Schnellboot S-38 & S-100

Schnellboot S-38 & S-100

Carlo Cestra
ARRSE Rating
3.5 Mushroom Heads
Known to the British as the E-boat, the Schnellboot design work went back to the 1920s which shows that Germany, unchastened by defeat, was planning offensive warfare long before it acquired Hitler. In various forms these fast motor boats were used in the North Sea to mine our east coast convoy route and attack ships using it; they were also deployed in the Baltic, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. There were many variations of armament and deck equipment both during development and as the war progressed, all based on the same 35m round-bilge hull. The three diesel engines steadily rose from 2000 hp to 3300 as weight increased, yielding ultimately up to 43 knots.

Eight pages of illustrated explanatory and historical text (I think in translation) and constructional details are followed by 58 pages of very elegant detailed colour pictures of the boats and their deck equipment and its arrangement from several different angles, about 160 in all, covering a 1942 S38b armed with guns, torpedoes and depth charges, and an S100 from 1943 where the last were substituted by mines. The quality of artwork, apparently developed from a 3D computer model, and production is superb.

Included with the A4-size softback book is an A2 drawing showing port, starboard and overhead detail with the S38b one side and S100 on reverse. There are 55 other volumes advertised at the end, illustrating ships from battlecruisers to submarines from six different navies. Anything in this series would be a perfect gift for a model maker, so completely is the subject visually covered.

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