View Full Version : MCM Vessels of the German Navy
Ahoi and greetings to all.
I've noticed there's no mention of the German mine countermeasure forces of the now German Navy so far. Now an then German minesweepers and minehunters visit ports fm Norway to North Africa and Portugal to sometimes Kuwait. Therefore I decided to start a thread about our units starting with vessels based on the Hameln Class minesweepers (Class 343). Class 343 was designed for baltic cold war operations meaning the main task was minelaying because of Soviet and East-German landings expected at the start of a conflict. At first this class was called "Minenkampfboot 343". They were designed for minelaying under air and surface threat. Therefore they were equipped with two single Bofors 40mm, two starters for Stinger, a M20 combined surface/air search and weapon direction radar, two TKWA-24 (hotdog and silverdog) chaff dispensers and ESM DR-2000 with Sarie II. They were capable for loading and laying up to 60 mines. As they would be guarded by FPBs/FACs they got Link 11 UHF and PALIS combat direction system. A few years later the design was renamed to "Schnelles Minensuchboot 343". For minesweeping they were equipped with mine avoidance sonar STN Atlas DSQS-15A, mechanical and accoustic sweeping gear.
Length: 54,4 m
Beam: 9,2 m
Draught: 2,7 m
Displacement: ca 600 ts
Propulsion: 2 MTU-Diesel, each 2040 kW
Speed: 18 Kts
Crew: 42 (peace)/45 (war)
Units and Organisition:
FGS Pegnitz (M 1090) (later Class 352 MSCD)
FGS Kulmbach (M 1091) (later Class 333 MHC)
FGS Hameln (M 1092) (later Class 352 MSCD)
FGS Auerbach/Opf (M 1093) (later Class 352 MSCD)
FGS Ensdorf (M 1094) (later Class 352 MSCD)
FGS Überherrn (M 1095) (later Class 333 MHC)
FGS Passau (M 1096) (later Class 333 MHC)
FGS Laboe (M 1097) (later Class 333 MHC)
FGS Siegburg (M 1098) (later Class 352 MSCD)
FGS Herten (M 1099) (later Class 333 MHC)
All units were named for smaller towns and belonged to the 5th GE Minesweeping Squadron in Olpenitz.
After the end of the cold war and after German reunification their main task wasn't important anymore. So it was decided to convert the class. Furthermore it was decided to mix several MCM vessel types in heterogeneous squadrons. 5 units were converted to Kulmbach Class minehunters (Class 333) and joined the 3rd GE Minesweeping Squadron in Olpenitz while the remaining 5 units stayed in the 5th German Minesweeping Squadron and became Ensdorf Class minesweepers (Class 352). The Ensdorf Class should replace the overaged six Lindau Class minesweepers (Class 351) and should also be capable to operate their remote controlled "Seehund" magnetic/accoustic sweepers. The conversions were finished at the start of the new century. Ensdorf Class minesweepers are capable to operate up to 4 "Seehund" vessels.
Kulmbach Class specifics:
- none mechanical or accoustic sweeping gear
- minehunting sonar DSQS-11M instead of DSQS-15A
- oneway ROV drones "Sea Fox II" for identification and countermining
Ensdorf Class specifics:
- mechanical sweeping gear SDG-21
- accoustic sweep capable
- magnetic and accoustic sweep capable with up to 4 "Seehund" vessels
- also oneway ROV drones "Sea Fox II" for identification and countermining (but not as many as Class 333)
- 45 px crew all times
Since decommisioning of Naval Base Olpenitz these units are based in Kiel. They're participating regularly in SNMCMG1 and SNMCMG2 xmt Class 352 which participates only in SNMCMG1. Due to the now shortage of German FPBs/FACs members of these classes also join TF 448 for UNIFIL surveillance ops (Kulmbach, Überherrn and Laboe/Ensdorf, Auerbach and Pegnitz without "Seehund"). Both classes are nowadays also capable of Link 11 HF.
The next refit of both classes sees the removal of both 40mm Bofors which will be replaced by one Rheinmetall 27mm MLG on the focsle. This gun can be directed by a MSP 500 optronic sensor mounted above the bridge. The TKWA-24 chaff dispensers will be replaced by two MAASS-dispensers and the units will get laser warning sensors.
Thanks for reading and now the pictures. Next comment will introduce the Frankenthal Class (332) singlerole minehunters. :)
Matze, nice photo's of the minesweepers, here's one of Kulmbach.
I do have a few others but not sure what class they are.
Homburg, Weilheim, Bad Bevensen, Frankenthal and Weiden.
Thanks for yr reply Alan. Weilheim, Weiden and Bad Bevensen are Frankenthal Class (332) singlerole minehunters. They'll be topic of my next comment. As for the Kulmbach pic one can see the small white INMARSAT Fleet 77 antenna and the empty 2nd 40mm Bofors mounting above the aftdeck. I say the picture was taken in 2008 as Kulmbach left UNIFIL TF 448 in September 2007 (released by Überherrn). After her deployment the crew had holidays and in ?2008? she went to JMC before beginning her maintenance refit in Peene-Yard Wolgast where she still is.
Of all GE MCM units only the 6 vessels which participated in UNIFIL MAROPS are equipped with INMARSAT F77. Have to clean my car now.
As I've posted something about classes 343 -> 333 & 352 I'm going to write a comment containing informations about the Frankenthal Class (332) singlerole minehunters.
At the end of the 1980s the then Westgerman Navy (Bundesmarine) thought about replacing the 12 Lindau Class (331A & 331B) minehunters with 10 new minehunters. These 12 old units (former Class 320 coastal minesweepers converted at the end of the 1970s) were first commissioned in the second half of the 1950s. As the new Frankenthal minehunters should be reliable and not more expensive than the Hameln Class minesweepers the contracted yards (Lürssen and Abeking & Rasmussen under leadership of STN Atlas Elektronik) used the hull design and most of the techniques of the Hameln Class. The Frankenthal units are also made nearly entirely of nonmagnetic steel.
Because cold war measures weren't necessary anymore the Class 332 didn't get a multi-threat equipment like the precessing Hameln Class. At first their only sensor would be a Raytheon Raypath navigational radar. At the beginning of the new century they got additional MSP 500 optronic sensor. Their only weapons were one really oldschool 40mm Bofors in the old Type 58/59 mounting without direction system, two MG3 machine guns and two starters for four Stingers each. They've got no ESM/ECM, combat direction system or Link 11. It shows the design for operating under major air and surface superiority.
At first it was planned to build a new 2nd GE Minesweeping Squadron based at Emden but as the German mine warfare training area and most of the remaining mines and ammo dumps are in the Baltic Sea it was decided to form a new 1st GE Minesweeping Squadron based in Olpenitz.
Some Class 332 dates:
- dimensions: as Class 343 (333 & 352)
- crew: 38 (peace) / 42 (war)
- minehunting sonar STN Atlas DSQS-11M
- embarked mineclearance divers (1 officer/1 chief/up to 3 POs)
- two ROV drones STN Atlas "Pinguin B3" with up to 32 mine destruction charges
- Haux Spacestar decompression chamber for up to 6 persons
The class members:
332/01 FGS Frankenthal (M 1066)
332/02 FGS Weiden (M 1060)
332/03 FGS Rottweil (M 1061)
332/04 FGS Bad Bevensen (M 1063)
332/05 FGS Bad Rappenau (M 1067)
332/06 FGS Datteln (M 1068)
332/07 FGS Grömitz (M 1064)
332/08 FGS Homburg (M 1069)
332/09 FGS Dillingen (M 1065)
332/10 FGS Sulzbach-Rosenberg (M 1062)
332/11 FGS Fulda (M 1058) (surplus unit)
332/12 FGS Weilheim (M 1059) (surplus unit)
The first unit, FGS Frankenthal, was commissioned in 1992 while the last unit, FGS Weilheim, joined in 1999. In October 1999 it was decided to mix the squadrons with different MCM vessel types. So FGS Frankenthal, FGS Bad Rappenau and FGS Sulzbach-Rosenberg changed to the 3rd GE Minesweeping Squadron.
At the end of the 1990s the class got newer guns. The oldschool mounting was replaced by 40mm Bofors KWS HS99/L70 which could load in total 101 shells. At the start of the new century all units got the MSP 500 optronic sensor. Because of saving money and restructuring of the GE Fleet the 1st GE Minesweeping Squadron was disbandend in December 2005.
Weiden, Rottweil, Homburg, Dillingen, Fulda and Weilheim joined also the 3rd GE MS SQN. But for Frankenthal, Weiden and Rottweil were only on a short stay for the first two units would be saled to the United Arab Emirates in 2006 while FGS Rottweil replaced the now decommisioned FGS Mühlhausen (M 1052) as mineclearance diver vessel. With most of the remnants of the 1st GE MS SQN joining, FGS Bad Rappenau changed to 5th MS SQN ... like Bad Bevensen, Datteln and Grömitz of the former 1st GE MS SQN.
In order to confuse the dear reader not entirely here's the current German MW organisation:
Naval Base Kiel:
3rd GE MS SQN:
- five Class 333 MHCs: FGS Kulmbach, FGS Überherrn, FGS Passau, FGS Laboe, FGS Herten
- five Class 332 MHCs: FGS Homburg, FGS Dillingen, FGS Fulda, FGS Weilheim, FGS Sulzbach-Rosenberg
- two Class 404M AGCMs: FGS Rhein, FGS Werra
5th GE MS SQN:
- five Class 352 MSCDs: FGS Ensdorf, FGS Pegnitz, FGS Hameln, FGS Siegburg, FGS Auerbach/OPf
- four Class 332 MHCs: FGS Bad Rappenau, FGS Bad Bevensen, FGS Datteln, FGS Grömitz
- one Class 404M AGCM: FGS Mosel
Naval Base Eckernförde:
- one Class 332B MCD: FGS Rottweil
- diver training vessel FGS Langeoog
In the last years and yet in progress is the replacing of the single 40mm Bofors by a Rheinmetall 27mm MLG on all 332 & 332A units.
Hope you like the comment and forgive me the rape of yr language.
The red fox is the mascot of FGS Sulzbach-Rosenberg. It's similar to the symbol of a tiny Bavarian private brewery in the town of Sulzbach-Rosenberg. I was leading radio operator and PO o/b this unit for six years.
Matze, thank you for the information on the class of minesweepers.
I'm not sure of any of the dates of the photo's here, but they come from relatives in Scotland so they are certainly taken on the river Clyde.
Many thanks for the pictures. Sorry, but I can't say when they were taken. Here some rather unusual photos.
XMT yr 4th picture. This photo must be taken in 2005 as FGS Frankenthal participated only once in SNMCMG1 (MCMFORNORTH). The photo of FGS Bad Bevensen was taken between 2006 and 2008 as she wears the crest of the 5th GE MS SQN. At the beginning of 2009 she left Kiel for joining SNMCMG2. The picture of FGS Weiden is prior the end of 2005. She bears the crest of 1st GE MS SQN on her bow. FGS Weilheim seems to be part of SNMCMG1 in 2008. She shows her "Ice Age rat thing" mascot and her international C/S painted on her nock.
matze really enjoyed reading your thread, so i've attached pics of the passau i took during my last stint with mcmfornorth in 2006. they were taken in norwegian waters and during the traditional sail past when we all departed to our home ports for easter leave.
forgot to add i've included a picture of the rhein as she was the command ship during that deployment
Nice pics. Had my last sail past in 2002 when we were part of MCMFORSOUTH and sailed together with HMS Grimsby. My only experiences with MCMFORNORTH were Open Spirit 2000, 2002, 2003, Blue Game 2004 plus DAMCONEX drill o/b HMS Brocklesby in Neustadt 2007 and MC OpLit 2008 in Klaipeda (with HMS Hurworth and HMS Roebuck) when my crew sailed o/b FGS Herten. Most of the time "my" units tend nearly entirely to sail south ... med, black sea.
We're going to start our workup in August followed by SAGA and MOST in October or November for it's planned to join SNMCMG2 in January 2010.
FGS Passau ... awful radio division but a fine lot for celebrating 1, 2, 12 drinks. In January or February she passed SAGA. Until a month ago it was planned that her crew should change to FGS Laboe and join UNIFIL TF 448.
Now and then I'm writing with a former radio operator of HMS Grimsby on facebook. Now he's in the fishery protection sqn. His name is Kieren. Nice guy.
Here some new pics ... cheers.
thanks for your reply, i havent been in european waters since we did mcmfornorth in 2006, due to doing seafox trials and then taking over the ramsay for 8 months in the gulf. when we came back we took over shoreham which i have now left as i'm due shore time till june 2010.
as for the passau celebrating, i can vaguely remember a bavarian breakfast onboard in kristiansand before we all said for home!:)
Yesterday I've got a phone call. In May Passau will participate in MC OPLAT (Ventspils/Irben Strait) and is in need of a Comms Chief. I've studied the OPLAN task org but no British unit will join. So I've to visit BNS Lobelia instead. Maybe Frits van den Magdenburg is still Chief Engineer. :D
At the moment I'm preparing my next topic comment about some older types.
Excellent thread Matze, and very well researched, looks as though you could give Kookaburra (Australian thread) a challenge!! Well done lad.
Lovely pictures Matze. I have never seen a 40mm Bofors gun like the one portrayed, (And I have fired one!)
Is all that 'gubbins' on top designed so that a loader and suppliers are not required? Perhaps I am asking the obvious?
Hey Colin, yes it's a magazine for pre-loading up to 99 shells. So there's no need for the 2 loading guys as in the type 58 mounting. Sad that the gun will be replaced by that flimsy 27mm Rheinmetall MLG.
Very many thanks Mik. I'm very sorry for being late with my new comment but I'm up to the ears in preparations for MC OPLAT and my own unit left drydock on thursday.
But now ...
Ahoi and cheers again,
as earlier announced I present some facts about the early MCM vessels of the then Bundesmarine. In this comment I'll begin right at the start of the German minewarfare forces after the founding of the Bundesmarine with the Classes 359 and 319. Some of these units were previously former Kriegsmarine vessels serving in the mainly British controlled GMSA (German Minesweeping Administration) and US-American controlled LSU/B (Labour Service Unit/Bremerhaven) after WW II while others were given back from the allied navies.
Class 359 contained 2 batches of Kriegsmarine coastal minesweepers (Räumboote) new classified as fast minesweepers (Schnelles Minensuchboot Klasse 359). All of them were built by Abeking & Rasmussen, Lemwerder. Some of them were equipped with Voith Schneider Propellers for extra maneuverability.
Class 359 technical data:
8 units batch R41-R129 (1939-1944)
Dimensions: 37,68m / 5,62m / 1,50m
Displacement: 125/136 ts
Propulsion: 2 x MAN-Diesel / 1836 hp / 20 kts
max. Range: 1100 nm
Armament: 1 or 2 single 20mm
Crew: 27 px
12 units batch R130-R150 (1943-1944)
Dimensions: 41,05m / 5,72m / 1,60m
Displacement: 150/155 ts
Propulsion: 2 x MAN-Diesel / 1836 hp / 20 kts
max. Range: 110 nm
Armament: 2 single 20mm (xmt FGS Merkur & FGS Spica: 1 20mm)
Crew: 28 px
Class members: Name (Hull No)/ex-Kriegsmarine No/Recommissioned/Squadron
FGS Capella (M1050) / ex-R133 / 19 Jun 1956 / 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Castor (M1051) / ex-R138 / 19 Jun 1956 / 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Mars (M1052) / ex-R136 / 19 Jun 1956 / 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Orion (M1053) / ex-R132 / 05 Jun 1956 / 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Pollux (M1054) ex-R140 / 19 Jun 1956 / 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Regulus (M1055) / ex-R142 / 31 Jul 1956 / 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Rigel (M1056) / ex-R135 / 05 Jun 1956 / 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Saturn (M1057) / ex-R146 / 31 Jul 1956 / 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Sirius (M1058) / ex-R144 / 05 Jun 1956 / 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Spica (M1059) / ex-R147 / 31 Jul 1956 / 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Aldebaran (M1060) / ex-R91 / 15 Nov 1956 / 3rd GE MS SQN
FGS Algol (M1051) / ex-R99 / 30 Oct 1956 / 3rd GE MS SQN
FGS Arcturus (M1062) /ex-R128 / 15 Nov 1956 / 3rd GE MS SQN
FGS Atair (M1063) / ex-R76 / 30 Oct 1956 / 3rd GE MS SQN
FGS Deneb (M1064) / ex-R127 / 30 Oct 1956 / 3rd GE MS SQN
FGS Jupiter (M1065) / ex-R137 / 31 Jul 1956 / 1st GE MS SQN, Oct '56: 3rd GE MS SQN
FGS Merkur (M1066) / ex-R134 / 05 Jun 1956 / 1st GE MS sQN, Oct '56: 3rd GE MS SQN
FGS Pegasus (M1067) / ex-R68 / 15 Nov 1956 / 3rd GE MS SQN
FGS Skorpion (M1068) / ex-R120 / 15 Nov 1956 / 3rd GE MS SQN
FGS Wega (M1069) / ex-R67 / 30 Oct 1956 / 3rd GE MS SQN
All vessels were decommissioned between 1959 and 1964.
Class 319 were ex-Kriegsmarine minesweepers of M1940 and M1943 design. After WW II these 6 vessels served in the LSU/B. When recommissioned for the Bundesmarine they formed the then so called "2. Hochseeminensuchgeschwader" in Wilhelmshaven. With the date of assignement to the NATO the squadron was renamed in 2nd GE MS SQN (2. Minensuchgeschwader) and the units got NATO hull numbers (29 Nov 1956).
Class 319 technical data:
5 units M1940 (1941-1944)
Dimensions: 62,30m / 8,50m / 2,80m
Displacement: 543/775 ts
Propulsion: 2 shaft VTE engines with exhaust turbines, 2 coal fired boilers / 2700 hp / 17,2 kts
Range: 4000 nm (10 kts)
Armament: 1 single 762 mm, 2 twin 40 mm, 4 single 20mm
Crew: 70 px
1 unit M1943 (1944-1945): FGS Seeschlange
Dimensions: 67,80m / 9,00m / 2,70m
Displacement: 605/821 ts
Propulsion: like M1940 / 2700 hp / 16,7 kts
Range: like M1940
Crew: 80 px
Class members: Name (national Hull marking/NATO Hull No)/ex-Kriegsmarine No/Recommissioned/
FGS Seehund (SH/M178) / ex-M388 / 17 Jul 1956 / Elsflether Werft
FGS Seeschlange (SG/M188) / ex-M611 / 15 Aug 1956 / Nederl. Dok, Amsterdam
FGS Seelöwe (SL/M189) / ex-M441 / 17 Jul 1956 / Smit, Rotterdam
FGS Seestern (ST/M192) / ex-M278 / 15 Aug 1956 / Lindenau Werft, Memel
FGS Seepferd (SP/M190) / ex-M294 / 30 Aug 1956 / Rickmers Werft, Wesermünde
FGS Seeigel (SE/M191) / ex-M460 / 30 Aug 1956 / Neptun Werft, Rostock
The entire class was decommissioned in 1960. Then the vessels were used as accomodation hulks WBM I-WBM VI. The former FGS Seeigel survived even longer. She was converted to a torpedo refit and store platform (Torpedoklarmachstelle II) in 1967 and was finally scrapped in 1973.
Sorry to say but I'm rather short with pictures of both classes when in use in the Bundesmarine. I add a few crests of the mentioned squadrons so far.
Now to a well known class of real survivors ... the 18 units strong Class 320 also known as Lindau-Class coastal minesweepers. Many navies used imported or self built versions of the US Bluebird design. In the Germany these were the Lindau-Class (320) and the Vegesack-Class (321). Class 321 were 6 French built Mercure-Class minesweepers and will be topic in another comment.
Part of the first fleet building program the Lindau-Class was named "Küstenminensuchboot 55" at first. (... like the Hamburg-Class destroyers were originally "Zerstörer 55" ... the Köln-Class frigates were originally "Geleitboot 55" and so on)
The Lindaus had wooden hull and superstructure. All metallic components were non-magnetic. As seen in "Operation Südflanke 1990/91" they were even in their later years quite successful. This operation was the first German naval out of area mission after WW II. Then a German task group of some Lindaus and support vessels were participating in the mineclearance operation of Desert Storm 1991.
2 units, FGS Fulda and FGS Flensburg, were converted to Class 331A minehunters from 1969 until the mid 1970s. From the end of the 1970s until start of the 1980s the 16 remaining Lindaus were decommissioned for conversion. 10 units became Class 331B minehunters and 6 units were converted to Class 351 minesweepers with remote operated "Seehund" drones to form the so called "Troika" systems. All vessels were built by Burmeister in Bremen-Burg.
The difference between Class 331A and Class 331B minehunters are the 2 additional Schottel props fitted in these 331A units (FGS Fulda and FGS Flensburg only).
Minehunters Class 331A & 331B technical data:
Dimensions: 47,60m / 8,30m / 2,70m
Displacement: 390/400 ts
Propulsion: 2 Maybach-Diesel, 2 shafts and variable-pitch props / 3940 hp / 16,5 kts
Range: 1500 nm / 16 kts
Armament: 1 single 40mm Bofors (type 58, later HS 99 KWS) with optic director OGR-7, 2 starters for Stinger manpads (4 Stingers each), 4 depthcharge throwers (later abolished)
Sensors: Nav Radar: Raytheon SPS 64
Sonar: Plessey 193M or STN Atlas Elektronik DSQS-11, hullmounted
ROVs: two PAP-104
Crew: 43 px
Minesweepers with drones Class 351 technical data:
Dimensions: 47,10m / 8,30m / 2,80m
Displacement: 392/430 ts
Propulsion: like 331A & 331B / 3400 hp / 16,0 kts
Range: like 331A & 331B
Armament: like 331A & 331B
Sensors: Nav Radar: Kelvin Hughes 14/9 or Atlas Elektronik TRS N
Sonar: STN Atlas Elektronik DSQS-11A, hullmounted
Drones: up to 3 remote controlled "Seehund" vessels
Crew: 46 px
Class members: Name (Hull No)/Commissioned/Converted to/final GE Decomm./Fate
FGS Göttingen (M1070) / 31 May '58 / 331B / 11 Sep '97 / 2000: to LV Navy as spares hulk
FGS Koblenz (M1071) / 08 Jul '58 / 331B / 22 Jun '99 / 1999: to LT Navy as LNS Suduvis (M52)
FGS Lindau (M1072) / 24 Apr '58 / 331B / 26 Jun '99 / 2000: to EST Navy as ENS Sulev (M312)
FGS Schleswig (M1073) / 30 Oct '58 / 351 / 19 Oct '00 / 2001: to SA Navy as SAS Tshwane (M1221)
FGS Tübingen (M1074) / 25 Sep '58 / 331B / 26 Jun '97 / scrapped
FGS Wetzlar (M1075) / 20 Aug '58 / 331B / 30 Jun '95 / scrapped
FGS Paderborn (M1076) / 16 Dec '58 / 351 / 30 Jun '00 / 2001: to SA Navy as SAS Mangaung (M1222)
FGS Weilheim (M1077) / 28 Jan '59 / 331B / 15 Jun '95 / in display in Naval Museum Wilhelmshaven
FGS Cuxhaven (M1078) / 11 Mar '59 / 331B / 08 Feb '00 / 2000: to EST Navy as ENS Wambola (M311)
FGS Düren (M1079) / 22 Apr '59 / 351 / 29 Jun '00 / 2001: to SA Navy as SAS Kapa (M1223)
FGS Marburg (M1080) / 12 Jun '59 / 331B / 25 May '00 / 2000: to LT Navy as LNS Kursis (M51)
FGS Konstanz (M1081) / 23 Jul '59 / 351 / 29 Jun '00 / 2001: as spares hulk to SA Navy; expended as missile target in 2007
FGS Wolfsburg (M1082) / 08 Oct '59 / 351 / 29 Jun '00 / 2001: to SA Navy as SAS Tekwini (M1225)
FGS Ulm (M1083) / 07 Nov '59 / 351 / 21 Sep '99 / 2001: as spares hulk to SA Navy
FGS Flensburg (M1084) / 03 Dec '59 / 331A / 26 Jan '91 / floating youth centre in Duisburg-Ruhrort
FGS Minden (M1085) / 22 Jan '60 / 331B / 04 Dec '97 / 1998: to Georgian Coastguard as "Ayety"; scuttled by Russian army in 2008
FGS Fulda (M1086) / 05 Mar '60 / 331A / 26 Mar '92 / scrapped
FGS Völklingen (M1087) /31 May '60 / 331B / 24 Mar '99 / 2000: to LV Navy as LVNS Namejs (M03)
In original these 18 units formed 3 mcm squadrons:
4th GE MS SQN, Wilhelmshaven:
FGS Paderborn, FGS Weilheim, FGS Cuxhaven, FGS Düren, FGS Marburg, FGS Konstanz
6th GE MS SQN, Wilhelmshaven:
FGS Lindau, FGS Göttingen, FGS Koblenz, FGS Wetzlar, FGS Tübingen, FGS FGS Schleswig
8th GE MS SQN, Cuxhaven (since 1960 Borkum):
FGS Wolfsburg, FGS Ulm, FGS Flensburg, FGS Minden, FGS Fulda, FGS Völklingen
Due to personnel shortages the 8th GE MS SQN was disbanded 15 Jun 1963. So the first 3 units joined the 6th GE MS SQN while the last 3 units became part of the 4th GE MS SQN. In 1977 both squadrons were united in the MC Sqn Northsea (Minenabwehrgeschwader Nordsee). This was an experiment to spare staff personnel which didn't work. So in 1984 this monstrous squadron was disbanded. All 331A & 331B minehunters formed the 4th MS SQN and all 351 minesweepers with drones became the 6th MS SQN.
In the mid 1990s the remaining units were merged in the 6th MS SQN.
Here some pics of the units and 2 tables showing squadron crests and crests of other (former) units of the then German Minewarfare Flotilla.
1st Table (clockwise to read):
- 4th GE MS SQN (disbanded)
- GE Navy Weapon Diver Btn (later changed to GE Navy Special Forces)
- 6th GE MS SQN (disbanded)
- 5th GE MS SQN (now part of the 1st Flotilla)
- 3rd GE MS SQN (now part of the 1st Flotilla)
- 1st GE MS SQN (disbanded)
- centre: crest of the German Minewarfare Flotilla (disbanded)
2nd Table (clockwise to read):
- Mine Countermeasure Sqn Northsea (Minenabwehrgeschwader Nordsee) (disbanded)
- Minelayer SQN (became part of the 1st GE MS SQN)
- 2nd MS SQN (disbanded)
- Mineclearance Diver Company (the independant company became part of the GENAVWEAPDBTN)
- 10th MS SQN (disbanded)
- MCM Task Grp "Südflanke"
- 1st Amphib. SQN (disbanded)
- 7th MS SQN (disbanded)
- Combat Diver Company (the independant company became part of the GENAVWEAPDBTN)
- 7th MS SQN (disbanded)
As mentioned in my previous comment the Lindau-Class wasn't the only US Bluebird version in the Bundesmarine. With gaining experience with the Class 319 minesweepers (MBoot 1940, MBoot 1943) these old warhorses pfoofed to be very worn out. Therefore these veterans were decommissioned in 1960 and 6 replacement units were ordered at Amiot Cherbourg, France.
Class 321 / Vegesack-Class (Type French Mercure)
Dimensions: 44,00m / 8,30m / 2,10m
Displacement: 366/388 ts
Propulsion: 2 Mercedes Benz-Diesel, 2 shafts, cp props / 4000 hp / 15,0 kts
Range: 3000 nm / 15,0 kts
Armament: 1 twin 20mm
Crew: 40 px
Class members: Name (Hull No)/Comm./Decomm./Fate
FGS Vegesack (M1250) / 15 Sep '59 / ? '63 / 1975: to TR Navy as TCG Kusadasi (P302, ex-M524)
FGS Hameln (M1251) / 04 Dec '59 / ? '63 / 1975: to TR Navy as TCG Kozlu (P301, ex-M523)
FGS Detmold (M1252) / 20 Feb '60 / ? '63 / 1975: to TR Navy as TCG Kerempe (P308, ex-M521)
FGS Worms (M1253) / 30 Apr '60 / ? '63 / 1975: to TR Navy as TCG Karamürsel (P307, ex-M520)
FGS Siegen (M1254) / 09 Jul '60 / ? '63 / 1975: to TR Navy as TCG Kilimli (P309, ex-M522)
FGS Passau (M1255) / 10 Oct '60 / ? '63 / 1978: to TR Navy as TCG Kemer (A582, ex-M525)
A few days after commissioning FGS Hameln was rammed by a british merchant ship while being berthed at the Schürenstedt Shipyard. Because of the extensive damage she's decommissioned for the time of repair. With FGS Hameln back in commission, 15 Oct '61, the new 2nd GE MS SQN is complete.
After only 7 years the whole sqadron is disbanded 27 Jun 1963. This was necessary because of the huge personnel shortage of crews needed for the newer units. All 6 units were laid up in the Naval Arsenal Wilhelmshaven. In the following years the vessels were sometimes activated for mobilizations exercises:
FGS Vegesack - 25 Nov '65 until 07 Apt '66 as part of the 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Worms - 06 Jul '66 until 18 Feb '67 as part of the 1st GE MS SQN
FGS Hameln - 19 Apr '66 until 10 Feb '67 as part of the 3rd GE MS SQN
FGS Siegen - 12 Aug '65 until 21 Mar '66 as part of the 5th GE MS SQN
With the introduction of the Reserve Flotilla in 1969 the 6 Vegesacks became part of this command.
31 Dec 1973 all 6 vessels were deleted from the list of warships. In 1975 five units were given to Turkey. It was planned to convert the former FGS Passau to an oceanic survey vessel. This was cancelled and the ex-Passau joined her sisters in 1978.
In the Turkish Navy the 6 Vegesacks were slightly upgraded with Simrad mine detection sonar in 1989. The ex-Passau paid off in 1998 but returned as a survey ship in 1999, finally. In 1999 ex-Hameln und ex-Vegesack were refitted as patrol vessels. Ex-Worms, ex-Detmold and ex-Siegen followed in 2006.
Following picture is the only I have. It shows the former FGS Passau as Turkish survey vessel TCG Kemer. If you've any other pictures of them you're very welcome. Pictures of these units are quite rare.
Truly a great piece of work and very informative. A must for those interested in MCM work.
very many thanks for your praise. Although there aren't many Germans in this community (don't know why) I want to give a small summary of the GE MCM forces since WW2. Because of leaving to Kiel tomorrow I'll make a comment about Class 340/341 (Schütze Class) fast minesweepers this evening. When I'm back from Latvia comments about inshore minesweepers and mineclearence diver vessels will follow. If you've then not enough read I'll post something about the Eastgerman minesweepers (Habicht, Krake, Kondor etc).
Now to the replacements of the Class 359 (R-Boats). Abeking & Rasmussen developed a descendant of these units and (in company with Schlichting Yard Travemünde and Schürenstedt Yard Bardenfleeth) built 30 units of the ...
Class 340/341 - Schütze Class fast minesweepers.
Xmt the non-magnetic steel bow the hulls were made of teak and mahagoni. The cost for each unit was 7,33 millions DM. Although being constructed for a service life of only 15 years the last units served until the mid 1990s. The difference between 340 and 341 were the main engines. While 340 had Mercedes Benz Diesels the 341 used Maybach Diesels. They were capable of mechanic and accoustic sweep and it was possible to tow influence sweeping gear. With 24 knots they were quit fast for minesweepers. The reason is simple. Like the later Class 343 (Hameln Class) their main task in a would-be-war with the Warsaw Pact forces would be laying mines in the entrances to the Baltic Sea and other sounds and belts.
Dimensions: 47,44m / 7,20m / 2,15m
Displacement: 241/266 ts
Propulsion: 2 Maybach Diesel (2 x 2380 hp) (341) or 2 Mercedes-Benz Diesel (2 x 2250 hp) (340), two shafts / 24,0 kts
Range: 718 nm / 20,0 kts
Armament: 1 single 40mm Bofors in type 58 mounting with optic director OGR-7
Crew: 31 px
Class members: Name (Hull No)/Class/Builder/Commissioned/Decommissioned/Squadron/Fate
FGS Mira (M1050) / 340 / A & R / 22 Nov '60 / 12 Dec '73 / 1st GE MS SQN / converted to private yacht; on sale in Portsmouth
FGS Castor (M1051) / 340 / A & R / 11 Dec '62 / 15 Aug '90 / 1st GE MS SQN / 1992 converted to private yacht "Aquarius"; 1998 sold to Greece and reconverted to origianl design and renamed "Castor"; on sale for 1.900.000,- €
FGS Krebs (M1052) / 340 / A & R / 21 Jul '59 / 19 Oct '73 / 5th GE MS SQN, later 1st GE MS SQN / 1976 to Naval Comrade Union Datteln; in use as meeting place
FGS Orion (M1053) / 340 / A & R / 14 Feb '62 / 16 Oct '73 / 1st GE MS SQN / private vessel; sunk in Rostock 1999; scrapped
FGS Pollux (M1054) / 340 / A & R / 28 Apr '61 / 26 May '92 / 1st GE MS SQN / 1998 scrapped in Greena, Denmark
FGS Sirius (M1055) / 340 / A & R / 05 Oct '61 / 01 Oct '90 / 1st GE MS SQN / 1999 sold to Aschaffenburg; 2004/05 scrapped in Erlenbach
FGS Rigel (M1056) / 340 / A & R / 19 Sep '62 / 29 Mar '90 / 1st GE MS SQN / 1992 private yacht "Across" in Bremerhaven
FGS Regulus (M1057) / 340 / A & R / 20 Jun '62 / 28 Sep '90 / 1st GE MS SQN / 1999 sold to Cuxhaven: private vessel "Petite Prince"
FGS Mars (M1058) / 340 / A & R / 18 Jul '61 / 27 Feb '92 / 1st GE MS SQN / 1998 scrapped in Greena, Denmark
FGS Spica (M1059) / 340 / A & R / 19 May '61 / 30 Sep '92 / 1st GE MS SQN / converted to private yacht; 1995 sold to Greece
FGS Skorpion (M1060) / 341 / A & R / 09 Oct '63 / 10 May '90 / 3rd GE MS SQN, later 1st GE MS SQN / 1991 sold and converted to private accomodation boat "MS Marie-Atalanta" in Haarlingen, NL; on sale in Leeuwarden, NL
FGS Stier (M1061) / 341 / A & R / 28 Jun '61 / 31 Mar '95 / 3rd GE MS SQN / became mineclearance diver vessel (pennant: Y849, later M1053) of the GENAVWEAPDBTN; 1999 scrapped in Greena, Denmark
FGS Schütze (M1062) / 341 / A & R / 14 Apr '59 / 26 Nov '92 / 5th GE MS SQN, later 3rd GE MS SQN, later 1st GE MS SQN / sold to Peenemünde in 1998; on sale again
FGS Waage (M1063) / 341 / A & R / 19 Mar '62 / 30 Jun '92 / 3rd GE MS SQN, later 1st GE MS SQN / 1998 scrapped in Greena, Denmark
FGS Deneb (M1064) / 341 / Schürenstedt / 07 Dec '61 / 08 Sep '89 / 3rd GE MS SQN, later 5th GE MS SQN / 2000 scrapped in Greena, Denmark
FGS Jupiter (M1065) / 341 / Schürenstedt / 30 May '61 / 26 Sep '89 / 3rd GE MS SQN, later 5th GE MS SQN / 2000 scrapped in Greena, Denmark
FGS Pegasus (M1066) / 341 / Schlichting / 16 May '62 / 11 Dec '73 / 3rd GE MS SQN / 1974-1979 HDW security vessel; 1979 converted to private yacht; 1989 after problems with the German Customs Service laid up in Wilhelmshaven; afterwards sold to the Dutch youth scout organization "St. Franciscus"
FGS Atair (M1067) / 341 / Schlichting / 27 Sep '61 / 30 Jun '88 / 3rd GE MS SQN, later 5th GE MS SQN / 1992 sold to private; 1996 sank in tow enroute to Southampton (but that's not sure ... sorry)
FGS Algol (M1068) / 341 / A & R / 27 Jun '63 / 15 Jul '71 / 3rd GE MS SQN / DamConEx hulk in Neustadt i.H.; sold in 1996; 1996/97 converted to private yacht "Independia"; on charter in the Med
FGS Wega (M1069) / 341 / A & R / 08 Apr '63 / 15 Dec '88 / 3rd GE MS SQN, later 5th GE MS SQN / 1990 converted to private yacht; now accomodation boat
FGS Perseus (M1090) / 341 / Schlichting / 17 Mar '61 / 30 Sep '88 / 5th GE MS SQN / since 1992 private accomodation hulk in Hamburg; 2005 she was so rotten that the Hamburg Magistrate ordered her scrapping
FGS Steinbock (M1091) / 341 / A & R / 20 Oct '60 / 08 Mar '74 / 5th GE MS SQN / accomodation hulk of the Naval Youth Wilhelmshaven
FGS Pluto (M1092) / 341 / Schürenstedt / 19 Dec '60 / 01 Jul '87 / 5th GE MS SQN / meeting place of the Naval Comrade Union in Hameln
FGS Neptun (M1093) / 341 / Schlichting / 29 Sep '60 / 14 Jul '89 / 5th GE MS SQN / meeting place and accomodation hulk of the Naval Comrade Union in Völklingen
FGS Widder (M1094) / 341 / Schürenstedt / 26 Sep '60 / 14 Jul '89 / 5th GE MS SQN / 1967: to GeNavUWWeapShool Eckernförde; afterwards drill hulk of the GeNavTechSchool Parow until Dec '04 then scrapped in Denmark
FGS Herkules (M1095) / 341 / Schlichting / 09 Dec '60 / 21 Aug '87 / 5th GE MS SQN / 1988 sold and converted to private yacht "Ars Vivendi"; sunk in an Atlantic storm in the mid 1990s
FGS Fische (M1096) / 341 / A & R / 12 Jan '60 / 20 Apr '89 / 5th GE MS SQN / 1996 towed to Southampton; converted to private accomodation hulk; now in Shoreham
FGS Gemma (M1097) / 341 / A & R / 10 May '60 / 18 Dec '87 / 5th GE MS SQN / private accomodation boat in Wilhelmshaven
FGS Capella (M1098) / 341 / A & R / 30 Jun '60 / 08 Feb '74 / 5th GE MS SQN / till 2000 meeting place of Naval Comrade Union Büsum; sold to private; 2004 sunk in Rendsburg harbor
FGS Uranus (M1099) / 341 / Schürenstedt / 05 Jul '60 / 02 Aug '71 / 5th GE MS SQN / meeting place and accomodation hulk of the Naval Comrade Union in Trier; 2009 sold to Mr Uwe Bunk (Magdeburg)
FGS Schütze and FGS Krebs were tested with Voith-Schneider propulsion but it wasn't successful. So all units, FGS Fische first, got Escher-Wyss props. Class 340/341 needed intensive maintenance and made more often yard refit stays than any other German woodenbuilt units. So some units were decommissioned in the 1970s. The Marinha do Brazil bought 6 follow-ons of this class. Their 340As are named "Aratu Class" and are still in service.
Sorry about the "..." in some of the commissioning dates but I didn't find any source refering to them. (filled: 16 Jun 2009)
As for my sources ...
Kroschel & Steindorff "Die Deutsche Marine 1955-1985"
Official Magazine of the German Minewarfare Flotilla "40 Jahre Flottille der Minenstreitkräfte 1957-1997"
You'll read something new when I'm back from Latvia in a few weeks. Cheers to all of you.
Sorry for being lazy the last time. The operation 'MC OPLAT 2009' proofed to be quite successful. 96 mines and 1 torpedo were hunted. The Latvian Irbenstrait towards the Estonian border is a bit safer now. Minehunter Passau hunted 1 torpedo and 6 mines (moored and ground ones) ... and used 'only' 21 'Seafox C'-drones for these 7 contacts. :o)
As for the participating units:
Task Unit 01:
LVNS Virsaitis (flagship), ENS Admiral Cowan (ex HMS Sandown), LNS Suduvis, FGS Passau, HDMS Havkatten, HDMS Makrelen
Task Unit 02:
LVNS Varonis (flagship), LVNS Imanta, ORP Flaming, BNS Lobelia, FS Thetis, FS Sagittaire, FS Pegase
As announced before the new comment refers about the inshore minesweepers of the German Navy. The inshore minesweeper was the 2nd successor type of the Kriegsmarine R-Boat. The other being the classes of fast minesweepers.
As inshore minesweepers it was their task to clear harbors, naval bases and river estuaries. Some of them started their career as naval coastguard vessels (with 'W' hull numbers) in the coastal guard squadrons. Later these were converted to minesweepers and assigned to minesweeping squadrons.
In total there were 4 classes of MSIs:
1) NIOBE Class (Class 391 & 392):
Unit / Class / Hull No / Commissioned / Decommissioned / Fate
FGS Niobe / 391 / W21, M2661 / 29 Apr 1958 / 13 Aug 1976 / 01 Nov 1964 to MCM Trials Administration (Sperrwaffenversuchsstelle); experienced some conversions; served as trial unit remote controlled simulation sweeping for Troika system, 1969 new hull number: Y1643; after decommissioning sold to van der Veldt, Netherlands
FGS Hansa / 392 / W22, M2660 / 23 Jul 1958 / 17 Jan 1992 / 1968 conversion to mineclearance diver vessel (MCD) and assignement to Mineclearance Diver Company in Eckernförde, 1969 new hull number: Y806, after decommissioning sold to Schulz (Aschaffenburg) for scrapping
Dimensions: 35.10 / 6.50 / 1.70 m
Displacement: 150 / 180 ts
- FGS Niobe: 2 MTU MB 12V 493 TY70 diesels (2000 hp) / 2 shafts / 16 kts
- FGS Hansa: 1 MTU MB 12V 493 TY70 diesels (1000 hp) / 1 Shaft / 12 kts
- FGS Niobe: 800 nm (12 kts)
- FGS Hansa: 1500 nm (12 kts)
Armament: 1 single 40mm Bofors
Crew: 20 px
FGS Niobe and FGS Hansa were originally naval coastguard vessels (Class 361 and 360) in the Harbor Protection Squadron (Hafenschutzgeschwader) and part of the 3rd Naval Coastguard Squadron (Cuxhaven) but changed to the 2nd Naval Coaqstguard Squadron (2. Küstenwachgeschwader) in 1962. This squadron was renamed to 10th GE MS SQN 01 Jan 1966. Both units were built by Kröger Shipyard Rendsburg.
2) ARIADNE Class (Class 393):
The Ariadne Class consisted also of earlier naval coastguard vessels (former class 362) and together with FGS Niobe and FGS Hansa formed the 2nd Naval Coastguard Squadron. Like their older half-sisters the 8 Ariadnes were converted to inshore minesweepers when the squadron was renamed to 10th GE Minesweeping Squadron in 1966. All eight vessels were built by Kröger Shipyard Rendsburg.
Unit / Hull No / Commissioned / Finally decommissioned / Fate
39301 FGS Ariadne / ex W23, ex M2663, M2650 / 23 Oct 1961 / 12 Dec 1991 / sold for scrap to Rasmussen, Denmark
39302 FGS Freya / ex W24, ex M2664, M2651 / 06 Jan 1962 / 05 May 1992 / sold to Denmark for scrapping
39303 FGS Vineta / ex W25, ex M2665, M2652 / 09 Apr 1962 / 19 Dec 1991 / sold to Hanowski Company, Hamburg
39304 FGS Hertha / ex W26, ex M2666, M2653 / 07 Jun 1962 / 07 May 1992 / sold to Denmark for scrapping
39305 FGS Nymphe / ex W27, ex M2667, M2654 / 08 May 1963 / 18 Jun 1992 / sold to Denmark for scrapping
39306 FGS Nixe / ex W28, ex M2668, M2655 / 20 Jun 1963 / 02 Apr 1992 / sold to Hamburg Fire Dept.
39307 FGS Amazone / ex W29, ex M2669, M2656 / 04 Sep 1963 / 09 Apr 1992 / sold to Denmark for scrapping
39308 FGS Gazelle / ex W30, ex M2670, M2657 / 09 Dec 1963 / 02 Jul 1992 / training hulk at GeNavTechSchool Brake, later GeNavTechSchool Parow, later scrapped in Denmark
Dimensions: 38.00 / 8.30 / 1.90 m
Displacement: 205 / 215 ts
Propulsion: 2 MTU MB 12V 493 TY70 diesels (2000 hp) / 2 shafts / 14.6 kts
Endurance: 830 nm (12 kts)
Armament: 1 single 40mm Bofors
Radars: Atlas Elektronik I-band
Crew: 24 px
Due to the personnel shortage the 10th MS SQN is disbanded and its vessels were transfered to the GE Reserve Flotilla in 1968 (... like the 2nd and 8th GE MS SQNs). The units were cocooned and only temporary actived in other squadrons. In 1974 all units were reactivated to form the 3rd MS SQN in Kiel which lost its Class 340/341 fast minesweepers to other squadrons or decommissioning. 1992 sees the last year of the then 3rd GE MS SQN in Kiel. After decommissioning of all units the staff was disbanded. 4 years later a new 3rd GE MS SQN was formed in Olpenitz.
3) FRAUENLOB Class (Class 394)
The Frauenlob Class was only a slighltly larger version of the prior Ariadne class and consisted of 10 vessels. Again all were built by Kröger Shipyard Rendsburg. As in previous classes the Class 394 contained units designated originally naval coastguard vessels. In this case this class was the same class as their immediate predecessor, meaning with respective conversion Class 362 splitted into Classes 393 and 394.
Unit / Hull No / Commissioned / Decommissioned / Fate
39401 FGS Frauenlob / ex W31, ex M2671, M2658 / 27 Sep 1966 / 27 Mar 2002 / training hulk at the GeNavTechschool Parow, later scrapped
39402 FGS Nautilus / ex W32, ex M2672, M2659 / 26 Oct 1966 / 28 Apr 1994 / sold for scrap to Rasmussen, Denmark
39403 FGS Gefion / ex W33, ex M2673, M2660 / 17 Feb 1967 / 27 Mar 2002 / training hulk at the GeNavTechSchool Parow
39404 FGS Medusa / ex W34, ex M2674, M2661 / 17 Feb 1967 / 14 Jun 2001 / hulk at the GeNavArs W'haven
39405 FGS Undine / ex W35, ex M2675, M2662 / 20 Mar 1967 / 28 Jun 2001 / 2001 to Estonia: ENS Vaindlo (M416), decommissioned 2004
39406 FGS Minerva / ex W36, ex M2676, M2663 / 16 Jun 1967 / 16 Feb 1995 / 1997 to Estonia: ENS Kalev (M414), decommissioned and on display in the Estonian Maritime Museum in Tallinn
39407 FGS Diana / ex W37, ex M2677, M2664 / 21 Sep 1967 / 16 Feb 1995 / 1997 to Estonia: ENS Olev (M415), decommissioned 2004
39408 FGS Loreley / ex W38, ex M2678, ex M2665 / 29 Mar 1968 / 28 Jun 2002 / to Estonia as spares hulk
39409 FGS Atlantis / ex W39, ex M2679, M2666 / 29 Mar 1968 / 20 Mar 1995 / since 1999 on display in the German military history museum at Dresden
39410 FGS Acheron / ex W40, ex M2680, M2667 / 10 Feb 1969 / 20 Mar 1995 / sold for scrap to Rasmussen, Denmark
Dimensions: 38.00 / 8.30 / 2.00 m
Displacement: 238 / 249 ts
Propulsion: 2 MTU MB 12V 493 TY70 diesels (2000 hp) / 2 shafts / 14.3 kts
Endurance: 900 nm (13 kts)
Armament: 1 single 40mm Bofors
Radars: Atlas Elektronik I-band
Crew: 24 px
After commissioning FGS Frauenlob and FGS Nautilus joined the 5th MS SQN in Neustadt for work-up. When Naval Base Olpenitz was commissioned 5th GE MS SQN left Neustadt and moved to its new base xmt FGS Frauenlob and FGS Nautilus which became the first units of the newly formed 7th GE MS SQN. All other 394ers were immediately part of this squadron upon commissioning.
The 7th MS SQN was disbanded in 1996. FGS Frauenlob, FGS Gefion, FGS Medusa, FGS Undine and FGS Loreley moved to Olpenitz to become part of the newfounded 3rd GE MS SQN together with five Landing Crafts of the Barbe Class (LCU Class 520) and the former FPB/FAC support ship Rhein (Elbe Class 404P) of the then disbanded 3rd GE FPB SQN Flensburg.
In 1999 the 5 surviving Class 394 MSIs joined the 5th GE MS SQN again when the 3 remaining GE MS SQNs were mixed with heterogenous MCM vessel types.
4) HOLNIS Class (Class 390)
The Holnis Class was a intended successor of the Frauenlobs but this class was cancelled after builing the leadvessel ... FGS Holnis. It was planned to build 30 vessels of this class.
39001 FGS Holnis / M2651 / 31 Mar 1966 / 12 Dec 1996 / given to Estonia as spares hulk
Technical Data (as Class 390):
Dimensions: 36.90 / 7.40 / 1.80 m
Displacement: 150 / 180 ts
Propulsion: 2 MTU MB 12V 493 TY70 diesels (2000 hp) / 2 shafts / 16.5 kts
Armament: 1 single 20mm
Radars: Atlas Elektronik I-band
Crew: 25 to 27 px
Upon commissioning FGS Holnis joined the 1st GE MS SQN for trials. 9 months later she changes to the 10th MS SQN. Prior disbandment of this shortlived squadron she's transfered to Trials Command. There was she converted to a comms trials vessel (Class 740, vessel no 25) and got the new hull number Y836. In this role she served until decommissioning in 1996. Last time I saw the ex FGS Holnis she was berthed at Tallinn Naval Base as spares hulk for the other Estonian MSIs.
Hope you liked the small tour through the evolution of the German inshore minesweepers.
Well Matze, I for one really enjoyed the 'small tour' - excellent work lad.
Really enjoyed that post Matze and good to hear that the mcm op was successful, been ages since i last did live ops in the baltic. Working in the mcmv workshops in faslane is pretty boring at the moment, never thought i'd say it but i'm starting to miss being part of a ships company! and not being at sea
Thank you Mik. Had to get a few infos before continuing the thread. A rare salut to the German bureaucrats for never clearing their litter boxes. Now and then the 'Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik and Beschaffung' publishs a index off all units which served or are serving in the Federal GE Navy. A pity the PDF is only in German.
Hej Dave, with you enjoying yourself in Faslane someone has to do the job ... hehehe.
Just posting some photos taken 2 days ago. In the Naval Arsenal Installation Kiel units arrive and leave nearly every day. I'm thinking about to start a 'NavArs Kiel' photo thread. However here are some photos of Class 352 MSCD FGS Siegburg (M1098) and Class 333 MHC FGS Kulmbach (M1098).
FGS Siegburg stayed only a few hours but FGS Kulmbach is berthed in NavArs Kiel since about 5 weeks. She's in the same dilemma as my unit. Due to budget cuts and more missions the GE Navy had to delay maintenance refit phases for a lot of units in the last two years. So in the last half year a quite big number of units went to the shipyards for refit and these units are meeting each other in the NavArs Kiel now. Not easy if one knows the limited berthing places and limited number of NavArs employees.
Units in NavArs Kiel:
MCM vessels: FGS Überherrn, FGS Auerbach, FGS Kulmbach, FGS Bad Rappenau (next week add.: FGS Rottweil)
FPBs: FGS S78 Ozelot, FGS S79 Wiesel
Subs: FGS U18, FGS U16
Intelligence vessels: FGS Oste, FGS Oker
Support vessel: FGS Mosel
Now to something completely different ... the pics.
Me again. Just took a few photos of some lost 40mm L/70 Bofors HS99 standing on the quay. Sad to see them awaiting disposal. Our new gun, the ridiculous small 27mm Rheinmetall MLG, is already fitted.
nice pictures matze, never knew you were getting rid of the bofors. must admit to having a fondness for Kiel, one of my favourite runs ashore.
The RN is in the same state with delayed refits and trying to maintain the units in service with as little money spent as possible
See what you mean about the document Matze, but with limited German, well actually virtually non-existent German it is still reasonably easy to follow. I regret my German is limited to the usual pleasantries - guten tag etc - and the essentials - 1,2 and 3 beers, anymore than that and it is a case of holding up the required number of fingers!!!!
Anyway, keep up the good work and I'm sure that others would appreciate a Kiel report on a regular basis.
Thank you Mik. Your knowledge of German language is enough for surviving Kiel Week more or less. :-)
Oi Dave, maybe in the next 12 to 18 months all remaining GE MCM vessels will loose their 40mm and get the new toys. As the new gun is already fitted and we had a few Becks and Cpt Morgan & Coke tonight I'm going to add a few pictures.
Matze - Is that you in picture number 4??
yes ... that's me ... once again beaten by Rum and Becks.
You should post it [or better still one slightly different] in our special thread for our members pictures at the link below!
Hi matze, nice pics, technical question though, is that gun controlled from the ops room in remote all the time or does it have limited local control?
As for the becks, sounds like a great way to finish a busy day during a maintenance period:)
Nice pix but puzzled by the 'clear view' screens on the bridge, take it the port side one was fitted by the 'it's in now and it can stay in whether it is the right way up or not' brigade after a few Becks!! Can we have the next pic plse where you have fallen off the gun due to too many Becks.........!!!
I followed Terry's advice and posted a similar picture in the member gallery.
That's a really good question, Dave. As far as I know the gun is remote controlled by a console in the CIC. If a wouldbe target shows up on the MSP 500 optronic sensor (clear view or I-R) this target gets tracked by the MSP console. It's possible to get the distance to target by the MSPs lazer.
When that's finished the MSP console transfers the target data to the 27mm MLG console. The gun itself has a own camera on the portside of the cannon.
On the pictures this camera is covered by that grey metal protector.
I witnessed some MLG shooting on FGS Fulda and FGS Passau and the quality of the MLG console screen is rather poor. Going to ask our weapons PO if it's possible to operate the MLG manually on Monday.
Hej Mik! No, that's no fault of us. The clear view window is fitted as it should be. And I've got a fine explanation for it. The 2 clear view windows on the stbside are lower because they're destined for the places of NavRadar/ARPA and helmsman which are equipped with comfortable Recaro shockabsorbing seats while the single upper clear view window on the portside is belonging to the CO resp OOW if they're standing for getting to have a good look outside.
Have no newer MCM pics but will continue with mineclearance diver vessels tomorrow ... and maybe the "Kiel thread" (if you want to sea some pics of a 404 MCM support, a 206A sub in drydock, a 143 FPB or a 423 intelligence ship).
As for me ... I'm staying on board with my guard pals this KIEL WEEKend. When going outside to smoke a cig I can hear perfectly the sound of thousands of people having fun even if the weather is quite British ... haha.
P.S.: Falling down fm something because of beer? Good joke. :-)
Matze, Dave, Mik I think that the builders had a real sense of the likely manning profile of these vessels and made provision for a bevvy of Little H's to con the vessels from stbd side of course;):D
Thanks for the contribution Matze!!:)
Anytime again Terry. Have a few sometimes funny pictures and more somewhat strange ones*.
The real strange thing is that we got a new OOW (OpsO) a few months ago. He's maybe 1.52 m 'high'. Until last year we had another OOW who was 1.53 (when standing). These guys have real problems as OOWs when standing in the nock for bringing the minehunter to its jetty because they aren't tall enough for seeing all. So we took 2 shiny red plastic breadbaskets and laid these in the nock. Therefore small OOWs are sometimes called 'Brotkasten-WO'.
* Do you see what I mean? That's our EW PO ... most popular screwer of huge female Danish radio operators. One of his nicknames is 'Sir Drinkalot'. :D
Thanks Matze, thought the reason for the 'clear views' was along those lines - I must be getting clever in my old age!!!
Sympathies for drawing the short straw for the duty weekend - HAHA!!
Re the Dainish radio operators, i can remember doing a stannvaforchan and the Danish ship had a lovely set of blondes on the focsle for leaving harbour complete with their pigtails!:)
When I visited Iceland in 1991 I was "molested" by two large blondes with pigtails in a recently opened Reykjavik club. I literally had bruises all over my bum where they kept pinching me!!:o My other half still laughs about it now - she said I went as white as a sheet!
Although I had "perfect planned" watch duties I was several times to the Kiel Week. Well, I didn't get as far as the Havanna and Jever station but it was nice anyway.
Our weapons PO says it's possible to control the 27mm MLG manually in case of emergency but it must be quite impossible to handle it fast enough. Clever navy.
But now ....
As I'm home again I've the time to continue ... and finally to get UMTS access again.
After writing something about Federal German minesweepers and minehunters there are 5 vessels left now. These are the mineclearance diver vessels (MCDs):
1) FGS Eider
2) FGS Hansa
3) FGS Stier
4) FGS Mühlhausen
5) FGS Rottweil
1) FGS Eider (A50, later Y1663)
FGS Eider was an Isles Class naval trawler and first known as HMS Dochet (T286). Built by G.T. Davie & Sons in Lauzon/Quebec it was on the disposal list after WW2. In 1956 she and HMS Fint (T287) were acquired by the Westgerman Federal Navy. Both vessels were recommissioned 01 July 1956. HMS Flint became FGS Trave (A51). Both vessels were reclassified as Class 139 patrol trawlers. In her new roles they were used in fishery protection and mainly for training as units of the Command of Naval Education. A few years later they were reclassified as Class 752 "Minenwurfboot" and belonged to the then independent Mineclearance Diver Company in Eckernförde. Can't say when but with Trave converted into an intelligence ship Eider was reclassified as Class 732 "Minenwurf- und Lichtboot" and transferred to the GeNavUWWeapSchool Eckernförde and got a new hull number. FGS Eider was decommissioned 06 April 1978 and sold for scrap to Schwarting, Brake.
Dimensions (L/B/D): 164 ft / 27 ft 8 in / 11 ft 1 in
Displacement: 545 ts
Propulsion: one triple expansion reciprocating engine / 850 hp / 1 shaft / 12 kts
Armament: various light guns
Crew: 40 px
Note: Forget to say that FGS Eider was never a real MCD but a somewhat predecessor to the later MCDs. She wasn't equipped with typical facilities like decompression chamber either. As their was no mc diver platform at this time the divers needed experience and training for operating offshore.
Next comment will contain FGS Hansa and FGS Stier.
P.S.: The last female Danish operator who was victim of our EW PO was as high as wide and ugly as hell. He fell "in love" with her between the containers in the Limassol UN naval base. She was crew member of HDMS Peter Tordenskiold. Always wondered how this girl fitted in such a small and narrow built corvette.
Thanks for the info about Eider and Trave. As far as I know at about the same time that Eider went under the scrappers torch, Trave was sold by your country to the Turkish Navy and was still in existence until a few years ago.
thanks for the info matze, hope kiel week was as enjoyable as ever! I'm back in Faslane this evening, got to put a set of whip aerials on one of the sandowns tomorrow. best of it is the rest of the gear isnt working but she will at least look like she should!
thanks for the info matze, hope kiel week was as enjoyable as ever! I'm back in Faslane this evening, got to put a set of whip aerials on one of the sandowns tomorrow. best of it is the rest of the gear isnt working but she will at least look like she should!
ye gawds davep does nuffink ever change mate
Hej Dave and Harry,
as you mentioned Sandowns here's exHMS Sandown ... nowadays ENS Admiral Cowan. Although wearing unusual dark colour still fine looking. :)
She was also participating in MCOPLAT 2009 and visiting Ventspils/LV. I've added a pic of minehunter FGS Passau. Here one can see the awful look of a once well armed Class 333.
Bonus pic: Dansk power! :D
Great picture of the Admiral Cowans - Estonia`s finest!
Her motto is - "Ad Omnia Patrus" or something which in English means Ever Ready [sounds like a battery!]
Nice pics havent seen the Passau for awhile, i was on the admiral cowan as a safety number the first time the estonians took her to sea for trials and it was a trial! we were past both forth bridges before they plotted their first position on the chart. but the food was excellent!
Harry, the ship could of been fully operational if the planners had half an idea of what was involved in the repair. it wasnt till the maintenance was nearly complete before they actually took an interest in what myself and my guys were telling them, so now the ship is sailing with no hf capability at all till contractors can fit them in.:mad:
But at least i've done my bit and earned 8 hour extra leave out of it:D
But at least i've done my bit and earned 8 hour extra leave out of it
gud-on-yah mate... we'd have bunged in a couple of replacement valves done a quick calibration, the frequency might have wondered a goodly bit but HF capability restored:) ....but we'd not have earned the leave then!!!:mad::(
Everywhere the same, hehe. My unit was scheduled to join SNMCMG2 in the first half of 2010 but due to lazy Thales and too much units coming from their yard refits we're scheduled to leave NavArs Kiel not before 2nd half of September. That will result in starting workup not before October. Then we'll have a crew containing more newbies than older ones which leads to a SAGA date not before February.
As the SNMCG2 deployment starts in January it will be enjoyed by infamous FGS Grömitz. Maybe it's better if she's not seen in the northern areas for a while. :D
For compensating our bad luck our sqn commander announced that we'll sail to Italy after finishing our workup. There we shall experience an Italian damconex drill similar to MOST and SAGA. Don't know why or what CINCGERFLEET thinks we shall gain with that.
Now we're in NavArs Kiel since about 6 weeks. Still miss a RX 1001M hf rx and the rx part of my TRX 1510 hf trx. Last week we "enjoyed" a visit by highranking gozos of the GeNavOffice, GeCmd of Naval Information Systems and the "Bundesamt für Wehrmittel und Beschaffung". After introducing the most hilarious Siemens DICS digital radiocontrol and interface unit in most of the MCM vessels they're planning to integrate the so called MAHRS (Mar Adaptiv) which is a frequency hopper. Already used in our frigates and bigger supply vessels (where it's in a rack of approx 1.50m/0.70m/0.70m). They want to microsize it for our small units. I've already seen it when it was built in o/b FPB FGS S78 Ozelot ... resulting in a temperature of 72 deg celsius. The apparatus became so hot that no one could touch it. No prob at all. A few minutes later it switched off by itself. :rolleyes:
By the way ... also instead of SNMCG2 we're planned to relieve the crew of FGS Kulmbach in ... surprise ... UNIFIL MarOps!
seems to be the same all over matze, glad to see we are not the only ones having problems with thales!
i can remember when the sandowns first entered service and they had a lot of problems with the comms system, but over the years we have learnt all the problems and the systems settled down quite well, then we let thales give us a new drive unit for our high power transmitter and more often than not we have major problems with it.
but since thales have changed the drive unit it no longer matches the low power transmitter so where as before you could swap bits around and clear faults our further diagnose them now your left with a heap of useless gear till you get back alongside!
Last year before our gulf trip we were the first ship to convert to seafox, so we did a fost workup on seafox to prepare for the gulf where we were taking over a ship still equipped with rcmds resulting in another work up when we were out there!
that's nearly the same with the new frequency hopper S/Shore TFC system which will be installed in MHC FGS Bad Rappenau right now. I made a visit to BAD RAP's comms chief at Thursday and there I've seen the guys fm Hagenuk (comms camorra) explaining all the advantages of the "new" system ... until they've seen me standing in the door.
I've said "greetings" and asked them about the radio room of FGS S78 Ozelot but they weren't so keen on answering. :D
Here you see the aftdeck of FGS Bad Rappenau without the typical Class 332 crane and ROV rails. It's announced to refit 5 Class 332 vessels to Seafox ROV. These will include the 5 Class 332 vessels of the 3rd GE MS SQN only. The remaining 4 Class 332 vessels (of the 5th GE MS SQN) like FGS Bad Rappenau will keep their STN Atlas Pinguin B3 ROVs.
As I told about starting a NavArs Kiel thread I'll start a general Federal GE Navy photo thread ... just as I hope we won't stay in NavArs Kiel until judgement day.
Keep it coming MCMatze I have been out of it for a long time now but good to see how you guys keep coping. All the best, see you in the Wardroom soon I hope .... now all is sorted out there!!!!!!!!!!!!
One thing about the seafox fit at least you will probably be getting a proper fit from atlas not the sub contracted on the cheap version we got from a company called ultra!:mad:
at one stage we even had atlas engineers coming over and telling the ultra contractors how to fix it before they then told us
Just finished reading your thread......what a task that must have been
I am surprised you had time to liberate any Danish crew.... they look a bit fearsome and not for the faint hearted . [Churchill thought she was nice]..still with enough rum nothing is impossible if you can deliver the goods eh :rolleyes:
Many thanks and kind regards Ivor
Hej Dave & Ivor,
we'll get an improved seafox version with screwprotectors. Thanks for your appraisal Ivor.
this comment will contain infos about MCDs FGS Hansa and FGS Stier. As every German mineclearance diver vessels both units started their career for other purposes.
2) Class 732A: FGS Hansa (Y806, ex W22, ex M2662)
As earlier mentioned FGS Hansa started as Class 360 naval coast guard vessel and was converted to Class 390 inshore minesweeper. In 1969 she joined the then independent Mineclearance Diver Company in Eckernförde and was converted to Class 732A. So she lost her sweeping gear and got a decompression chamber on her aftdeck.
There aren't any other differences to her earlier technical data. 17 Jan 19912 she was decommissioned.
3) Class 732B: FGS Stier (Y849, ex M1061)
FGS Stier was the last survivor of the Class 340/341 "Schütze" fast minesweepers. Commissioned 28 Jun 1961 she left her squadron in 1962. Until 1966 she was safety vessel "903/01" for the trials of the Class 205 coastal submarines. In 1966 she joined the Mineclearance Diver Company in Eckernförde but wasn't converted to her new role until 1970. Like FGS Hansa she simply lost her sweeping gear and got a decompression chamber. 31 Mar 1995 she was finally decommissioned.
Sorry to say but there's not much info to gather about these two 'dergls'.
P.S.: The Danish radio operatrice was no victim of me but of our EW PO. What would you think of me? :eek: brrrrrr
Good stuff Matze!! you have been missed... don't tell us it was sea duty now was it???;):D
... shame on me. I know. :(
My parents are making a holiday stay at Rügen Island. We see each other only twice a year since they emigrated to Sweden. Additional this weekend is harbor fair in Sassnitz and I've spent the last days/nights with old pals of mine.
... and I've had to sponsor a major drink for all because I was promoted to the rank of "Hauptbootsmann". That's the first senior CPO rank in our navy. Our ranks are somewhat confusing when compared to other navies. As NATO STANAG says that "Bootsmann" and "Oberbootsmann" are 'only' Petty Officer 1st Class in e.g. US Navy the GE Navy says that our national CPO ranks start with "Bootsmann". We've too much Petty Officer (Maat, Obermaat) and Chief Petty Officer Ranks (Bootmann, Oberbootsmann, Hauptbootsmann, Stabsbootsmann, Oberstabsbootsmann). :rolleyes:
Pse accept my humble sorry for keepin' out of the wardroom, little H.
Here are some patches of the German MSIs. Enjoy.
And now to some kind of "splendid" yacht. No, no real yacht but until her final decommission she was the worlds largest mahagonibuilt warship (if you accept a warship with only small arms as armament and some mineclearance divers with loads of stupid ideas). Yes, it's ...
4) Class 742A: FGS Mühlhausen (M1052)
FGS Mühlhausen's naval life started as highseas minesweeper prototype FGS Walther von Ledebur (A1410). Built by Burmeister Shipyard her namesake was Walther von Ledebur which participated in the development of mines for Reichs- and Kriegsmarine between 1925 and 1945. As the idea of this class of highseas minesweepers was disbanded FGS Walther von Ledebur became a civilian crewed minewarfare trials ship (Class 421) of the 71th GE Engeneering Test Centre for Ships and Navy Weapons in Eckernförde in 1967. Her first career ended with her decommissioning 25 Mar 1994.
As FGS Stier became too old and too small the GE Navy decided to replace her with something "new". That was the 2nd birth of the ex FGS Walther von Ledebur. In 1994 she was brought to Peeneyard Wolgast and until 1995 she was rechristened and converted to the mineclearance diver vessel FGS Mühlhausen. With her new name she was the first unit of the German Navy of the reunified Germany to bear an Eastgerman name. Mühlhausen is a small town in Thuringia. She was part of the GE Navy Weapon Diver Battalion which later became the GE Navy Special Forces. Her 2nd service time should endure fm 06 Apr 1995 to 20 Jun 2007. Now she lays nearly forgotten in the NavArs Wilhelmshaven waiting her end.
Dimensions: 63.16 / 10.84 / 2.90 m
Displacement: 775 / 825 ts
Propulsion: 2 ea Maybach-Diesel / 5200 hp / 19 kts (originally; later maybe 15-16 kts) / 2 shafts
Crew: FGS Walther von Ledebur: 19 px / FGS Mühlhausen: 35 px + 15 divers embarked
In 2003 FGS Mühlhausen became infamous because of the murder of a 19y old female PO by a drunken, horny deckshand rating. :mad:
Extremely crisp-sharp resolution on those pics Matze... and nice lines to them also.
Your last sentence ... Not good news though!
Your presence and wallet are required in the 'wardroom' mate
5) Class 332B: FGS Rottweil (M1061)
This unit was in original a Class 332 minehunter built by Fr. Lürssen Shipyard, Bremen-Vegesack. Launched 12 Mar 1992 and commissioned 07 Jul 1993 she served in the 1st GE MS SQN, Olpenitz, until this squadron was disbanded in Dec 2005. She then joined the 3rd GE MS SQN and moved with this squadron to Kiel Naval Base. As it was getting nearly impossible to keep FGS Mühlhausen running with spare sparts and the naval "reform" showed a surplus of 3 Class 332 minehunters it was decided to convert FGS Rottweil as FGS Mühlhausen's successor. The other 2 minehunters were FGS Frankenthal and FGS Weiden which were sold to the United Arab Emirates in 2006.
In 2006/07 FGS Rottweil was converted to her new role by the Peeneyard Wolgast. Therefore her rov hangar was refitted as bigger mineclearance diver store and she lost her whole Pinguin B3 drone equipment. Her hangar doors were shut and she got a single door to the aftdeck. Additionally she got 3 Boomranger rhibs and dinghy mountings. Her minedestruction charges ammo store was refitted to hold additional small arms, EOD equipment and even a small counter-IED robot.
After finished conversion she joined the GE Navy Special Forces in Eckernförde. Compared to earlier German MCDs her main task is not the training of divers but to embark IED/EOD diver mission groups and to conduct countermining in naval bases, harbors and other kinds of littoral waters.
Otherwise there's nothing to say about her but as far as I know she was the first German minehunter to enter an Israeli Port (Haifa) when she was part of MCMFORMED in 1999. Recently she returned fm a training cruise to Finland and she's scheduled to join SNMCMG1 in 2010.
Oi mates, that are the (Federal) German minewarfare vessels fm 1956 to now. :)
Excellent articles once again Matze and congrats on your promotion - richly deserved and not before time of course.....!!
Vmt Mik. :)
The next comments will be about the minewarfare vessels of the Volksmarine (Eastgerman Peoples Navy) fm 1956 to 1991.
looking forward to that post matze
Likewise and ditto Matze
Sorry to disappoint you but I forgot the minelayers. So tomorrow I'll write something abot the Classes 370 (Bochum class) and 762 (Sachsenwald class). Finally I got a picture of a Vegesack class coastal minesweeper in German service. :)
Here's FGS Worms.
As I forgot to mention the federal German minelayers I decided to write about the then GE minelaying squadron (Minenlegergeschwader).
The squadron had its home in Flensburg, in the Naval Base Flensburg-Sonwik. For long years this base was home of the 1st GE MS SQN minesweepers, the 3rd GE FPB SQN fast attack crafts, the subchasers and intelligence ships of the GE serviceboat SQN and the minelayers. There even was a time when the former US Fletcher class destroyers of the 3rd GE DES SQN were based in Flensburg. Now back to the minelayers ...
01 Jan 1962 a KKpt Schenk founded the 1st Mineship Squadron (1. Minenschiffgeschwader). In 1960 Federal Germany purchased several landing ships (tank) fm the US Navy which were transferred in 1961. Some of them were converted to landing (artillery) support ships while others when duely converted would be the cell of the minelayer squadron. These were the vessels of the Class 370.
1) Class 370 - Bochum Class Minelayers
Name (Hull No) / US Ident / builder / recomm. / decomm. / fate
FGS Bochum (A1404, later N120) / exUSS Rice County (LST 1089) / American Bridge / 09 Apr 1964 / 01 Sep 1971 / sold to Turkey 1972: TCG Sancaktar
FGS Bottrop (A1405, later N121) / exUSS Saline County (LST 1101) / Missouri Valley / 06 Feb 1964 / 15 Sep 1971 / sold to Turkey 1972: TCG Bayraktar (N120)
There was a third former LST that would be FGS Bamberg (N122) if her conversion would have been finished. She was the former USS Greer County (LST 799). When she was converted to 60% readiness all works stopped. She was never recommissined and was sold to the Netherlands in January 1970.
The current Jane's Fighting Ships counts only TCG Bayraktar as in active service. Jane's tells that the minelaying gear was removed in 1974/1975 but replaced in 1979. Henceforth she's a dual-purpose ship.
Class 370 technical data:
Dimensions (feet): 328 / 50 /14
Displacement (tons): 1653 standard / 4080 full load
Propulsion: 2 ea GM 12-567A diesels / 1800 hp / 2 shafts / cp props / 11 kts
Range, miles: 15.000 at 9 kts
Guns: 6 ea 40mm (2 dual, 2 single mounts)
Mines: 4 rails
Complement: 60 px
01 Jan 1965 sees the squadron renamed in Minelaying Squadron. Right from the new start this squadron is part of the Command of Minewarfare Forces. In August 1965 the former Kriegsmarine salvage tug and Federal GE Navy squadron tender FGS Oste (A 52) joins the squadron after converson to a Class 753 intelligence vessel.
2) Class 762 - Sachsenwald Class Minetransport/Minelayer
FGS Sachsenwald (A1437) / 20 Aug 1969 / 26 Sep 1991 / scrapped by Bakker Co (Belgium)
FGS Steigerwald (A1438) / 15 Jan 1969 / 04 Nov 1993 / scrapped by Kabelrecycling Co, Liebenwerder
Built by Blohm & Voss Hamburg these two ships had an unspectacular, but significant role in the defense of the NATO Baltic flank. They were to support the laying of defensive mine barriers off the (federal) German and Danish coasts and sounds. Originally, these ships only were to transport the mines and transfer them to smaller minelayers (landing crafts, minesweepers etc) at sea. But after completion, mine rails were added so they could lay mines themselves. One of these ships was always at readiness in the cold war years. After 1990, they were no longer needed and discarded.
Dimensions (mtr): 111.0 / 13.9 / 4.0
Displacement (tons): 2962 standard / 3400 full load
Propulsion: 2 ea Maybach diesels / 5600 hp / 2 shafts / 17 kts
Range, miles: 3000 at 17 kts
Guns: 4 ea 40mm/L70 Bofors in 2 dual mounts
Sensors: 1 ea Kelvin Hughes NavRadar KH 14 (25 nm/surface search)
Mines: 4 large mine storage areas with elevators, 6 mine rails for 400-600 mines
Complement: 60 px
19 Oct 1971 the former fishery trawler Mellum joins the squadron as Class 753B intelligence vessel FGS ALster (A50). It's not known if there were any other vessels in this squadron. In 1972 the squadron was disbanded. The two minelayers joined the 1st GE MS SQN and the intelligence ships joined the GE serviceboat SQN.
Hope you liked the small comment. Here are some pictures.
These are really great posts, its good to see other navies in operation, good variety and interesting photos as well
I especialy like the photo of the 'tween decks of the 'Beer ship',in the first pic. Do you sling the kegs across,or pump it RAS fashion!. Ivor will be on the diplomatic phone trying to organise a cross operation and tempory transfer for her.
Thank you Jim! Wish we would have such a beertanker. :rolleyes:
Here are a few pictures of all 4 minelayers. They're fm the book "Die Deutsche Marine 1955-1985 - Schiffe und Flugzeuge" by Kroschel-Steindorff.
In my opinion the title is somewhat offensive, because at these times there've been 2 German navies and none of them should occupie the name of being THE German navy. But that are only my 2 ct.
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