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S-Boats in the Kriegsmarine 1935 - 1945

"LS 1" - "LS 12"

In 1936 the Supreme Command of the Navy (Seekriegsleitung - SKl) requested a small S-boat, suited to be carried by cruisers abroad and auxiliary cruisers.

A first design of a well-known shipyard was about a boat of 20 m length in layered building mode in wood and allminium. This design was objected to, since theboat was considered as too big for launching and recovering at sea. A boat of 12 to 13 m length was to be built. The propulsion was to be provided by small fast turning diesel-engines, which, however, still were to be develloped. The was was to be equipped with two 53,3cm- od 45,7cm-torpedotubes and carry one 20mm-gun in a turning-cupola. Because of the trimm after firing a torpedo the decision was made during the design to arrange the torpedotubes at the sides of the propulsion plant with stern-firing arrangement. Also the variant torpedo-head ahead when firing was agreed since with instable depth-steering the torpedo could otherwize ram the boat. Steering stand and turning cupola were to be arranged forward of the propulsion plant was chosen.  Der Antrieb sollte über kleine  schnelllaufende Dieselmotoren erfolgen, die aber. The alternatives were studied:

composit-building mode with wood and aluminium, just aluminium-, V2A-construction.

After the decision for the building modes alumium resp. V2A-steel had been made, two boats were ordered in 1938 but:

"LS 1" in composite wood and aluminium construction at Naglo, Berlin.

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

Both boats were to be equipped with Junkers Dopdouble-piston four-stroke aircraft-dieselengines JuMo 205 erhalten, since the Daimler Benz lightweight dieselengines still were under development. 

Originally the Skl had requested a torpdeo-firing in forward direction. Since that had required a big hatch in the hull, this solution was put abandoned.

Arrangement of the Torpedotubes in the rear of the boat with hatches in the hull - Picture from Fock: Schnellboote Bd. 2

At the outbreak of war the construction of the boats was stopped. But in summer 1940 the fast production of  "LS 2" was ordered since the boat was planned for employment on board of auxiliary cruiser " Komet" (H.S.K. 7). But since it was feared that the 45,7cm torpedotubes would not get ready in time "LS 2" was rearmed as minelayer with minlaying gear for three magnetic mines (T.M.B.) in tubes laying side-a.side in the stern for fast minings of harbours.

In the beginning of 1940  "LS 1" was since because of its way of construction had made it too heavy, given free for other use. 


Side view of the minelaying gear Top view of minelaying gear
Pictures from Fock: Schnellboote Vol. 2

Because of difficulties in procuring the 20mm-guns as planned for the boat, it finally was equipped with an old 6cm-canon. Already during the acceptance trials the Junkers-engines caused problems. End Juni 1940 the final acceptance trial was performed off Kiel with a distance of 200 nm achieved in seven hours and a measured march-speed of 28 and a maximum speed of 32 kts. 

Launching of the boat which got the name "Meteorit" was performed with the heavyweight-boom of the auxiliary cruiser. The difficulties with the Junkers-engines caused the total loss of the boat during the employment of "Komet". It must be stated  that no single mine was laid by "LS 2" during the employment of "Komet".

"LS-Boat" Sideview and Ground Plan Version Torpedo-Boat - Picture from Fock: Schnellboote Bd. 2


Technical Data

Length 12,5 m
Beam 3,46 m
Draught 0,9 m
Displacement 11,5 t
Armament 2 x stsern-torpedotubes 53,3 cm

1 x 15 mm machine-gun

Propulsion 2 x Daimler-Benz MB 507 desel-engines 1100 PS
Speed 38 kts
Shipyard Dornier-Werft, Friedrichshafen

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

In spring 1940 four more boats were contracted with Dornier, "LS 3" - "LS 6". They were planned as minelayers. Boats "LS 3" and "LS 4" got the Daimler- Lightweight-Diesel-Engines 507 already planned for "LS 1" and "LS 2". "LS 3" was given on board of auxilliary cruiser "Kormoran" (H.S.K 8) according to plan. 

"LS 4" ws equipped with the originally planned two 45,7cm-stern-torpedotubes, which were produced at Dorniers within three months, and was given on board auxiliary cruiser "Michel" (H.S.K. 9) as "Esau". It was very successful under the command of KptLt. von Schack and sank:

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" Greek Freighter 4.816
17.06.1943 "Ferncastle" Norw. Motortanker 9.940
11.09.1943 "India" *) Norw. Motortanker ?

*) gunned to fire and finally sank by "Michel "

The commanding officer was awarded the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (GErman Cross in Gold).

The boat was also used to evacuate the complements of the sank ships, so that it at times transported up to 30 persons on deck.

Boats "LS 5" and "LS 6" again got the JuMo 205-engines. Instead of being minelayers they were fitted with depth charge equipment and werre to act as depth charge carriers in the Aegaen Sea together with the detection-device carrier "MR 7" a reconstructed medium sized minesweeper in anti-submarine warfare. 

Equipment for Dropping of Depth-Charges on "LS 5" and "LS 6" - Picture from Fock: Schnellboote Vol. 2

Since the minesweeper was transferred to the Black Sea this co-operation newer came to be. The boats were mainly used as fast V-boats (personnel transport-boats) in the Aegaen Sea. "LS 6" was sank by British fighterbombers and "LS 5" was seriously damaged and had to sat aground. It was not to be salvaged and was therefore blown up.

The boats of the series "LS 7" - "LS 12" were constructed as torpedo-carriers. "LS 7" was delievered on 08.10.1943, "LS 12" on 12.07.1944 . "LS 7" through "LS 11" were still transported to the Aegaen Sea. "LS 12" was stopped at Jugoslavia and came to the Torpedo Trials Institute )Torpedoversuchsanstalt) as a test-boat. It became war-loot of rthe UdSSR.  


LS-Boot atF full Speed - Picture: Archives D. Krakow

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

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

Launching "LS 7" - Picture: EADS/Dornier GmbH

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

"LS 4" with opened stern-hatches - Picture from Fock: Schnellboote Vol. 2

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

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

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

The still ordered series "LS 13" through "LS 34" was stopped by the end of war, boats "LS 13" through "LS 18" were finished as French war-loot. The order for the other boats was cancelled.



Organization Pictures
War Zones Bearers of Knights Cross Losses of S-Boots Whereabouts of the S-Boats