On June 8, 1960 Germany laid down her first submarine since World War Two. As with all of the U-Boats built in World War Two, this submarine had a diesel electric
drive. Built for operations in the Baltic Sea, the submarine was small and had a single hull. Twelve boats were ordered and they were designated
Type 201. They were
built on what was supposed to be antimagnetic steel in order to protect them from mines. However, after the first boats went to sea, it was discovered that the hulls
were not antimagnetic and even worse microscopic cracks had appeared in their hulls. Their manufacturer was canceled after three boats (
U-1 through U-3) were
launched and the three had short service histories before they were taken out of service. The design was slightly reworked with hulls of normal steel but the new
design, designated
Type 205, were still of a single hull design.
On August 25, 1962 U-4, the first Type 205 boat was launched. The Type 205 boats at 145.3-feet (44.3m) in length were slightly longer than the Type 201 and
displaced 49-tons surfaced and 455-tons submerged. They had eight 21-inch (533mm) torpedo tubes with a maximum surface speed of 10-knots (19kph) on the
surface and 17-knots (31kph) submerged. Eleven boats of the class were built for Germany with
U-12, the last one, entering service on January 14, 1969. Two more
were built for the Danish Navy and were named
Narhvalen and Nordkaperen. Six of the boats (U-1, U-2 and U-9 through U-12) were reconstructed to a modified
design designated
Type 205A. These had slightly increased engine power, a redesigned control room and a different rudder arrangement.
On June 7, 1969 orders were placed for a new class of German submarine designated Type 206. This class did have antimagnetic steel hulls. Eight boats were
ordered from HDW in Kiel and another ten from Noordseeworke in Emden. (
U-13 through U-30 )The Type 206 boats were larger than the Type 205 boats at
159-feet 1-inch (48.49m) with a displacement of 456-tons surfaced and 500-tons submerged. They had the same speed and armament of the
Type 205 Class. In the
early 1990s twelve of the boats were modernized and redesignated as Type 206A. Later three were sold to Indonesia and four to Columbia,
With this release NNT provides the modeler with all that is needed for a beautiful diorama. You get four modern Gernman U-Boats, two Type 205A (NNT states Type
) and two Type 206A boats, and a pier with lamp posts. All you have to provide is the sea base. The submarines are easy to distinguish by Type. The Type
is shorter with a two level sail, while the Type 206A is longer, has a three level sail and has flat platform at the bow. The hulls need light cleaning to remove
casting residue. Both Types have bollard fittings at the bow and sail, locater holes on the sail for periscopes, snorkel and antennae, and line detail. The snorkels come
on separate resin runners but the periscopes, masts and radar antennas are scratch-built from wire to the dimensions shown in the instructions..
You get two pier sections. These have vertical strakes, vertical ladder detail on the sides and twin and single bollard fittings on the top.  Other pier fittings include
resin lampposts, and wooden boarding planks. Also included are metal rods to lash the submarines together as well as to the pier.

A decal sheet provides four Bundesmarine ensigns and the sail numbers for all of the boats in both classes. Two sheets of instructions are provided with one sheet
back-printed.  Page one has the history and specifications for both classes printed in German. Page two has painting instructions for the submarines and pier in
English and German, as well as a bibliography in German. Page three is in English and has the dimensions for the periscopes, antennas and radar mast. It also has a
parts laydown and
NNT contact information.
NNT provides a lot in this small set. You get all of the parts for a diorama of four modern German diesel-electric U-Boats, with two Type 205A and two Type 206A
boats, as well as a pier. It provides a very attractive subject for enthusiasts of modern submarines.
Steve Backer