Something a little bit more obscure from the last years of WW2:
(Multi purpose boat 1943)
During World War 2 there was an increasing need for smaller ships in coastal areas, especially for minesweeping, escort duties and anti-submarine warfare. The result was the so-called 'Mehrzweckboot 1943' (Multi-purpose-boat), after previous experiments with modified R-boats proved to be to weak against the increased air threat. The design was simple, aimed for smaller, less expirienced shipyards, was mostly welded and was built in sections. Almost everything, from motors to the ammunition and crew quarters was located in a 4*37m central box-shaped section, with the hull and ribs built 'around' it. The engine for the single screw was a 6-cylinder diesel for a maximum speed of 14kn. The displacement wwas 327t.
The armament was designed for operation in North Sea coastal areas, particularly along the Dutch, Belgien and German coast. The main armament were two 88mm Flaks in single mounts, one single 37mm Flak and eight 20mm Flak, two twin mounts and one quad mount. Similar to the S-boats, the MZ 1943 had two forward-facing torpedo tubes, as a weapon of opportunity. Additional equipment included minesweeping gear and water bombs.
Twelve ships were planned, ordered on May 24th, 1943 at H. C. Stülcken, Hamburg. However, shortly afterwards, the order for MZ 2
through MZ 12
were moved to Rheinwerft Walsum on June 6th. This shipyard, however, was too occupied building MFP landing craft, so the orders were moved again to Flenderweft, Lübeck, on December 13th. There, all capacities were used up by U-boat construction, so all orders were eventually returned to Stülcken on July 29th, 1944. MZ 1
was laid down on October 12th, 1943, was launched on April 16th, 1944 and comissioned on August 29th. Keel for MZ 2
and MZ 3
were laid down on November 22nd and December 2nd, 1944, respectively.
underwent trials from there on and was assigned to several testing units. The trials showed that the engine not up to what the constructor had promised and too weak. It was decieded to elongate all further boats of this class by 5m to allow the installation of a bigger and stronger engine, increasing the displacements by 42 while keeping the same top speed. At the end of the war, MZ 1
was in Eckenförde and claimed as a prize by Great Britain, but strangely, the ship does not appear in any allied documents. Some presume that MZ 1
had been in such a desolate state that she had been scrapped 'outside the bureaucracy'.
Any help and source material is always welcome.