By Rob Arndt
The “Seeteufel” or “Sea Devil” was a tracked two-man amphibian midget submarine which solved all the vulnerability and technical problems associated with German midget submarines that had to be launched at sea - even midget submarines as small as the “Neger” (Negro) one-man piloted torpedo.
The Seeteufel (a.k.a. “Elefant” or “Lödige Projekt”) was developed at Kiel-Eckernforde which was the German Navy’s (Kriegsmarine) torpedo testing ground where Dipl Ing Alois Lödige was the project leader.
The first and only protoype was available for testing in the summer of 1944. Since there were no diesel engines available, a single 80 hp gasoline truck engine had to be installed. It served for both water propulsion (8 kts) and land propulsion (10 km/hr). The Seeteufel was to be armed primarily with two torpedos for naval operations while mines and possibly either machine guns or flame throwers were envisioned for amphibious warfare.
The trials at Kiel-Eckernforde showed the vessel to have very good maneuvering and handling abilities, although underpowered. It was subsequently decided that the production series should have a 250 hp diesel engine. It was also discovered that the tracks were too small and would have to be refitted with larger ones. After testing was completed, a series of standardized Seeteufels were ordered at the Borgward factory at
The only existing experimental vessel was taken to a facility near Lübeck and destroyed by explosives at the end of the war.
STRANGE VEHICLES OF PRE-WAR
THE THIRD REICH
Seeteufel II design
German minisubmarine "
German minisubmarine “Hecht