The Siebel ferry is actually an Army landing craft, or "invasion barge," of the type that was mentioned frequently at the time when a German seaborne attack upon Great Britain appeared probable. It is discussed here because a large number of them, heavily armed and apparently under control of the German Navy, are operating in western European coastal waters to supplement port and coastal batteries. (See fig. 1.)
The Siebel ferry is conspicuous because of its hull, which
consists of a pair of steel sectional pontons, each of which is
made up of nine lightly constructed sections and one larger
stern section. There is a
Figure 1.—Sketch of Siebel ferry (based on a photograph).
The heavy type described in the next paragraph is 75 feet long and 56 feet wide, but there is no information available to show how the three known types differ as to size and construction features. (See fig. 2.)
The three known types of this vessel are as follows: The heavy (Kampffähre), the light, and the transport (Trossfähre) type. The heavy and light types are heavily armed and are notable, from the point of view of landing troops, for three features:
(1) They are fully mobile offshore and therefore are not good counterbattery targets.
(2) They cannot be plotted like normal coast defenses.
(3) They might be very effective against landing craft and assault landing troops.
The heavy type usually carries three
The armament of the light type consists of four
The transport type has only open deck space and is designed for transportation of personnel, supplies, and vehicles, and for ship-to-shore lighterage. Its armament usually consists only of one antiaircraft machine gun.
Figure 2.—Plan of Siebel ferry.