Siebel Ferries and MFPs

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eisenbahn9
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Siebel Ferries and MFPs

Postby eisenbahn9 » 16 Apr 2005 02:02

Two questions regarding these vessels. Were Siebel ferries capable of discharging tanks onto an open beach? I have seen several pictures of Siebel ferries carrying trucks and other light vehicles but never a tank. Were the bow ramps employed too weak to support the weight of a Pz Mk III or Mk IV?

Also, I have seen only one photo of an MFP (Marinefahrprahm) carrying tanks and these appeared on the top deck, not inside as one would expect. Was this the normal way tanks were transported on MFPs or could they also be carried inside the vessel's hull? Could the tanks be driven onto a beach from the above-deck position or were they offloaded via crane onto a fixed pier or jetty?

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PT Dockyard
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Postby PT Dockyard » 19 Apr 2005 03:07

I have seen pictures of Siebel Ferries carrying Tigers. Same with MFPs, in fact some of the MFP-Type Cs were built extra wide to handle the PzKw VI.

I would be interested to see an MFP carry a tank on the top. The sloping panels just behing the bow were fairly thin corrigated plates to simply keep the well deck dry. These were removed to unload. Here is a shot of a Pz IVH being un loaded in the Argean.

Dave
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Karl234
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Postby Karl234 » 19 Apr 2005 23:33

Somebody know if on Kephalonia was ever a Tiger...shipped by MFP ?

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PT Dockyard
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Postby PT Dockyard » 20 Apr 2005 00:09

Not sure of where you are referring to. The MFPs and Siebels carried Tigers to Tunisia.

Most likely this was not a common occurence, but one for which these craft were up to.

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redcoat
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Re: Siebel Ferries and MFPs

Postby redcoat » 20 Apr 2005 11:48

eisenbahn9 wrote:Two questions regarding these vessels. Were Siebel ferries capable of discharging tanks onto an open beach? I have seen several pictures of Siebel ferries carrying trucks and other light vehicles but never a tank. Were the bow ramps employed too weak to support the weight of a Pz Mk III or Mk IV?

In 1942 the British submarine HMS Safari attacked two German landing craft (Siebal Ferries ? ) unloading tanks on a North African beach. One of the torpedos missed its target, travelled up the beach,and hit a Panzer, blowing it sky-high.

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PT Dockyard
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Postby PT Dockyard » 21 Apr 2005 02:20

Cool story. Where did you find thit?

Most likely these were MFPs or the Italian version of the samne, "Motozattere".

Dave

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Postby eisenbahn9 » 21 Apr 2005 04:13

Very nice pic! What publication is this taken from? Do you know of any books available (either English or German-language) specifically devoted to German landing craft or to Axis naval transports in general? Or that devote substantial space to describing / picturing these vessels?

The photo I saw of an MFP carrying either Pz IVs or VIs on its top deck was (I think) in a book on German armor, part of Concord's Armor at War Series called "Panzerwaffe at War". The book was rather expensive and not worth buying just for that one photo but it left an impression because it was such a rare sight (for me anyway) to see a German landing craft carrying a tank. I agree the top deck plates of an MFP would be much too thin to support the weight of a tank but maybe the tracks were actually resting on the outer hull supports? I'll have to go back to the hobby store I saw this at to check if the book is still there.

Were the Italian "motozattere" direct copies of the German MFP design or just based on it? Any idea how many were built altogether?

Also need help identifying a German or Italian landing craft pictured in the Time-Life Books WWII series volume entitled "The Italian Campaign". Within the first few pages is shown some German soldiers loading a truck onto a craft with clamshell bow doors. Anyone recognize the type? Or is it possibly a civilian vessel pressed into service as a military transport?

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DrG
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Postby DrG » 21 Apr 2005 14:51

eisenbahn9 wrote:Were the Italian "motozattere" direct copies of the German MFP design or just based on it? Any idea how many were built altogether?

The first series of 65 units of Motozattere (called officially Bette MZ, numbers 701-765) were a copy of the MFP-A, but with Italian engines (OM BXD, the same engines of the Littorina diesel trains) and armament. The second series of 40 MZ (numbers 761-800, some had the numbers of MZ of first series already lost), that had been ordered in Sept. 1942, had some improvements (strenghtened keel, higher bow, tanks for 77.5 t of fuel, more armament and defenses made of concrete). The 3rd series of 40 MZ, projected by CRDA and with further improvements, was ordered in June 1943, but none was completed; the same fate happened to the MZ 801-820 that were a perfect copy, with the same engines and armament, of the German MFP-D, larger than the MFP-A.

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PT Dockyard
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Postby PT Dockyard » 22 Apr 2005 00:52

The picture in Time Life is of a Pioneerlandungsboote if I remember it right- different animal altogether.

The only books are:
"Landungswesen im Deutschland sind 1900" by Randolph Kugler- excellent book but very hard to get.

"Plattbug- Kreuzer" by Gerhard Schneider. Story of artillery carrier/AFPs. Mostly in the Channel but with coverage of MFP development and these craft on other fronts. Also fard to find but newer ( 2000).

Kampf um die Aegis by Peter Schenk is relatively inexpensive and available on Amazon. Great book about Kriegsmarine in the Aegean.

Dave

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PT Dockyard
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Postby PT Dockyard » 22 Apr 2005 00:58

Here is a picture of a Pioneer Landungsboote, also known as "Pil Boat", L-boot, and L-Lighter
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eisenbahn9
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Postby eisenbahn9 » 22 Apr 2005 03:36

Many thanks to both DrG and Dave for all this excellent information.

Dave, the picture you posted of the Pioneerlandungsboote confirms what I saw in the Time-Life book. They must be the same type as the bow doors match exactly.

Two more questions on the MFPs / motozatterre: how many combat troops would they typically carry in an amphibious assault role? Also, did the metal plates covering the well deck have to be removed manually or were they slid back by mechanical means? If manually, I'm thinking this would have been not only slow and cumbersome for the crews but terribly dangerous too if done during an opposed landing.

Would the plates have been left off in order to expedite troop disembarkation or for quicker offloading of armored vehicles while under enemy fire?

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redcoat
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Postby redcoat » 22 Apr 2005 12:01

PT Dockyard wrote:Cool story. Where did you find thit?

Most likely these were MFPs or the Italian version of the samne, "Motozattere".

Dave

from the book 'Crash Dive !'
http://www.campusi.com/isbn_0750920890.htm

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DrG
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Postby DrG » 22 Apr 2005 20:26

eisenbahn9 wrote:Two more questions on the MFPs / motozattere: how many combat troops would they typically carry in an amphibious assault role? Also, did the metal plates covering the well deck have to be removed manually or were they slid back by mechanical means?

The first series of MZ (MFP-A) could carry about 200 men fully equipped; the plates could be kept slid back during navigation, I don't know how they were moved horizontally, but I don't see any terrible problem in sliding them back by arms force.

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PT Dockyard
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Postby PT Dockyard » 23 Apr 2005 13:07

I take back what I said about all the Tigers that went to Tunisia traveling on MFPs and Siebel Ferries. Looks like some (all?) wend via Italian rail ferries, which were modified with ramps as tank landing craft.

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Postby eisenbahn9 » 26 Apr 2005 22:44

Are those the same rail ferries modified to carry captured KV-1s to Malta for Operation C3/Herkules?

Also, can anyone translate this:

Ladefahigkeit an schwersten Lasten: 1 Tiger-Panzer + Zubehor

and... Belastungsgrenze fur Klapprampe 70t


This is taken from a Modell-Fan article on the MFP Typ D.


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