Nazi Germany (1943)
Unable to submerge, the Neger was not a true submarine but a manned torpedo carrier serving the German Navy of World War 2 - it found mixed success.
Detailing the development and operational history of the Neger Manned Torpedo Carrier / Assault Boat. Entry last updated on 1/24/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Neger displaced at 2.7 tons (long) with an overall length of 25 feet and a beam measuring just 1.75 feet. For propulsion there was installed an AEG-AV 76 Eto engine of 12 horsepower used to drive a propeller unit at the stern. This gave the manned torpedo a surface speed of up to 4 knots when surfaced and a range out to 48 nautical miles. The Neger was not able to submerge by design which, technically, made it not a true submarine.
Externally, the vessel itself appeared as a torpedo with its slim, hydrodynamically-refined shape (indeed it was built from the G7e series torpedo). The single crewman sat the bow with a short cupola installed at his position (a very basic instrument panel was used and a dome fitted over his position). The rear of the craft held a fin and rudder arrangement to be used for steering. The propeller unit also resided in this section. Held underneath the craft was the live torpedo, the Neger more-or-less acting as the host-ship for the weapon. The torpedo was tied to the Neger by two connection points running along the ventral spine of the craft.
As designed, the Neger would quietly approach an unsuspecting target and release its torpedo once at an appropriate range. From there the Neger was to escape the area or risk sinking in the blast radius. This was not always possible for some cases saw the torpedo fail to release and guide the entire Neger to the point of impact! Indeed, the Neger could be as much a danger to its pilot as to the enemy - as many as 80% of its crews perished during operations with few results to show for it. In practice, the Negers were frequently deployed as a swarm for better results.
They were in use from 1944 on and their first mission was marked by an action recorded on April 20th of that year. A fleet of thirty Negers was sent to assault Allied ships positioned at Anzio, Italy. However, thirteen of the fleet sunk before reaching the target area and three more never made it home. None of the watercraft hit their targets in the attack.
Negers were in play once-again during the Allied Invasion of Normandy in Northern France on June 6th, 1944. Of the forty Negers available, twenty-four were used operationally and claimed a pair of British Royal Navy minesweepers. Just nine of the watercraft made the return trip home. Future missions in the area resulted in a few more Allied vessels sunk or damaged but there was never a good return-of-investment for the Navy to keep the program a central point of actions going forward. By the end of 1944 and the beginning of 1945, the German war machine had bigger problems to contend with.
Any available statistics for the Neger Manned Torpedo Carrier / Assault Boat are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, ship class and number-in-class. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard base performance figures, installed armament, global users (from A-to-Z) and named ships-in-class.