1 backGear box
The Flakpanzer I Ausf. A is a rank I German self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle with a battle rating of 1.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in during the Closed Beta Test for Ground Forces before Update 1.41.
Survivability and armour
The Flakpanzer I does not have good survivability, unlike the Panzer II, III, and early IV models. It has only two crew and is open-topped so even 7.5-8 mm machine guns can disable or destroy a Flakpanzer frontally. It is also hull-breakable, so early-rank vehicles firing HEAT or HE rounds will be your nemeses.
The mobility of the vehicle is decent to good for the rank, at 31 kph forward and 6 kph backwards. The power-to-weight ratio is reasonably good at 10.36 hp/ton fully upgraded. It is responsive when steering on most terrain, though snow can be troublesome at times.
The Flakpanzer I is armed with the 20 mm FlaK 38 cannon, which turns out to be fantastic for a cannon of this rank. It boasts a high fire rate, 20-round magazines, useful HE rounds to shred low-flying planes, 46 mm penetration AP-I, and 64 mm pen APCR. The gun will destroy most enemies it can encounter with the APCR belt, even though it is only half APCR.
Usage in battles
The Flakpanzer I is extremely versatile, but unfortunately the trade-off for a lighter vehicle is the lack of protective armour. This vehicle is best used as a flanker and tank-destroyer with situational use against unaware patrolling aircraft. The mounting platform of the gun is very wobbly, so do not expect to be able to do quick reaction shots in surprise encounters. Turret traverse is very fast, however, allowing it to react fast when not moving to new threats not immediately aware of its presence. While it can essentially spray 20 mm rounds at targets, it is advisable to maintain trigger control and conserve ammunition, firing when absolutely need to because reload time between ammunition magazines is rather long and punishing for the rank when time is of the essence.
While the gun is great, there are some enemies it encounters that you should straight-up avoid if at all possible. These are the Valentine Mk I, B1 bis, and B1 ter. If used in 1.7 lineups, the Matilda Mk II, T-28E, and M3 Lee/Grant are also significant threats. The Flakpanzer I can opportunistically destroy the B1 bis, T-28E, and M3 Lee variations in some situations, but the B1 ter, Valentine, and Matilda are totally immune even to the APCR belt outside lucky turret ring hits.
Pros and cons
- High penetrating gun for the rank
- Fast turret traverse
- Mobile enough
- Responsive handling
- High rate-of-fire
- Large magazine size for ammunition
- Long reload times
- Gun is insufficient against the more armoured opponents
- Nonexistent armour and survivability due to two crew and hull-breakability
- Many of the other vehicles it will face are faster than it
- Vulnerable to surprise-strafing from planes
Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the ground vehicle in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the
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=== In-game description ===, also if applicable).
In early 1940, the ordnance logistics department directed the Alkett and Daimler-Benz companies to develop a weapon mount with a circular field of fire, to be mounted on the chassis of the Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A tank. The outdated chassis was used since the Germans were intensely seeking alternative ways to use chassis.
The Flakpanzer I had a hull, engine, transmission, and chassis which were similar to the Pz.Kpfw. I Ausf. A tank. In the modified turret box, in the place of the dismantled old turret, a 20 mm Flak 38 gun was installed on a platform. The gun had an operational fire rate of 220 rounds per minute and allowed the tank to effectively engage low-flying targets. This gun's vertical angle ranged from -10 to 87 degrees.
A total of 24 of these self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicles were built with two more built utilising 2 cm FlaK 30 guns. All of the Flakpanzer I guns which were released were used by the 614th flak battalion, which fought on the Eastern Front at Stalingrad. The guns were often used for direct fire support for ground troops, firing against ground targets.
One of their flaws was that the trajectory calculation was cumbersome. In order to compensate for this, folding metal sides were added, but they did not do much to remedy the situation. Therefore, attacking ground targets required 5 people, but anti-aircraft fire required a crew of 8. The anti-aircraft vehicle was protected by nothing but its front armour. Most of the ammunition was placed in a specially designed Sd.Ah.51 trailer. Communication between vehicles was carried out using signal flags since the radio equipment had been dismantled.
The vehicle's biggest advantage was that the 20 mm anti-aircraft guns could be dismantled and installed on a platform towed behind the vehicle. These dismantling and installation procedures took 4 and 6 minutes, respectively.
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|Germany anti-aircraft vehicles|
|Tracked||Flakpanzer I · Flakpanzer 38|
|Based on Pz.IV||Wirbelwind · Ostwind · Ostwind II · Kugelblitz|
|Based on Pz.V||Flakpanzer 341|
|Post-war||Gepard · FlaRakPz 1|