Germany was the first country that examined the opportunity of having guns especially designed to combat balloon, dirigibles and planes. In 1906 at the Berlin automobile exhibition Rheinmetall showed a 5cm L/30 pivot gun mounted on a lightly armoured motor car, while Krupp choose a 6.5cm L/35 gun. The tactic suggested was to deploy these vehicles in likely places and, on the appearance of an aircraft, to drive them rapidly to some point of interception, and open fire there.
At that time
the War Ministry believed that there were no need for special guns, and in
1907 the German Army tested as anti-aircraft guns the guns then adopted by
field and foot artillery : 7.7cm field gun, 10.5cm light
field howitzer and 10cm heavy gun. In spite of the lack of interest shown by
the Army, studies went on. Between 1908 and
It was only
from 1910 to 1914 that the military leaders of the other major European
countries began to examine the prospect of anti-aircraft weapons. In Great
Britain Vickers produced a 3-pdr quick-firing gun mounted on a Daimler car
chassis, while in
In August 1914
In October 1914 there were 9 motorized and 27 horse-drawn Bak.
In January 1915, thanks to a great use of captured guns, there were 97 Bak, mostly armed with Belgian, French and Russian field guns transformed into anti-aircraft gun.
When World War 1 ended German Army had 2576 Flak (Fliegerabwehrkanone = anti-aircraft gun, from 31th May 1916 the new name of Bak).
There were :
- 116 heavy motorised batteries
- 39 light motorised batteries
- 168 horse-drawn batteries,
- 166 fixed batteries,
- 3 railway batteries,
- 183 motorised sections;
- 49 horse-drawn sections;
- 173 fixed sections;
- 80 individual motorised veihicles.
In September 1918 the German Army had in
- bespannte FlakBt. 523 : horse-drawn Flak battery with 7,62cm RäderFlak L/30 (russ. 00);
- bespannte FlakBt. 549, 550, 556 : horse-drawn Flak batteries with 7,62cm RäderFlak L/30 (russ. 02) ;
- bespannte Flakzug 97 (Saxon) : horse-drawn Flak section with 7,62 Ortsfeste-Flak;
- bespannte Flakzug 165 : horse-drawn Flak section with 7,7cm l.F.K. L/35 (franz.);
- bespannte bayer. Flakzug 119 : horse-drawn Bavarian Flak section with 7,62 Ortsfeste-Flak;
- bespannte bayer. Flakzug 148 : horse-drawn Bavarian Flak section with 7,7cm L.F.K. L/35 (franz.);
- 9cm FlakBt. 338 (9cm improvised Flak Battery - Saxon);
- KraftwagenFlak 38, 85 (Flak on motor vehicles).
These units were assigned to the Flak Command of Army Group Scholtz (Kommandeur der Flak der Heeresgruppe Scholtz). There were also two Flak officers, one for German 11th Army and one for Bulgarian 1st and 2nd Army).