Midget submarine

A midget submarine (also called a mini submarine) is any submarine under 150 tons,[1] typically operated by a crew of one or two but sometimes up to 6 or 9, with little or no on-board living accommodation. They normally work with mother ships, from which they are launched and recovered and which provide living accommodation for the crew and support staff.

Both military and civilian midget submarines have been built. Military types work with surface ships and other submarines as mother ships. Civilian and non-combatant military types are generally called submersibles and normally work with surface ships.

Most early submarines would now be considered midget submarines, such as the United States Navy's USS Holland (SS-1) and the British Royal Navy's HMS Holland 1.

Kure midget subs1
Some 80 Japanese Type D ("Koryu") Midget Submarines in a dry dock at Kure, October 19, 1945

Military submarines


X craft crewman WWII IWM A 30568
Crew of a British X-class midget submarine, part of the British Pacific Submarine Fleet

Midget submarines are best known for harbor penetration, although only two World War II boats, the British X-craft and the unsuccessful Welman submarine, were specifically designed with this in mind. Japan's Ko-hyoteki-class submarines were originally designed to take part in decisive fleet actions. However, as circumstances changed, they were given the task of harbor penetration. Germany’s various World War II designs were mostly designed to attack Allied shipping off landing beaches and harbors, although the Seehund had a great enough range to attack shipping off the Thames estuary.

Midget submarines have also seen some use in support roles. X-craft were used for reconnaissance, and the Seehund was used to carry supplies. A number of modern midget submarines have also been built for submarine rescue.


Midget submarines are commonly armed with torpedoes and mines in the form of, for example, detachable side loads and nose sections. Alternatively they may function as swimmer delivery vehicles to deliver frogmen to the vicinity of their targets, which are then attacked with limpet mines.


In civilian use, midget submarines are generally called submersibles; commercial submersibles are used in, for example, underwater maintenance, exploration, archaeology, and scientific research. Other commercially available submersibles are marketed as novelty tourist attractions and as specialised tenders for wealthy yacht owners. Also, a growing number of amateur submariners homebuild submersibles as a hobby.[2][3]

Types by nation


  • FNRS-2 pioneering research submersible

People's Republic of China

  • Type 7103 DSRVs
  • Osprey class submersibles
  • Sea Pole class bathyscaphe
  • Dragon class bathyscaphe
  • Harmony class bathyscaphe
  • Mobile diving bell
  • QSZ-II submersible
  • Aurora class one-person midget submarine: Aurora (Shuguang, 曙光) midget sub is a Chinese civilian midget sub developed by private firm Wuhan (武汉张五一船舶厂).[4] Length: 3.6 m, beam: 1.8 m, height: 1.2 m, maximum speed: 20 km/hr, endurance: 10 hr maximum, maximum depth: 20 m. Equipped with a robotic arm and search light to harvest sea cucumbers in mariculture, but can also be deployed for maintenance of underwater structures in harbors/ports.[5] Several foreign countries including North Korea have shown interests and invited the developer to their respective countries to develop similar midget subs, including possible military applications.[6]
  • Aurora class two-people midget submarine: successor of Aurora class one-person midget sub, with dimension increased to 7 m x 2 m x 2 m from the original 3.6 m x 1.8 m x 1.2 m, and the maximum depth is increased to 30 m, while speed and endurance remained the same.[7] Crew is increased to two.[8] As with its predecessor, this two-people version also attracted attention of prospective foreign interests.[6]
  • Tao Xiangli class midget submarine: This homemade submarine is developed by Mr. Tao Xiangli (陶相礼, 1974 -).[9] To reduce developmental cost, Mr. Tao uses 2nd hand material whenever it was possible, and as result, it only took ¥ 30,000 (US$4,385) to complete his first boat.[10] For example,the hull is constructed of five used fuel tanks.[11] Tao's submarine weighs 800 kg (1,764 lb) and is 6.5 meters (21 feet) long, with a cramped interior that fits one person and features pressure gauges, monitoring cameras and, of course, an oxygen supply.[12] The electrically powered midget sub shapes like a torpedo with a conning tower, and is able to dive to 10 meter depth.[13] Mr. Tao confirmed that he has received funds for further development, which would enable the next midget sub planned to build to dive to a depth of 50 meters.[14]

Republic of China (Taiwan)

  • 2 Italian COS.MO.S CE2F/X100 post-war torpedo chariots
  • 2 Italian COS.MO.S S.X.404 midget submarines: S-1 Haijiao (海蛟), S-2 Hailong (海龍), in service from October 8, 1969 to November 1, 1973. S.X.404 is a 70-ton 4-man crew submarine design by Cosmos. Four were sold to Colombia and two to Taiwan in the 1970s.[15] Displaced is 40/70 t (surfaced/submerged), speed is 11/6.5 kn (surfaced/submerged), range is 1200/60 nmi (surfaced/submerged) @ respective maximum speed. Payload included externally attached torpedoes or mines, or swimmer delivery vehicles.[16]


  • S.X.506 a 70-ton 5-man crew midget submarine designed by Italian shipbuilder Cosmos as a development of earlier S.X.404 by the same firm. Displacement is 58/70 t (surfaced/submerged), length is 23 m, beam is 2 m, draft is 4 m, and speed is 8.5/7 kn (surfaced/submerged). At a speed of 7 kn, range is 1200/60 nmi (surfaced/submerged). Payload includes externally attached torpedoes and swimmer delivery vehicles, and up to 8 divers can be carried in addition to the 5-man crew.[16]



  • FNRS-4 second generation research submersible
  • Nautile research submersible to depth of 6 kilometers

France also acquired a number of German midget submarines at the end of WW2.


Submarine S622
German midget submarine Seehund, with a torpedo

Most German midget submarines were developed late in World War II in an attempt to stop the Allied invasion of Europe and used later to disrupt its supply lines. As a result, the submarines mostly engaged in open water attacks rather than harbour penetration.[17][18]

  • Biber (324 built by AG Weser of Bremen)[17][19]
  • Delphin (2 built) 2-man 5-ton torpedo with top speed of 20 knots (37 km/h) and submerged radius of 30 nautical miles (56 km) at 3 knots (5.6 km/h).[17][19]
  • Hai (midget submarine) prototype of improved Marder.[17][19]
  • Hecht type XXVIIA 2-man 12 ton submarine with 1 mine or 1 torpedo carried outboard to a range of 38 miles at 4 knots.[20]
  • Marder (~300 built) similar to Neger with breathing apparatus to allow submerged operation.[17][19]
  • Molch Completely electric motor driven WWII (1944–1945) Midget submarine. Total 393 built.[17]
  • Schwertwal (Grampus) Designed as super-fast Walter-type midget boat, but the prototype was not complete when scuttled in May 1945.[17]
  • Neger (~200 built) 1-man 5-ton torpedo with underslung G7E torpedo. Top speed 20 knots and range of 30 miles at 3 knots.[17][19]
  • Seehund type XXVIIB[21] Most successful midget submarine in the Kriegsmarine. Operational deployment was between January 1945 – April 1945.[17]
  • V.80 4-man 76-ton prototype completed in 1940 to test Walther geared turbine propulsion system. Range was 50 nautical miles (93 km) at 28 knots (52 km/h).[22]
  • Orca class post-war midget submarine: 13.27 meter x 2.1 meter 5 men midget submarine with maximum depth of 100, maximum underwater speed of 5 kn, maximum range of 150 nmi, maximum endurance of 4 days, and maximum payload of 250 kg. Periscopes includes television camera, HF/HF communication and GPS antenna. There is also an underwater television camera and obstacle avoidance sonar with an effective range of 200 m. The low acoustic and magnetic signature midget sub displaces 28 t, powered by two computerized permanent magnetic electric motors that drive a single shaft low-cavitation and low noise propeller, which is controlled by fly-by-wire control system that is usually adopted for aircraft. The pressure hull is a modular design consisted of four modules that enables easy transportation and maintenance.[23]


The Indian Navy is planning to acquire two midget submarines at an estimated cost of ₹2000 Crores for use as swimmer delivery vehicles.[24] These submarines will be used for conducting underwater special operations by MARCOS.[25] Both submarines will be constructed by Hindustan Shipyard Limited.[24]


The Indonesian Navy has shown some interest in having a new Midget-class submarine, built by local shipyards, for coastal rather than open water patrol. The submarine was designed a number of years ago by a retired Indonesian Navy submariner officer, Colonel (Ret) Ir. R. Dradjat Budiyanto, Msc. The midget experiment project involves the construction of a submarine, designated MIDGET IM X −1, which will weigh about 150 – 250 tonnes, with a tubular frame design 24 – 30 meters long, and four torpedo tubes. The submarines will have minimum of 8 – 10 crew members including officers. They will have a 40 km range non-hull-penetrating optronic mast as the attack periscope, and a 20 km range navigation periscope.

Indonesian defence minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro has backed the project. Construction should commence at the Indonesian PT.PAL INDONESIA shipyard by late 2011, and will take about three or four years to complete. If this schedule is met, the Indonesian Navy expects to be commissioning the first Midget Class submarine in 2014.



Mališan CB-20
An Italian CB-class submarine
  • Siluro a Lenta Corsa (SLC), also known as Maiale (pig), a low speed human torpedo. On December 3, 1941, Sciré departed La Spezia carrying three Maiale to conduct what became the Raid on Alexandria (1941). At the island of Leros in the Aegean Sea, six Decima Flottiglia MAS crewmen came aboard, including Lieutenant Luigi Durand de la Penne. On December 18 Sciré released the manned torpedoes 1.3 miles from Alexandria commercial harbor, and they entered the harbor when the British opened the boom defence to let three of their destroyers pass. After many difficulties, de la Penne and his crewmate Emilio Bianchi successfully attached a limpet mine under HMS Valiant, but had to surface as they attempted to leave and were captured. They refused to answer when questioned and were detained in a compartment aboard Valiant. Fifteen minutes before the explosion, de la Penne asked to speak to the Valiant's captain and informed him of the imminent explosion but refused to give other information. He was returned to the compartment and neither he or Bianchi were injured by the detonation of the mine. The other four torpedo-riders were also captured, but their mines sank Valiant, the battleship Queen Elizabeth, the Norwegian tanker Sagona and badly damaged the destroyer HMS Jervis. The two battleships sank in only a few feet of water and were subsequently re-floated. Nevertheless, they were out of action for over a year.
  • Bathyscaphe Trieste was first to explore the Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench
  • CA type First series was a 2-man midget submarine the second series carried a crew of three.[26]
  • CB type 45 ton 4 man design first introduced in 1941[26]
  • CE2F/X100 post-war torpedo chariot
  • MG 120: MG 120 Shallow water attack submarine (SWATS) is a development of MG 110 in Pakistani service with the displacement is increased to 130 t submerged, range is 1600 nmi @ 7 kn surfaced, 60 nmi @ 4.5 kn submerged, and the number of divers carried is drastically increased to 15.[27]
  • MG 130: MG 130 is a development of MG 120 with AIP module called UAPE (Underwater Auxiliary Propulsion Engine) based on a closed circuit diesel fueled by liquid oxygen, which provides an underwater range of 400 nmi (740 km).[27]


Japanese Type A Midget Submarine
Japanese Type A Midget Submarine recovered in 1960 off Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Shinnkai 6500 01
DSV Shinkai
  • Type B Kō-hyōteki-class Midget Ha 45 prototype built 1942 to test Type A improvements.[30]
  • Type C Kō-hyōteki-class Midget Ha 62–76 similar to Type A with crew of 3 and radius increased to 350 nautical miles (650 km) at 6 knots (11 km/h) surfaced or 120 nautical miles (220 km) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h) submerged.[30]
  • Type D Kō-hyōteki-class, also called Kōryū class (115 completed) improved Type C with crew of 5 and radius increased to 1,000 miles (1,600 km) at 8 knots (15 km/h) surfaced and 320 miles (510 km) at 16 knots (30 km/h) submerged.[31]
  • Kairyū-class submarine
  • Kaiten submarine suicide torpedo.
  • DSV Shinkai research submersible, capable of diving to a depth of 6.5 kilometres (4.0 miles)

North Korea

1996 NK sub
North Korea's Sang-O-class submarine

South Korea

  • S.X.756: Developed by Italian shipbuilder Cosmos as a successor of earlier S.X.506 midget submarine in Colombian service. Length is increased to 25.2 m and beam is increased to 2.1 m in comparison to its predecessor S.X.506, and displacement is increased to 73/80 t (surfaced/submerged). Crew is increased by one to a total of 6, but the total number of divers carried remained the same at 8. Range is 1600 nmi @ 6 kn surfaced, and 60 nmi @ 4 kn submerged, and payload remains the same.[16]
  • Dolgorae class midget sub


  • MG 110 class midget submarine: Developed by Italian shipbuilder Cosmos as a successor of earlier S.X.756 midget submarine in South Korean service. MG 110 is a slightly enlarged version of S.X.756 with length increased to 27.28 m, diameter increased to 2.3 m, and displacement increased to 102/110 t (surfaced/submerged). Range is 1200 nm surfaced, and the submerged range remain the same. Payload and crew are also identical to that of its predecessor S.X.756 midget submarine.[16]



  • CB class, during World War II, Romania owned five midget submarines.[32]


  • In the late 19th century Russia built a class of treadle powered submarines 4.5 meters in length designed by Stefan Drzewiecki they were withdrawn from service in 1886.[33]
  • APL and Pygmy projects – 2 boats were constructed in 1935-1936, tested, but later abandoned [34]
  • Losos class submarine


Submarinos de ataque clase foca SA41
Foca I (SA-41) and Foca II (SA-42) at Cartagena
  • Foca class submarine (design begun in 1957, entering service in 1962): A total of 2 units built, SA 41 & SA 42. Displacement is 16/20 t (surfaced/submerged), with a crew of 3, and armed with two 21 in torpedo tubes. Stricken in 1971.[35] Not to be confused with World War II era Italian Foca-class submarine.
  • Tiburón class submarine (design begun in 1958, entering service in 1964): A total of 2 units built, SA 51 & SA 52. Displacement is 78/81 t (surfaced/submerged), with a crew of 5, and armed with two 21 in torpedo tubes. Stricken in 1971.[35]


  • Spiggen II class midget submarine: 6 man crew midget sub displaces 14 t when submerged, with 5 kn speed and endurance of 2 weeks. Length: 11 m, beam: 1.4 m, height: 1.7 m.[23]
  • Sea Dagger midget submarine developed by Kockums: a midget submarine of modular design with length of 16 – 20 m depending on various configurations totaling 4, including training, reconnaissance, diver delivery and small attack versions. All versions are consisted of 3 modules, two of which are identical for all versions, the bow and stern modules. The midsection has 4 modules to choose from, each for a specific mission. All versions lack the sail.[36]
  • UVS-1300 Malen Originally built for navy purposes as sonar target. Midget submarine: 4 man crew midget sub displaces 11 t when submerged, with 5 kn speed and endurance of at least 1 week depending on fuel carried. Length: 10 m, beam: 1.4 m, height: 1.7 m.[37]


The Turkish navy has evaluated two midget submarine designs from German firm ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Type 200 and Type 300 classes:

  • Type 200: Displacement: 200 t surfaced, length: 25 m, beam: 4.2 m, draft 3.1 m, speed: 8 kn surfaced, range: 2100 nmi @ 8 kn surfaced, endurance: 2 weeks, armament: 2 21-in torpedo tubes with a maximum of 4 torpedoes, crew: 6 + 12 divers.[38]
  • Type 300: Displacement: 300 t surfaced, length: 30 m, beam: 4.2 m, draft 3.1 m, speed: 12 kn surfaced, range: 3100 nmi @ 8 kn surfaced, endurance: 2 weeks, armament: 2 21-in torpedo tubes with a maximum of 6 torpedoes, crew: 12.[38]

United Kingdom

X24 view from side
X24 a British X class submarine on display at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum

The Royal Navy has used a number of midget submarines. Most were developed during the Second World War. The decommissioning of the Stickleback class 1958–early 1960s marked the end of midget submarines designed for combat in the Royal Navy.

  • Sleeping Beauty Motorized Submersible Canoe (MSC): developed by Special Operations Executive Station IX during the Second World War.
  • Chariot manned torpedo: the British developed two types of manned torpedoes; the Chariot Mark I, of 1.6 ton, and the Chariot Mark II, of 2.3 ton. Sixty-four units were built.[39]
  • Stickleback class: a post Second World War development of the XE class.
  • X class: used to attack German warships in the north of Norway. One notable target of a successful attack was the battleship Tirpitz. The submarines had a crew of three (plus a diver) and carried two large mines containing Amatol – one on each side. Their strategy was to lay mines on the sea bottom beneath the target, set a time fuse, and leave.
  • XE class: used in the Far East against Japan, where they carried out a number of attacks and special missions.
  • Welman submarine: a single-person submersible widely considered a failure.[40]
  • Welfreighter: a Station IX-developed special operations submersible with two crew and up to four passengers, designed to resemble a motorboat when surfaced. Over 100 were produced, beginning in September 1944; the extent of operational use is unclear.[41][42]

United States

X-1 Submarine, sea trial (undated)
The US X-1 at sea
  • Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS): a former US Navy submersible used for clandestinely transporting Navy SEALs from a larger submarine to and from a mission site. The ASDS was canceled in 2009 due to cost overruns and reliability issues, and the only sub was destroyed in a fire in 2008.[43]
  • Aluminaut: the first aluminium submarine, used to recover sunken items, including DSV Alvin and an unarmed nuclear bomb.
  • Bathyscaphe Trieste II (DSV-1): a sister ship to the Swiss-built Bathyscaphe Trieste, which was the first vessel to reach the bottom of the Challenger Deep, the lowest point in the oceans
  • DSV Alvin (DSV-2): a research submersible operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute since 1964. Alvin has performed thousands of dives, including one that explored the wreck of the RMS Titanic, and its work in marine biology and oceanography has been featured in many scientific papers.[44]
  • DSV Turtle (DSV-3) of the Alvin class
  • DSV Sea Cliff (DSV-4) of the Alvin class
  • Nemo (DSV-5): an acronym for Naval Experimental Manned Observatory, a test vehicle operated by the Navy from 1970 to 1986. Nemo was a spherical submersible with a transparent acrylic hull, and its primary purpose was to evaluate the utility of the panoramic vision enabled by its design. Nemo was found to be an effective observation platform, despite not being able to hover in place, and acrylic-hulled submersibles have continued to be built and operated in the US.[45]
  • DSRV-1 Mystic: a Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle formerly operated by the US Navy. Mystic was replaced by the Submarine Rescue Diving Recompression System (SRDRS) in 2008 and donated to the Naval Undersea Museum.[46]
  • DSRV-2 Avalon: a Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle formerly operated by the US Navy. Avalon has been replaced by the Submarine Rescue Diving Recompression System and was donated to the Morro Bay Maritime Museum.[47]
  • Dry Combat Submersible (DCS): a US Navy submarine under development by Lockheed Martin for transporting Navy SEALs to and from a mission site. It is the planned replacement for the cancelled Advanced SEAL Delivery System.[48]
  • USS X-1: an experimental US Navy midget submarine of the 1950s, used to explore how to defend harbors against attacks by very small submarines.[49]

North Macedonia

  • Una-class midget submarine. After the Yugoslav Wars, both Croatia and FR Yugoslavia held examples. Length: 18 m, beam: 3.7 m, diameter: 2.5 m, displacement: 76 t surfaced, 90 t submerged, crew: 4 + 6 divers. Surfaced and submerged speed is 4 kn for both, and the range is 200 nmi surfaced, 50 nm submerged both @ 4 kn. M-100 lacks sail and its battery can only be charged when surfaced. Up to 4 R-1 swimmer delivery vehicle (SDV)s or two light (400 mm) torpedoes can be carried.[16]
  • Type M-100D class midget submarine. Development of Type M-100 Una class. Displacement is increased to around 88/100 t (surfaced/submerged), and the length is increased to approximately 21 m, beam is increased to 4.42 m, and diameter to 2.7 m. Speed is increased to 8/11 kn (surfaced/submerged), and range is increased to 550 nmi surfaced @ 10 kn when surfaced, and that of submerged remains the same as its predecessor M-100 Una class while the payload and crew also remain unchanged. A sail is added and its battery can be charged while submerged.[16]

See also


  1. ^ "Is the U.S. Prepared to Face Midget Subs?". 24 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Personal Submersibles project page". www.psubs.org. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  3. ^ "More Euro-Subs ..." www.euronaut.org. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Zhang Wu-Yi Shipyard (武汉张五一船舶厂)". Archived from the original on 2012-06-18.
  5. ^ 1085. "Aurora class one-person midget submarine". Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Aurora midget subs". Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  7. ^ "Aurora class two-people midget submarine". Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  8. ^ "中国民工研制小型民用潜艇 单艘出厂价达20万_CG资讯_火星时代". news.hxsd.com.
  9. ^ "Tao Xiangli class midget submarine". Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  10. ^ "Tao Xiangli midget submarine". Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  11. ^ Construction of Tao Xiangli midget sub Archived 2013-09-05 at Archive.today
  12. ^ Hu, Christina; Chisholm, Mark (9 September 2009). "Amateur Chinese inventor seeks fame with scrap submarine". Reuters. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  13. ^ "安徽农民用铁桶砸出潜水艇 可下潜10米(组图)_网易新闻". news.163.com. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Tao Xiangli midget subs". Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  15. ^ Kemp, Paul (1996). Underwater Warriors. Arms & Armour Press. pp. 225–228. ISBN 1-85409-228-6.
  16. ^ a b c d e f naval institute guide to combat fleets of the world 15th edition. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i Helgason, Guðmundur. "Midget submarines - U-boat Types - German U-boats of WWII - Kriegsmarine". uboat.net. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  18. ^ "German Midget submarine operations - U-boat Operations - uboat.net". uboat.net.
  19. ^ a b c d e Lenton, H.T. GERMAN WARSHIPS of the Second World War Arco Publishing (1976) pp. 285–286
  20. ^ Taylor, J.C. German Warships of World War II Doubleday & Company (1967) p. 109
  21. ^ Taylor, J.C. German Warships of World War II Doubleday & Company (1967) p.110
  22. ^ Lenton, H.T. GERMAN WARSHIPS of the Second World War Arco Publishing (1976) p.212
  23. ^ a b Watts, Anthony J (2001). "Submarines". Jane's Underwater Warfare Systems, 2001-02 edition. IHS Inc (formally Jane's Information Group Inc. ISBN 978-0710623331. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  24. ^ a b Datta, Sujan (26 October 2014). "'Midgets' on navy mind". The Telegraph. New Delhi. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  25. ^ "6 Made-in-India Submarines for Navy for 53,000 Crores".
  26. ^ a b Kemp, Paul (1996). Underwater Warriors. Arms & Armour Press. pp. 55–57. ISBN 1-85409-228-6.
  27. ^ a b "By sea & stealth: maritime special forces tend to arrive in hostile territory by sea and by stealth, but where once they would be delivered by rubber dinghies from a submarine now they are using Special Delivery Vehicles (SDV) and even midget submarines". Retrieved December 1, 2005.
  28. ^ Hearst Magazines (May 1942). "Jap Sub Had Guard to Cut Net in Harbor". Popular Mechanics. Hearst Magazines. pp. 71–. ISSN 0032-4558. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  29. ^ "NOAA's Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL)". Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  30. ^ a b Watts, Anthony J. Japanese Warships of World War II Doubleday & Company (1967) p.213
  31. ^ Watts, Anthony J. Japanese Warships of World War II Doubleday & Company (1967) p.216
  32. ^ Robert Gardiner, Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Naval Institute Press, 1980, pp. 311 and 361
  33. ^ Preston, Antony (2001). The Royal Navy Submarine Service A Centennial History. Conway Maritime Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-85177-891-7.
  34. ^ "Project APL. Deepstorm.ru". Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  35. ^ a b "Spanish Foca & Tiburón midget subs". Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  36. ^ "Sea Dagger midget sub". Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  37. ^ "UVS-1300 Malen". Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  38. ^ a b Funnell, Clifford (2009). "Submarines". Jane's Underwater Warfare Systems, 2009-10 edition. IHS Inc (formally Jane's Information Group Inc. ISBN 978-0710629029. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  39. ^ Hobson, Robert (2004). Chariots of War. Ulric Publishing, pp. 61 & 62. ISBN 0-9541997-1-5
  40. ^ Kemp, Paul (1996). Underwater Warriors. Arms & Armour Press. p. 158. ISBN 1-85409-228-6.
  41. ^ Preston, Antony (2001). The Royal Navy Submarine Service: A Centennial History. Conway Maritime Press. p. 129. ISBN 0-85177-891-7.
  42. ^ Colville, Tom. "Welfreighter". Retrieved 2008-06-29.
  43. ^ Cole, William (25 July 2009). "Prototype mini-sub shelved". DMZ Hawai'i. Retrieved 5 September 2018 – via Honolulu Star Advertiser.
  44. ^ Kaharl, Victoria A. (1 October 1990). Water Baby: The Story of Alvin. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-506191-8.
  45. ^ Pike, John (7 July 2011). "Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle DSRV". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  46. ^ Ryan, Mary (2011). "Rescuing Submariners: From DSRVs to the SRDRS" (PDF). Undersea Quarterly. Naval Undersea Museum Foundation. 15 (2): 1–6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-25.
  47. ^ "The Fleet - Morro Bay". Morro Bay Maritime Museum. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  48. ^ McRaven, William (March 14, 2015). Hearing on National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 and Oversight of Previously Authorized Programs before the Before the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, Second Session (PDF). Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Hearing on Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Budget Request from the U.S. Special Operations Command and Posture of the U.S. Special Operations Forces. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  49. ^ "Navy Tests First Midget Submarine As Close In Weapon. Popular Mechanics, February 1956, p. 124, bottom of page.
Attack on Sydney Harbour

In late May and early June 1942, during World War II, submarines belonging to the Imperial Japanese Navy made a series of attacks on the cities of Sydney and Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. On the night of 31 May – 1 June, three Ko-hyoteki-class midget submarines, each with a two-member crew, entered Sydney Harbour, avoided the partially constructed Sydney Harbour anti-submarine boom net, and attempted to sink Allied warships. Two of the midget submarines were detected and attacked before they could successfully engage any Allied vessels, and the crews scuttled their submarines and killed themselves. These submarines were later recovered by the Allies. The third submarine attempted to torpedo the heavy cruiser USS Chicago, but instead sank the converted ferry HMAS Kuttabul, killing 21 sailors. This midget submarine's fate was unknown until 2006, when amateur scuba divers discovered the wreck off Sydney's northern beaches.

Immediately following the raid, the five Japanese fleet submarines that carried the midget submarines to Australia embarked on a campaign to disrupt merchant shipping in eastern Australian waters. Over the next month, the submarines attacked at least seven merchant vessels, sinking three ships and killing 50 sailors. During this period, between midnight and 02:30 on 8 June, two of the submarines bombarded the ports of Sydney and Newcastle.

The midget submarine attacks and subsequent bombardments are among the best-known examples of Axis naval activity in Australian waters during World War II, and are the only occasion in history when either city has come under attack. The physical effects were slight: the Japanese had intended to destroy several major warships, but sank only an unarmed depot ship and failed to damage any significant targets during the bombardments. The main impact was psychological; creating popular fear of an impending Japanese invasion and forcing the Australian military to upgrade defences, including the commencement of convoy operations to protect merchant shipping.

CA-class submarine

The CA class were a group of midget submarines built for the Italian Navy during World War II.

CB-class midget submarine

The CB-class was a group of midget submarines built for the Italian Navy during World War II. However, they were also used by several other navies, seeing action in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea.


The Delphin (dolphin) was a midget submarine created during World War II. Designed in 1944, only three prototypes were created by Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine by the end of the war, all of which were destroyed. The Delphin was built for underwater speed attacks, as German engineers under the leadership of Ulrich Gabler discovered that past midget submarines were too slow to match the speeds of large ships in the English Channel.

The Delphin weighed 2.5 tonnes (2.5 long tons) and was easily recognizable due to its tear-drop shape, which allowed the vessel to travel through the water at higher speeds. During trials the submarine reached a speed of seventeen knots while submerged. On 19 January 1945, the first prototype was destroyed after a collision with a boat, and resulted in further testing to be abandoned. Two other prototypes under construction in Berlin were moved to Pötenitz near Trave, where they were blown up as Allied forces approached.

German submarine V-80

The V-80 (German: Versuchs-U-Boot V 80) was a 76-ton experimental submarine and the only representative of the German Type V design produced for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.

The prototype was completed in 1940 in Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel. The four-man vessel was designed to test the Walter hydrogen peroxide-based turbine propulsion system. Its range was 50 nmi (93 km; 58 mi) at 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph).

The only earlier attempt to use a chemical reaction based air-independent propulsion system was in the Spanish submarine the Ictineo II.

This midget submarine led to the design of the German Type XVII submarine.

HA. 19 (Japanese Midget Submarine)

The HA. 19 (also known as Japanese Midget Submarine "C" by the US Navy) is a historic Imperial Japanese Navy Type A Kō-hyōteki-class midget submarine that was part of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. This submarine was ordered to enter Pearl Harbor then attack the American warships with its torpedoes and then be scuttled with explosives next to a warship. However, she did not enter the harbor, and was grounded and captured. The submarine was eventually put on display near the submarine squadron at Naval Station Key West, Florida, then moved to the nearby Key West Lighthouse and Military Museum. HA. 19 is now displayed at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Hai (midget submarine)

The Hai (shark) was an advanced model of the Marder-class midget submarines created in Nazi Germany during World War II and operated by the K-Verband. Its prototype performed poorly during test runs and therefore no other boats were produced.

The Hai was eleven meters long and its length allowed for larger batteries, giving it the maximum speed of twenty knots under water. In addition, the Hai could remain under water for up to two hours.

Hecht (submarine)

The Hecht (German: "Pike"), also known as Type XXVIIA, was a two-man all-electric German midget submarine created during World War II.

Indian Navy Swimmer Delivery Vehicle

The Indian Navy Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV) is a planned class of midget submarine for the Indian navy. Under this programme the Indian Navy will acquire 2 midget submarines for use as Swimmer Delivery Vehicles. These submarines will be used for conducting underwater special operations by MARCOS. Both submarines will be constructed by Hindustan Shipyard Limited. The cost of procuring the two SDVs will be around ₹2,000 crore.

List of submarines of World War II

This is a list of submarines of the Second World War.

Germany used submarines to devastating effect in the Battle of the Atlantic, where it attempted to cut Britain's supply routes by sinking more merchant ships than Britain could replace. While U-boats destroyed a significant number of ships, the strategy ultimately failed. Although U-boats had been updated in the interwar years, the major innovation was improved communications and encryption; allowing for mass-attack naval tactics. By the end of the war, almost 3,000 Allied ships (175 warships, 2,825 merchantmen) had been sunk by U-boats.The Imperial Japanese Navy operated the most varied fleet of submarines of any navy, including Kaiten crewed torpedoes, midget submarines (Type A Ko-hyoteki and Kairyu classes), medium-range submarines, purpose-built supply submarines and long-range fleet submarines. They also had submarines with the highest submerged speeds (I-201-class submarines) and submarines that could carry multiple aircraft (I-400-class submarines). They were also equipped with one of the most advanced torpedoes of the conflict, the oxygen-propelled Type 95.

The submarine force was the most effective anti-ship weapon in the US Navy arsenal. While only about 2 percent of the U.S. naval force they destroyed over 30 percent of the Japanese Navy, and over 60 percent of the Japanese merchant fleet, The Royal Navy Submarine Service was used primarily to blockade trade and military supply routes to Africa and the Near and Far East, but also obtained the only mutually submerged submarine to submarine combat kill. This occurred when the crew of HMS Venturer engaged the U864 manually computed a successful firing solution against a three-dimensional moving target using techniques which became the basis of modern torpedo computer targeting systems.Submarines show submerged displacement. Click on headers to sort column alphabetically.

M24 Japanese Midget Submarine wreck site

M24 Japanese Midget Submarine wreck site is a heritage-listed former midget submarine and now archaeological site located in unincorporated waters off Sydney's Northern Beaches in New South Wales, Australia. The Ko-hyoteki-class midget submarine (also known as a Type A midget submarine) was designed by the Japanese Imperial Navy and built from 1941 to 1942 by Kure Naval Yard or Ourazaki Naval Yard. The site was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 7 December 2007.The wreck site is located 55 metres (180 ft) below sea level and approximately 5 kilometres (2.7 nmi; 3.1 mi) from Bungan Head.

Marder (submarine)

The Marder was a German miniature submarine developed from the Neger. The craft was 8.3 metres (27 ft 3 in) long and unlike the Neger included a flooding tank in the nose allowing it to dive. Another improvement was the dome through which the pilot viewed the outside world that also served as the craft's entrance and exit was made openable from the inside. Maximum diving depth was about 25 metres (82 ft).The submarine's first operations took place on the night of 2 August 1944, when Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine's Small Battle Units made their largest effort of the war. 58 human torpedoes of the Neger-type and 22 Linse vessels were launched against Allied shipping off Normandy as part of a combined operation with Negers and explosive Linse boats. One Royal Navy destroyer escort, HMS Quorn was sunk by a human torpedo along with one minesweeper, HMS Gairsay, and one landing craft by the German motor boats; at a cost of 41 Neger and 22 Linsen craft.


Midget (from midge, a sand fly) is a term for a person of unusually short stature that is considered by some to be pejorative. While not a medical term, it has been applied to persons of unusually short stature, often with the medical condition dwarfism, particularly proportionate dwarfism.It may also refer to anything of much smaller than normal size, as a synonym for "miniature", such as a midget cell, a midget crabapple, a midget submarine, MG's Midget, Daihatsu's Midget, and the Midget Mustang airplane; or to anything that regularly uses anything that is smaller than normal (other than a person), such as midget car racing and quarter midget racing; or a smaller version of play or participation, such as midget golf; or to anything designed for very young (i.e., small) participants—in many cases children—such as Disneyland's Midget Autopia, Midget hockey, and Midget football.

SS X-1

X-1 (or SS X-1) was the United States Navy's only midget submarine (but see the NR-1 Deep Submergence Craft), laid down on 8 June 1954, at Deer Park, Long Island, New York, by the Engine Division of Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation, launched on 7 September 1955, at Oyster Bay, Long Island, by Jakobson Shipyard; delivered to the Navy on 6 October at New London, Connecticut, and placed in service on 7 October 1955, with Lieutenant Kevin Hanlon in command.


Seeteufel (Sea Devil, also known as the Elefant (Elephant)) was a two-man amphibious midget submarine, developed by Nazi Germany during World War II. Only one prototype was built in 1944, although its testing was relatively successful and negotiations began for another series of three to test the necessary changes before beginning series production in 1945. These plans were cancelled at the beginning of that year when the decision was made to concentrate production on designs already being built.

Type A Kō-hyōteki-class submarine

The Type A Ko-hyoteki (甲標的甲型, Kō-hyōteki kō-gata, Target 'A', Type 'A') class was a class of Japanese midget submarines (Ko-hyoteki) used during World War II. They had hull numbers but no names. For simplicity, they are most often referred to by the hull number of the mother submarine. Thus, the midget carried by I-16-class submarine was known as I-16's boat, or "I-16tou."

This class was followed by: Type B (甲標的乙型, Kō-hyōteki otsu-gata), Type C (甲標的丙型, Kō-hyōteki hei-gata), and Type D (甲標的丁型, Kō-hyōteki tei-gata), the last one better known as Kōryū (蛟龍).

USS Rall

USS Rall (DE-304) was an Evarts-class destroyer escort of the United States Navy during World War II. She was sent off into the Pacific Ocean to protect convoys and other ships from Japanese submarines and fighter aircraft. She performed escort and anti-submarine operations in dangerous battle areas and returned home with three battle stars.

She was laid down on 24 May 1943; launched on 23 September by Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California; sponsored by Mrs. R. R. Rall, widow of Lieutenant (junior grade) Rall; and commissioned on 8 April 1944, Lt. Comdr. C. B. Taylor in command.

West Loch disaster

The West Loch Disaster was a maritime accident during World War II at the Pearl Harbor U.S. Naval Base in Hawaii. The incident, which occurred just after 1500 hrs. on Sunday 21 May 1944, began following an explosion in a staging area for Landing Ships, Tank (LSTs) and other amphibious assault ships in West Loch. A fire quickly spread among the ships being prepared for Operation Forager, the invasion of the Japanese-held Mariana Islands. Over the next 24 hours, six LSTs sank, 163 naval personnel died and 396 were injured.

A subsequent Naval Board of Inquiry never determined the exact cause of the disaster but concluded that the initial explosion was caused when a mortar round aboard LST-353 detonated during an unloading operation because it was either dropped or went off when gasoline vapors ignited. The incident – together with the Port Chicago disaster two months later – led to major changes in weapon handling practices within the United States Navy.

The LST wreckage was quickly cleared in a salvage operation and dumped at sea 3 mi (2.6 nmi; 4.8 km) south of Hawaii. Only the hull of the partially beached LST-480 was left in West Loch. A press blackout was enforced and naval personnel were ordered not to talk about the incident. The disaster was classified until 1960 and is therefore not well known.

During the salvage and removal of the wrecks from West Loch, the U.S. Navy found remains of a Japanese midget submarine. Researchers now believe this to be the fifth Japanese midget submarine used in the attack in December 1941.

X-class submarine

The X class was a World War II midget submarine class built for the Royal Navy during 1943–44. It was substantially larger than the original Chariot manned torpedo.

Known individually as X-Craft, the vessels were designed to be towed to their intended area of operations by a full-size 'mother' submarine - (usually one of the T class or S class) - with a passage crew on board, the operational crew being transferred from the towing submarine to the X-Craft by dinghy when the operational area was reached, the passage crew returning with the dinghy to the towing submarine. Once the attack was over, the X-Craft would rendezvous with the towing submarine and then be towed home.

Range was limited primarily by the endurance and determination of their crews, but was thought to be up to 14 days in the craft or 1,200 miles (1931 km) distance after suitable training. Actual range of the X-Craft itself was 600 nmi (1,100 km) surfaced and 80 nmi (150 km) at 2 knots (3.7 km/h) submerged.

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