German midget submarines

Seehund (Seal)

Seehund

This is what is normally considered the most successful of the miniature German submarines. The type, designed in 1944, is known as XXVII B 5, also known as Type 127, and at least 138 (U-5001 - U-5118 and U-5251 - 5269) were commissioned into the Kriegsmarine. From 1944 it was planned to build over 1000 such mini subs.

These boats had a displacement of 17 tons submerged, a crew of 2 and carried two underslung torpedoes of type G7e. The Seehund had the range of 300 km at 7 knots and could attack on the surface in weather up to 4 on the Beufort scale but had to be almost stationary for submerged attacks. About 50 Seehund boats had an additional fuel storage that gave them a range of 300 miles at 7 knots surfaced and 63 miles at 3 knots submerged. These saw limited action at Dungenees.

285 Seehund boats were produced:

Sept 19443Jan 194535
Oct 194435Feb 194527
Nov 194461Mar 194546
Dec 194470Apr 19458

Seehund midget submarines

Below are all the commissioned Seehund midget boats we know of.

5001, 5002, 5003, 5004, 5005, 5006, 5007, 5008, 5009, 5010, 5011, 5012,
5013, 5014, 5015, 5016, 5017, 5018, 5019, 5020, 5021, 5022, 5023, 5024,
5025, 5026, 5027, 5028, 5029, 5030, 5031, 5032, 5033, 5034, 5035, 5036,
5037, 5038, 5039, 5040, 5041, 5042, 5043, 5044, 5045, 5046, 5047, 5048,
5049, 5050, 5051, 5052, 5053, 5054, 5055, 5056, 5057, 5058, 5059, 5060,
5061, 5062, 5063, 5064, 5065, 5066, 5067, 5068, 5069, 5070, 5071, 5072,
5073, 5074, 5075, 5076, 5077, 5078, 5079, 5080, 5081, 5082, 5083, 5084,
5085, 5086, 5087, 5088, 5089, 5090, 5091, 5092, 5093, 5094, 5095, 5096,
5097, 5098, 5099, 5100, 5101, 5102, 5103, 5104, 5105, 5106, 5107, 5108,
5109, 5110, 5111, 5112, 5113, 5114, 5115, 5116, 5117, 5118, 5251, 5252,
5253, 5254, 5255, 5256, 5257, 5258, 5259, 5260, 5261, 5262, 5263, 5264,
5265, 5266, 5267, 5268, 5269.

137 Seehund midget submarines commissioned.

The Seehund proved to be relatively immune to depth charges as its light weight simply tossed it around without much damage resulting (can't have been too much fun for the operators though! :). They were capable of diving down to 164 feet.

Operations

From January through April 1945 the Seehund boats went out on 142 sorties, lost 35 of their own and only sank 8 ships with a total of 17,301 tons and damaged 3 for 18,384 tons.

More information on midget submarine operations.

Seehund boats today

Did you know that there are several Seehund boats in museums today?

Deutsches Museum has virtual tour inside a Seehund that is very interesting.

Photos

Check out the Midget submarine Gallery page for Seehund photos.




Underwater Warriors

Kemp, Paul


Buy this title at


amazon.com
See more sellers

Books dealing with this subject include

Above Us the Waves. Warren, C.E.T. and Benson, James, 1971. (transl.)
Advance Force - Pearl Harbor. Burlingame, Burl, 2002.
Armas Secretas de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Llaugé Dausá, Félix, 1973.
Armas suicidas. Barker, A.J., 1975.
Caproni e il mare. Rastelli, Achille, 1999.
Einzelkämpfer auf See. Bekker, Cajus, 1968. (transl.)
Fuori uno!. Cepparo, Renato, 1998.
Graveyards of the Pacific. Ballard, Robert D., 2001.
Last Year of the Kriegsmarine. Tarrant, V.E., 1994.
Midget Submarines of the Second World War. Kemp, Paul, 1999.
Operation Neptune. Edwars, Kenneth, 1946. (transl.)
Die Seehunde. Mattes, Klaus, 1995.
The Submariners: Life in British Submarines 1901-1999. Winton, John, 1999.
Suicide Squads. O\'Neill, Richard, 1999.
Underwater Warriors. Kemp, Paul, 1996. (transl.)


German midget submarines