Seeteufel

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Seeteufel
Career (Germany)
Namesake: Sea Devil
Builder: Borgward
Launched: 1944
General characteristics
Type: Midget U-boat
Displacement: 2 tons surfaced, approx.
18-20 tons submerged
Length: 13.5 m (44 ft)
Beam: 2 m (6 ft 7 in) (approx.)
Draft: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Installed power: 80 hp (60 kW) gasoline truck engine
Speed: 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) surfaced
10 km/h (6.2 mph) (on land)
Endurance: 30–80 hours (gas)
10–20 hours (battery)
Test depth: 50 m (160 ft)
Complement: 2
Armament: 2 × torpedoes

Seeteufel (Sea Devil) was a tracked two-man amphibian midget submarine which was designed to solve the vulnerability and technical problems associated with German midget subs that had to be launched at sea - even midget subs as small as the Neger (Negro) one man piloted torpedo.

Seeteufel (a.k.a. "Elefant" or "Loedige Projekt") was developed at Kiel-Eckernförde which was theKriegsmarine's torpedo testing ground where Dipl Ing Alois Loedige was the project leader.

Seeteufel is also an epithet of Felix von Luckner.

Development[edit]

The first and only prototype was available for testing in the summer of 1944. Since there were no diesel engines available, an 80 hp (60 kW) gasoline truck engine had to be installed. It served for both surface propulsion (8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)) and land propulsion (10 km/h (6.2 mph)). Seeteufel was to be armed primarily with two torpedoes. Mines and possibly either machine guns or flame throwers were also considered.

The trials at Eckernförde showed the vessel to have very good manoeuvering and handling abilities although underpowered. It was subsequently decided that the production series should have a 250 hp (190 kW) diesel engine. It was also discovered that the tracks were too small and would have to be refitted with larger ones.

Destruction[edit]

After testing was completed, a series of standard Seeteufels were ordered at the Borgward factory at Bremen but production never began. The only existing experimental vessel was taken to a facility near Lübeck, and destroyed at the end of the war.

References[edit]

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