Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Raumboote (R-Boot)

Minesweeper / Convoy Escort / Motor Torpedo Boat

Nazi Germany | 1932

"Over 400 R-Boots were built for the German Navy of World War 2 and fewer than half of these survived the conflict which came to an end in 1945."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/19/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
For the German military of World War 2 (1939-1945), victory was not only to be had on land and in the air but also on the sea. Its fighting forces relied heavily on convoys crossing the northern reaches and in the Mediterranean Theater and, as such, vessels of many types were developed to support such operations - one design becoming the "R-Boot" ("Raumboote") class of motor torpedo boats.

Like the related "S-Boot" family (detailed elsewhere on this site), R-Boots were designed and developed during the interwar years preceding World War 2. Unlike other warships, the type was not restricted by the Versailles Treaty signed by Germany after the war. The R-Boot was designed as a smaller companion to the larger S-Boots and developed around the need for coastal minesweeping services.

The original batch of boats was built from the late-1920s into the early-1930s and covered hull numbers R1 through R-16. These displaced 60 tons (long) and sported 26 meter overall lengths. Builders included Lurssen, Bremen-Vegesack, Travemune and others with the last boat arriving in 1934. From 1934 until 1938, the next batch covered hull numbers R17 to R24 and had their displacement and lengths increased to 115 tons and 37 meters respectively (their beams were also increased as a result). R25 through R40 arrived from 1938 to 1939 and were slightly lighter (110 tons) and shorter (35.4 meters). R41 through R129 managed displacements of 125 tons and lengths of 37.8 meters, being built until 1943. From there arrived R130 to R150 which showcased a displacement of 150 tons and a length of 41 meters - these constructed up until 1944.

Back in 1940, R151 through R217 began construction and these ranged into 1943, carrying a displacement of 125 tons and length of 35.4 meters. 1943 saw the beginning of R218 to R300 of 140 tons and 39.2 meter lengths - though R291 through R300 remained unfinished before the end of the war in 1945. R301 through R312 appeared as 160-ton vessels with 41 meter lengths and were constructed from 1942 until 1945 - the primary change being 2 x 533mm torpedo tubes added for offensive-minded ship-hunting sorties. R401 through R448 were the last of the R-Boot classes and were 140-ton vessels with 39.2 meter lengths. While launched from 1943 until 1945, most of the group were not finished before the end of the war.

Article Continues Below Advertisement...
As designed these boats were sleek and carried low profiles. Their draughts were deliberately shallow so as to operate effectively along coastlines and, due to their intended mission scope, were only modestly-armed through a sole turreted 37mm C/30 series cannon facing aft and between two and six 20mm cannons. 7.92mm machine guns were also fitted for extremely close-in defense. For minelaying duties, the boats were outfitted with mine and depth charge dispensers and only the aforementioned class of R301-R312 boats carried torpedo launchers (2x).

The operating crew numbered as many as thirty-eight personnel while propulsion power was derived from 2 x MAN marine diesels outputting 1,836 horsepower each and driving 2 x shafts under stern. The boats could made headway at seventeen knots though the torpedo-equipped R301-R312 carried triple-screw propulsion for speeds reaching 24 knots. Some were outfitted with Voith-Schneider propeller units for increased maneuverability. Construction involved a metal understructure with wood framing with rounded bilges built-in.

Despite the original intent to feature these boats as minesweepers, the line was employed in all manner of roles for the German Navy as wartime needs required - these to include Search and Rescue (SAR), ship hunting, coastal patrolling and general convoy escort to name a few- as it stood, the boats rarely operated in their intended minesweeping roles, such was the nature of the war for the German Navy. They proved critical components in the German operation against Norway in 1940 and a total of 424 boats were ultimately completed, seeing service everywhere the Navy operated and well into the final weeks of the war in 1945.

Despite their numbers, many were lost for just 140 survived the conflict and the Allies managed to capture stocks of the type before the end. With the war over, the boats became spoils of war and were disbursed among some of the conquerors though about 24 were eventually reintroduced in the post-war West German Navy and operated until their usefulness had run out in the 1960s.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for Raumboote (R-Boot).
2 x MAN diesel-fueled marine engines developing 1,836 horsepower to 2 x shafts.
20.0 kts
23.0 mph
Surface Speed
1,099 nm
1,265 miles | 2,036 km
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of Raumboote (R-Boot).
134.9 ft
41.12 meters
O/A Length
19.0 ft
5.79 meters
5.2 ft
1.58 meters
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of Raumboote (R-Boot).
1 x 37mm C/30 cannon
2 to 6 x 20mm cannons
4 x 7.92mm machine guns

Naval mines, depth charges, torpedo tubes (some forms) as required.
Ships-in-Class (424)
Notable series variants as part of the Raumboote (R-Boot) family line as relating to the Raumboote group.
Hull Numbers R1 - R448 (some left incomplete or cancelled before / at war's end).
Global operator(s) of the Raumboote (R-Boot). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of France National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany National flag of Italy National flag of the Kingdom of Italy National flag of the Netherlands National flag of the United Kingdom

[ France (post-war); Kingdom of Italy; Nazi Germany; Netherlands (post-war); United Kingdom (post-war) ]
1 / 1
Image of the Raumboote (R-Boot)
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
Raumboote (R-Boot) Minesweeper / Convoy Escort / Motor Torpedo Boat appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)