Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Marinefährprahms Typ D

11. Verkehr mit Kleinfahrzeugen (MFP)  in the Black Sea

The Marinefährprahm (MFP) , "naval ferry barge", was the largest landing craft operated by Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. It served a variety of roles (transport, minelayer, escort, gunboat) in the Mediterranean, Baltic and Black Seas as well as the English Channel and Norwegian coastal waters. Originally developed for the proposed invasion of England (Operation Sea Lion), the first of these ships was commissioned on 16 April 1941, with approximately 700 being completed by the war's end in May 1945.

The Germans had some very nice coastal barges and lighters. The MFP (Marinefährprähme) which did not begin construction until December  1940. Another famous type was the MAL (Marine-Artillerie-Leichter) which first appeared in 1943.

By 1942 the Allies had taken their toll of Axis merchant shipping in the Mediterranean. The shortage of ships to carry supplies to Rommel's army led the Axis to use landing craft to ferry supplies across the Mediterranean. These landing craft were known variously as F-boot, F-lighter, Seibel ferrys, Marinefährprähme and etc. The Italians had copied these as the Motozattera or MZ-1.

The KRIEGSMARINE built the following types of Marinefährprähme (MFP):
type A: only 5 units
type A1: adopted to use former Soviet heavy tanks of 52 t weight
type AM: minelayer with a capacity of 52 mines and 25 t loading
type B: greater height (3,19m instead of 2,74m)
type C: greater height of the loading room (3,29m)
type C2: similar to type A1 for heavy tanks
type C2A:
type C2M: similar to type AM with mine loading capacity
type D:
type DM: minelayer with a capacity of 54 mines

Moreover there were special rebuilds as repair ship, tanker, Q-ship, etc.
According to GRÖNER, the only MFP rebuilt into a Q-ship was F368 (type A), which was armed with 2 x 7.5 cm guns and a S-device.

The MZ were either type A (virtual copies of the German MFP Type A-C) or Type B, where the 3" gun was repositioned behind the steering position. They were used for coastal transport and to transport tanks to North Africa from the continent. Many were later used by the Germans up until the end of the war.

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