Outpost boat

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Fish steamer Nuremberg converted to an outpost boat , 1914
Outpost boat or auxiliary minesweeper SEESTERN. Time and place of recording unknown. Sank on the Hornsriff mine barrier off Heligoland in February 1918.

Outpost boats are small warships that are used for reconnaissance and security in the coastal apron.


The security service in the coastal apron includes escorting merchant ships and warships against air strikes, submarines and light naval forces such as speedboats . In addition, outpost boats can be used in mine warfare and search for mines, lay mines, guard their own minefields and guide other ships through cleared channels in minefields.

Ship types

HMS Lady Shirley , a British ASW trawler in World War II

For these tasks considerably more vehicles are needed in times of war than can be actively maintained in peacetime. That is why most outpost boats are vehicles that are withdrawn from the merchant or fishing fleet in the event of war or that are designed for later peacekeeping operations in these areas.

Outpost boats are usually very seaworthy constructions with high sea endurance, as they have to do their job even in bad weather conditions when light warships such as. B. Speedboats can no longer be used. In the two world wars, all kinds of available vehicles that appeared suitable were used as outpost boats, e.g. B. fishing trawlers and fishing steamer.

In Germany, the so-called war fish cutter was developed, which should have a special suitability as an outpost boat in times of war, but should also be used again as intended in times of peace. The Royal Navy trawlers , which were configured as ASW trawlers , minesweepers or patrol boats, corresponded to this. After the war, many of them found civilian uses.

The German Navy was planning during the Cold War, the establishment of several outposts squadron in the defense case.


The armament of the outpost boats is limited by the size of the vehicles. Depending on the focus of the task, light and medium caliber artillery weapons can be carried against aircraft and sea targets, anti-submarine weapons, mines or anti-mine equipment. In addition, there are light weapons for self-protection, such as machine guns .

German outpost boats in the First World War

Outpost boat stranded on Borkumriff in 1918

When the First World War broke out , the Imperial Navy had no experience with the use of fish steamers for outpost service or to fight mines. During the war, 34 new construction orders for VP boats were taken on by the naval shipyards themselves and 145 were outsourced, including six ships with 250 GRT to the shipyard and machine factory Hansa in Tönning . From August 1915, a few VP boats were equipped with one or two torpedo tubes for fighting submarines . All VP boat newbuildings were fish steamers of the type that were modified for use in the navy. The storage space for fish was used for crew quarters and ammunition chambers and gun sub-structures were installed. The Nuremberg pictured above is typical for the appearance of these outpost boats .

See also


  • Friedrich Ruge : In the coastal apron. In: Defense science reports. No. 15, published by the Working Group for Defense Research , 2nd improved edition, Munich 1977, ISBN 3-7637-5160-2 .
  • Erich Gröner u. a .: The German warships 1815–1945. Volume 8/1: River vehicles, Ujäger, outpost boats, auxiliary minesweepers, coastal protection associations. Munich 1993, p. 160.
  • Loss list of outpost and escort boats. Set up by stud. phil. KG Klietmann, Berlin. In: Fritz-Otto Busch / Georg Günther Freiherr von Forstner (eds.): War on seven oceans ( Our Navy in World War I , Vol. 2), Berlin 1935, pp. 147–149.
  • Josef Gräser: North Sea patrol. When we drove against England ... Stuttgart (Franckh'sche Verlagshandlung) 1940. (Roman)

Individual evidence

  1. ASW trawler at uboat.net
  2. Example of a career from a British submarine to a German wine tanker

Web links

Wiktionary: outpost boat  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Outpost boat  album with pictures, videos and audio files
  • Jürgen Rohwer, Gerhard Hümmelchen: Overview of the events about outpost messengers in chronicle of the naval war of the wlb.stuttgart


  1. ^ ASW: Anti Submarine Warfare: Submarine Hunt