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S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945

"LS 1" - "LS 12"

 

In 1936 the Seekriegsleitung (SKl) demanded a little Schnellboot able to be taken aboard of cruisers abroad and auxiliary cruisers.

A first design of a know shipyard showed a boat of 20m length in composit construction using timber and aluminium. This design was declined since the boat was considered to be too big for handling at sea. It should be a boat of 12 to 13 m length and a deplacement of 10 to 11 ts.  The propulsion should be given by small fast-running Dieselengines. The boat was to carry one 53,3cm or two 45,7cm-torpedotubes and a 20mm-gun in a rotating cupola. because of the difficult trim of the boat after firing a bow-torpedo it was decided for the design to use two 45,7cm-torpedotubes on either side of the diesels with astern-firing technique. It was also decided, that the torpedoes should be launched head-first since the torpedoes had a instable depthsteering and the boat might otherwise be rammed.

Three alternatives were studied: 

Composit construction usind timber and aluminium, pure aluminium and stainless steel (V2A) construction.

AFter the decision had be taken to construct the boat of either aluminium or V2A-steel the Supreme Command of the Kriegsmarine (OKM) ordered the construction of two test-boats, but:

"LS 1" in composit construction using timber annd aluminium at Naglo in Berlin.

"LS 2" in aluminium construction at Dornier in Friedrichshafen-Manzell.

The planned Daimler-light double-effective-piston dieselengines were not completed in time, therefore the boats got two Junkers 6-cylinder aircraft diesel engines JuMo 205. 

Originally it was demanded that the torpedoes should be fired in ahead direction. But since would have meant to build two big side-gates into the boats sides, it was disapproaved. 

Arrangement of the torpedotubes with side-gates - Picture from Fock: Schnellboote Vol. 2

At the outbreak of the war the construction of both boats was cancelled. 

In early 1940 "LS 1" was, since it had become too heavy because of its way of construction, given free for other usages. "LS 2" was to be  finished expeditely and given on board of auxiliary cruiser "Komet" (H.S.K. 7) as "Meteorit". But since it was feared that the 45,7cm-torpedotubes could not be finished in time, the boat was fitted as minelayer for fast mining of harbour-entrances carrying three magnetic mines (T.M.B.) in side-by-side tubes in the stern. 

Sideview of th minelaying arrangement Top view of the minelaying arrangement
Pictures from Fock: Schnellboote Vol. 2

Because of difficulties in acquisiton of 20mm-guns as was planned for the boat, finally an old 6cm-gun was fitted to it. Already during the inspection trips the Junkers engines cuased problems. End 1940 the final inspection was conducted off Kiel with 200 miles covered in 7 hours and a marching speed of 28 and a maximum speed of 32 knots.

The launching of the boat, which had been named "Meterorit", was performed with the heavy derrick of the auxialiary cruiser. The difficulties with the Junker-engines made the boat a total failure during the employment of "Komet". It must be emphasized that "LS 2" did not lay a single mine during the deployment of "Komet".

 

"LS-Boat" Sideview and Decksplan Version Torpedoboat - Picture from Fock: Schnellboote Vol. 2

LS 2 "Meteorit" - Foto: EADS/Dornier GmbH 

In spring 1940 four other boats were ordered at Dornier "LS 3" - "LS 6". They were planned as minelyers. Boats "LS 3" and "LS 4" were fitted with the Daimler light-dieselengines MB 507 already planned for "LS 1" and "LS 2". "LS 3" was given on board of auxiuliary cruiser "Kormoran" (H.S.K 8) as plnanned. 

"LS 4" was fitted with the originally planned for two 45,7cm-stern-torpedotubes, which had been built at Dornier within three months, and was given on board of auxiliary cruiser "Michel" (H.S.K. 9) as "Esau". Under the command of KptLt. von Schack it was very successful and sunk:

Date Name of Ship Type of Ship BRT
22.04.1942 "Connecticut" US Turbinentanker 8.684 
06.06.1942 "George Clymer" Libertyship 7.176
? "Aramis" Norw. Motortanker 7.984
30.11.1942 Eugenie Livanos" Griech. Freighter 4.816
17.06.1943 "Ferncastle" Norw. Motortanker 9.940
11.09.1943 "India" *) Norw. Motortanker ?

*) shot into flames and finally sunk by "Michel "

The Commanding Officer was decorated with Deutsches Kreuz in Gold.

The boat was also used to evacuate the crews of the sunk ships, so that it at times carried up to 30 persons on deck.

Boats "LS 5" and "LS 6" were again fitted with JuMo 205-engines. They were fitted as depth-charge-carriers and were to operate together with the sensor-bearer "MR 7" in anti-submarine-warfare in the Aegean Sea. But since the R-Boat was deployed to the Black Sea, it never came to this co-operation. Therefore, they were mostly deployed as fast  transport boats

"LS 6" was sunk by British fighterbombers and "LS 5" was severely damaged and had to be sat aground. She was not to salvage and, therefore, blown up.

Arrangement of Depthcharges on "LS 5" and "LS 6" - Picture from Fock: Schnellboote Vol. 2

 

 

Technical Data "LS 1" - "LS 12"

"LS 5" - Drawing from Fock: Schnellboote Vol. 2

 

Shipyard Dornier-Werft, Friedrichshafen
 Length 12,5 m
Beam 3,46 m
Draught 0,9 m
Displacement 11,5 ts
Propulsion 2 x Daimler-Benz MB 507 Diesel engines 1100 HP, 2 x threebladet propellers of 0,48 to 0,55 cm diameter
Speed 38 kts
Complement 7
Armament
2 x Stern Torpedotubes 53,3 cm
1 x 15 mm Machine Gun

 

LS-2 "Meteorit" - Picture: EADS/Dornier GmbH

The boats of series "LS 7" - "LS 12" were built as torpedo carrieres. "LS 7 was delivered on 08.10.1943, "LS 12" on 12.07.1944. "LS 7" - "LS 11" were transported to the Aegean Sea, "LS 12" was stopped in Jugoslavia and came to the Torpedo Trials Authority. She became Soviet war-loot. 

LS-Boat at fuld Speed - Picture: Archives D. Krakow

"LS-5" and "LS-6" in the Aegean Sea - Picture: Archives P. Schenk

LS-7 in the Aegean Sea - Picture: Archives P. Schenk

LS-7 being launched - Picture: EADS/Dornier GmbH

"LS 5" and "LS 6" in the Aegean Sea - Picture: from Fock: Schnellboote Vol. 2

"LS 4" with open Stern-Tubes - Picture: from Fock: Schnellboote Vol. 2

LS-Boat at High Speed in the Aegaeis - Picture: EADS/Dornier GmbH

LS-Boat in Version Torpedoes - Picture: EADS/Dornier GmbH

LS-Boat at High Speed - Picture: EADS/Dornier GmbH

 

The series "LS 13 - "LS 34" yet ordered was stopped by the end of the war, the boats "LS 13" - "LS 18" were finished as French war loot with Mercedes Benz Diesels M 507. The orders for the other boats were anulled. 

 

 

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