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2017-12-10

SUBMARINES  –  U-BOOT  TYPE  "XXIX"

Type VIII
Type XXI
Type XXIX
S-655
S-574
P-629
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–
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Background
Background
Background
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In popular culture, the idea of submarine are often associated with the German U-Boot, most probably because in both the First and Second world wars, Germany made an extensive use of them, with devastating effects.  But, if this association is not ill founded, it doesn't give justice to other submarine building nations nor to other navies whose submarines were also very active during the last war.

Having said that, the success of German submarines is not limited to popular culture.  When the war was over, quite a few of these grey wolves  served victorious nations for a time, with no less than 23 ships serving France, Norway and the Soviet Union, plus another one which served in the Spanish Navy (see the main Submarines page).

The best known type was the Type VIIC, but the more remarquable was the Type XXI.  The first ever designed from the outset as a true submarine rather than a submersible vessel, it marked a leap forward in terms of performances and inspired several post-war designs like the Soviet "Whiskey" class or the French Narval.  A handful of Type XXI served with the Soviet Union till the mid fifties, but France operated hers as late as 1967.

Several were tested in the UK and the USA in the immediate after war years, but none operationally.  A few years later, Sweden examined the salvaged wreck of U-3503 and Germany raised the scuttled U-2540 which was re-commissioned in 1960.

In Atlantic Air Combat™, the Swedish Royal Navy is donned with a blue water navy made of their existing real-life capital ships and around two fictional aircraft carriers.  In AAC™, besides several Type XXI, artificially added to the fleet, the SwRN is also equipped with fictional missile carrying submarines, ex-German Type XXIX U-boots...   Here is their fictional story.

U-BOOT TYPE XXIX

During the last part of WWII, Adolf Hitler had entered into a frenzy about "wonder" weapons, and the toll claimed by both V1s (the first actual cruise missile) and V2s (the first actual ballistic missile) remains a grim memory.  Besides the fixed and mobile V2 land launchers, a project had been developped to launch the missile from a sea-going platform.  The arrangement involving a submarine towing a special container was very complex and it was soon felft it would have very little practical use.

While the manufacture of three such containers had been ordered with Vulkanwerft in Stettin, more advanced thinking had been carried out to allow the internal carrying of the missile.  As the V2 itself was too large for existing types, it was either a matter of enlarging an existing submarine or downsizing the missile.  The resulting Type XXIX was a bit of both.

They started their life as U-796 and U-797 Type XVIII Walter boats, before being cancelled in favour of the massive production of the Type XXI Elektroboot.  But that wasn't the end of these two hulls.  As they were structurally similar to the XXI, their construction re-started to match the XXI in almost every respect, but for a 6.80 m plug inserted between sections 4 and 5.  That additional section allowed passages fore and after the ship and contained three pressurised, watertight containers for the V3A1 missiles.  Not only was it quite an achievement for the time, but these two boats were delivered and commissioned before the construction of the first rocket-boot container had started in December 1944.  The rocket was a 75% reduction of the original V2A4 with shorter wing span and it was sufficiently different to justify its renaming as V3A1.  It used the same motor and carried the same warload but had a lesser mass of fuel, hence a significantly shorter range.
Type Cutaway Illustration Length Main Ψ Mass Warhead Range Guidance








V2A4 14 m 1.65 m
(65")
27600 lb 2200 lb 320 km Radio








V3A1 11 m 1.04 m
(41")
19880 lb 2200 lb 230 km Radio +
active
radar

Conscious that it would be difficult if at all possible to guide the missile to its destination (and put the launching sub at harm during the process), a rudimentary radar system was installed in the nose in the form of a central emitter and peripheral receivers, the intention being to locate building concentration.  As the missile and its guidance system was developped, it was discovered that the advances made in gyroscopic stabilization allowed more than enough accuracy to dispense with the primitive active radar with a CEP of around 1000 m.  Then the use of the radar, however crude and rudimentary, allowed the missile to alter its course within that cone and actually hit the detected "target" as demonstrated against 5,000 ton ships in the Baltic sea.  A sizeable isolated target at sea was naturally a lot easier to pinpoint than a building in a city, and with the combined use of sound detection it made the V3A1 the first ballistic beyond the horizon anti-shipping missile.  And at 2900 km/h terminal velocity, it didn't need to be armor piercing to smash through the best reinforced deck with devastating effect.  They were however never used in operation.

In the early days of May 1945, orders were issued to scuttle all Kriegsmarine vessels, and many were.  The crew of both U-796 and U-797 took to sea and were preparing the fully laden ships for their fate when the order was rescinded.  To some extent this was a relief but the skippers of these two boats, reluctant to make them fall into ennemy hands, decided to sail toward Sweden, and seek asylum.  The crew were interned and so were the two submarines.  Allied nations summoned Sweden to surrender the vessels, but the Swedes only agreed to have them examined.  If the sub/missile combination was exceptional, nothing else aboard these vessles was, and with scores of abandonned V2 and more surrendered Elektroboots they could hanldle, the Allies finally gave up trying to have these boats sunk, and let Sweden keep them along with the other interned Type XXI.  All were incorporated in their Swedish Royal Navy in 1947.

The V3A1 were reversed engineered by the Swedes, for both their Army and Navy, and by the end of the 1940s, Sweden was the first regular operator of a ballistic missiles carrying submarine.  And with the projected development together with Switzerland of a nuclear weapon they took great care of these vessels, having them undergoing a major overhaul/rebuild in 1959-1961, with equal attention being paid to the vessels and their missiles.  This is also when the two outer screws were replaced by a single counter rotating propeller.

They could either be used as an traditional escort to the carrier fleet in the Artic or as a potent deterrent against the Soviet fleet.  Especially, Swedish authorities never confirmed nor denied whether the V3A1 missiles were tipped with a nuclear device, making them a threat and key targets when the USSR decided to invade the Aaland islands....

SPECIFICATIONS

Types

Qty

LOA Displ Speed Range nm Range Tube Tube Torp Mine Msl Gun Guns Guns Crew
    ~ Subm ~ sf/sm Surface Submerged Max Bow Stern  Qty TM – Main AA2 AA1 -

Type.VIIC

568

67 m

1050 t

6.2m 18/   8.kt

8 500/10.kt

80/  4.kt

220 m 4 1 14 26 –   88mm – 1Χ20mm 48

Type.VIIC41

91

67 m

1050 t

6.2m 18/   8.kt

8 500/10.kt

80/  4.kt

220 m 4 1 14 26 –   88mm 1Χ37mm 4Χ20mm 48

Type.VIII

Fake

77 m

1 250 t

6.5m 18/   7.kt

12 000/10.kt

64/  4.kt

230 m 4 2 22 44 – 105mm 1Χ37mm 4Χ20mm 52

Type.IXB

14

77 m

1 250 t

6.5m 18/   7.kt

12 000/10.kt

64/  4.kt

230 m 4 2 22 44 – 105mm – 1Χ20mm 52

Type.IXC

54

77 m

1 250 t

6.5m 18/   7.kt

12 000/10.kt

64/  4.kt

230 m 4 2 22 44 – 105mm – 1Χ20mm 52

Type.XXI

118

77 m

1 800 t

8.0 m 16/17.kt

15 500/10.kt

285/  6.kt

280 m 6 – 23 12 – – – 4Χ20mm 58

Type.XXIX

2

84 m

2 200 t

8.0 m 16/17.kt

15 500/10.kt

285/  6.kt

280 m 6 – 23 12 3 – – 4Χ20mm 58

Armament

Type LOA Weight Ψ Speed Filling Range

Illustrations : Weapons

Illustrations : Type XXIX

Gun –   20mm AA

C38 –

120 grm

– 450 rpm

22 grm

  3700 m

       –

Radar directed (XXI & XXIX)

Gun –   30mm AA

M42 –

640 grm

– 150 rpm

104 grm

  4800 m

       –

       –

Gun – 105mm

C32 –

– lb

–   15 rpm

– lb

15350 m

       –

Naval gun only, not dual purpose

Torpedo

G7e 7.2 m

3 534 lb

21" 30 kt

640 lb

  5000 m

       –

Torpedo-Mine

TMA2 2.3 m

~650 lb

21" –

475 lb

–

2 per torpedo tube possible

Torpedo-Mine

TMB1 2.3 m

1 625 lb

21" –

1 230 lb

–

3 per torpedo tube possible

Torpedo-Mine

TMB2 2.3 m

1 625 lb

21" –

1 230 lb

–

       "

       "

Torpedo-Mine

TMB3 2.8 m

1 475 lb

21" –

925 lb

–

       "

       "

Torpedo-Mine

TMBS 2.6 m

1 600 lb

21" –

1 230 lb

–

2 per torpedo tube possible

Torpedo-Mine

TMC1 3.4 m

2 450 lb

21" –

2 050 lb

–

2 per torpedo tube possible

Torpedo-Mine

TMC2 3.4 m

2 200 lb

21" –

1 760 lb

–

       "

       "

SIMILAR SLBM IN ATLANTIC AIR COMBAT™

France : a submarine type will stand for the S-655 Gymnote (but armed with Honest John like missiles)
U.S.A. : a submarine type will stand for the S-574 Regulus carrying class of submarines
Soviet  : a submarine type will stand for the P-629 Scud carrying class of submarines

There will be no equivalent target in the southern hemisphere (but for those mentioned above venturing down south).

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