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Old 06-16-2022, 03:16 PM   #1
Bubblehead1980
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Default U Boat Dive Plane and Rudder controls

So I've noticed in movies, SH 3 and SH 4 as well was pictures...U Boat's did not have "wheels" for the helm and dive planes like US fleetboats.


U Boats have "stations" with "pump" like buttons on the right and left...obviously for helm it turns rudders right or left..dive planes up and or down. These were no doubt hydraulically controlled.

I assume they had manual power as well in case of damage/failure, or when running silent, as US subs turned the power to these controls off when running silent.


I have noticed small wheels attached to dive plane controls, but these look more like something to hold on to than wheels. I have noticed no such thing on the helm/rudder controls.


Just looking for clarification .
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Old 06-16-2022, 03:58 PM   #2
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The main controls for the rudders and dive planes were electric, steered by push buttons as seen in the movie, as you note. The wheels around the two dive plane stations were for emergency manual control. There was a small lever behind the push buttons that could be flipped to disengage the electric drive and allow the wheel to be turned.

The rudder control boxes (2, main one in tower interior and backup one in control room) had just the buttons with no associated wheel around it. The emergency helm station was a wheel, located in the e-motor room on a VII and in the aft torpedo room of a IX.

At 12:00 here you see the interaction of the chief engineer and one of the planesmen when the dive planes jam, he tells him to switch to manual and you can see him operating the controls to switch over.

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Old 06-16-2022, 05:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by derstosstrupp View Post
The main controls for the rudders and dive planes were electric, steered by push buttons as seen in the movie, as you note. The wheels around the two dive plane stations were for emergency manual control. There was a small lever behind the push buttons that could be flipped to disengage the electric drive and allow the wheel to be turned.

The rudder control boxes (2, main one in tower interior and backup one in control room) had just the buttons with no associated wheel around it. The emergency helm station was a wheel, located in the e-motor room on a VII and in the aft torpedo room of a IX.

At 12:00 here you see the interaction of the chief engineer and one of the planesmen when the dive planes jam, he tells him to switch to manual and you can see him operating the controls to switch over.


Interesting. Thanks for sharing the info and video.


I am using a Type VIIB currently. I noticed another control box on the bridge. Is this accurate or a liberty taken in the sim?
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Old 06-16-2022, 05:34 PM   #4
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When the crew went to maneuvering stations, which would be entering/leaving port, they would remove the control box from the tower interior and bring it up to the bridge and mount it. It wasn’t permanently mounted up there.
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Old 06-16-2022, 05:56 PM   #5
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When the crew went to maneuvering stations, which would be entering/leaving port, they would remove the control box from the tower interior and bring it up to the bridge and mount it. It wasn’t permanently mounted up there.


Interesting. Did they switch to manual power when under silent running conditions or since it was electric not hydraulic, quiet enough to run on normal power?
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Old 06-16-2022, 06:26 PM   #6
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Interesting. Did they switch to manual power when under silent running conditions or since it was electric not hydraulic, quiet enough to run on normal power?
The electric motors for the controls were practically inaudible.
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Old 06-16-2022, 07:32 PM   #7
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The electric motors for the controls were practically inaudible.

Thought so.
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