By Rob Arndt


Seeteufel Technical Data:


Description: Midget U-boat

First launched: 1944

Complement of Men: 2

Displacement surface: circa 2.0 t

Displacement submerged: 18.0 - 20.0 t

Length: 13.5 m (44.55 ft)

Beam, max: circa 2.0 m (6.6 ft)

Depth: 2.9 m (9.57 ft)

5.5 m (18.15 ft) (with Schnorkel mast)

Max speed surfaced: 10 km/hr

Max speed submerged: 10 kt (petrol/gas - with Schnorkel) 8 kt (Electric)

Radius surfaced: 30 hours at top speed

80 hours at cruising speed

Radius submerged: 30 hours at top speed (petrol/gas) 10 hours at top speed (electric) 80 hours at cruising speed (petr/gas) 20 hours at cruising speed (electric)

Max diving depth: 50 m (165 ft) (prototype made 20 m/66 ft)

Diving time, stationary: N/A

Diving time, alarm moving: N/A

Oil fuel carried: N/A

Torpedo tubes, bow / stern: None

Nr of torpedoes / mines: 2 or 2

Guns fitted: None

The Grundhai

A second German Kriegsmarine amphibious sub was conceived but never built - the “Grundhai” (Bullshark). It had three searchlights in the bow, sonar, and twin electric motors. This one was to be an unarmed salvage sub able to dive to 1000m It was to have been fitted with an electro-magnetic claw for recovery operations. This was considered the precursor to the modern DSRV.

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 Bremen, but production never began.


The only existing experimental vessel was taken to a facility near Lübeck and destroyed by explosives at the end of the war.




Seeteufel II design

German minisubmarine "Neger"

German minisubmarine “Hecht

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