After the collapse of Nazi Germany Soviet army and engineers obtained many different samples of captured military and special equipment. One of them was a midget submarine Seehund which was especially interesting for the USSR, the country that had only had “underwater infantry” – soldiers dressed in immersion suits and walking over a seabed. When the war was over such special forces were disbanded for being useless.
Only in the 50s it was decided to recreate the special forces of naval reconnaissance and provide them with submarines of special construction that would let them reach the attack zone secretly and fast and deliver necessary loads there.
German midget Seehund subs were thoroughly examined by Soviet engineers who subsequently designed an adapted sub that passed all tests successfully.
Late 50s, “Sirena” – a two-seat vehicle for divers’ transportation.
The main project of the midget Soviet submarine, frogmen transporting vehicle – “Triton-2”.
A two-seat vehicle of “Triton-1M” type. The project was fully developed in 1969.
“Triton-1M” is a wet type midget sub intended for transportation of frogmen. It does not have a strong hull for a crew.
The hull is made from alumunium-magnesium alloy, instead of a motor it applies a propeller powered by a 3,4KW propulsion motor.
Delivery of the midget sub can be fulfilled by surface vessels of any displacement and by means of submarines. Besides it can be transported by any means of transportation – railway, automobile and even air ones.
The sub could be launched with an ordinary crane with lifting capacity of at least two tons. “Triton-1M” had been widely used until the late 80s when they mostly were discarded, some of them – sent to museums.
Several midget subs “Triton-1M” are still being used by the Northern Fleet of Russia. However being created so long ago they do not satisfy modern needs, so a new modernized variant of a midget sub was created and kept this designation – “Triton-1M”.
Almost all major components have undergone the modernization – propeller and steering systems, navigational and hydroacoustic equipment.
The modernized midget sub “Triton-1M” is still intended for two crew members and has a cruising capacity of six hours, speed of up to six knots. Its submersion depth is about 40 meters.
The modernized Triton looks smoother and can move at higher speed at decreased power consumption.
Every diver had his own individual weapons that were packed into special sacks, those sacks were sealed ashore and put under the seats in a sub. They took the sacks with them each time they left “Triton”.
Midget sub surfacing was executed by means of high-pressure air stored in special solid cylinders. That system was nonvolatile: it was enough to open a valve and fill a tank with air.
And these are 80 Japanese midget subs of D type – “Koryu”, October 19th, 1945.