Vallejo in Solano County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
German Marder and Torpedo
This German Marder ("Pine Marten") and torpedo was captured during World War II and donated to Mare Island in 1947. Developed and used sparingly by the German Navy, they were used in the English Channel and Mediterranean. They were not considered successful; 80 percent of them were sunk.
The top section of this semi-suicide device was used to escape from the target area after the torpedo carried beneath was released by the operator who sat in the hooded cockpit.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, World II • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1947.
Location. 38° 5.874′ N, 122° 16.267′ W. Marker is in Vallejo, California, in Solano County. Marker is on 8th Street west of Railroad Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Vallejo CA 94592, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. H.B.M. Centurian Anchor (within shouting distance of this marker); Fourth Marine Division Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); 24 Pounder from the USS Independence (within shouting distance of this marker); USS Hartford 10 Inch Dahlgren Smooth Bore CannonA Large Carved Eagle (Wood) (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Peter's Chapel (approx. ¼ mile away); Mansion Gallery (approx. 0.6 miles away); Vallejo As State Capital (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vallejo.
More about this marker. The marker is found mounted to the middle of the Marder and Torpedo, which are at the back of the small park in Farragut Plaza on Mare Island, and are easy to spot.
Regarding German Marder and Torpedo. The Newport News Mariners Museum blog entry:
"The Marder was known as one of the German’s midget submarines, and was an advanced design of the previous Neger design. The Neger design was unable to fully submerge, and therefore could only remain on the surface, making it extremely difficult for the operator to escape once firing the torpedo. The Marder is 26 feet long by 20 inches wide, and broken into three different sections.... The operator sat towards the bow of the submarine, under a plexi-glass dome that was fitted to the entry hatch. This dome allowed for better visibility and accuracy of the operator when firing. There was also a compass attached to the inside of the dome, so to provide addition navigational assistance to the operator....The Marder’s torpedo, which was typically a G7E, was attached to the bottom of the submarine. After firing the torpedo, the operator would then attempt to return to safety, either by rendezvousing with a larger ship that could lift it aboard or by returning to a designated meeting spot..."
Also see . . . German Human Torpedoes of WW2. YouTube video:
3-minute video excerpt showing the German mini-subs, taken from the October 1945 film German and Italian Sneak Craft that was put out by the O.S.S. Field Photographic Branch for the Bureau of Aeronautics. (Submitted on December 12, 2015.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 11, 2015, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 285 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 12, 2015, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.