Sunday, 30 December 2018

Infantrielandungsboot or I-Lighter


The Germans used a small flat-bottomed motorised lighter or boat to move men and supplies around calmish waters - rivers, estuaries, the Baltic and Mediterranean. I-Lighters were particularly active around the Greek Islands.

I modelled these mostly using balsa wood. The original boats were around 15-18 m long so these are small models. They have a small one-barrelled automatic gun, an MG or 20mm cannon, on a mount near the bow.


This is the photo I used as  a template .

These boats were involved in combat with British coastal craft in the Med.

Dutch Plan

I-Lighters were built all over Europe so they probably varied a bit. These plans are from a Dutch workshop. Note the association with Siebel.

3D image

Another take on an I-Lighter.

Underwater Wreck

A wrecked I-Lighter found by divers off Croatia. This photo shows the stem.

The Helm Position

The View Aft

The Bow

Note that the bow is detached from the rest of the hull. Apparently I-Lighters could be disassembled for transport on trains.

You can read more on the Axis History Forum.

Lake Ladoga Patrol Boat

The last I-Lighters were used by the Finns on Lake Ladoga as gun boats with a 57mm gun fitted centrally .
Finnish Gunboat Underway

Out Of The Water

Again, these photos are derived from the Axis History Forum, which is a mine of expert opinion.

Size Comparison

To show how small these craft were, here is one of my scratchbuilt models alongside an S-Boot. Both are 1:300 scale .


  1. Dear John,
    I expect you've got a copy of Night Action by Captain Peter Dickens. If not you will like it and find it spang on point with your current projects.
    All best,

    1. I don't have that one yet ,Dave, although I have heard of Dickens. Will take your advice and find a copy .

  2. John, those are very neat little craft. If I may add to David's suggested reading matter, you may also like Flag 4 (the Battle of Coastal Forces in the Mediterranean 1939-1945) by Dudley Pope. There are several references to actions against I-lighters and other coastal craft (F-lighters, Siebelfähre and suchlike).

  3. Thanks, John - good of you to i-light these for us all!