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Net saw on VIICs

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Postby hakkikt » Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:47 am

Hi everybody,
I am trying to decide which boat to model with my Revell 1/72 kit. What I would like to build is a boat with camouflage and a net saw. I started out looking for early camouflaged boats and assumed that most if not all of them would have had the net saw early in their career. However, there are sources on the web claiming that only VIIBs had a net saw, and that VIICs had none at all. But U-552 (early) as shown in the Revell kit has one, and I would assume they did their research on that.
Can anybody shed any light on this? Thanks in advance!
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Postby rokket » Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:01 am

Hi Hakkikt,

I'm no expert, but I believe there are many sources that show VIICs had netcutters. EARLY perhaps, witht hem being modified and/or dropped, but still, I believe plenty of early VIICs had netcutters. I'm searching for references now, but I wouldn't panic.

Also, Generally most of the camo boats were north boats, but there were some cool patterns out there.,

Also as an aside, it would be cool to make the revekll into a VIIB...

I'll see what I can find, or at least point you in the right direction.
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Postby JWLaRue » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:54 pm

As a general rule of thumb.....boats built and placed into commission before the start of hostilities had netcutters mounted. If the photo documentation is correct, some boats built early in the war had the netcutter when launched. For example, there are a photos(*) of the U-69, U-95, and U-98 (all Type VIIC) being launched in the Fall of 1940....with a netcutter. The U-552 was launched within a month or two of the U-69....so I think it's a safe assumption that she had a 'cutter for a while too.

Once the war started, they were removed over the course of about a year. (best guess)

As for the Revell kit, it can be built to represent other boats besides the U-552.....so even if the U-552 never had a 'cutter, including the parts would make good sense.

-hope this helps,

Jeff

(*) from Die deutsche Uboote und ihre Werften, page 58 & 59.
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Postby rokket » Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:44 pm

Reading Das Boot - it's somewhat fictionalized according to the author, and he does talk about the AA gunS in plural which doesn't seem to fit the U-96, but he mentions "netguard" about 3 times at least, and this was in 1941 I think...
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Postby Crazy Ivan » Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:05 pm

Rokket,

You should check out U-Boot Krieg (U-Boat War) by Lothar Günther Buchheim (the author of Das Boot). I found it in my local public library. It is the REAL story of U-96, on which Buchheim actually made a patrol as a war correspondant. Has lots of photos of U-96 (no net cutter visible).

Jeff: to your knowledge, has this fascinating book ever been reviewed in the SCR? If not, I might consider doing it.
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Postby JWLaRue » Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:29 pm

Yea, I'd not take any work of fiction, however good, as a source! :)

George, I don't remember that book being reviewed.....and if it ever was, it was probably years ago. I think a review would be great! (but then, I like all things U-boat)

-Jeff
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Postby Crazy Ivan » Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:37 pm

OK, I'll check it out one more time from my local library and try to get a submission in before the December issue.
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Postby JWLaRue » Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:26 am

George,

Most excellent and much appreciated!

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Postby rokket » Sun Jul 09, 2006 5:48 am

Good point about taking fiction as a source! And I definitely want to check out Bucheim's "real" patrol story, thanks!
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Postby Don Prince » Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:43 pm

Hi Jeff,

I remember talking with Rainer Burns on the Uboat.net about the net cutter on U-96 several years ago. After WWII started for the Germans in 1939, next year 1940, the upper net cutter was removed. They would not have removed the lower net cutter because that would have been considered a waist of the acetylene gas used by a cutting torch.

That was the reason why I built my U-96 with only the lower net cutter...

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Postby JWLaRue » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:27 pm

Hi Don,

How's your Type VII coming along?

Your point about the U-96 is exactly why we all like to find hard evidence when building a specific boat. It's the only way to come close to being sure.

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Postby Don Prince » Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:01 pm

Hi Jeff,

The book "U-Boat War" by Lothar-Gunther Buchheim has many photos of U-96 without the upper net cutter. I think I'm fairly safe with Rainer Burns' assessment about the lower net cutter.

My U-96 will be in dry dock until I retire form my Job. I've got about two years to go, then I plan on completing my project and showing up at some of the Sub Regattas. My next Christmas present to me will be several copies of original U-Boat manuals. So you can look forward to a few additional articles for the SCR on U-Boats.

Hey... The membership count really looks good so far this year; Congrats to the Executive team!

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Postby JWLaRue » Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:27 pm

Hi Don,

....U-boat manuals, eh? Perhaps we should talk!

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Postby hakkikt » Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:29 am

Seems like my fears to have no option at all for a netcutter were unjustified... picture no. 3 in David Westwood's book shows an unidentified VIIC with a netcutter (and thanks to this group I know now that a Netzsäge is a netcutter ;).
However, it looks like camouflage was rare for the very early VIICs . But since there is an illustration of U-100 (a VIIB) with a camouflaged tower, there might still be hope. If no netcutter+camo option turns up, I might settle for a camouflaged mid-war VIIC... me being Austrian, that would most probably be U-617 (the eagle ensign on the turret is the coat-of-arms of Austria). I even noticed that there is one definitely uncamouflaged boat with the coat-of-arms of my home town, Innsbruck (U-202).
ah, the options...
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Postby JWLaRue » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:58 pm

hakkikt,

It seems that camouflage on Type VII's was rare at any time. Mediterranean service boats tended to be camouflaged more often, but photos of even those boats are rare.

If your heart is set on a Type VII with netcutter and camouflage, then perhaps you could build a "U-who"....that is a boat that is representative of the class but not a specific hull.

The possibilities are truly endless!

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