|This page is about the German anti-air ferry SF40 Heavy. For the 20 mm version, see SF40 Light.|
The Siebelfähre 40 Heavy is a rank III German anti-air ferry with a battle rating of 2.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.79 "Project X" in the fleet closed beta test.
Survivability and armour
The SF40 Heavy has the following armour layout:
- 2 cm/65 C/38 automatic cannon gunshields: 8 mm, hardened armour
- 8.8 cm Flak.36 cannon gunshield: 8 mm, antifragmentation armour
- Deckhouse: 10 mm, rolled homogeneous armour
- Hull: 8 mm, steel
- Superstructure: 20 mm, steel
The SF40 Heavy's armour is basically the same as SF40 Leichte with changes around guns. It lacks armoured turret platforms, so guns taken out with HE shells might occur more often. Besides armour, the SF40 Heavy can be a tough opponent to sink since most HE shots will hit the deck with no damage to the hull. Also, the rather high crew complement of 47 (5 more than Leichte) makes it harder to incapacitate by killing crew, though this is still the easiest way to take out this barge. Clever captains will try to angle the ship to allow aiming 3 guns on enemy targets, but this also makes the opposing ship able to hit only one of the four ammo storages. Even though this storage is high above the waterline, hitting it doesn't happen often, since the bridge in the center is a way easier target to aim at.
The SF40 Heavy's top speed is terrible. At 28 km/h (Arcade) / 22 km/h (Realistic) when fully upgraded, it might take several minutes for it to reach its destination. Always watch out for enemy PT boats and their torpedoes, as they are the greatest threat to the SF40 Heavy's survival.
Modifications and economy
The 8.8 cm FlaK guns mounted on the SF40 Heavy have a good reload rate, accuracy, and muzzle velocity, thus making it easy to aim and control. The access to distance-fuse high-explosive shells and an elevation up to 85° degrees is very effective against big attackers and bombers flying high and slow. The reload rate also makes the SF40 a really dangerous opponent. However, these guns can be quite clunky against fast PT boats due to their relatively slow traverse speed.
The 20 mm multipurpose cannons with a fire rate of 480 rounds/min is very effective against small boats and lightly armoured ships as well as planes in close combat, thus making the SF 40 also effective against light and fast naval and air targets.
Usage in battles
Describe the technique of using this ship, the characteristics of her use in a team and tips on strategy. Abstain from writing an entire guide – don't try to provide a single point of view, but give the reader food for thought. Talk about the most dangerous opponents for this vehicle and provide recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of playing with this vehicle in various modes (AB, RB, SB).
Pros and cons
- Powerful 88 mm guns can destroy a target with just 1 or 2 hits
- Can take quite a few hits
- Velocity and flat trajectory of shells makes it suitable to hang back and snipe enemies from >2 km
- Not very fast or manoeuvrable
- Large target
- Lacks an AP shell for dealing with armoured targets.
- The 37 mm fast firing flak on the SF40 Leichte is replaced by two single 20 mm mounts
- Hard to get all 4 cannons on target
- Easy to torpedo or dive bomb due to its size and sluggishness
- Lacks a VT-fuze shell, only has timed and impact fuses
The Siebelfähre was designed by Friedrich Siebel, owner of a lesser-known German aircraft manufacturing company bearing his name. Siebel's idea was to provide the German army with a much needed easily mass-produced and effective transport vessel for the planned invasion of Britain.
His ferry would be a construction utilising parts of Bailey bridges and pontoons, which would make up the two barges connected in a catamaran style by a wooden deck. The vessel was supposed to be powered by aircraft engines and could easily be disassembled and reassembled thanks to its modular construction, allowing for the boat to also be transported by land.
The idea was met with great enthusiasm from the German military, and an order for 400 units of this ferrycraft soon followed. The order encompassed more than just one version of the vessel, however. For instance, some versions were specialised to perform anti-air duties and were meant to cover the landing troops from air attacks. These were equipped with light 20 mm and 37 mm AA guns up to the heavy FlaK 88 mm cannon, depending on the version.
However, before all 400 vessels could be made, the Invasion of Britain was cancelled, and thus the need for the Siebelfähre also disappeared below the waves. Nonetheless, around 200 of these vessels were still made before the order was cancelled and a majority of them found use in transport and mine-laying operations in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The Siebelfähre saw use right up to the end of the war, and some vessels continued serving well into the 1960s as civilian ferries.
- From Devblog
|Anti-air ferries||SF40 Light · SF40 Heavy|
|Naval ferry barges||AF D1 · AF D3|