Amercom ACBG28 German Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind Anti-Aircraft Gun - schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 560, Hungary, 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
The Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind ("Whirlwind") was an anti-aircraft vehicle based on the Panzer IV. It was developed in 1944 as a successor to the earlier AA tank, the Mobelwagen.
In the first yeas of the war, Germans weren't interested in creating a good AA vehicles, as they had total air superiority. But, as the allies developed and began to use more powerful aircraft, the Germans realized that they must not only have stationary Flak guns, but also mobile AA guns to protect vehicle convoys etc.
The Panzer IV's turret was removed and replaced with an open-top, nine-sided turret which housed a quadruple 20 mm Flakvierling 38. A closed-top design would have been preferable, but this was not possible due to the heavy smoke generation of the 4 flak guns. Production of the tank was carried out by Ostbau Werke in Sagan, Silesia.
By the time the Wirbelwind was introduced to service, 20 mm shells were no longer very effective against aircraft; the Wirbelwind was soon replaced by the Ostwind which was equipped with a single 37 mm Flak 43. The armor and rapid fire from the four guns of the Wirbelwind was also very effective against infantry. One Wirbelwind was sufficient to pin down large numbers of infantry. It is believed that either 87 or 105 Wirbelwinds were produced during the war, but due to discrepancies between the recorded production numbers at Ostbau Werke and Wehrmacht service records, the exact number will probably never be known. In any case, there were too few of them to have any major influence on the war.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind anti-aircraft gun served with sPzJgAbt. 560 then deployed to the Ardennes Forest during 1944. Now in stock!
Length: 4 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: November 2013