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The Hunted: Twilight of the U-Boats, 1943-45» Forums » General

Subject: German Radar rss

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Thomas Tribelnig
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Hi everyone!

Will we see some sort of radar on the german subs for The Hunted or Hunters 3rd print?

Like the U.S in Silent Victory the germans had some sort Active Radar like the FuMo 29/Gema in 1941 or later the FuMo 61 Hohentwiel U in 1944.

I would like see some sort of it in both games since I enjoyed hunters and silent viktory very much and think that they are both great games.

Thanks for replies
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Jim Rose
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Greg is awesome at his research and putting these games together, so I'm sure if it existed, it'll be covered. If you go to the GMT website, you can view a png image of the TypeVIII41 and it lists several types of defense: Bold, Schnorkel, FuMB-7 and Alberich.

I have The Hunters, Silent Victory and The Hunted is on pre-order. All great games!

ps: Not sure how much Avatars cost in geek gold, but here's 35 as a start.

See you in the North Atlantic!!
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Thomas Tribelnig
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Thanks for the warm welcome and quick reply.

I know that Greg is a great Creator and Researcher and i know that he has everything covert in his games.

But I think he concentrated the Hunted as a defense Game and a active Radar like the SJ Radar from Silent victory doesnt fit with the playstyle of the Hunted.

I would really like to see them tho.

Halte Fühlung am Geleitzug HX
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James Moore
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Historically, the German skippers did not use their radars much. They feared that the emissions would give away their position. Plus their radars had very limited range (about 4 miles). The earliest version was forward-facing only, and in order to get a 360 degree sweep, the boat had to sail in a complete circle.
The German Navy's radar development lagged far behind that of the Allies.
A good air search radar would probably have saved a lot of boats from being surprised by attacking aircraft, but unfortunately for the Germans, one did not exist..


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Thomas Tribelnig
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Thanks for the Info.

Yeah the Skippers didn't used them much. The first version was the FuMo 29 Gema only installed on three IX C Boots only usable on their conning towers as you mentioned it. After that period they used the FuMo 30 on the subs with a pathetic range, I have always thought they would use it in foogy weathers with bad vision. Only in Mar 1944 they had the FuMo 61 Hohentwiel u with 8-10 kilometres but at that time the Naxos had a far better range at detecting enemy Radar. Correct me if i am wrong, I only have access to a handful sourcebooks in German. whistle

I have now read all the updates on the Hunted rulebook and it is a very solid game. Greg and his team is awesome, and it makes sense that active Radar didn't make it in the final game. Should have read it first before posting....

sry for my bad english writing. I am just a U-Boot freak who loves to see U-Boots and their Techs in action.

I am a bit sad tho that the "Schnelltauchback" (Quick Diving upper Deck)
as upgrade for IX U-Boot didn't make it in the final game.
And four Diesel engines for the IX D2.

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James Moore
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Yes, the Naxos had a far greater range for detecting enemy radars than a FuMo could pick up an actual incoming ship. The biggest problem was that thanks to Ultra decrypts or Huff-Duff intercepts the U-boat's position was very often already known.
And experienced radar operators learned to attenuate their signal the closer they got to the U-boat, so the Naxos operator would think the aircraft was getting further away instead of closer.
As for equipment that didn't make it into the game, you can always house rule stuff like that. Find out when (and which) Type IXs received the Schnelltauchback, and roll for whether or not your boat gets the mod.
Then make up a table that improves your die roll for successfully diving the boat to avoid an air attack.
Historically however, the Schnelltauchback was found to decrease dive times by only a couple of seconds, which is why it did not make it into the game.
That being said, a couple of seconds could have been the difference between living and dying. You could maybe come up with a chart that gives you a possible chance of improving your dive time.
As for the Type IXD2, simply add two engine boxes onto your Type IXD playmat, and there you go..






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Estonia
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Hi!

Some information with sources for the NAXOS vs Hohentwiel debate...


From the uboataces site about Naxos:

"The Naxos was a reliable unit, and later versions were even capable of indicating the direction of approaching aircraft, but the short detection range of 5,000 meters meant that U-boats had only one minute’s warning."


From BdU's Current Order No. 42 of Feb. 1944, about the use of the FUMO for warning of aircraft:

"Our own radio-location apparatus is an important and reliable means of alarm for the approach of aircraft, especially in case of defect in the Radar interception gear or if there is suspicion of a new type of locating gear used by the enemy and which cannot be intercepted."
/.../
"Experiments with the "Hohentwiel" set and reports from boats prove that aircraft at medium or great heights can be measured very accurately from 20-30 kms. distance."
/.../
"FUMB as a means of warning of aircraft has the disadvantage that it is dependent upon the locating activity of the enemy. With FUMO on the other hand, an aircraft is intercepted in good time, regardless of whether the aircraft itself is using radio locating gear or the type of gear being used. Doubts frequently expressed whether location of boats can be established by enemy aircraft with Radar interception gear, are unjustified.

a) Interception device on enemy aircraft is indeed possible, at present however, improbable and in no case proved.
b) Interception device is of no advantage to enemy aircraft, since it can intercept the boat at the same range with the newest locating devices, and in addition can measure the actual distance. Thus the enemy has no need of observation. Only naval forces if equipped with interception gear can perhaps establish a boats position sooner than by using an actual radio-locating set.
c) It is less important, when under way that the boat is located by the enemy than that it is warned of aircraft and not attacked by surprise."
/.../


From the "U 73" Interrogation of Survivors report (by Admiralty's Naval Intelligence Division; February, 1944), from the section about Hohentwiel:

"In trials carried out in the Baltic, an E-Boat was detected at 12 km. (7.4 miles), a 4,000-ton ship at 20 km. (12.4 miles) and a large squadron of aircraft at 150 km. (93.2 miles). (N.I.D. Note. These ranges are larger than would be expected.)"
 
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James Moore
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But how many boats actually used their radars while on patrol? From what I've read most captains feared the radar emissions would give them away and did not use them, despite what it may say in an official regulation.
And from the large numbers of U-boats surprised and sunk by aircraft in 1944-45, it would seem that they were not in fact using their radars or far fewer would have been lost to air attack..




 
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Estonia
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capn_tucker wrote:
But how many boats actually used their radars while on patrol? From what I've read most captains feared the radar emissions would give them away and did not use them, despite what it may say in an official regulation.
And from the large numbers of U-boats surprised and sunk by aircraft in 1944-45, it would seem that they were not in fact using their radars or far fewer would have been lost to air attack..

Good point, loss rate is a convincing argument. A lot of info compressed into one figure, one ruthless bottom line.

On the other hand, it reflects how things historically turned out. Large number of captains chose not to use radar (in the 2nd half of the war). At least since Q2 1944 it appeared to be their decision. But some did use and did it with a success.

One internet source says... "In March 1944 the reluctance of the commanders [to use radar] was suppressed to some degree. There were more and more reports of successful usage of radar. By means of radar the aircraft were detected so early that they could be evaded before they could attack. The radar was used to shadow vessels, to control anti-aircraft fire, and to conduct torpedo attacks (accurate distance measurement). Hohentwiel radar was also used as a navigation aid during bad weather."
(Source adds though... "It seems, that when U-Boats were forced to stay permanently submerged, radar was on the decline - there were less and less occasions for successful usage.")

Herbert Werner describes the use of his new radar (February 1945) in his semi-autobiographical Iron Coffins' chapter 27.

On the 'third hand', talking about the game, there's understandably a trade-off.
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James Moore
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Good information! I had not seen that particular source before. Indeed, logically they should have used more often something that could have helped them.
My theory is that a lot of captains, unaware of Ultra and Huff Duff, suspected that many of the losses were happening because of compromising emissions being given off by the boats. For example, when they learned that enemy planes were homing in on Metox, they may have assumed that their radars were having the same effect.
Unfortunately for them the "compromising emission" was their radios.
I read Iron Coffins many years ago when I was a kid, and don't remember a lot of it. I may have to revisit that book..

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Chick Lewis
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DEFINITELY worth a re-read !!
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Estonia
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And curiously enough, low overall operational effectiveness of a U-boat radar (because of common hesitation to use them due to a fear of Allied search receivers) probably postponed wider implementation of Allied counter-measures against it, leaving U-boat radar a helpful device for those few commanders who dared to use it.
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Thomas Tribelnig
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Thanks for all the good Information.

I really learned something from radar use in the later stages of the War.
Good thing to know that I was right about the effency of the Hohentwiel even when it doesn't fit in The Hunted, its nice to know that it was used with some sucess from few Skippers in real Life.

I also ordert a used copy from iron coffins(german version)

Would you suggest some optinal Rules for the use of the German Radar?

Or? Do you think that it will find a way in The Hunted in a second Print version?

Ps: Happy New Year to everyone.
 
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James Moore
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Magtheridon wrote:
Thanks for all the good Information.

I really learned something from radar use in the later stages of the War.
Good thing to know that I was right about the effency of the Hohentwiel even when it doesn't fit in The Hunted, its nice to know that it was used with some sucess from few Skippers in real Life.

I also ordert a used copy from iron coffins(german version)

Would you suggest some optinal Rules for the use of the German Radar?

Or? Do you think that it will find a way in The Hunted in a second Print version?

Ps: Happy New Year to everyone.


If you want radar in your game, there is nothing preventing you from house ruling it. The easiest way to implement it IMO, would be to add an additional positive dice modifier for the roll to determine whether you have successfully dived in time to avoid an air attack.
Make it available only from March 1944, and even then you have to make a successful die roll to see if it gets fitted to your boat during construction or refit, i.e. only on a 5 or 6 does it get fitted.
If your kommandant is high ranking, he may be able to modify that die roll.
The radar could also influence the die roll to locate convoys.
I'm thinking rules from Silent Victory could be adapted to work in the Hunted.
As for radar making it into official rules, that would be up to Greg.
I might come up with something to post in the file section..

 
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Estonia
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Magtheridon wrote:
Thanks for all the good Information.

I really learned something from radar use in the later stages of the War.
Good thing to know that I was right about the effency of the Hohentwiel even when it doesn't fit in The Hunted, its nice to know that it was used with some sucess from few Skippers in real Life.

I also ordert a used copy from iron coffins(german version)

Would you suggest some optinal Rules for the use of the German Radar?

Or? Do you think that it will find a way in The Hunted in a second Print version?

Ps: Happy New Year to everyone.

Thanks for bringing the subject up.

I agree that these forums can be educational and can stimulate finding things out.

Having reskimmed some books and internet sources, the U-Boat radar remains still a modest mystery. Predominately it isn't mentioned at all; or it gets mentioned as being insignificant; or is described briefly via its technical details. Data about Hohentwiel's detecting ranges varies somewhat by source (even across similar detectable object types).

Most importantly for us, there's hardly anything about U-Boat radar's effectiveness, facts to lean on. The best solid evidence I managed to find (beside secondary sources) was the event from U-806's war diary which stated that they detected aircraft with Hohentwiel at 15000 meters and that, later, it passed out of sight at 25000 meters. Available war diaries could be the most promising source.

Concerning the game, I can't say much. Although Greg, the author, has been very kindly open to ideas, I doubt he will change the game between prints. As an optional rule, if justified and elegant, I believe he could include that.

(The issue could be that even tiny details may shake the balance. And if the detail doesn't have an effect, it may just unnecessarily complicate the game -- clutter maps and rules. Plus the lack of historical data makes it difficult to estimate how big the effect(s) should be and on what. We can think that if Greg and his team chose to ignore radar, he must have had a reason. It can be a matter of taste.)

The main challenge with (the optional rule of) the U-Boat radar is, I think, how to tie it with some decision(s) and involve it in some trade-off. Otherwise it will be just another automate bonus which you'll acquire from some point. But in real life people where chronically in doubt whether they should use the device.

Happy New Year!
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James Moore
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Yeah, there would have to be some kind of trade-off, like if you use FuMo 61's die modifier, then you can't use Naxos or some such. Too many positive modifiers and you'd be able to just sail right through the late war period without a care. Which would definitely be ahistorical.
And since there is more evidence that the boats did not use their radars very much, it's probably better to go with the existing game rules.
That being said, it still might be fun to come up with some radar rules, and take a boat through the last year of the war to see what happens..

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