Cruel Seas: Drache helicopter carrier
The Drache started as a seaplane tender built in Hamburg for the Royal Yugoslavian Navy in 1928. She was converted into a minelayer in 1937. Captured by the Germans in 1941, the Kriegsmarine renamed her the Drache (dragon) and converted her back to a Flugzeugbergungsschiff – an aircraft rescue ship. Drache underwent a refit back to being a minelayer in the spring or summer of 1942 and was moved to the Aegean. She was re-equipped with two 105 mm (4.1") guns, five 37 mm and six 20 mm cannons. A rear platform was added with space for 240 mines on four rails. The Kriegsmarine renamed her Schiff, but she is better known as Drache so the name is retained here. The large flat rear deck made her suitable to test the concept of a helicopter carrier – the world’s first – using a Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri (Hummingbird) as a spotter aircraft.
The Kolibri was the world’s first naval helicopter. It was unarmed but the Kriegsmarine intended to use it for submarine spotting. It could also be used for artillery spotting and reconnaissance.
Pack contains 1 resin & metal vessel and game cards. The full rules for fielding Drache (and helicopter) in Cruel Seas can be found in the Close Quarters supplement (Page 59).
Models supplied unassembled and unpainted