Ulrich Gabler (1 October 1913 – 24 February 1994) was a German naval architect best known for founding the company which designed the Cold War Type-201, Type-202 and Type-209 submarines. Less well known but equally respected are his company’s swimmer delivery vehicles.

During World War Two Gabler served as chief engineer aboard several U-Boats including U-121 and U-564. He received the German Cross in Gold on 15 October 1942. He was involved in the design and development of the Type-XXII, Type-XVII A and Type-XXVI uboat designs. After the war he founded the Ingenieurkontor Lübeck (IKL). His name lives on Gabler Maschinenbau

WDV 7/60 2-person chariot
Gabler SDV - Covert Shores
An underreported project from 1980s, very little information is available (none online?). Customer and commercial success unclear.

WDV 7/60 Specification
Length: 7.5 meters
Beam: 1 meter
Height: 1 meter
Displacement: 1.9 tons surfaced, 2.1 tons submerged
Speed: Maximum 5 kt submerged, 4.9 kt surfaced
Operating depth: 60 meters
Endurance : 45 nautical miles @ 2.5 knots
Crew: 2 combat swimmers
Payload: storage container in nose.

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Sea Devil 2-person human torpedo
Dubbed the Sea Devil and 'Unterwasserschwimmhilfe' (underwater swimmers' float), Gabler's two-man SDV (Swimmer Delivery Vehicle) is a unique reintrepration of the Human Torpedo concept. It is closest to the Russian Sirena series of SDVs, although a closer comparison might be the Swedish (/British) Torpedo-SEAL DPV. Designed to fit within standard 533mm (21") submarine torpedo tubes, it collapses in on itself for storage. This reduces the length and diameter and allows two to be stored in a single torpedo tube.

The body is almost entirely diver accomodation so although it is torpedo shaped, it is quite slow and performance is generally similar to top-end DPVs.

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Patent sketches

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