Stuka’s Of The Sea This documentary uses original newsreels to tell the story of the German Stukas deployed in the Second World War. Designed as small, high-speed torpedo boats, there were approximately 200 Stukas built and used in the Channel, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, sinking 40 warships and 100 merchant ships over the course of the war.
E-boat was the Western Allies‘ designation for the fast attack craft (German: Schnellboot, or S-Boot, meaning “fast boat”) of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. The most popular, the S-100 class, were very seaworthy, heavily armed and capable of sustaining 43.5 knots (80.6 km/h; 50.1 mph), briefly accelerating to 48 knots (89 km/h; 55 mph).
These craft were 35 m (114 ft 10 in) long and 5.1 m (16 ft 9 in) in beam. Their diesel engines provided a range of 700 to 750 nmi (810–860 mi; 1,300–1,390 km), substantially greater than the gasoline-fueled American PT boats and British motor torpedo boats (MTBs).
Stuka’s Of The Sea This design was chosen because the theatre of operations of such boats was expected to be the North Sea, English Channel and the Western Approaches. The requirement for good performance in rough seas dictated the use of a round-bottomed displacement hull rather than the flat-bottomed planing hull that was more usual for small, high-speed boats. The shipbuilding company Lürssen overcame many of the disadvantages of such a hull and, with the Oheka II, produced a craft that was fast, strong and seaworthy. This attracted the interest of the Reichsmarine, which in 1929 ordered a similar boat but fitted with two torpedo tubes. This became the S-1, and was the basis for all subsequent E-boats.
After experimenting with the S-1, the Germans made several improvements to the design. Small rudders added on either side of the main rudder could be angled outboard to 30 degrees, creating at high speed what is known as the Lürssen Effect. This drew in an “air pocket slightly behind the three propellers, increasing their efficiency, reducing the stern wave and keeping the boat at a nearly horizontal attitude”. This was an important innovation as the horizontal attitude lifted the stern, allowing even greater speed, and the reduced stern wave made E-boats harder to see, especially at night.