German Naval Radar

Updated 17 October 1999
6. Heavy Cruisers - "Hipper" Class
The most modern unit of this class, the short-lived Blücher, had her foretop rangefinder tower crowned by an additional radar tower carrying the 2m x 6m mattress of FuMO 22, but no battle-observer's post.

Admiral Hipper had similar equipment, but probably during her refit of late 1941 to early 1942, she received battle-observer's post atop the forward radar tower and a Timor frame on its rear. The after rangefinder was also topped by a radar tower for a FuMO27.  There are astonishingly few photographs showing this ship after her recommissioning in March 1944, and little information is therefore available on her final radar fit. After February 1945 she docked at Deutsche Werke Kiel, where she was scuttled by her crew in May 1945.

Two postwar photographs taken during an examination by high ranking British officers immediately after the German capitulation, show that Admiral Hipper was to have been equipped with a FuMO 25 similar to Prinz Eugen (as picture 7.2), the scaffolding and the central revolving pole being clearly visible.

Prinz Eugen, which did not commission before August 1940, was, in contrast to Bismarck, fitted with enlarged rangefinder towers, one aft and one on the foretop, for FuMO 27 sets with 2m x 4m mattresses. Probably during her refit after the dash, her foretop rangefinder was crowned by an additional radar office, the equipment fitted being in some way very similar to that of Tirpitz: above the 2m x 4m mattress of FuMO 26, below the slightly smaller Timor frame, both bearing in the same direction, while passive Sumatra antennas, bearing in all four directions, were situated on the screen of the foretop platform. She was, however unique in having a special hightfinder set with an aerial consisting of two rectangular frames which could be switched in elevation. The left one carried the active dipoles, the right the passive 'butterfly' dipoles with vertical polarisation.This may have been an experimental set for air search and/or for AA fire control. It was removed at the same time as Tirpitz received her superior Würzburg.

In her fnal configuration Prinz Eugen carried a huge 3m x 6m mattress for FuMO 26 on the face of her radar tower and an antenna on the foremast for the most sophisticated German radar set of the war - a FuMO 81 Berlin-S panoramic reconnaissance radar working on a wavelength of 6cm. The passive equipment consisted of the standard Sumatra, and the cone-shaped FuME 2 Wespe-G (2) atop the forward radar tower. It may be assumed that there were also Bali dipoles, but these are too small to be detected in photographs. 

From August 1944 the Prinz Eugen carried a FuMO 25 (as fitted in destroyers) on her mainmast yardarm. Due to its position, this set could only be used on bearings from 35º to 325º, although it had 360º training.


Picture 6.1
Hipper only:  After 7m rangefinder tower, with radar office in the base, carrying antenna for FuMO27, end of 1941 - early 1942 to 3 May 1945.


Picture 6.2
Hipper only: probably during her last refit (begun February 1945), FuMO 24/25 antennas added on mainmast.


Picture 6.3
Hipper and Blücher: Foretop 7m rangefinder with radar office added in November 1939, for FuMO 27 on face of radar office and Timor frame on rear. Drawing shows latter configuration, with battle-observer's post that was added at the same time. During 1941/42 - May 1945 Hipper was probably re-equipped with FuMO 26 and other modern sets such as FuMO 63 and FuMO 81.


Picture 6.4:

Prinz Eugen: FuMO 25 antenna on mainmast platform (training 35º to 325º). August 1944 - May 1945.

Picture 6.5
Prinz Eugen: After 7m rangefinder with antenna for FuMO 27, August 1940 - May 1945.


 Picture 6.6
Prinz Eugen: Foretop 7m rangefinder with antenna for FuMO 27. The hut on the roof is an octagonal battle-observer's post, August 1940 - May 1945.


Picture 6.7
Prinz Eugen: Foretop tower, enlarged by addition of second level supporting the antenna for the improved FuMO 26 with sided 'owl ears' for hight-finding.  Lower array is the Timor for the FuMB 4 Samos set, September 1942 - August 1944.


Picture 6.8
Prinz Eugen: Final configuration with FuMO 26 antenna on foretop tower and FuMO 81 Berlin-S on foremast head, August 1944 - May 1945.

Picture 6.9
Picture of Prinz Eugen with detailed radar equipment.

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