Large Sturmboot 42 , 4 variants done

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    invisible officer

    The name Sturmboot is normally associated with the Leichtes Sturmboot 39, used by Heer pioneers on rivers, lakes and some coastal areas. The boat with the propeller at a long shaft, that could be swung around for fast turning, featured in many pics and propaganda movies. It’s even shown on a Nazi postal stamp.

    In 1942 the WaPrüf 5 (Army arms trial branch 5) and a yard in Berlin Köpenick designed the much bigger Stubo 42, also known as Schweres Sturmboot. The first series of a hundred (1001-1100) was open, the motor and steering in mid and two cargo holds front and aft.
    Second series was partly decked and 3rd series closed over.

    The boats could carry 3 t or up to 40 armed men. Speed was 20 kts and the boats proved to be surprisingly seaworthy. The crew of seven had a LMG and the LMG of the troops could be used from prepared points too.
    Some got a 20 mm AA in mid on top of the motor housing.
    The closed over boats had hatches for LMG and a 20 mm or LMG on motor.

    Some got converted to “Stabsboote” for a unit staff with a higher cabin . Other boats are commanded by NCO, the Stabsboot by an officer. It also had a Sanitäter.
    First came to front units in winter 42/43.

    invisible officer

    The boat crews got trained at Lindau at the Bodensee. There the Pionier-Lehr Bat. had its base. Newly created Landungs – Pionier- Bat. got formed there before transfer. The boats could be transported in one part by railroad or special trailers.

    Very few got used in the North for a time. Nearly all went to Adria, Aegean Sea and Black Sea.
    At Kertsch (East end of Crimea) Bat. 86, 128, 214 helped to keep the Kuban Bridgehead alive. Together with “F-Lighter” MFP they transported thousands of men and material.

    In Operation Brunhild (Retreat to Crimea) October 1943 the vessels helped to transport 239.669 soldiers, 16.311 wounded, 27.456 civil persons ,115.477 t Material (mostly amo) 21.230 vehicles, 74 tanks, 1.815 guns and 74.657 horses.
    The4 km wide street of Kertsch was defended by Luftwaffe but the Soviets had been much stronger..

    Compared to a MFP’s 200 soldiers 40 may be not much but double speed and small size made the transport much safer. The MFP concentrated on the heavy stuff, so the Stubo 42 transported many footsloggers.

    Post leaving the Crimea they served on in all the Black sea actions.

    invisible officer

    The island garrisons in Mediterranean needed a minimum of supply, that was done my sailing boats and small vessels like the Stubo. Crete was fed until 6/44 by convoys of freighters but the last was a disaster, 2 of 3 lost on way and the last on way back. But small vessels kept the garrison supplied until VE.

    Some Stubo did not serve with Landungspioniere but commando forces. They went to Küstenjägerabteilung Brandenburg. They had some of all variants.

    Abteilung staff: 1 Stubo Stabsboot, 1 Pionierlandungsbooot 41
    The Abteilung had four companies, 1. and 2. Company each 230 men, 2 Stubo 42, 2 Pionierlandungsbooote 41.
    .3rd had civil yachts and sailing vessels-. The 4. Kompanie got 12 Linsen explosive boats .

    The Stubo men got trained 42/43 at Langenargen / Bodensee. The unit was not part of the Division Brandenburg.

    One job was taking part in the Leros battle.
    Churchill thought that taking possession of the Dodekanes islands was a great idea. It was not.

    On Leros 2/ Royal Irish Fusiliers, 4/ The Buffs, 1/King’s own Royal and a company of 2/ Queen’s own Royal West Kent presented a good target. Plan was to occupy the high ground but Brig Tilney insisted on a forward defence on the coastline, which had the effect of spreading his forces too thinly.

    Prelude was the loss of Kos, there thhe Germans captured 1388 British and 3145 Italian prisoners. Durham LI and Para.
    1st company Küstenjäger took part in Leros operationin Sept. / Nov. . 43. With strong Heer troops (III./Infanterie-Regiment 440, II./IR 16 and II./IR 65 of the 22nd Infantry Division and some 600 Fallschirmjäger jumping in) 120 men of the Küstenjäger landed.

    Unusually for 43 the German forces had the twin advantages of local numerical superiority and air control. Fighting was hard, just 37 Küstenjäger got not wounded or killed.

    Both sides sent support via sea. Many options for games with MTB / MGB / MFP / Stubo and many more types.
    Five MFP are sunk but 3 RN and a Greek destroyers lost.
    Overall, 3,200 British (201 officers and 3,000 soldiers) and 5,350 Italians (351 officers and 5,000 soldiers) were taken prisoner by the Germans.
    Everything was done by RN to evacuate the garrisons of the other Aegean islands. Few know that the famous movie “Guns of Navarone” is loosely based on these actions.

    The fall of Leros was received with shock by the British public, today it is mostly forgotten.

    Losses got replaced and the 1st company did many other raids in Aegean Sea, the rest of the Abt. Did the same in Adria.

    invisible officer

    Surviving in war is often just luck. A friend’s uncle was conscripted and sent to a Pionier unit. In 43 they asked for volunteers, not stating the job. Normally it is no good idea to cry “here”. But a friend from office gave him a hint.

    He found himself on Bodensee, training with a Landungs Pionier Bat. In 44 the unit went to the Mediterranean. The boat was loaded with goods for Crete and went on the way with others. Krrrrrk. Some fool damaged the gear. Towed back to the small harbor and waiting for spare parts. Fearing air attacks on the village the boat was towed to a bay. The Bat. got another job and the unserviceable boat stayed at the bay with the 7 men crew. Forgotten?

    Fishing and living from conserved food. The Heer unit that was responsible for feeding them went away in early 45. The men started a raid on a small wrecked freighter in next bay. And got taken. They stood trial and got sentenced to death for looting.
    Well, Lady Luck again. Someone decided that they could be better used as guards of a depot. One nice Greek night the guy stood there and felt a light tap on the shoulder. He turned and looked into a .303 muzzle. POW at last. Not having fired a shot in anger.

    And the usual “nude” pics, Balsa and cardboard

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