Midget Submarine – Marder Pine MartinSeptember 16, 2018
The #Marder or “Pine Marten” was not a mature #U-Boat like the #Molch or #Seehund. This #midget #submarine was an advanced design of the #Neger submarine. These type of submarines were manned torpedo’s. It was a 5,5 ton vessel with a Plexiglas cockpit with a 360 view. It is about 8 meters long and halve a meter wide. While the Neger could not fully submerge the Marder could reach a depth of 30 meters although it could not stay submerged for a long period. The Marder lacked a periscope. The pilot sat in the front of under the Plexiglas dome, beside the excellent view it had a compass inside the dome for navigation. The pilot wore a rubber suit and used an oxygen mask to avoid carbon dioxide poisoning
This 3-ton vessel had a plexiglas cockpit much like an aircraft. Thanks to its dive tank and compressed-air pump this manned-torpedo could actually dive to depths of 100 feet but had very limited endurance while submerged. They had similar range as the Neger. The first of these entered service in July 1944 and about 500 were built until May 1945.
The first attack of the Marder, took place on the night of 2/3 August 1944 against the allied invasion shipping of Courseulles-sur-Mer. Of the 58 which attacked only 17 returned to base, the rest being destroyed by a strong Allied counterattack. They sank one 7,219-ton Liberty ship, a mine sweeper and the 907-ton #destroyer #HMS Quorn. Plus they damaged a cruiser (scheduled to be sunk in the Gooseberry breakwater) and a 7000-ton transport.
The last Normandy attack took place on the night 16/17 August when 42 Marder attacked the beached French 23,189 ton battleship Courbet (the ship was an empty hull and worthless to the allies, except as a blockship)
. Two Marder torpedoed the battleship and the rest managed to sink two small vessels, the 757-ton barrage balloon vessel HMS Fratton and a 415-ton landing craft. 26 of the 42 Marders were lost, one was captured by the support craft LCS 251 after its pilot had been killed by gunfire.
JagerHobby is just completing a model for a customer and you can expect a production kit for you to build your own midget submarine soon