X-Class Midget Submarine, Aberlady Beach East Lothian Scotland


Posted: , Last update: December 16 2016, in U-boats. No Comments

XT-Class midget Submarine

XT-Class midget Submarine

History

The X-Class Submarine was build for the Royal Navy in 1943 and 1944. And individual Sub was referred to as X-Craft. Before this period developments on the midgets sub took place, the first operational craft was the HM S/M X.3 or X3 which was launched on March 15 in 1942. Training began in September and the X4 arrived in October. Royal Navy shore establishment HMS Varbel at Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute was the base of operation for these training exercises. British shipyards  built and developed until they reached the X25, after this they built the XE version from HMS XE1 to XE6 which were used in the Far East. Beside these two types they built the XT version, the ‘T’ indicates these are training submarines.

XT-Class midget Submarine at Aberlady

XT-Class midget Submarine at Aberlady

Inside the XT-Class midget Submarine

Inside the XT-Class midget Submarine

Inside the XT-Class midget Submarine

Inside the XT-Class midget Submarine

Employing the X-Class Submarine

The mini submarines were towed by a normal sized submarine until they reached the designated area, the crew of 4 then entered a dingy and rowed towards the midget submarine and sailed to their target. After the mission the midget submarine met up with the towing submarine who took the X-Class back to port. The midget submarines did not carry torpedo’s like their German counterparts, they carried explosives which they would place underneath a target, they let the explosive sink towards the bottom and when in save waters it would explode under the chosen object.

X-Class Submarine Hatch

X-Class Submarine Hatch

X-Class Submarine at East Lothian

X-Class Submarine at East Lothian

The XT-Class Submarine at the beach

The XT-Class Submarine at the beach

Operations

The C-Class submarines were put to use on D-Day, on the attack on the floating dock at Bergen an on the assault on the Tirpitz. On their D-Day mission they two divers left the sub and gathered soil samples in condoms during the night, reconnaissance was their job during the day. In September 1943 six X-Class submarines joined in the attack on the Tirpitz in Norway. Only two submarines laid charges the others were lost or returned to base. The Tirpitz was badly damaged during this raid and was out of action until April 1944.

The XT-Class Submarine at the beach

The XT-Class Submarine at the beach

The Second XT_Class Midget Submarine at the Aberlady Beach

The Second XT_Class Midget Submarine at the Aberlady Beach

Parts of the XT-Class Submarine

Parts of the XT-Class Submarine

Technical data

The craft was 15,5 meters long and had a maximum diameter of 1,68 meters. For propulsion it was powered by a four cylinder diesel engine with 42 horse power and a 30 horsepower electric motor. Its speed was 12 Kilometres an hour surfaced and 10 submerged. It active range was about 920 kilometres surfaced and 150 kilometres submerged but then the average speed should not exceed 2 kilometres an hour.

XT-Class Submarine

XT-Class Submarine

XT-Class Submarine at Aberlady Beach

XT-Class Submarine at Aberlady Beach

XT-Class Submarine at Aberlady Beach

XT-Class Submarine at Aberlady Beach

Aberlady

On the beach at Aberlady lay two XT-Class submarines, towed here in 1946 and moored to a concrete block. They were used as target practice for aircraft. These training submarines are, together with one in the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, the only ones left of the X-Class type crafts.

Inside the second X-Class Submarine

Inside the second X-Class Submarine

XT-Class Midget Submarine, block in the middle and the second submarine in the back

XT-Class Midget Submarine, block in the middle and the second submarine in the back

XT-Class Midget Submarine

XT-Class Midget Submarine

XT-Class Midget Sub near Aberlady

XT-Class Midget Sub near Aberlady

Visit

The two midget submarines are free to visit, remember they lay on the beach and the tides can prevent you from visiting them.

XT-Class Midget Submarine Parts

XT-Class Midget Submarine Parts

XT-Class Midget Submarine at Aberlady Scotland

XT-Class Midget Submarine at Aberlady Scotland

X24 in the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Courtesy of Wikipedia by Geni

X24 in the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Courtesy of Wikipedia by Geni

The Fattie

We had a pretty hard bargain with Phil Wood, the provider of these great photo’s. For Phil always makes sure that his bike, Defender or VW camper is on his pictures, on every picture. We begged him to take photo’s for the LandmarkScout page were we all can enjoy those great object without interference on our view. Dear Phil had a hard time making this collection without his bike, the Fattie as he named it, I guess it grieved him to his heart. So these photos are a big thank you Phil, for his hard work in the field.

The Fattie and the Sub

The Fattie and the Sub

The Fattie, the block and the midget Sub on the East Lothian Beaches

The Fattie, the block and the midget Sub on the East Lothian Beaches

 





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