5 cm FlaK 41

The 5 cm FlaK 41 (Flugabwehrkanone 41) was a German 50 mm anti-aircraft gun produced for defending the intermediate zone above the range of light (37 mm) guns, but below the ceiling of the heavy (75 mm and above) pieces. The gun proved inadequate and was produced only in small numbers.

Development of the gun was slow: it began in 1936, but the contract was awarded to Rheinmetall-Borsig only in 1940. The gun was produced in two models, one mounted on a two-axle trailer, the other one stationary and used for defending important industrial installations. Neither was a success, and they shared the same faults. The speed of traverse was too slow for fast-moving targets and the gun proved under-powered, even though the propellant gave a blast powerful enough to dazzle the aimer in broad daylight. The relatively heavy cartridge (the shell alone weighted 2.2 kg) was cumbersome and heavy when loaded in 5-round clips.

The gun was automatic, gas-operated, and locked by the breech block dropping down, which engaged the buttress guides on the block against the guides on the jacket. The recoil of the breech operated the feed mechanism. The buffer was mounted centrally in the cradle, between the two springs of the recuperator.

Altogether 60 examples of the 5 cm Flak 41 were produced, starting from 1941. Some of them were still in use in 1945.

Later German attempts to create a medium anti-aircraft gun focused on 55 mm weapons (Gerät 58) and the 5 cm Pak 38-derived Gerät 241.

5 cm FlaK 41
Class Vehicle
Type Towed Artillery
Manufacturer Rheinmetall
Origin Germany
Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1941
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Germany 1941 1945 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Rheinmetall 1936 2000 View

Type Anti-aircraft cannon
Place of origin Nazi Germany
Service history
In service 1941–1945
Used by Nazi Germany
Wars Second World War
Production history
Manufacturer Rheinmetall-Borsig
Produced 1936
Number built 200
Specifications (Flak 41 on trailer)
Weight 4,300 kg (9,500 lb)
Length 605 cm (19 ft 10 in)
Barrel length 434 cm (14 ft 3 in)
Width 239 cm (7 ft 10 in)
Height 216 cm (7 ft 1 in)
Crew 7
Shell HE; 2.25 kg (4 lb 15 oz)
Caliber 50 mm (1.98 in)
Breech gas-operated bolt
Carriage 2-axle trailer
Elevation -10°to ±90°
Traverse 360°
Rate of fire 180 rounds/min (cyclic)
Muzzle velocity 840 m/s (2,756 ft/s)
Effective firing range 3,050 m (10,010 ft)
Maximum firing range 10,350 m (33,960 ft)
Feed system 5 round clip

End notes