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S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945

"Hydra 1" - "Hydra 39"

On the basis of a design for Luftwaffe for a small Schnellboat intended for transportation with load gliders, which had been pu back, was a boat for the Kleinkampfverbände designed in co-operation with Kröger Shipyard. This type og boat was called "Hydra". Two prototypes were ordered on 25.08.1944.

In the end of  1944 comparing-trials with types "Hydra", "Kobra", "Schlitten" aund "Wal" were carried out. The type "Hydra", a boat with a portly hull on V-frames built in lamellate glue-construction of  13,21 m length over all and a beam of 3,10 m with a draft of 1,05 m was in the opinion of the Konstruktions-Amtes (K-Amt = construction office) of Oberkommandos der Marine (OKM = supreme command of the navy) the most suited boat although it did not meet teh requireements of the Kleinkampfverband - less than 10 m length and transportability with a trailer. As the biggest boat tested it had of course the best seaworthiness, sound-muffling was also a selection criterion.

On 04.12.1944 a series of 50 boats was ordered. A further order about 115 boats was given on 08.02.1945. The boat were to be built by Kröger, Lürssen, Schlichting, Danziger Waggonfabrik, Hamburger Werft and several smaller yards. 

The boats were propelled by two Avia-Hispano-Suiza aircraft-Otto-engines which choked down to 650 PS, a gearbox was not available. The boat in series was to have a  range of 160 sm at 36 kn rsp. 370 sm at 25 kn with 1400 l of fuel. The boat hasd a displacement og 8,7 t. 

The armament consisted of two 45,7cm-stern-torpedotubes and one Flak-MG. The complement was two men.

Type "Hydra" - Picture from Fock: Schnellboote Bd. 2

 

Technical Data Type "Hydra"

 Length 12,89 m
Beam 3,10 m
Draft 1,03 m
Displacement 8,7 t
Complement 2 Mann
Armament 2 x stern-torpedotubes 45,7 cm

1 x Flak Machinegun

Propulsion 2 x Avia-Hispano-Suiza Otto-engines 650 PS without gearbox
Speed 36 kn
Shipyards Kröger-Werft, Warnemünde und Stralsund, Lürssen-Werft, Vegesack, Schlichting-Werft, Travemünde, Danziger Waggonfabrik, Hamburger Werft and various smaller yards

Type "Hydra" - Picture from Fock: Schnellboote Bd. 2

"Hydra" at Seatrials - Picture from Fock: Schnellboote Bd. 2

Until the end of war,however, only 39 boats wre produced, which were organized in the Sonderkommando (special command) "Hydra" calles 1. Hydra-Flottille. The flotilla ready for action was not employed in actions, it was stationed at Apenrade/Denmark and transitted during the night 07./08.05.1945 to Gelting Bight for the capitulation.

In an email Mr. Kletzin stated: "The members of the flotilla were made an offer by the Amerikans, that if all agreed to bee employed in the Pacific against the Japaneese under the US-flag they would all get US-citizenship. Condition: All had to agree. Time to think about it: one day. While all ratings were in agreement, the commander of the flotilla disagreed because he was not willing to collaborate with the enemy." (This statement is from the memories of his father who as a member of the Kleinkampfverband was involved).

About the whereabouts of the boats nothing is known.

 

 

 

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