| Flakpanzer IV "Östwind"|
Flakpanzer auf Fgst Pz Kpfw IV Ostwind
|General Historical Information|
|Place of origin||Germany|
|Category||Selfpropelled Anti-Aircraft gun|
|Debut in FHSW||Debut in FH mod|
|Main armament||1x 3.7 cm FlaK 43 L/89|
|General Ingame Information|
|Seat 2||1× 7.92 mm MG 34 machinegun|
The Flakpanzer IV Ostwind was the third generation of the Flakpanzer IV. It was a German self-propelled anti-aircraft gun and it was the successor of the Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind (which you can find in Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII). In contrast to the Wirbelwind, the Ostwind had only one barrel but the calibre was rise up from 20mm up to 37mm which was more powerfull against the heavier enemy aircrafts, especially the heavy bomber aircrafts.
In July 1944, the first mid steel prototype was built. It used the 3.7cm Flak 43. This flak was able to fire around 150 rounds per minute. The turret was called Keksdose, German for Cookie jar, and it was built by Röhrenwerke. The turret was almost identical to the turret from the Wirbelwind and it was again an open turret so that the gun crew can better view the sky in searching for enemy aircrafts and was built from 25mm armor. It can contain an ammo storage of 1000 rounds. On July 27 the first shoot test took place with succes. On the end of November, it was proposed to Adolf Hitler and went in production after the Inspektion der Panzertruppe ordered 100 vehicles. They were built on the chassis of damaged Panzer IV such like the Mobelwagen and the Wirbelwind and the successor of the Ostwind, the Kugelblitz. Only 36 vehicles has been built since December 1944 including 28 produced at the factory of Teplitz.
It was followed by the Kugelblitz, far superior in fire power, though there were many other Ostwind designs designed or planned, such as the Flakpanzer III Ostwind on the Panzer III chassis and the Flakpanzer IV Ostwind II.
Ostwind is the most common Flakpanzer in FHSW. Its weapon is powerful enough to destroy a fighter with one hit, but has slow rate of fire and ineffective against medium and heavily armoured targets. Ostwind has the same average armour as Panzer IV and can be destroyed easily. The open turret makes the tank crew vulnerable to enemy fire.