The Wirbelwind was developed as a mount for anti-aircraft guns on Pz Kpfw IV chassis which had been returned from the front for major overhaul. They were intended to supplement production of the Möbelwagen. In the autumn of 1944, production of the Wirbelwind ceased, since the 2cm Flakvierling was not proving so effective as the 3.7cm FlaK.
The turret was removed from normal Pz Kpfw IV and replaced by an open-topped turret, in which the Flakvierling 38 was mounted. Some vehicles had only 50mm frontal armour since early Ausf F to G were converted for use as the chassis.
Issued to the Flugabwehrzug (AA platoons) of Panzer regiments in Panzer divisions.