German Naval Radar

Updated 17 October 1999
8. Destroyers and Torpedoboats

The radar equipment of German destroyers followed a standard pattern, and only at the end of the war do we find some individual layouts. The first standard equipment was the FuMO 21 (Zerstörerdrehsäule) with a 2m x 4m mattress installed above a special radar-office between foremast and bridge. In earlier types, with their short bridges, the frame could not be trained over its full arc but all German destroyers were in any case limited to this bearing angle by the mast. From the summer of 1943 the improved FuMO 25, with 2m x 6m mattress, was introduced, and was first fitted in the older boats.

To fully train the frame a distinctive 'goal post' (Tormast) mast was developed, the later type having sufficient space around their radar office for this structure. From the summer of 1944 some boats were fitted with a FuMO 63 Hohentwiel-K in place of the after searchlight platform, and a FuMB 6 Palau on a yardarm of the foremast. The passive equipment consisted of four fixed Sumatra dipoles situated either around the forward searchlight sponson, or at the level of the tripod junction.
Postwar photographs show the usual variety of small passive antennas - the omni-directional round-dipole of FuMB 3 Bali, the conical IFF antenna of FuME 2 Wespe-G and the diagonal 9cm dipoles of the FuMB Tunis forward of a small cheese-type reflector. The location of these antennas varies, but as they were small and light they were usually fitted high on the foremast.

A most interesting system was developed for the type 1944 destroyer Z52. It consisted of an AA director, similar to US Navy types, fitted with the 1.5m parabolic dish antenna of a FuMO 231 Euklid. In next stage of development, it was planned to switch down the set to 3cm wavelength to become the Euklid-Z.


Picture 9.1
Z1934A class
With FuMO 21 on the bridge and four fixed Sumatra antennas on the foremast on Z 5, 1941 - autumn 1943


Picture 9.2
Z1934A class "Z 5 (Paul Jacobi)"

After searchlight platform removed and replaced by radar office and antenna for FuMO 63 Hohentwiel-K, mid 1944 - May 1945
The distinctive goalpost mast (inset transverse view)  for the FuMO 24/25 antenna at the rear of the bridge. At the foremast head is the conical antenna for FuME Wespe-G and on the spur below that round dipole of the Bali set, autumn 1943 - May 1945

Picture 9.3
Z1936A class

FuMO 24/25 radar on the bridge of Z25 with office moved sufficiently to allow full rotation of antenna. The FuMO 24/25 was replaced by a FuMO 21, with smaller 2m x 4m mattress antenna, in the same position 1944. The antenna on the foremast spur is a FuMB 6 Palau and that on the masthead is a FuMB 3 Bali.

Picture 9.4
Z1936A (Mob) class 

The drawing shows the basic FuMO 21 onboard of  Z38 which was carried until the end of the war and the four fixed Sumatra antennas fitted around the foremast searchlight platform and on the after edges of the mast struts.  Note the differences from the 1963A type: curved forward funnel cap, height of the tripod struts and square forward edge to bridge wing.
Picture 9.5
1944 Type Destroyer, Z52 
The uncompleted Z 52 would have had an impressive radar outfit. The gunnery radar FuMO 231 Euklid was to be combined with the 3D stabilized bridge director, carrying a 1.5m diameter parabolic dish antenna. The twin 128mm DP gun turrets would have been the first genuine radar controlled armament in a German warship. Other radar equipment is uncertain, the larger antenna having dimensions of 2m x 4m although FuMO 21 was by this time obsolete; the antenna on the foremast was either for a FuMO 63 Hohentwiel-K or a FuMB 6 Palau.


Originally the smaller types of German torpedo-boats had no radar equipment. As the FuMO 21 Zerstörerdrehsäule was too heavy for them, some of the 1935 type boats and the 1937 type boats received a FuMO 28 with fixed mattress; two fixed 2.3m x 3.8m antenna being installed on the tripod foremast (Picture 9.8). 
The radar scanned by lobe-switching, but it was obviously an inferior system because, when the FuMO 63 Hohentwiel-K became available at the beginning of 1944, the surviving boats were fitted with two of these sets - one on the foremast and one on the mainmast. The same modification was made in the few surviving boats of the old 1923 and 1924 types. The passive equipment matched the contemporary standard in destroyers.

The larger boats of 1939 type received a FuMO 21, but limited arc of training. Two forms of outrigger were employed to support the 2m x 4m mattress antennas of this set. Although his class of ships numbered no less than 15 boats, which served throughout the war, there are surprisingly few photographs of them. One shows that at least one boat had her after searchlights replaced by a FuMO 63 Hohentwiel-K as in some destroyers
Picture 9.6
1939 Type Torpedo-Boats
T22 - T36 with FuMO 21 antenna on a foremast spur, four fixed Sumatra dipoles under crow's nest and a FuMB 3 Bali antenna on the masthead

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