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R boats operating near the coast of occupied France

Class overview
Name: Räumboot
Builders: Abeking & Rasmussen
Operators: Kriegsmarine
General characteristics
Type: Minesweeper
Displacement: 160 t (max)
Length: 41.1 m
Beam: 5.80 m
Draught: 1.60 m
Propulsion: 2x MAN diesel engines; 1836 hp
Speed: 20 knots
Range: 1100 nm
Complement: up to 38
Armament: 1x 37 mm C/30 cannon

2 x 20mm cannon 7.92 mm machine guns, mines and depth charges

The R boats (Räumboote in German) were a group of small naval vessels, built as minesweepers but used for several purposes during the Second World War. A total of 424 boats were built for the Kriegsmarine before and during World War II. The German Navy used them in every theatre including the Baltic, Mediterranean and the Black Sea. These boats were used for convoy escort, coastal patrol, minesweeping, minelaying and air-sea rescue.

About 140 R boats survived the war and these were distributed amongst the Allies. Some were used by the German Mine Sweeping Administration to clear western Europe of naval mines. Twenty-four boats were transferred back to the post-war German Navy, the Bundesmarine, in 1956 and were used until the late 1960s. An unusual feature of these ships is the use of Voith Schneider Propellers on approximately one quarter of the boats for extra maneuverability.


[hide] *1 R Boat classes

R Boat classesEdit

Class Boats in class Displacement Length Notes
R1 R1-R16 60 tons[clarification needed] 26 m built 1929-34
R17 R17-24 115 tons 37 m Built 1934-38
R25 R25-R40 110 tons 35.4 m Built 1938-39
R41 R41-129 125 tons 37.8 m Built 1939-43
R130 R130-150 150 tons 41.1 m built 1943-45
R151 R151-217 125 tons 35.4 m built 1940-43
R218 R218-300 140 tons 39.2 m built 1943-45, R291-300 unfinished at the end of the war
R301 R301-312 160 tons 41 m built 1942-45, two 533 mm torpedo tubes added
R401 R401-448 140 tons 39.2 m launched 1943-45 mostly not completed at end of the war

See alsoEdit


  • Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946
  • Hervieux, Pierre German Motor Minesweepers at War 1939-1945 in Warship 2002-2003, Conway's Maritime Press
  • R Boat at German

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