Ursel underwater rocket - to be installed on Typ XXI U-Boote

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kfbr392
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Ursel underwater rocket - to be installed on Typ XXI U-Boote

Post by kfbr392 » 21 Sep 2004 14:53

I am looking for info on the Ursel submarine launched rocket, which seems to be derived from the 30mm Nebelwerfer rocket.


This is what I know:
- mentioned by Donitz to A.H. on Feb 23rd 1945 briefing
- launchable at diving depths of max. 50m on distances up to 250m
- quadruple launcher on deck of uboats
- automatic aiming
- target data provided by sp-gerät (passive, movable microphones)

Source: L. Peillard, "Die Schlacht im Atlanik", p. 514



some more info in german:

" ...im Toplitzsee eine Erprobungsstelle der Kriegsmarine eingerichtet. Eine der geheimsten dort getesteten Waffen war eine für den U-Boot Typ XXI gebaute 30cm Unterwasserrakte - Deckname der Tests: "Ursel".

1944 fanden dazu von einer Unterwasserabschußanlage aus 100m Tiefe Startversuche unter der Leitung von Dr. Determann statt. Eine nautische Steuerungsanlage der Fa. Anschütz, Kiel (mit Kurskreisel) diente dem zielgenauen Zünden."



so, what do you all know about the Ursel, all info and pics most appreciated ...?


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Matt

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Post by FAlmeida » 21 Sep 2004 15:09

Between 31-05-42 and 05-06-42 the U 511 (Kapitänleutnant Friedrich Steinhoff) a type IX C U-Boat made in Peenmünde rocket trials during which it fired a rocket from a depth of 10-15 mt.
This test ceased because equipment was foud affect boat operation.
Cheers
Fernando

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Post by kfbr392 » 21 Sep 2004 15:19

Thanks but

I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT THE 1942 TESTS WITH U-511 IN THE BALTIC SEA.

out of the 1942 tests came a program to enable the uboat to launch rockets against the hulls of enemy destroyers that were making depth charge runs against them while the sub submerged. the rocket launcher was trained at the surface according to hydrophone measurements.
tests this the rocket system codenamed "URSEL" were concluded in early 1945.



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Post by ohrdruf » 22 Sep 2004 14:45

I believe that Roessler: "The Type XXI U-boat" contains the information you require. The launch tube was fitted through the pressure hull. The main drawback was a problem with the integrated radar aiming system.

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Post by kfbr392 » 22 Sep 2004 16:05

apparently the single launch tube through the pressure hull was the chosen design for the XXI. i wonder how the aiming was to be done here??? moving the entire boat??? i have seen drawings with the sp-gerät on the rear deck. sp-gerät was to give the boats precise accoustic data about attacking destroyers and depth charges PLUS aiming data for ursel. sp-gerät was to be fitted on all XXI.

i don't have that book yet, does roessler - who is undeniably THE authority on uboats - provide more info?

for the VII and IX's there seems to have bin a quadruple launcher on deck envisaged, the additional drag there would not have been that detrimental since those boats were slow underwater anyhow. the information i provided about that meeting between dönitz and a.h. seems to be correct.


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Post by ohrdruf » 22 Sep 2004 18:07

The book by Fritz Koehl/Eberhard Roessler appeared in reprint 2002 and would be available by mail order. In the original version I recall that the business end of the tube was through the stern box. Whether the rocket was "clever" or one aimed the boat with radar range estimation is an interesting question.

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Post by ohrdruf » 23 Sep 2004 17:15

Manfred Griehl: Luftwaffe Over America (Greenhill Books, London 2004) has a few notes about the "Ursel":

---"Nachdem der U-Bootkrieg durch die Einfuehrung leistungsfaehiger Radar-Geraete auf Seiten des Gegners in eine erste Krise geraten war, erinnerte man sich wieder der Verwendung von Raketen, die helfen sollten, nochmals einen Teil der operationellen Freiheit zurueckzugewinnen. Ausser der Verwendung der von aus Torpedorohren gegen Geleitfregatten und -zerstoerer zu verschiessenden schweren Werfergranaten, arbeit man an "Geraeten mit Raketenantrieb", die vom U-boot gestartet werden konnten und fuer den wirksamen Beschuss von Schiffszielen in Frage kaemen. Die Reichweite sollte dazu moeglichst ueber 3000m liegen und die Waffe beisepielsweise bei einem Zerstoerer fuer einen Leck von fuenf m2 sorgen, das diesen zum sofortigen Abbruch der U-booyjagd zwingen wuerde.


---Die grundlegenden Arbeiten wurden der CPVA uebertragen. Diese Einrichtung befasste sich in ihrer Aussenstelle am Toplitzsee bei Bad Aussee im Salzburger Land (Oesterreich) ab Sommer 1944 mit der Konzeption von Unterwasserraketen. Die Entwicklung erhielt bei der CPVA intern die Bezeichnung "Ursel". Die Arbeiten wurden von Dr Ernst Steinhoff mit betreut, nachdem er im Jahre 1943 zum Abteilungsleiter fuer Bord-, Steuer-, und Funkmessgeraete in Peenemuende aufgestiegen war.


---Die auf einem ins Wasser bis auf 100 m Tiefe absenkbaren Gestell zu befestigenden Flugkoerper wurden unterhalb der Wasseroberflaeche des Toplitzsees ausgeloest und trafen kurz nach Austritt aus dem Wasser gegen eine der nahe gelegenen Felswaende. Die Raketen wurden von der WASAG AG, die ansonsten Starthilfen fertigte, produziert. Bis Ende 1944 erfolgten nach und nach etliche praktische Versuche, wobei die am Toplitzsee verwendeted Raketen unterschiedliche Leitwerke erhalten hatten.


---Im Februar 1945 besichtige ein Mitarbeiter der CPVA, Dr Lindberg, eines der modernen Walter U-boote, das man versuchsweise fuer den Abschuss der Unterwasserrakete "Ursel" herrichten wollte. Es handelte sich hier um ein reines Verteidugungsmittel gegen Ueberwasser angreifende Kriegsschiffe.


---SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Otto Skorzeny erklaerte im Sommer 1947, die Entwicklung von Unterwasserraketen haetten der Vorarbeitung eines Beschusses von Staedten in den USA gegolten.

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Post by kfbr392 » 24 Sep 2004 15:47

thanks ohrdruf,

that is what i was looking for ...

you know, a thought i just had:
fixed installation in the xxi boats would have made it necessary for the rocket to have ailerons to change course according to a predetermined number of degrees in order to hit the target.

in the article you provided it was stated that the ursel rockets have fins, something that nebelwerfer rockets do not have, since those are spin stabelized. ursel thus not spin stabelized.

i would imagine it was as with torpedos, which were also making a pre determined turn to port or starboard ofter leaving the tube according to the target settings provided by the torpedoffizier.

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Post by kfbr392 » 08 Nov 2004 20:59

I found the info I was looking for:


"Intended was a dart-stabalized solid-fuel rocket of 1800m length, 150mm diameter and 80kg weight, carrying a payload of 15kg high-yield underwater explosives. It was expected to cause an underwater leak of about 5 square meters on non-armored ASV's. Maximum underwater range was 300m. A speed of 60kn was demanded. A bow ventillation ("Bugbelüftung") with redirected rocket exhausts was to reduce the friction of the water at the surface of the rocket. Detonation was to occur on impact or when breaking through water surface."

E. Rössler, "U-Boottyp XXI", p. 138



Let me suggest something (and I have no proof for that):

This concept was picked up after the war by the russians and they develloped this into the most potent underwater rocket torpedo of today, the Shkval. It too features gas released at the front to reduce friction.


Link:
http://www.periscope.ucg.com/mdb-smpl/w ... 4768.shtml



Any comments? This is amazing!

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Post by Grzesio » 12 Jul 2005 09:27

So this is how the Ursel underwater rocket should look like :D :

Image

I've been trying to identify the projectile for quite long time - it's 180 cm long, with 30 cm fin span, just the calibre was given as 165 mm. But the combustion gas venting nozzles are present at the very nose.

Regards

Grzesio
Last edited by Grzesio on 13 Jul 2005 10:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by kfbr392 » 12 Jul 2005 20:42

hi grzesio,

where did you find that picture?

a+ matt

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Post by Grzesio » 13 Jul 2005 08:34

It's a 3D CAD model I built basing on a cross-section line drawing included in a Polish books on rockets published in 1961 (I've got a scan - somewhere :? )- I have no idea what is the original source of the drawing (probably a Soviet book?).
The drawing does not correspond to the accompanying data too well - I checked the model yesterday, if its lenght is scaled as 180 cm, the diameter is as big as 18 cm.
There was also a side view of the rocket published in Poland in 1974 (you can see a copy here: http://www.eksplorator.os.pl/73.htm , the lowermost drawing), but it's clearly drawn from the cross-section.

Regards

Grzesio

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Post by kfbr392 » 13 Jul 2005 19:26

It's a 3D CAD model I built basing on a cross-section line drawing included in a Polish books on rockets published in 1961 (I've got a scan - somewhere :? )- I have no idea what is the original source of the drawing (probably a Soviet book?).
quite possible that the soviets have exact drawings of ursel in their literature, they seem to have perfected that concept in their Shkval...
The drawing does not correspond to the accompanying data too well - I checked the model yesterday, if its lenght is scaled as 180 cm, the diameter is as big as 18 cm.
though Rössler is THE autority on U-Boots he might have gotten the diameter wrong. These drawings might just be more accurate than his sources.

There was also a side view of the rocket published in Poland in 1974 (you can see a copy here: http://www.eksplorator.os.pl/73.htm , the lowermost drawing), but it's clearly drawn from the cross-section.
those nebelwerfer rockets on the deck of that Typ IX are in fact 300mm rockets, not 210mm as your polish website mentioned above claims. there seems to be a lot of confusion due to the numerous nebelwerfer calibres of 150, 210, 280, 300, 320mm.

maye ursel was 165mm or 180mm after all and Rösler got confused with the 150mm Nebelwerfer ...

who knows more?

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Post by Grzesio » 14 Jul 2005 08:41

I think the most probable problem is that drawings, even looking as pretty accurate, are often out of proportions, the drawing can also show another version of the design (not necessarily the final one) etc...

Anyway, the web site is really poor - nearly all the information about German rockets is taken from just one book of 1974, which has a lot of mistakes indeed (e.g. 21 cm and 30 cm rockets are misidentified a couple of times) and is very basic as far as amount of information on specific subiects is concerned.

I also encountered information in one of Trojca's books, about Rheinmetall-Borsig rockets tested in submerged launches in the Baltic Sea in spring of 1943 - they were 15 cm in caliber, 180 cm long and 160 kg heavy - so they are really similar to the Ursel ones except of weight.
By the way - do you probably have some more accurate data about use of 8,6 cm and 21 cm rockets on U-Boots?

Regards

Grzesio

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Post by Duncan » 14 Jul 2005 23:17

Hi
Sorry I cannot help with any data, but thought you may be interested in this picture - described as experimental rockets designed to be fired from a submerged U-boat. They look very similar to the first picture on the polish (explorator) website.
Cheers
Duncan
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