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[1]

Raubtier-class torpedo boats

Class overview
Operators: [2] Kriegsmarine
In commission: 1926 - 1944
Completed: 12
General characteristics
Type: Raubvogel (1923) & Raubtier (1924) Torpedo boat
Displacement: 1923: 923 tons (standard)1,290 tons (full load)

1924:932 tons (standard) 1,298 tons (full load)

Length: 1923: 87.7 m1924: 92.6 m
Beam: 1923: 8.25 m1924: 8.65 m
Draught: 1923: 3.65 m1924: 3.52 m
Propulsion: 1923:

2 shaft geared steam turbines (all Blohm & Voß, except Albatros - Schichau), 3 boilers, 24,000 shp 1924: 2 shaft geared steam turbines (from Brown, Boveri & Cie, Vulcan and Schichau), 3 boilers, 25,500 shp

Speed: 1923: 33.6 kn (62.2 km/h)1924: 35.2 knots (65.2 km/h)
Range: 1923: 1,700 nmi (3,100 km) at 17 knots (31 km/h)1924: 2,000 nmi (3,700 km) at 17 knots (31 km/h)
Complement: 120 - 129
Armament: 3 × 10.5 cm L/45 (3x1)

2 × 2 cm Flak L/65 (1×1) (4 or 7 from 1940) 6 × 500 (533 from 1931) mm torpedo tubes (2×3) 30 mines

The six Raubvogel (German:"Bird of prey") class torpedo boats were developed from earlier designs shortly after World War I and came into service in 1926 and 1927. They were the first to use electrical welding for hull construction to reduce displacement and they also introduced geared turbines. During the Second World War these ships were referred to as the Möwe class by the Royal Navy.

Despite the innovations, and unlike contemporary German destroyers, the Raubvogels were successful sea-boats, although limited to coastal waters, and most remained in service until 1944, by which time all had been lost. Well before this time, however, the deficiencies of their concentration on torpedoes became apparent: their anti-aircraft weaponry was wholly deficient, and had to be upgraded, and their guns were also minimal.

The immediately following six ships of Raubtier ("predator") class had been intended to mount 12.7 cm guns but, instead, received updated 10.5 cm weapons. Speed and range were improved. Otherwise, they displayed the same good and bad points as the Raubvogels and experienced similar operational conditions and upgrades.

They entered service in 1927 and 1928 and all but one had been lost before mid 1942.

During the St. Nazaire Raid ("Operation Chariot"), the destroyer HMS Campbeltown was altered by the Royal Navy to look like a Raubvogel class torpedo boat.

All twelve vessels were built at Reichsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven

Type 23 (Raubvogel)

Name Launched Completed Fate
Möwe (Seagull) 1926 1926 Sunk by bombing in Le Havre 14 June 1944
Falke (Falcon) 1926 1926 Sunk by bombing in Le Havre 14 June 1944
Greif (Griffon) 1926 1927 Torpedoed by aircraft 24 May 1944
Kondor (Condor) 1926 1927 Mined 23 May 1944, decommissioned 1 August 1944
Albatros 1926 1928 Wrecked by accidental grounding on 10 April 1940 during the invasion of Norway
Seeadler (Sea Eagle) 1926 1927 Sunk by British MTBs 14 May 1942 while escorting the auxiliary cruiser Stier

Type 24 (Raubtier)

Name Launched Completed Fate
Wolf 1927 1928 Mined 8 January 1941 near Dunkirk
Iltis (Polecat) 1927 1928 Sunk by British MTBs 14 May 1942 while escorting the auxiliary cruiser Stier
Jaguar 1928 1929 Bombed 14 June 1944
Leopard 1928 1929 Wrecked in collision 30 April 1940
Luchs (Lynx) 1928 1929 Torpedoed by HM Submarine Thames 26 July 1940
Tiger 1928 1929 Wrecked in collision with destroyer Max Schultz 25 September 1939

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