U.S. Ballistic Missile Subs In Action

Author(s) Al Adcock, Don Greer, Joe Sewell
Publisher Squadron/Signal Publications
Date 1993
Pages 59
Format pdf
Size 45 Mb







During 1942, two Germans. Doctor Ernest Steinhoff, a Peenemunde rocket scientist working for Werner Von Braun, and his brother С APT Fritz Steinhoff. of the U-551 contrived a plan to install rockets on a U-Boat. A Type V1IC U-Boat was fitted with a rack that could hold six 300 mm Wurfkoper42 Spreng tactical rockets.

The tests were successful and a launch was made from a depth of twelve meters. The test results were shown to ADM Karl Donitz and his staff, but the idea was turned down as impractical and of no value to the German war effort. Additionally, it was felt that it would tie up a fleet of U-boats that could be used to sink allied convoys. During 1943. A plan was devised to place German A-4 (V-2) rockets in floating containers and then tow them by U-Boat to the United States.

Once offshore, their ballast tanks would be filled with water, righting the container. Then the missiles would be fired at major cities on the U.S. East Coast. Contracts were actually let to the Stettin Shipyard in Poland for three such containers for test purposes, but by the time the war ended none had been produced. Following the end of World War II. Many of the German scientists fell into the hands of the American and Soviet forces and a number of them were brought to America and the USSR.

The Soviets experimented with the containerized rocket idea, while early U.S. tests focused on the German FZG-76 (V-l) Buzz Bomb. Called the Loon in Navy service, the captured Buzz Bombs were as dangerous to the sub's crew as to the enemy and many missiles exploded during launch. In 1947, the Navy began to experiment with the launching of the Loon and later Regulus I & II missiles from the decks of surfaced submarines...

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