The "Vorpostenboot"

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    invisible officer

    Nobody will be surprised that nerd me would not be happy with a generic “Vorpostenboot”. So I started with a research. The 1/300 model equals 54 meter and has a prominent bridge shape and vent between bridge and foremast. Mast positions and other details are also specific.
    Well, I found a well matching “class”. Fischdampfer built between 1936 and 1938 at Norderwerft Köser Meyer AG at Hamburg. 54,10 m and matching shape, inclusive the details. (You will find full details at Gröner 8.1, p. 192).

    For those wihing to give the model a name the following might be interesting:
    Pommern 1939 M1605, 1.1.1943 M 4043 26.8.4 sunk by mine La Pallice
    Schlesien 1939 M 1206 , 1.11.1942 M 4624, based at Channel Islands, sunk 23.6.1944 St. Helier by MGB.
    Carl Stangen 1939 M 1107, 1.8.1942 M 5209, 2.9.1943 damagaed by MTB and stranded
    Schwaben 1939 M 1302, 23.4.1940 sunk by mine from HM submarine Narwhal
    Franken 1939 UJ 128 1.8.1941 UJ 1404, 19.8.1942 sunk in Dieppe raid by HMS Destroyer
    Masuren 1939 M 1505, 28.5.1943 V 6111, 24.10.1944 sunk by Soviet Torpedo plane.
    Wien 1939 M 1502, 2.2.1943 V 6104, survived war
    Tirol 1939 M 1504, 28.5.1943 V 6106, 12.12.1943 sunk by mine
    Steiermark. 1939 UJ 126, 18.7.1940 sunk by HM submarine H 31 two torpedo hits.

    You see that all started as Hilfsminensucher or Unterseebootsjäger but three changed role to Vorpostenboot. The Kriegsmarine listed them under the civil name. The numbering system can be confusing. Regular M 1935 Minensucher got numbers between 1 and 260 (with gaps) that said nothing but number x Minensucher. (Same with later types 1940 etc.) But Hilfsminensucher got a number combined from Flotilla number and two digit boat number in flotilla. So Schlesien above was 6th boat in 12th Minensuchflotille. That was disbanded in autumn 1942 and the boat became 24th boat in 46th flotilla. Each number was give once, so if a vessel replaced a lost one it got a new number.
    Vorpostenboote and Unterseebootsjäger used a similar system.
    Hafenschutz boats used a letter for the harbor or area and a number.

    Warlord use the word Flakship with the model in addition to Vorpostenboot.
    There had been no Trawler Flak”schiffe”but there was a Flotille of just eight FlakJäger, numbered FJ 21-28. (The flotilla was named 2. Flotille so we have a similar coding. Unfortunately none looked like the model. Four had been whalers and others came from custom service. They did escort work like the other small aux. vessels

    invisible officer

    The main question is building and painting the model. It comes with two large masts that fit the type 1939-41. But it has mid to late war arming of 2cm quad and 3,7 cm quad AA. That made the boats top heavy so the foremast was reduced ¼ to 1/3 and the aft ½ or more commonly replaced with an antenna holder at stack. (In all , not just that “class”)

    So I changed my model to that later configuration. It seems that all of the class lost the aft mast. Reeling and antenna added in IO style.

    The big bang in bow position is for Vorpostenboote. But some Hilsminensucher had one too. The lack of guns caused the use of many replacements, even Vorpostenboote sometimes had a 3,7 cm Pak AT gun there in early war. With the submarine change to no deck gun stocks of 8.8 cm naval guns became available.
    In late 1942 the AA was increased with 3,7 cm Flak. It took some time and some crews even “found” AA guns belonging to Luftwaffe. Causing some friction.

    The Hilfsminensucher had better minesweeping equipment but Vorpostenboote, U-Jäger and Flakjäger had some too. And all types had depth charges. The model lacks them at all. All had two dropping racks aft. Vorpostenboote and U-Jäger had additional throwers at the sides of engine room. I based my model on Schlesien Hilfsminensucher, so no throwers.
    I changed the stern with the typical platform and open reeling. (easy cut with a hot knive)

    In books we mostly see the ones with camo but few boats had it so I gave it the typical grey finish with black stack top. Some dirt and a bit of rust. But not much, the Kriegsmarine did not like idle men. Even post invasion the Channel Island based ones got repainted.


    Highly informative and nice models!


    How do we translate “Vorposten?”

    Is it “Before” or “In Front of” the “Post?”

    Or is it more like “Outpost Boat?”

    My German is pretty good but this one stumped me.

    invisible officer

    The Vorposten is the guard nearest the enemy to observe.
    Vorderer Posten.

    Posten in Military German means a soldier guarding something. Short for Wachposten.

    So outpost boat would be correct.


    Danke, IO. Du bist Deutscher?

    Some of those German terms are very confusing: Landser, Soldat, Soldner, Grenadier, Volksgrenadier, Schutzen, Heer, und so weiter.

    Sie machen mich vollkommen virwirrt.

    invisible officer

    Yes, I’m Prussian ;-). From Berlin. With the usual mix of German, Polish, French and other ancestors.

    Today even Germans get confused by the old words. And many changed meaning.

    For example Schütze. English often translate it as marksman. No. Originally it was just someone shooting. Like Bogenschütze, Armbrustschütze and so on. Modern MG Schütze.

    Imperial German army pre 1914 had no soldier named Schützen. With the one exception of IR 108, a Saxonian elite unite wearing rifle green and Jäger Tschako. But listed with the line, not the Saxonian Jäger light infantry. And more confusing: In the army list it had in addition the added word Füsiliere in brackets.

    In 1920 Schütze became the “title” of the OR in infantry. And later in tank force with Panzerschütze. And Kradschütze.

    But if it was a light unit he was still a Jäger. Or a Skijäger, Gebirgsjäger.

    And Fallschirmjäger? Yes, but also named Fallschirmschütze.

    The Schütze of motorized infantry in a Panzerdivision became 1942 a Panzergrenadier.

    Ordinary Infantry Regiments became Grenadierregimenter and the OR a Grenadier. But there was no Grenadierdivision, they are still named Infanteriedivision XYZ. But post Stauffenberg bombing attack on Hitler newly formed Infantry divisions got the name Volsgrenadierdivision.

    Confused? 😉


    Vollkommen verwirrt, but thanks for the explanation.

    I’m American, but up until the late 1880s we were Brandenburgisch and from a city near Krakow that was German speaking, owned by the Austrians, and is now part of Poland.

    Other side is Lithuanian.

    I used to live in Austria and in Bavaria so I speak a Muenchen-Salzburg dialekt.

    Now, who is confused…? I am.


    Literal translations will rarely help ypu to understand whats the meaning. Looking up the words, even in less trustable placed will at least give you an idea. Wikipedia sometimes serves well, even though in those specific cases doesn’t really help.

    Especially if those world are “old”, like Jäger or Schützen. Like IO explained Schützen is someone that shoots something, so an archer would be a Bogenschütze (Bogen = bow). With firearms beeing the most common weapon, the weapon type is only used if its not a rifle.

    Jäger is a term for huntsman or ranger. But in the mid 17th century it started to beeing used as a word for light infantry, the core of those units was composed of rangers. Those Jägers didn’t serve als line infantry but als riflemen.

    Regarding the word Vorpostenboot, i think the best word that i can think of would be a picket boat. But again its not exactly the same.

    Not to add some confusion, there were ships named Flakjäger which is Vorpostenboot with increased AA armament, sometimes those are called Flakkorvette as well.

    As a little challenge for IO:

    How about some Italian ships in German service?

    The Marinefährpram is a german design anyway, the MAS was used at least in the Black Sea as S 501-S 507 and the Gabbiano class was used as a Subchasers as well.

    If i find a decent pictures i will … at least when my Sperrbrecher 18 is finished.

    invisible officer

    Well copied from above: “There had been no Trawler Flak”schiffe”but there was a single Flotille of just eight FlakJäger, numbered FJ 21-28. …….. Unfortunately none looked like the Vorpostenboot model. Four had been whalers and others came from custom Service”
    They had average AA arms for 1942, only before they had been special.

    The Standard Gröner is full with Italian and other captured vessels in German Service.

    Hmm, KJ 25? Ex HDML 1381, I guess Warlord will do a HDML.
    But I plan a lot more scratch models, on desk is a R 301 class escort Räumboot.

    More confusion. Not all Military Jäger “huntsmen” had a Rifle, many Freiwillige Jäger 1813/14 got cut down muskets.


    Superb and really interesting detailed info. Very much appreciated. I love the scratch built models.

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