Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Boats vol.14: Richard Mohr's Midget Submarine "Neger"


Richard Mohr's Midget Submarine "Neger"
US$ 20,00 + shipping
Injection molded with waterslide decals and photo etched parts
Neger (German for Negro) was a German torpedo-carrying craft generally described as a human torpedo. The vessel was used by the Kriegsmarine between 1943 and 1945. The name comes from the constructor Richard Mohr whose surname means blackamoor. The Neger was based on the G7e torpedo and sported a spartan cockpit covered by a perspex dome where the warhead would have been. It had sufficient positive buoyancy to run awash while supporting a second G7e, with warhead, slung below. The vessel had a range of 48 nautical miles at 4 knots and displaced 2.7 tons. The pilot navigated via a wrist compass and air was provided through a Dräger self-contained breathing device. The pilot aimed his weapon by lining up an aiming spike on the nose with a graduated scale on the dome. Subsequently, a second aiming spike was added closer to the dome. It, however, made little difference as water washing over the dome made visibility extremely poor. A simple lever in the cockpit irreversibly started the torpedo and released it. Though not designed as a suicide weapon, the Neger would frequently become one when the torpedo started running but failed to release, and carried the craft and its pilot toward the target. About 200 vessels of this type were manufactured in 1944. The first Neger vessels entered service in March 1944. However, the Neger turned out to be very hazardous for its crew, and up to 80% of the crews were killed. In return one cruiser, one destroyer, and three Catherine Class BAMS minesweepers were sunk in 1944 with the weapon. The first Negers entered service on March 1944 and the first mission took place on the night of April 20 and 21 1944. Thirty Negers were launched against Allied ships berthed in Anzio. Only 17 of them managed to deploy, with the other 13 capsizing upon reaching the water. Three failed to return and up until then, the Allies had no knowledge of this new unusual weapon. None had made any successful attacks.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neger )
The Micro-mir kit is simple but well done. You got basically two torpedos, one will be the weapon and the other will be transformed on the craft by replacing the warhead with the cockpit. Fit is ok, with sone problems along the body of the torpedo/submarine, but nothing too hard to solve. A simple display stand is provided for the completed kit. Markings will allow you to build two different version of the craft. 

I found a video on youtube of the Negger in test:

1) The sprues:

 2) Intsructions:

3) The kit:

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