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GarageImage S-38.jpg

The S-38 is a rank I German motor torpedo boat with a battle rating of 1.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.79 "Project X" as part of the fleet closed beta test.

General info

Survivability and armor

The S-38 is a wooden-hulled vessel with a steel superstructure. The S-38 offers little resistance to damage as a result of its construction. The S-38 has a crew of 31, which means the S-38 can absorb reasonable amounts of damage when fired upon. Fire is a tangible threat on the S-38 because of its wooden hull. Due to the long construction of the ship, the crew is fairly spaced out. However, it is worth mentioning the S-38's bridge and radio station are in close proximity, meaning if one is damaged, it is likely the other will be damaged soon after.

Ammunition storage is near the main guns. The ammo racks are fairly large targets and, due to the limited protection offered by the hull, can easily be hit. The ammo is also near the ship's fuel tanks and radio room, meaning if an enemy vessel is firing upon either, they could easily strike the ammo racks.


The S-38 is a quick boat, capable of achieving roughly 101 KPH (63 MPH) forwards in arcade, and 33 KPH (21 MPH) in reverse. The vessel's acceleration is good, and the S-38 has a tight turning radius. Due to the balanced distribution of the ship, it will not roll too far when turning. The boat has a shallow draft that makes fighting in shallow waters and littorals possible.

It is fair to say the ship is capable of getting itself into and out of combat quickly.


Primary armament

Main articles: MG C/30L (20 mm), MG C/38 (20 mm).

The S-38 carries two 20mm automatic cannons. The S-38's weapons are, in proper hands, effective against enemy boats and aircraft. They have small magazines of 40 and 20 rounds respectively. The rearward cannon will run out of ammunition when the frontal cannon is half way through its magazine. Overheating is not a concern with these cannons; they do not overheat. Being small cannons, the S-38's 20mms traverse quickly, and offer decent angles of fire.

When upgraded, the S-38's 20mm cannons are noteworthy. They should not be used beyond ranges of .8 Km (.5 Mi).

Broadly describe the ammunition available for the primary armament, and provide recommendations on how to use it and which ammunition to choose.

Torpedo armament

Main article: G7a.

The S-38 carries two G7a torpedoes, which are launched from tubes that are integrated into the front of the hull. The tubes are mounted at very shallow angles. The torpedoes are better used on slow targets, or at extreme ranges. These torpedoes have a slight blind spot in the front of the ship, but this blind spot is often negligible.

The G7a has a range of roughly 6 Km (3.73 Mi) and travel at a speed of 82 KPH (51 MPH) when stock. The upgraded torpedo travels slower at 56 KPH (35 MPH), yet travel up to 14 Km (8.7 Mi). The G7a is packed with the equivalent of 358.4 Kg TNT (790.1 Lb. TNT), and strike at the waterline, meaning the torpedo will deal fatal damage to most maritime targets.

If there is no torpedo armament, remove this section.

Special armament

The S-38 can carry 6 WBD depth charges, which carry 130 Kg TNT (286 Lb. TNT) of explosive power. When used skillfully, these charges can be used to deal away with pursuers, or destroy inattentive enemies.

Usage in battles

In arcade battles, the S-38 is often used for rushing capture points. This is one use for the boat. The S-38 can be used to deliver surprise attacks, and deal away with targets behind enemy lines; the vessel is quick enough to speed past enemies and take "long ways" around enemy vessels. Using the S-38 in frontal, or even close, combat is not advisable. Though the main cannons traverse quickly and deal notable damage, the hull is too fragile to support sustained frontal engagements. It is also not advisable to engage more than one target at once. The S-38's cannons are not suited for fighting in numerical inferiority. Either chose lone targets, or operate in larger groups.

Pros and cons


  • Very mobile.
  • Cannons offer effective stopping power for single target engagements.
  • Torpedoes are very viable in combat, as they are mounted conveniently and deal significant damage.
  • Inexpensive to operate.
  • Good crew size of 31.


  • Hull offers minimal protection.
  • Key components are close together (ammo is near engines, radio room is near the bridge).
  • Cannons have limited capacity per magazine.
  • Does not do well in numerical inferiority.
  • No anti-air cover beyond the main cannons.


The S-38 was developed and built by the German Lürssen Werft in 1938/1939. In total, 8 units of the standard S-38 were built, followed by 16 units of the improved -B variant (see S-38b). Its main use was to protect German convoys in the Baltic Sea as well as attacking Soviet ships. The S-38's plans were later used for the development of the Silbermöwe class in 1952.


An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the ship;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on ship;
  • other literature.

Germany boats
Motor torpedo boats  Jaguar · LS 3 · LS 4 Esau · R-301
  S-38 · S-38b · S-100 · S-100 (1944) · S-204 Lang · VS-10
Motor gun boats  R-41 · R-130
Motor torpedo gun boats  Albatros · Bussard · MZ1 · Pr. 206
Minelayers  VS-8