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3.7cm SockelFlak L/14.5

AA Artillery

Contributor :
Bernard Plumier      http://www.passioncompassion1418.com
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Location :
Musée Royal de l'Armée
Coordinates : Lat : 50.84560 / Long : 4.39480
General comments on this surviving gun :

Identical items in the same location : 1
Items covered by this file : 1

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     3.7cm Sockel Flak Origin :       ( Krupp)          

Historic context :

In 1916 the allies air supremacy became obvious, and the German armies requested AA weapons easily transportable and installable ion the front lines. Some then reminded of a former Krupp design for a 3.7cm L/40 gun built for the close defence of the Zeppelins, having remarkable performances with an initial speed of 600 m/s, but having been abandoned because of the need of use of specific ammunitions.

This design was then adapted in order to have it use standard 37 mm ammunitions and the barrel was shortened to 14.5 calibres in order to improve the manoeuvrability. These necessary modification were made at the detriment of this small gun performances, whose projectiles initial speed was decreased down to 355 m/s. Equipped with an automatic mechanism and a 10 rounds capacity shell clip located on the top of the barrel, the '3.7cm SockelFlak L/14.5' could reach theoretical fire rates of 2 rounds per second.

The very simple firing base was made with a column resting on a 3 tubular legs star base, and was dismantable for the transportation. Since both hands of the servant were busy with the aiming wheels, the fire was triggered by pressing a lever with the knee !

The first 20 guns of a 190 items order were only sent to the front at the end of 1917, and only 150 were delivered when the war ended in November 1918.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : Anti-Aircraft 3.7cm L14.5 Flak gun on pivot
  • Design year : 1917
  • Calibre : 37.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 215 kg
  • Weight for transportation : 640 kg
  • Tube length in calibres : 14.50
  • Grooves : 0 unknown
  • Projectile weight : 0.45 kg
  • Initial speed : 355 m/s
  • Fire rate : 120 rounds / min
  • Range : 2200 m altitude maxi (5000 m horizontally)
  • Elevation range : -5 to +80 degrees
  • Direction range : 360 degrees range

  • German Artillery of World War One           Herbert Jager                   Crowood   2001  
  • La Flak 1914-1918 - Volume N°1       Bernard Delsert       Jean-Jacques Dubois       Christian Kowal       Editions La Plume du Temps   1999  
  • La Flak 1914-1918 - Volume N°2       Bernard Delsert       Jean-Jacques Dubois       Christian Kowal       Editions La Plume du Temps   1999  
  • A gun for all nations - The 37 mm Gun and Ammunition - Volume II - 1914-1926       Robert A Mellichamp                     2012