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Wirbelwind

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Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind"
RUSE Wirbelwind
Bad surprise for the Allies
Unit
Faction Icon Germany Germany
Class Armored anti-aircraft Gun
Warmode 1945+
Production
Cost $35
Research Cost $25
Factory Prototype Base
Properties
Armor Armor 3 45mm (400)
Speed 31 km/h
The new mobile anti-aircraft units will keep their planes away.
- Andrew Campbell, Secret Weapons

Though death sometimes came from above, in the case of the Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind", an AA tank, it also came from below. Firing its quad 20mm guns, the Wirbelwind covered the horizon with deadly black Flak clouds.

Moderately armored, and quite fast, the Wirbelwind can drive alongside other tanks as a mobile air defense. Shielding friendly units against any enemy air menace, the Wirbelwind can quickly clear the sky of enemy fighters and bombers, then lower its guns to shred enemy infantry or light armored vehicles.

The Wirbelwind is very versatile, engaging any air target with deadly results. A single fighter that got into it's firing range will very likely be shot down. It is also able to engage soft ground targets. Infantry, recon units, and towed guns will be easy to destroy. It's speed, which is adequate to keep up with other armor and it's ample firepower made it suitable for a pre-emptive attack if combined with other units.

However, it's light armor made it very vulnerable to tank fire. Light enemy tanks can be kept at bay with it's Quad Flak guns, but medium tanks will be impervious to it. Most medium tank guns can deal high damage to the Wirbelwind. It is also vulnerable to saturation attacks. Two or more passes by a fighter or bomber through it's deadly flak clouds will result in destruction of the aircaft. It is advisable to deploy more than two Wirlberlwinds on the battlefield and escort them with tanks. 

HistoryEdit

Wirbelwind

The Flakpanzer IV "Wirbelwind" (Whirlwind in German) was a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun based on the Panzer IV tank. It was developed in 1944 as a successor to the earlier self-propelled anti-aircraft gun Möbelwagen.

In the first years of the war, the Wehrmacht had less interest in developing self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, but as air superiority increasingly slipped away from the Luftwaffe, another method had to be found of protecting the Panzer force from air attack. While elite troops such as the Waffen-SS, Grossdeutschland Division and others already had self-propelled flak guns at their disposal during the early years of th war, these were part-armored or unarmored vehicles.

The Panzer IV's turret was removed and replaced with an open-top, nine-sided turret which housed a quadruple 2 cm Flakvierling 38 L/112.5. A closed-top design would have been preferable, but this was not possible due to the heavy smoke generated by the four anti-aircraft guns. Production of the tank was carried out by Ostbau Werke in Sagan, Silesia.

Despite Germany losing, the Soviets took a long good look at it, especially the plans for a RADAR-equipped Kugelblitz version. While early Cold War Soviet AA were either quad 14,5-mm MGs or open-top manually-targetted twin 57-mm ZSU-57-2, they eventually built the enclosed, radar-targetted quad 23 mm AA "tank", the ZSU-23-4 Shilka, the nightmare of NATO pilots.

WeaponsEdit

Weapon Infantryyesicon Engineeryesicon Buildingsyesicon Armor1yesicon Armor2yesicon Armor3yesicon Armor4yesicon Armor5yesicon Aircraftyesicon Rangeicon
AAgun5icon
Light Twin AA Gun
62 62 62 12 6 3 2 1 62 550m
Weapon Infantryyesicon Engineeryesicon Buildingsyesicon Armor1yesicon Armor2yesicon Armor3yesicon Armor4yesicon Armor5yesicon Aircraftyesicon Rangeicon
Machinegun2icon
MG 34
26 26 250m

GalleryEdit

See AlsoEdit

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