Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Type XXI.

This is coolbert:

Another significant German weapons advancement of World War Two [WW2] was the Type XXI submarine.

Was a potential war-winning weapon that was not deployed in time or in numbers to be effective.

A submarine designed to be an almost totally submersible vessel. Powered by the conventional diesel engine/electric motor combination, but “breathing” while submerged through a snorkel mechanism.

The Type XXI represented a MAGNUM leap over existing conventional WW2 submarine designs.

Was larger, had bigger engines [diesel], motors [electric], and battery banks of improved variety. Was designed to provide more comfort and livability to the crew.

"The streamlined hull design allowed the XXI to travel faster submerged than surfaced."

"The XXI featured an advanced sonar system which allowed the crew to aim torpedoes without relying on the periscope"

"The Type XXI featured a hydraulic torpedo reload system"

"The Type XXIs had much better facilities than previous classes, with a freezer for foodstuffs and minor conveniences for the crew such as a shower and wash basin"

Could submerge immediately upon leaving port, remaining under water during the entire mission, surfacing ONLY to dock upon completion of a voyage.

[NOT totally underwater the entire time of course. During snorkeling a TINY fraction of the submarine would be exposed!]

Used modular assembly, somewhat unique for manufacturing of the period, and totally unheard of with regard to submarines of the time.

"The boats were built faster than earlier types as the hull was constructed from 8 prepared sections which were assembled after being transported from the various factories they were made in."

"the boats were built decentralized in modules, which were ferried by barge to a main site only towards the end of construction. Here they were assembled to complete hulls"

Experts of Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union keenly examined the Type XXI, following the end of war.

Found to be a design so good, that it was emulated and did begat a series of submarine classes. To include:

British Porpoise class. [which in turn resulted in an even more advanced Oberon class.]

Soviet Romeo, Zulu, and Whiskey classes.

And the U.S.S. Nautilus. The Nautilus was a Type XXI with the diesel engines/electric motors removed and replaced by nuclear propulsion!!

"The design directly influenced USS Nautilus"

"the hull design of one of the Electroboats [Type XXI] was adopted and used in the development of the first nuclear submarine."

Admiral Rickover knew a good thing when he saw it!!??

Go to this site and scroll to the bottom to see links to complete photos of the last existing Type XXI.




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