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SdKfz 161/3 Möbelwagen file photo [32316]

SdKfz 161/3 Möbelwagen

CountryGermany
ManufacturerOstbau GmbH, Sagan, Germany (now Zagan, Poland)
Primary RoleSelf-Propelled Gun

Contributor:

ww2dbaseAs the overwhelming Allied air superiority of the Allies increased the German Army demanded the creation of a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun to accompany and protect moving columns from the serious threat posed by Ground attack fighters. In early 1943, the idea of mounting a gun on the chassis of the Panzer IV tank was first proposed.

ww2dbaseThe SdKfz 161/3 Möbelwagen ("Furniture Van") consisted of a 37-millimetre Flak 43 anti-aircraft gun mounted on a platform that replaced the tank's turret. This platform was surrounded by a hinged four-sided square 20-millimetre armoured structure, protecting the crew while on the move, These folded flat when required, to give an uninterrupted all-round traverse.

ww2dbaseA single prototype, armed with the 2-centimetre Flakvierling 38 was displayed to Adolf Hitler on 7 December 1943, but the German military considered the 20-millimetre shell to be too weak for use against the faster aircraft being deployed by the Allied Air Forces, and was rejected. An improved second design was approved instead armed with the 37-millimetre Flak cannon and this entered service on the Western Front in April 1944. In total some 240 Möbelwagen self-propelled guns would be converted from Panzer IV tanks returned to Germany from the Eastern Front for repairs. One drawback was that when deployed with the sides down the crew were left without protection from small arms fire and shrapnel.

ww2dbaseThe Möbelwagen was ultimately succeeded by the Flakpanzer Wirbelwind ("Whirlwind") and Flakpanzer Ostwind ("East Wind"), both of which used the same chassis but with improved armoured protection for the gun crew when firing at either ground or air targets. Between March 1944 and March 1945, 240 of them were built.

ww2dbaseSources:
Ian V. Hogg & John Weeks: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Vehicles (Hamlyn Publishing, 1980)
B. T. White: Tanks and other Armoured Fighting Vehicles 1942-45 (Blandford Press, 1975)
Wikipedia: Möbelwagen

Last Major Revision: Nov 2022

SPECIFICATIONS

SdKfz 161/3 Möbelwagen
MachineryOne 867cc Maybach HL 120 TRM V-12 water-cooled petrol engine rated at 272bhp
SuspensionTracked with four twin bogies on each side and four return rollers; leaf spring
Armament1x3.7cm Flak 18/36/37/43 anti-aircraft gun (416 rounds), 1x7.92mm MG34 machine gun
Armor16-30mm
Crew6
Length5.92 m
Width2.95 m
Height2.73 m
Weight22.0 t
Speed38 km/h
Range200 km

Photographs

SdKfz 161/3 Möbelwagen and crew, northern France, summer 1944SdKfz 161/3 Möbelwagen self-propelled guns at Arnhem, The Netherlands, Sep 1944




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SdKfz 161/3 Möbelwagen and crew, northern France, summer 1944SdKfz 161/3 Möbelwagen self-propelled guns at Arnhem, The Netherlands, Sep 1944


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