Naxos ZM

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Terje Langoy
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Naxos ZM

Postby Terje Langoy » Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:35 pm

As I was looking through my latest acquired photo album (the Z-23) this photo immediately caught my attention. I have made an opinion of it but for the sake of confirmation your inputs would be most welcome.

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Is this an early test platform for the Naxos ZM..? (submarine-born radar detection device)

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hammy
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Re: Naxos ZM

Postby hammy » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:12 pm

I dont think so .

The hull is bows on to the camera and has what looks like a submarines net cutter on top .

And what you took to be Electric cables are , I think , airlines .
I wonder whether you arent looking at the aftermath of a submarine salvage / and/or rescue .
That might account for the general untidiness of the boats foredeck area .
That tall tower might be erected on top of one of the deck hatches , Ive never seen anything that tall erected on a sub hull before .

Another odd thing is that the boat doesn't appear to have any saddletanks .

The location looks like one of the big Naval roadsteads , because of that long mole in the background . Those things werent built as breakwaters , but as torpedo barriers in the early days of the locomotive torpedo , when Admiralties were afraid of a night sneak attack on a sleeping fleet .
So in England it could be Plymouth sound , Weymouth harbour , or possibly Dover .
Or in France , Cherbourg .

Can you tell us any more about this photo , or if not , tell us about the ones it was grouped with . You said an album - can you give more detail please ?
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

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Postby Terje Langoy » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:50 pm

This photo is the “odd one out” in the album - it doesn´t really relate to any of the other pictures other than possiby being a random snapshot made while in port, presumably a german one.

I never made this object (or should I say contraption) to be an actual submarine; merely a a platform to simulate submarine conditions - hence the suggestion of a test platform. The anntenna-like steel pin construction on top of the tall tube-tower is what prompted me into thinking about the naxos.

It does seem rather small to be an actual submarine, don´t you think?

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Re: Naxos ZM

Postby hammy » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:40 pm

There is a rowing boat on the right of the picture ( beyond the square barge thing and the black boat alongside that ) which gives you a good scale about where the tower thing is sticking up on the ( Sub ? ) .
That looks as if the "platform" behind and showing to each side is one man high ( say 2 metres ) above deck , and the "tower" in front about three men high - say 6 metres . The rail around the top is therefore about waist height or a little higher , so I take that to be a guardrail .

I think it is definitely a sub because the bow casing plate is "snub nosed" ie there is a difficult-to-form double curved shape in the plate there , which I dont think you would do on anything else ; plus the tripod netcutter/guardrail support ? / aerial bracket ? above it .
Sizewise , it could be a German type II , except for the missing saddletanks .
I remember that because old submarines usually still had huge generating power , they were sometimes still used as a sort of floating power station in harbour , i e you would take them across to any ship needing an auxillary electric power source .
But there seems to be a lot of debris laying around on this boat ..... and Germany had no old subs , because of the Versailles Treaty ........ so this could be an old Polish or Norwegian or Danish or Dutch or Belgian or French boat . ........tricky one .

Can you tell us what the rest of the photos are ?
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

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Terje Langoy
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Postby Terje Langoy » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:56 am

As I mentioned initially the photo album is made by a crew member of the destroyer Z-23. (Type 1936 A) Most of the content is - to no surprise - pretty much related to this destroyer, being photos of her and her missions. She entered service in september 1940 and was for a larger part involved in escort duties during 1941 (this included escorts of both cruisers and battleships) before an accident forced her into the shipyard in early 1942 - she was actually the first german destroyer to receive a twin turret at her forecastle, this being done while she was in the shipyard. She returned to Norway in the later part of 1942 for further escort duties before being relocated to France in 1943 whereupon she continued as escort for blackade runners and then submarines entering or leaving Biscay ports. In august 1944 she was badly damaged during an air raid; her condition was so severe she was decommisioned, and then simply languished in situ until the war was over.

Now this is not particularly related to the photo in question though I must admit her history point towards a few places of some interest (Gotenhafen and Brest) with regards to the mole seen in the background at this photo. As far as your estimates of this photo goes (length and height of the object) a few thoughts has surfaced. My knowledge of naval architecture is indeed a modest one but I believe we may have a stability issue here to consider as well. If we take the raised tube to be a conning tower then I´d suspect it would be a pretty unstable vessel once manned. With such a sleek hull it would be rolling terribly in the seas and this even worse if you add the weight of a man at its highest point. It is indeed an intriguing photo. I will try to dig up some info on the submarines of the smaller navies, as you suggested.

Thanks for the inputs, Hammy. It is very much appreciated.

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Re: Naxos ZM

Postby Nearchus » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:16 am

Could this be a small unmanned light vessel in port for maintenance. Judging by the rowboat/s to the right of the barge, the visible part of this object is not large.

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Re:

Postby hammy » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:31 pm

Terje Langoy wrote:.

Now this is not particularly related to the photo in question though I must admit her history point towards a few places of some interest (Gotenhafen and Brest) with regards to the mole seen in the background at this photo. As far as your estimates of this photo goes (length and height of the object) a few thoughts has surfaced. My knowledge of naval architecture is indeed a modest one but I believe we may have a stability issue here to consider as well. If we take the raised tube to be a conning tower then I´d suspect it would be a pretty unstable vessel once manned. With such a sleek hull it would be rolling terribly in the seas and this even worse if you add the weight of a man at its highest point. It is indeed an intriguing photo. I will try to dig up some info on the submarines of the smaller navies, as you suggested.

Thanks for the inputs, Hammy. It is very much appreciated.


It's a pleasure old boy , really .

As regards stability in submarines , you are actually dealing with the most stable and sea-worthy ship on the oceans when looking at diesel/electric submarines . This is because the lower part of the hull contains the batteries , which are extremely heavy , and the fresh water tank , various other tanks to do with trimming the boat fore and aft ( so she is neither nose heavy nor tail heavy ) compensating tanks ( which you flood to make up for the weight of the torpedo you fired , otherwise the boat would lose weight and therefore gain bouyancy ) , and there are also tanks for fuel and sewage down there , the magazine for the guns ammo , the hold for supplies and stores , and all kinds of other heavy stuff like pumps and ranks of big compressed air bottles.
All that has a deck laid over it , and that is what all the crew is standing on , when you see the inside of a sub in the films .

That makes a D/E sub very " STIFF " which is a technical term meaning a ship with a low centre of gravity . Such a ship will roll easily and quickly , possibly as far as 90degrees ( ie she's laying over on her side with the deck vertical ) But she wont go bottom-up , ie capsize , because the weight low down in the hull will whip her back upright again .
Sailing yachts , for example , can mostly do this , ie " come back " from a 90degree roll , and our rescue service Lifeboats can self-right , ie you can roll them upside down and they'll come back .

(The opposite case is a ship which is " TENDER " by which is meant a ship with a fairly high centre of gravity .
Imagine one of those modern big square truck ferries overloaded , or a modern "high-rise" cruise liner with a rock concert on deck and all her bottom tanks empty and you get the idea .
That ship will roll reluctantly and slowly and will be sluggish in a moderate or worse sea state . Pushed far over , she will capsize .)
Ship designers try to get between these extremes usually , for the stiff ship is exhausting to her crew , as she throws them
( and anything loose inside ) about , while the tender one is liable to drown everyone in her . You can add various "cheats" as well , like anti-rolling tanks , bilge keels , stabiliser systems and so on , to quiet down a lively ship .
As you know , surface warships need to be as stable as possible but at the same time be extremely seaworthy , so this is where the naval Architect earns their money !

So your short answer is , you could balance a 3 ton truck on top of that tower and she'd just rock a bit from side to side .

The sea-worthiness bit is simply that the sub , divided into numerous watertight compartments and actually DESIGNED to be sunk deep under water , can go through anything Nature can throw at her on the oceans , even silly things like those waves in the films - "Perfect Storm" , "Posiedon Adventure" , "Day after Tomorrow" . You just get inside and close the hatches . If you were on the surface you'd get thrown about but you would plunge straight through .
You are actually better off than you would be in a tanker , the next hardest thing to sink through weather .

Im going to have a "Google earth" around the Baltic/France and see if we cant pin this down - by the sun shadows its either calm still morning , in which case we are looking North ( ish ), or its calm still pm/evening and we are looking South ( ish )
Those moles were generally made of best Granite , so It'll still be there .
I'll have a look for old captured coastal subs candidates as well , and see if there are some possibles .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

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hammy
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Re: Naxos ZM

Postby hammy » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:56 pm

Nearchus wrote:Could this be a small unmanned light vessel in port for maintenance. Judging by the rowboat/s to the right of the barge, the visible part of this object is not large.


Ah , you mean a Light-vessel , one you moor out to mark a danger , a floating Lighthouse . Yes , could be , although that bow is odd , the usual bow on Light-ships is a high raked and flared one so the boat goes up and over the seas , no matter how steep , ........... Hmmm .
Germany DID have some funny Rescue Float things for ditched aircrews moored in the Channel (between SE England and Holland/Belgium/France) early on in the war --- but those were just a sort of steel bouyant room with a deck to scramble onto fixed around , much smaller than this , about the size of that square barge thing alongside really .

I'd say yes if it weren't for the mess , which is bad , even for dockyard mateys .
And the more I look , the more those things look like compressed airlines , not electric cables .
That looks like something that has been dragged in finally in the dark of a foul wet Saturday night , tied to a bouy , and then everybody said " B****r it , we can sort the rest out come monday morning ! " .
For maintenance I think something that small would be alongside a jetty , because even if the fleet is in there'll be a gap somewhere between to tuck her in between . Laying out on a bouy is less secure if the weather gets up .
As I say , I'll have a dig around and see if we cant find out something more .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

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hammy
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Re: Naxos ZM

Postby hammy » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:56 am

Well Terje , Ive spent about 12 hours on Google Earth going round every harbour from Bordeaux right around to Konigsberg/Kaliningrad , and there are only two candidates .

Frederikstad , just around the "Skaw" --> Skagen , on the tip of Denmark , just inside the Kattegat . As a Danish Naval station that is possible , as the mole layout and mole-end lighthouses fit the photo , and it would make a plausible advanced post for the German navy in WW2 as a control+patrol point to guard the approaches to the Baltic . However , in the modern photos of the mole ends , the stone moles look fresh and newer than the light towers on them , and I wonder if this isnt yet another harbour made bigger since WW2 with the old lights relocated out onto the new mole ends .

But the only other one it could be is Gydnia / Gotenhafen , and for my money it's there that the photo was taken , because the mole + terminal lighthouses fit , and as the major Kreigsmarine eastern base that seems to me to be the likely one . Its a shame that the mole and lighthouse on the left are just out of view because that would clinch it , on the Wikipedia article on "Gneisenau" there is a photo of her stripped hulk scuttled across the harbour entrance in 1945 , with that other light plainly identifiable as identical with the lights there today . The lights are very distinctive , short round tapered towers with unusual prominent square ribs running up them .
Photographers seem to like these things as seaside subjects , so there are good views of every damn light from North cape to Gibraltar via Kronstadt on Google earth .

And looking at your photo yet again I'm fairly sure now that the tall tower is what they call a "caisson" for salvage , and its either over one of the deck hatches or its over the conning tower hatch . I can make out some horizontal joins where the plates have been welded together to make a tube , and near the top is a lifting eye with support webs either side ( the thing like a tiny cross ) Those things are used like a diving bell , with hatches top and bottom , and thats what all the airlines are for . If you look at some pictures of the refloated German WW1 HSF battleships from Scapa Flow being towed away for scrapping , still upside down , you will see similar ( but bigger ) towers on them .
I think on your photo that this boat sank in shallow water , which made recovery reasonably easy , and worthwhile to do in the middle of a war .

Thats about as much as I can do with that , hope its of some use to you .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."


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