The Second World War Military Operations Research Papers – The Restoration of S-130: The Last German Motor Torpedo Boat of the Second World War

The Second World War Military Operations Research Group is pleased to announce the publication of the first in its series of occasional research papers. As part of its process of active engagement these papers are available to download here on the website.

The first paper was written by Dr Harry Bennett of Plymouth University and is on the subject of ‘The Restoration of S-130: The Last German Motor Torpedo Boat of the Second World War’. Here is the abstract of the paper.

In 2009 S-130, British millionaire Kevin Wheatcroft acquired the last surviving German schnellboot of the Second World War. The historical significance of the boat was considerable. The original design dated to the late 1920s and used ground breaking engineering to produce a boat capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots. From 1940 to 1944, the schnellboote had proved a highly effective weapon against the coastal convoys on which Britain’s war economy depended. This research paper explores the developing relationship between University of Plymouth and the Wheatcroft Collection as they collaborate to preserve sole surviving schnellboote, S-130. It examines the processes involved in trying to realize this dream; the development of a relationship between the University of Plymouth and the S-130 team; the advantages to both parties, and the public, which have emerged because of a close working relationship around the rebuild. Most significantly, it has opened a door into the operational history of this weapons system that a traditional study of history may have overlooked.

This paper was delivered to the 46th Exeter Maritime History Conference at the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, University of Exeter in September 2012.

Citation: G.H. Bennett, ‘The Restoration of S-130: The Last German Motor Torpedo Boat of the Second World War’, The Second World War Military Operations Research Papers, No. 1 (2012)

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