Spotlight: The Kriegsmarine R-Boat

As one of the Kriegsmarine’s most produced classes of ship, R-boats proved to be real workhorses, acting as minesweepers, patrol craft and rescue vessels.

Kriegsmarine R-Boat

Designed during the inter-war period, these sleek, low-profile minesweepers were intended for in-shore work. Famed for their speed and manoeuvrability, the R-boot flotillas would serve in every theatre of the war – from the Meditteranean and North Africa to the Black and Baltic seas.

They first came to notoriety during the German invasion of Norway, where their shallow draft proved incredibly useful in navigating the numerous fjords and estuaries punctuating the Norwegian coastline.

One officer, Kapitanleutnant Hans Bartels commissioned 12 R-boots based on the design of a Norwegian fishing vessel – his flotilla became known as the Tigerverband, flying a pennant with a tiger’s head over crossed swords.

Bartels’ Tigerverband helped ferry troops up and down the coast, often providing fire support where necessary. For his services in Norway, Bartels would be awarded the Knight’s Cross

R-Boats would also prove incredibly useful in the Meditteranean, where their small size and shallow draft allowed them to utilize small harbours on the North African and Italian coasts which larger ships could not access.

During the perilous crossing from their base at Cuxhaven, through the channel and into the Meditteranean, some R-Boats were disguised as air traffic control boats, to protect them from Allied air attack.

In North Africa, the R-Boats undertook numerous minesweeping and coastal patrol missions in support of Rommel’s Afrika Korps. In the later stages of the Meditteranean campaign, they would relocate to ports in Sciliy and on the Italian mainland.

R-Boats in Cruel Seas

Ship Turn Ship Size Slow Combat Fast Hull Equipment Fully Loaded Points
Raumboot (R-Boat) R M 7 14 21 90 1x 37mm Semi-Auto, 1x 20mm, 2x MG, Depth Charges, Smoke; 135

R-BOATS – SPECIFIC RULES
R-boats have a movable propeller that means they can make 1 turn before they make any move. This is in addition to the standard movement rules.

R-Boats make a fantastic addition to any squadron of S-Boats, providing a tough, manoeuvrable fire platform that can soak up punishment and dish out a fair amount of firepower from its 37mm and 20mm guns.

Being able to turn before making any other movement allows an R-Boat captain to keep their guns on target and dodge those pesky torpedoes.

Several R-Boat flotillas were lurking around the Normandy coast in the run-up to D-Day, extending the massive belt of mines protecting France from English invasion. Consider using these slippery minelayers in alternate scenarios where the Kriegsmarine sallies forth to try and interdict the Allied landings.

The Kriegsmarine in Cruel Seas

If you’re looking to launch your Kriegsmarine fleet and dominate the high seas, grabbing one of these fleet sets is the best place to start!

The set contains:

  • 2 x Plastic S-100 E-boats
  • 2 x Plastic S-38 E-boats
  • 1 x Vorpostenboot flakship (resin and metal)
  • 1 x M-class minesweeper (resin and metal)
  • 1 x Ju-87D Stuka (metal)
  • Ship Cards
  • Plastic Torpedo markers

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