:: KRAB (1912) ::

Krab minelayer submarine (1912) High resolution picture

The Krab, built for the Russian Imperial Navy and launched in 1912, is notable for being the first minelayer submarine ever designed; however, due to delays on the construction, the German minelayer submarines of the UC class entered service earlier. Unlike these, which had the mines stored in multiple vertical tubes, the Krab carried the mines in two horizontal and long ducts, which occupied about two thirds of the hull's length. Each duct contained up to 30 mines and these were expelled through openings astern by motorized conveyors. These were prone to technical problems and hence the weak point of the system: a failure in one of them would immobilize all the mines on a duct.

Still, the Krab was able to lay numerous minefields in the Black Sea during the Great War, which caused several victims: a Turkish gunboat, a Bulgarian torpedo boat and several merchant ships. After the Revolution of 1917 she was captured by the Austro-German forces stationed in Ukraine, and after the arrival to Crimea of Anglo-French troops she was scuttled near Sevastopol to prevent her capture by the Bolsheviks. The wreck was raised in 1935 and finally scrapped, after a proposed rehabilitation project had been rejected.

Class: Krab (1 unit)

Type: Minelayer submarine

Length: 52.8 meters

Beam: 4.3 meters

Draught: 3.9 meters

Displacement (surfaced): 512 tonnes

Displacement (submerged): 740 tonnes

Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 4 x gasoline engine 300 horsepower, 2 x electric motor 200 horsepower

Speed (surfaced): 11.8 knots (21.9 kilometers/hour)

Speed (submerged): 7 knots (13 kilometers/hour)

Range (surfaced): 1700 nautical miles (3150 kilometers) at 8.5 knots

Range (submerged): 82 nautical miles (152 kilometers) at 4 knots

Test depth: 45 meters

Complement: 50

Armament: 2 x 800-millimeter mine tube, 60 x mine, 2 x 457-millimeter torpedo tube (at prow), 1 x 75-millimeter cannon (from 1916), 2 x 7.62-millimeter machine gun (from 1916)



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