Project 15 "Krake" Mine Layer and Sweeper, Berlin (3001) - Mine Killing Kraken

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Project 15 “Krake” Mine Layer and Sweeper, Berlin (3001)


Coastal vessel, East German minelayer covered with powerful autocannons

As part of the 2nd East German 5 Year Plan, The Wolgast Institute of Shipbuilding was ordered to develop a modern mine warfare vessel (Minenleg- und Raumschiff or MLR-schiff, Mine laying and clearing ship). The new design was assigned the project number 15 and named “Krake” (Octopus). In 1955, the design had been completed, and 10 ships were laid down and completed on schedule in 1957-1958, at the time being the second largest ships in the Volksmarine, only smaller than the Soviet Project 50 frigates. They were armed with Soviet weaponry and systems, and were capable of both minelaying and minesweeping. In the 1960s, the ships underwent a modernization program, receiving new radar and communication equipment, and modifying the superstructure. The ships had little to do during their service, mainly participating in training and parades with the odd accident, and in 1972 most of the ships were decommissioned. They were well-liked by their crew and were considered one of the most reliable ships in the Volksmarine.

Berlin, originally known by its hull number, 3001, was the first ship of the type to be commissioned, being used as a testing ship in Wolgast, where it would spend a large amount of its service. Notably in 1961 it was used to test the Pirna 14 gas turbine engine meant to be installed on the Project 12.4M subchasers, with the engine being mounted on its deck to where it would be exposed to the harshest conditions. It underwent modernization in the 1960s, and participated in a few fleet parades and navigation exercises. When most of the ships were decommissioned in 1972, Berlin and 2 others were retained to serve as a school ship, and it would serve in that role until 1976.

Specifications: (1965)

1x1 85mm/52 90K (198 rounds, 18 in ready rack)
5x2 25mm/79 2M-3 (14 960 rounds total)
2x1 430mm BMB-2 DCL (16 - 28 B-1 Depth Charges)
18 - 84 Mines, depending on type

553t standard
741t full

Length: 66.1m

Beam: 8.4m

Draft: 2.52m

Propulsion: 2 6KVD 34A diesel engines, 2800 hp, driving 2 shafts

Speed: 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h)

Range: 2460nmi (at 14.5 knots)

Crew: 95

Zarnitsa radar
KSA 5 radar
Tamir-11 sonar
Minesweeping gear


Berlin as a training ship
View from the stern of a Project 15 ship, note the depth charges stored on the side
Project 15 ships during an exercise

Mehl, H., Sc häfer Knut, & Israel, U. (1989). MLR-Schiff BERLIN und andere »Kraken«. In Vom Küstenschutzboot Zum Raketenschiff: Schiffe und Boote der Volksmarine (pp. 47-50). Militärverlag der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik.


How did I miss this? I love ANYTHING domestically East German, so this gets an INSTANT +1!