In 1943, Oblt Spachmann came up with the idea of fighting enemy submarines using midget U-boats. Further developed by Dr. herald Schade, who was employed at the walter plant, the design called for a very fast, two-man Ubootjager (submarine hunting U-boat) with the Walter propulsion and an armament consisting of a pair K-Butt torpedoes. On July 1 1944, tests were carried out using a Schwertwal I model in the wind tunnel at the Luftfahrt Forschungsanstalt (Institute of Aviatuin) in Braunschweig, followed by towing tests in a canal at the HSVA(Hamburger Schleppversuchsanstalt).
A prototype was manufactured at the Versuchskommando 456. The craft was to be delivered into the combat zone by a surface tender. The equipment included several technical innovations such as: an underwater orientation device of the Echolot type built by ELAC in Kiel, a stabilized compass coupled with a course-determining autopilot (aircraft type) built by Patin in Berlin? Anew radio set and both active and passive hydrophones. The craft was to be powered by 800-HPmodernized BO VI Walter turbine (revised bearings and lubrication system), originally designed as propulsion for Walter torpedoes, with an output of 500 HP. The turbine was driven using a composition consisting of 1,000 kg of decalin (deco-hydrogen naphthalene) and 1,000 kg of HO22 (hydrogen peroxide, also known as ‘aurol’ or as hair-coloring peryhdrol), carried in containers made from a synthetic material called mipolan. The K-Butt torpedo (‘flatfish’), the Schewertwal’s armament, was the only Walter turbine propelled torpedo to have entered production.
Approximately 100 of these torpedoes were manufactured by war’s end. Intended mostly for use by the Seehund type, the first K-Butt derived from the standard G 7a and had a range of 7,000 m at 40 knots. Further development of the weapon produced variants capable of covering 8,000 m at 45 knots, 14,000 m at 45 knots (model Schildbutt) and 18,000 m at 40 knots. Aversion called Steinwal boasted an unheard-of range of 23,000 m. The Schwertwal was also to carry afl-launched rocket torpedoes as a measure of defence against enemy surface vessels attacking from the rear, various types of mines and small-size rocket launchers. On April 30 1945, the prototype of Schwertwal I was sunk in Lake Ploner near Bosau. In July 1945, the British recovered the wreck and the technical documentation and, after a thorough examination of the find at the Walter plant, the wreck was scrapped.
This is a scale plastic model kit, assembly required. Paints and glue not included.