3.7 cm PaK 36 anti-tank gun. It could carry eight troops in addition to towing a gun or trailer.
The basic engineering for all the German half-tracks was developed during the Weimar-era by the Reichswehr's Military Automotive Department, but final design and testing was farmed out to commercial firms with the understanding that production would be shared with multiple companies. Demag was chosen to develop the smallest of the German half-tracks and spent the years between 1934 and 1938 perfecting the design through a series of prototypes.
The chassis formed the basis for the Sd.Kfz. 250 light armored personnel carrier. Approximately 14,000 were produced between 1938 and 1945, making it one of the most widely produced German tactical vehicles of the war. It participated in the Invasion of Poland, the Battle of France, the Balkans Campaign and fought on both the Western Front and the Eastern Front, in North Africa and in Italy.
The Sd.Kfz. 10/5 carried the 2 cm FlaK 38 whose mount was wider, and lighter, than that of the Flak 30, and the platform was enlarged to accommodate it from 1942. Vehicle width increased to 2.156 metres (7.07 ft), but the height returned to that of the normal vehicle. Initially vehicles modified with the wider platform for the Flak 38 did not have a special designation, but they were given one sometime in 1943. The earliest known use is September 1st, 1943, but the older name lingered until December 1st, 1944. The Luftwaffe ordered 293 sets of armor plate (Behelfspanzerung) for its vehicles in 1943. These plates covered the radiator, windshield and both sides of the driver's compartment and were fitted to both versions.
Production began in 1939 for deliveries to the Army and Luftwaffe, although the exact numbers will never be known as they were often not broken out separately in the production reports. At any rate Adler built 1054 between 1939 and February 1943, although some of these were completed as 10/5s beginning in 1942. MWC was awarded two contracts for 975 10/5s to be delivered in 194344, but 13 of these were delivered as ordinary Sd.Kfz. 10s in 1944.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale diecast replica of a German Krauss-Maffei Sd. Kfz. 10/5 Prime Mover w/ 2cm Flakvierling Anti-Aircraft Gun.
Length: 2-3/4 inches
Width: 1 inch
Release Date: January 2012
Historical Account: "Steel Rain" - Even as the FlaK 38 was entering service, the Luftwaffe and Army had doubts about its effectiveness, given the ever-increasing speeds of low-altitude fighter-bombers and attack aircraft. The Army in particular felt the proper solution was the introduction of the 37 mm caliber weapons they had been developing since the 1920s, which had a rate of fire about the same as the FlaK 38, but fired a round with almost eight times the volume. This not only made the rounds deadlier on impact, but their higher mass allowed them to travel to much longer distances, allowing the gun to engage targets at longer ranges and over longer periods of time.
The 20 mm weapons had always been something of a stop-gap measure, improving just enough to keep them useful. It was something of a surprise when Rheinmetall was able to "pull a fast one" again, introducing the 2 cm Flakvierling 38, which improved the weapon just enough to make it competitive once again.
The weapon consisted of quad-mounted 2 cm Flak 38 AA guns with collapsing seats, folding handles, and ammunition racks. The mount had a triangular base with a jack at each leg for leveling the gun. The tracker traversed and elevated the mount manually using two handwheels. The gun was fired by a set of two footpedals - each of which fired two diametrically opposite Flak 38s - and could be operated either automatically or semi-automatically. When raised, the weapon measured 307 cm (10 feet 1 inch) high.
Each of the four mounted guns fired from a 20-round magazine at a maximum combined rate of fire of 1,400 rounds per minute (reduced to 800 rounds per minute for combat use). The guns could be fired in pairs (diagonally opposite) or simultaneously, in either semi-automatic or fully automatic mode. Its effective vertical range was 2200 meters. It was also used just as effectively against ground targets as it was against low-flying aircraft.
The gun was normally transported on a Sd. Ah. 52 trailer, and could be towed behind a variety of half-tracks or trucks, such as the Opel Blitz, Sd. Kfz. 251 and Sd. Kfz. 11. It was also mounted onto half-tracks and tank bodies to produce mobile anti-aircraft vehicles, such as the Sd. Kfz. 7/1 (based on the Sd. Kfz. 7 half-track) and the Mobelwagen and Wirbelwind (both based on the Panzer IV tank). In Kriegsmarine use, it was fitted to boats and ships to provide short-range anti-aircraft defense, and was also employed in fixed installations around ports, harbors and other strategic naval targets. The Flakvierling was also a common fixture on trains, where it was mounted on a flatbed car and then covered to make it look like a boxcar.