(Kit: S-100 1:72 Revell)
Schnellboot or S-boot ("fast craft") is the designation for Motor Torpedo Boats of the German Navy since 1932. In particular it applies to that type of Boat that saw service during World War II. The schnellboot was then called an E-boat by the Allies; it is commonly held that the "E" stood for "Enemy".
The S-boot was better suited to the open sea and had substantially longer range (approximately 700 nautical miles) than the American PT boat and the British Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB). As a result the Royal Navy later developed better matched versions of MTBs using the Fairmile 'D' hull design.
S-boote were often used to patrol the Baltic Sea and the English Channel in order to intercept shipping heading for the English ports in the south and east. As such, they were up against Royal Navy and Commonwealth (particularly Royal Canadian Navy contingents leading up to D-Day), Motor Gun Boats (MGBs), Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs), Motor Launches, frigates and destroyers. They were also transferred in small numbers to the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea by river and land transport. Some small S-Boote were built as boats for carrying by auxiliary cruisers.
Crew members could earn an award particular to their workóDas Schnellbootkriegsabzeichenódenoted by a badge depicting an S-boot passing through a wreath. The criteria were good conduct, distinction in action, and participating in at least twelve enemy actions. It was also awarded for particularly successful missions, displays of leadership or being killed in action. It could be awarded under special circumstances, such as when another decoration was not suitable.
Schnellboote of the 9th flotilla were the first naval units to respond to the invasion fleet of Operation Overlord. They left Cherbourg harbour at 5am on 6 June 1944. On finding themselves confronted by the entire invasion fleet, they fired their torpedoes at maximum range and returned to Cherbourg.
During World War II the S-boote sank 101 merchant ships totalling 214,728 tons. In addition, they sank 12 destroyers, 11 minesweepers, eight landing ships, six MTBs, a torpedo boat, a minelayer, one submarine and a number of small merchant craft. They also damaged two cruisers, five destroyers, three landing ships, a repair ship, a naval tug and numerous merchant vessels. Sea mines laid by the S-boote were responsible for the loss of 37 merchant ships totalling 148,535 tons, a destroyer, two minesweepers and four landing ships.
In recognition of their service, the members of Schnellboot crews were awarded the Knight's Cross on 23 occasions, and the German Cross in Gold on 112 occasions.
Length: 34.9 m (114 feet 6 inches)
Weight: up to 120 t
Speed: 43.8 kts
Engines: Three 20-cylinder 2000 hp Daimler Benz MB501 diesels driving three shafts.
2 ◊ 53.3 cm (21 inches) torpedo tubes, with room for 2 more torpedoes (for reloading).
1 ◊ 20 mm gun, (20 mm single on early boats, twin and special bow version on later classes)
1 ◊ 40 mm gun (40 mm Bofors) on some S-38 class boats
Other AA armament carried on different models included two or more pintle-mounted MG-34s, 3.7 cm Flak 42 (S-100) and 8.6 cm RaG M42 (S-100) or, rarely, a quad 2 cm flak mount.