Seeteufel

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Seeteufel
History
Germany
Namesake: Sea Devil
Builder: Borgward
Launched: 1944
General characteristics
Type: Midget U-boat
Displacement:
  • 2 tons surfaced, approx.
  • 18-20 tons submerged
Length: 14.2 m (47 ft)
Beam: c. 2 m (6 ft 7 in)
Draft: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Installed power: 80 hp (80 shp; 60 kW) gasoline engine
Speed:
  • 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
  • 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) submerged
  • 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; 4 mines

Seeteufel (Sea Devil) was an amphibious midget submarine, developed by Nazi Germany during World War II. Only one prototype was built, before the project was cancelled in 1944.

Development[edit]

The Seeteufel was a response to the challenges that human torpedoes and small submarines faced during launch and recovery. The addition of tracks would grant the ability to more easily transfer from land to water and vice versa.[1]

The prototype Seeteufel (a.k.a. "Elefant" or "Loedige Projekt") was developed in four months at the Kiel-Eckernförde torpedo testing center, under the direction of Alois Loedige.[2] A two-man crew controlled the 14.2 m long submarine. An 80 hp gasoline engine provided propulsion on both water (at 10 kn) and land (at 10 km/h). When submerged, a 25 hp electric motor gave the vessel a cruising speed of 8 kn.[1]

The Seeteufel's flooding device made it possible to be armed with standard G7e torpedoes, or with four naval mines. On land it could use flamethrowers or machine guns.[1]

The submarine performed well in the water, but was considered underpowered on land.[1] More powerful 250 hp diesel engines[2] were planned for later models, in addition to wider tracks to spread the load and decrease ground pressure.[1]

Aftermath[edit]

A series of Seeteufels were ordered at the Borgward factory in Bremen, but they were never constructed. The single experimental vessel was transferred to Lübeck and destroyed at the end of the war.[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]