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"German Tank-Landing Craft" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following U.S. military intelligence report on German landing craft was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 11, Nov. 5, 1942.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


This information concerning tank-landing craft, called "F" boats, is based on the examination of a vessel wrecked in Salum, and on observation of others passing through the Dardanelles.

a. Detail

(1) Construction

Width of hold is 13 feet, but the width of the ramp is 11 1/2 feet and immediately forward of this, the passage is only 10 1/2 feet wide. This will permit a free passage of tanks up to at least the Pz Kw IV (22 to 24 tons). The superstructure is about 8 feet above the deck. The bows rise clear of the water about 17 feet.

[German Tank Landing Craft]

The front opening is covered with thick corrugated iron sheeting on strongbacks and held down by fore and aft securing strips on each side.

The bridge is of 1/2-inch plating about 5 feet high in front and on both sides; the aft side is of wood, possibly enclosing about 4 inches of concrete. There is no top to the bridge.

The top and sides of the hold are not armored; the plating is about 1/8 inch thick.

(2) Equipment

There is no navigational or communication equipment on the bridge. The wheel is on the bridge and works the tiller through gears and chains. There is no steering engine. Two hauling-off kedges worked by hand winches are fitted on each quarter.

There are no watertight doors in the hold.

Provision is made for the carrying of troops; there are five large doors on each side from the upper deck to the hold, and there are folding benches in the hold along the side.

(3) Armament

No armament was found in the wrecked craft; however, there was some evidence suggesting that the craft was probably armed with one 75-mm gun forward of the bridge, and two machine guns, one forward and one aft.

(4) Performance

The craft displaces possibly 320 tons and has a carrying capacity of about 120 tons. It is able to carry from four to seven tanks, according to size.

Power is believed to be furnished by three Diesels developing 130 hp each. Estimates of speed range from 7 to 12 knots. It is known that passage through the Dardanelles was made at roughly 8 knots. The range is unknown.

(5) Seaworthiness

Four of these craft are reported to have traveled under their own power from Sicily to Benghazi by easy stages, stopping at Tropani, Pantellaria, Lampedusa, and Tripoli. One was reported to have been wrecked by rough weather. They have also gone through the Dardanelles, probably from Varna to the Aegean.

(6) Building Yards

Most of these craft are being built in the Low Countries from standard parts, and it is believed that sections can be transported by rail and assembled anywhere.


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