As it says on the jacket, this is a complete history of German fast boats during WWII. The S-Boote, called E-Boats by the British, were formidable small warships capable of high speeds and employed in nearly all the Kriegsmarine’s theatres of war . – Much Recommended.
NAME: Schnellboote, a Complete History FILE: R2512 AUTHOR: Lawrence Paterson PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Seaforth BINDING: hard back PAGES: 338 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War 2, World War II, Second World War, naval warfare, naval technology, coastal forces, torpedo boats, gun boats, flak boats, minesweepers, fast patrol boats, FPBs
IMAGE: B2512jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/mxjqmkz LINKS: DESCRIPTION: As it says on the jacket, this is a complete history of German fast boats during WWII. The S-Boote, called E-Boats by the British, were formidable small warships capable of high speeds and employed in nearly all the Kriegsmarine's theatres of war . - Much Recommended. The author had written a detailed account of the fast patrol boats built and used by the Kriegsmarine during WWII. The clear text is supported by an excellent selection of photographs through the body of the book and by some very informative appendices. This is a book for every naval history enthusiast, an essential addition to all personal libraries. As for the British, small fast patrol boats were ideal for fighting in coastal waters. Relatively cheap and quick to build, they carried a very heavy armament for their size and could be constructed in boat yards that were too small for larger warships. The general tactics for both sides were similar but there were important differences in design, construction and equipment. In the main, the Royal Navy and the USN built hard chine motorboats, powered by aircraft engines, fuelled with petrol and constructed largely of wood with a hard chine planing hull. The notable exceptions were the Fairmile A and Fairmile B motor launches that had a bilge keel hull form and marine engines, although still petrol fuelled. The Fairmiles were intended as minesweepers and convoy escorts but the Fairmile B was a true multi-role vessel that had a special fast change mounting system for weapons. This enabled 'B's to be used as gunboats, torpedo boats, coastal convoy escorts, and even escorts relieving destroyers and corvettes that were escorting inbound Atlantic convoys but running short of fuel and ammunition after battling U-Boats and Kondor patrol aircraft for many days. The 'B' was also often used to support commando assaults where they carried commandos to their targets and brought them home again or used to extract paratroopers who had dropped behind coastal targets to attack the targets from an unexpected direction. With those exceptions, British MTBs and MGBs had planning hulls to achieve some 40 knots flat out. Initially, they were fitted with Merlin engines that had completed their design life in Spitfires and Hurricanes and were sent to Rolls Royce for marinization before issue to yards building coastal forces vessels. The British also equipped most of their FPBs with a pair of Ford V8 engines that could be clutched onto the outboard prop shafts to provide economic power to manoeuvrer in port and to make a stealthy approach to targets in fog and at night. Wood was used extensively because it avoided strategic materials that were required for other shipbuilding contracts and because they allowed yacht builders to undertake war construction, using techniques they were already familiar with from building and repairing yachts. The British also used their own mix of weapons and mountings. Twin machine guns were often mounted in barbettes or turrets. On deck, ahead or aft of the bridge, 20mm canon were mounted on simple open mounts and sometimes in twin canon mounts aft of the bridge. Later in the war some MGBs carried one 4.5in gun in a powered mount forward and a few also carried a second powered mount aft of the bridge with a single 4.5in gun. With the exception of the experimental MTB102, built originally by Vospers as a private venture, all MTBs carried two or four torpedoes in tubes mounted on the sides of the deck firing forward. MTB102 was later modified to mount two tubes in the open on the sides of the deck to replace the single internal tube that was mounted on the centreline to fire through a bow cap and with a second torpedo on deck ready to be winched into the single tube once the first torpedo had been fired. Many coastal craft carried two or four depth charges to be dropped over the side from the aft decks. Some craft were used for mine laying but normally larger vessels would be employed in this role. The German approach was different. They did build S-Boats with hard chine planing hulls but the typical S-Boat had a bilge keel. This made them better sea boats in rough conditions than the British boats that tended to pound badly in rough weather. The Germans also favoured the use of metal for the hull framing and some boats were metal skinned rather than clad in double diagonal mahogany planks as favoured by the British. The Germans used diesel engines and this made their boats less flammable. This took advantage of the great experience of building high speed diesels for boats and aircraft. A major difference was in torpedo mounting. The Germans favoured inbuilt tubes with caps and mounted two forward firing tubes to their boats. This again made operation in high sea states safer and more practical. Gun armament was heavier initially although the British continued to up-gun their fast boats until some were carrying 4.5in guns, heavier than those fitted to some steel corvettes and frigates. The Germans favoured mounting a heavier canon, typically 3.7mm, in a cockpit ahead of the bridge. Once again, this helped in operations where rough weather was likely. S-Boats were more likely to be used for missions, such as mining and minesweeping, than British fast boats. The author has provided a detailed view of S-Boats and their deployment.