LS 4 Esau
The Leichte-Schnellboot LS 4 Esau is a premium rank I German motor torpedo boat with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.83 "Masters of the Sea" as part of the release of the fleet into open beta test.
Survivability and armour
Survivability is taking advantage of its small size and manoeuvrability, and being extremely tactical in attack vectors. Avoid engagement as long as possible then strike fast and hard. While it can take a good deal of damage from rounds up to 40 mm, it is big guns with HE rounds found at BR 2.0 that are your greatest threat. The vulnerability in this unarmoured tub is the side, limit exposure as much as possible. Hits on the bow or stern are manageable, minimal crew loss, giving you more time to press your attack. Damage is repaired fast and dries out faster. Again, avoid exposing your side to big cannons as they are often a 1 shot fatality!
The LS 3 is an exceedingly capable boat, it can accelerate and decelerate very quickly and turn sharply. Top speed is very good, in the top 10 of fastest boats in-game (excluding hydrofoils). Those qualities will offer a distinct advantage in tiny island maps were one can quickly duck between islands and pounce on targets when they don't expect you. In open water it can do well by evasive weaving and use of smoke screens. Its turret is 360° azimuth by 90° elevation freeing you to manoeuvre any way you need for perfect attack.
- 1 x 20 mm MG 151 cannon (2x 600 rounds)
The 20 mm MG 151 can be deadly in proper hands, although surprisingly is it not as effective the the LS 3's 15 mm cannon. At range the dispersion becomes excessive and it overheats faster thus needs higher still to be successful. It has an insane fire rate of 750 rounds per minute, which means it can take small boats and aircraft in its BR in seconds. However, this cannon overheats easily, so never keep firing for too long. At range fire short half-second bursts. Like the AN/M2 MG (also a type found on aircraft), this gun has large belt capacity and long reloading time.
- 2 x 450 mm LT 1A/1 torpedoes
Usage in battles
The LS 4 is an excellent Rank I unit in-game. While it only possesses a single 20 mm cannon it is also one of the best weapons in-game mounted high on a full 360° rotation turret with a gracious 80° elevation and whopping 30° depression with no blind spots or dead zone. In short, the gun has better coverage than 2, or even 3 guns on other boats. Ammo options is API-T or HEFI-T, but not the fearsome minengeschoß shell found on aircraft. Combine its high top speed, two 450mm torpedoes, and artillery strike call it is capable of hitting well above its weight class.
Success in-game is using the MG 151 correctly. Trigger discipline is absolutely necessary as the gun can overheat very fast and ruin your sortie right there; use 1/2 second bursts unless point blank kill strike. As the MG heats up its precision falls. Up to 1/4 hot is pin point, as it gets 1/2 hot round the rounds start spreading and over that you can see rounds fly everywhere. Range wise one can hit targets at 1700m with cold barrel and do minor damage. Best is to be less than 800m were the accuracy and power rip your targets apart. While default Universal ammo is perfectly fine, consider the HE belt is 50% better (adds 2 HEFI-T) You will be paying for reloads often, so best is to always have Universal as one of your game loads and HE as other in case you forgot to restock ammo. Experiment with the AP belt as a few of your opponents may be armoured beasts. Don't expect the better results than the LS 3's MG 151/15, results are surprisingly different. Again, keep the MG cool, short bursts unless point blank.
What it lacks in the protection area it makes up in mobility. The LS 4 is one of the fasts boats in-game. This in tandem with its incredibly tight turning circle and slim profile, makes the LS 3 very well suited for cover hopping and flanking capture points. Use its speed to sneak in to capture points and rush at vessels not paying attention. Its high top speed also makes it useful to rush cap points at the beginning of a match. That being said, be careful not to overextend, or you will find yourself overwhelmed very quickly. Instead, use its superior speed to be the first to reach a capture point then hide behind an island, selectively engaging enemies that come into the line of sight. Don't forget your smoke and artillery! Both incredibly useful tools to prevent enemies from hitting you. Although a really small target, large cannon (50 mm+) ships have a good chance at hitting you well outside your guns range. Significant threats are the Japanese dual 40 mm Type 91 AA and Bofors 40 mm, and at closer range a battery of 20 mm's, like on a PC-451 or S-100. The sides of the LS are the most vulnerable, so facing directly at the enemy as much as possible.
Pros and cons
- Decently powerful 20 mm MG 151 cannon
- 360° turret with 90° elevation arc.
- High top speed can make it difficult to lead and destroy
- Very good manoeuvrability, can change direction quickly
- High ammo capacity, able to outlast contemporaries in a firefight with good trigger discipline
- Relatively high rate of fire
- Gun is capable of overheating, limits the usefulness of high ammo capacity
- Very fragile, incredibly vulnerable to large cannons with HE rounds.
- Single gun eliminates almost all offensive capability if disabled
- Long reload time
- Low ammo count overall; limited to two magazines (although resupplied fast at cap point)
- No minengeschoß shell option.
Leicht-S-Boot (Light-Torpedo boat, or Midget torpedo boat)
In the mid 1930s, the German navy considered small (12.5 m long), fast torpedo boats launched from carrier ships as tactically viable ideas. Two boats of the class called Light (or Midget) Torpedo boat were built, the first (LS 1) was made of wood, while the second (LS 2) was all aluminum built by Dornier Flugzeugwerke. Yes, this is the same Dornier of the famed Do 17, Do 217, and Do 335 aircraft, but not an insane choice given Dornier's well known history of making seaplanes.
At the time the desired engines (Daimler-Benz Maybachs) were not available thus forced to used less powerful Jumo 205 Diesels, and neither were the torpedoes. Instead of torpedo boats they became minelayers, and combined with other issues resulted in disappointing performance and the idea was put on hold at start of war in Europe.
The next year the idea was revisited, this time Dornier's all metal boat was chosen, Daimler-Benz MB 507 light Diesel engines and so were 45 cm torpedoes. In addition a new MG 151 15mm cannon was installed in a turret on the roof. Two were built, the LS 3 (delivered on October 10th, 1940) and LS 4. There is a deviation from historical and game at this point, as the records indicate the LS 3 carried 4 mines, not torpedoes, and the LS 4 would also have 15 mm cannon, not 20 mm (but the MG 151 was interchangeable, so would be easy to upgrade to 20 mm MG151/20).
Over the years a total of 12 LS was built, with both Jumo 205 and Daimler-Benz MB 507, the latter carrying torpedoes. Surviving combat records place operations in the Aegean, Mediterranean, and Black Sea areas. Fate of the boats is lost, but it seems that at least one, LS 12, was captured and used by the Soviets after war.
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|Motor Torpedo||LS 3 · S-38 · S-38b · LS 4 Esau · S-100 (1945) · S-100 (1944) · S-100 (S204) · Jaguar-Klasse (140) · TS-Boot Proj. 206|
|Motor Torpedo Gun||MZ1 · Albatros-Klasse (143)|
|Germany premium ships|
|MTB||LS 4 Esau · S-100 (S204)|
|Destroyers||Type 1924 Jaguar · Type 1939 (T31) · Z20 Karl Galster|
|VS-8 Schell I · Type M 1943|