Developed as a successor to the Möbelwagen, the Wirbelwind (Whirlwind) was the brainchild of SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Wilhelm Krause of the 12. SS-Panzer, who came up with the idea in summery of 1944. After his commanding officer forwarded the idea up the chain of command and it was approved by Hitler, the Ostbau Werke in Sagan, Silesia, started converting Panzer IVs by fitting it with an open-topped, nonagonal turret with a 2 cm Flakvierling 38. Although it proved to be a terrifying weapon against light vehicles and infantry, it had insufficient firepower for use against contemporary aircraft, and was soon replaced by the Ostwind, a variant with a single 3.7 cm Flak 43 mounted in the same turret. Between 87 and 105 Wirbelwinds left Sagan, the exact number unknown due to discrepancies in recordkeeping between the factory and the Wehrmacht.
This page was last edited on 4 May 2021, at 09:54.
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