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ANGUS KONSTAM, Illustrated by TONY BRYAN
BRITISH MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT 1939-45

MTB SPECIFICATIONS

Note: Where draught is given, the draught aft is quoted, being deeper than the draught forward. Space precludes details of 'long-hull' Fairmile or Camper & Nicholson MGB/MTBs. It is hoped that a later study of MGBs will cover these larger vessels. Experimental MTBs have also been omitted from the list.

60-foot British Power Boat MTB

Numbers: MTBs 1-12, 13-19

Dimensions: Length: 60 feet, 3 inches; Beam: 13 feet, 3 inches; Draught: 2 feet, 9 inches Displacement: 22 tons

Propulsion: Three Napier engines; Speed: 33 knots

Armament: Two 18-inch torpedo tubes, two twin .303-inch machine guns (MGs)

Complement: 9

55-foot Thornycroft CMB

Numbers: MTBs 26-27, 67-68, 213-217, 327-331

Dimensions: Length: 55 feet; Beam: 11 feet; Draught: 3 feet, 6 inches; Displacement: 17 tons

Propulsion: Two Thornycroft engines; Speed: 38 knots

Armament: Two 18-inch torpedo tubes, two twin .303-inch MGs, two depth charges (DCs)

Complement: 5

75-foot Thornycroft MTB

Numbers: MTBs 49-56

Dimensions: Length; 75 feet, 6 inches; Beam: 16 feet, 7 inches; Draught: 5 feet, 5 inches; Displacement: 52 tons

Propulsion: Four Thornycroft engines; Speed; 29 knots

Armament: Two 21-inch torpedo tubes, one twin .5-inch MG turret, two single .303-inch MGs, two DCs

Complement: 12

73-foot White MTB (Vosper Design)

Numbers: MTBs 41-48, 201-212, 246-257

Dimensions: Length: 73 feet; Beam: 18 feet; Draught: 5 feet, 6 inches; Displacement: 33-41 tons

Propulsion: Three Sterling engines; Speed: 39 knots

Armament: Two 21-inch torpedo tubes, one twin .5-inch MG turret, two single .303-inch MGs

Complement: 12

73-foot White MTB (White Design)

Numbers: MTBs 424-429

Dimensions; Length: 73 feet; Beam; 18 feet; Draught: 5 feet, 6 inches; Displacement: 46 tons

Propulsion: Three Sterling engines; Speed: 37 knots

Armament: Two 18-inch torpedo tubes, one single 6-pdr. QF, one twin Oerlikon, two twin .303-inch MGs

Complement: 17

60-foot Vosper MTB

Numbers: MTBs 71-72

Dimensions: Length: 60 feet; Beam: 15 feet; Draught; 3 feet, 6 inches; Displacement: 32 tons

Propulsion: Two Isotta-Fraschini; Speed: 35 knots

Armament: Two 18-inch torpedo tubes, one twin .5-inch MG turret, one twin .303-inch MGs, 4 DCs.

Complement: 10

70-foot Vosper MTB

Numbers: 20-23, 29-30, 31-40, 57-66. 69-70, 218-221

Dimensions: Length: 70 feet; Beam: 14 feet, 9 inches; Draught: 5 feet; Displacement: 37-40 tons

Propulsion: 20-23, 29-30, 31-34: Three Isotta-Fraschini; Speed: 40 knots 35-40, 57-66, 69-70, 218-221: Three Hall-Scott engines; Speed: 25 knots (In 1942 all were retro-fitted with three Packard engines: Speed 40 knots)

Armament: Two 21-inch torpedo tubes, two twin .5-inch MG turret

Note: MTBs 31-40 had only one MG turret. 57-66 had an additional single Oerlikon. MTB 61 was converted into an MGB, having its torpedo tubes removed, and three single Oerlikons fitted. MTBs 69-70 had two quad .303-inch MGs and two single .303-inch MGs in place of other deck guns. From 1943, MTBs 31-40 were retro-fitted with a single Oerlikon in lieu of the MG turret.

Complement: 10

The forward messdeck of a Vosper 72-foot 6-inch MTB (in this case MTB 351). The photograph is taken looking forward on the port side, towards the heads. The hatch leads out onto the forecastle. (Vosper Thornycroft (UK) Ltd)

72-foot 6-inch Vosper MTB

Numbers: MTBs 73-98, 222-245, 275-306, 347-378, 396-411

Dimensions: Length: 72 feet, 6 inches; Beam: 19 feet, 2 inches; Draught: 6 feet, 3 inches; Displacement: 40 tons

Propulsion: Three Packard engines; Speed: 39 knots Armament: (as fitted) Two 21-inch torpedo tubes, one twin .5-inch MG turret, two single .303-inch MGs, 2 DCs.

Note: Armament varied considerably throughout the war, but by 1944 most remaining boats carried one twin Oerlikon aft, and one single Oerlikon or one 2-pdr. forward in lieu of the .5-inch turret.

Complement: 13

73-foot Vosper MTB Type I

Numbers: MTBs 379 (prototype), 380-395

Dimensions: Length: 73 feet; Beam: 19 feet, 4 inches; Draught: 5 feet, 7 inches; Displacement: 47 tons

Propulsion: Three Packard engines; Speed: 39 knots

Armament: Four 18-inch torpedo tubes, one twin Oerlikon, two twin .303-inch MGs

Complement: 13

A trio of British Power Boat vessels (MTB 416, 413 and 412, all 71-foot 9-inch Mark V boats) photographed in the English Channel in June 1944. With a powerful armament and a top speed of 39 knots, these were amongst the best-designed MTBs of the war. (Imperial War Museum)

73-foot Vosper MTB Type II

Numbers: MTBs 412-418, 430-432, 434-500, 502-509

Dimensions: Length: 71 feet, 9 inches; Beam: 20 feet 7 inches; Draught: 5 feet, 9 inches; Displacement: 52 tons

Propulsion: Three Packard engines; Speed: 39 knots

Armament: Two 18-inch torpedo tubes, one 6-prd, QF, one twin Oerlikon, two twin .303-inch MGs turrets

Complement: 15

72-foot British Power Boat MTB

Numbers: MTBs 412-418, 430-432, 434-500, 502-509

Dimensions: Length: 71 feet, 9 inches; Beam: 20 feet, 7 inches; Draught: 5 feet, 9 inches; Displacement: 52 tons

Propulsion: Three Packard engines; Speed: 39 knots

Armament: Two 18-inch torpedo tubes, one 6-pdr. QF, one twin Oerlikon, two twin .303-inch MG turrets

Complement: 15

70-foot Elco MTB

Numbers: MTBs 259-268

Dimensions: Length: 70 feet; Beam: 19 feet, 11 inches; Draught: 4 feet, 6 inches; Displacement: 32 tons

Propulsion: Three Packard engines; Speed: 42 knots

Armament: Two 21-inch torpedo tubes, one twin Oerlikon, two twin .5-inch MG turrets, two twin .303-inch MGs, 2 DCs

Complement: 12

MTB 74 was specially converted for an attack on the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst while it was in Brest during early 1942. Its 18-inch torpedo was remounted on the forecastle to fire over any protective anti-torpedo nets. Although the battlecruiser sailed before it could be used, MTB 74 was able to play a major part in the St Nazaire raid in March 1942. (Vosper Thornycroft (UK) Ltd)

77-foot Elco MTB

Numbers: MTBs 307-316

Dimensions: Length: 77 feet, 6 inches; Beam: 19 feet, 11 inches; Draught: 5 feet, 3 inches; Displacement: 46 tons

Propulsion: Three Packard engines; Speed: 41 knots

Armament: Two 21-inch torpedo tubes, one single Oerlikon, one twin .5-inch MG turret

Complement: 12

78-foot Higgins MTB

Numbers: MTBs 419-423

Dimensions: Length: 78 feet; Beam: 19 feet, 8 inches; Draught: 6 feet, 1 inch; Displacement: 48 tons

Propulsion: Three Packard engines; Speed: 40 knots

Armament: Two 21-inch torpedo tubes, one twin Oerlikon, one single 40mm Bofors

Complement: 13

MTB LOSSES

Note: MTBs 33, 37, 39, 40 and 108 were destroyed by air attack while under construction in the Vosper Yard in Portsmouth, 1940-41.

MTB 5 Sunk by mine, North Sea, December 1940

MTB 6 Foundered, Sardinia, November 1939

MTB 7 Scuttled, Hong Kong, December 1941

MTB 8 Destroyed by artillery, Hong Kong, December 1941

MTB 9 Scuttled, Hong Kong, December 1941

MTB 10 Scuttled, Hong Kong, December 1941

MTB 11 Scuttled, Hong Kong, December 1941

MTB 12 Destroyed by artillery, Hong Kong, December 1941

MTB 15 Sunk by mine, Thames Estuary, September 1940

MTB 16 Sunk by mine, Thames Estuary, October 1940

MTB 17 Sunk by mine, English Channel, October 1940

MTB 26 Sunk in surface action, Hong Kong, December 1941

MTB 27 Scuttled, Hong Kong, December 1941

MTB 29 Sunk in collision with enemy warship, North Sea, October 1942

MTB 30 Sunk by mine, North Sea, December 1942

MTB 41 Sunk by mine, North Sea, February 1941

MTB 43 Sunk in surface action, English Channel, August 1942

MTB 44 Sunk in surface action, English Channel, August 1942

MTB 47 Sunk in surface action, English Channel, January 1942

MTB 61 Wrecked, Greece, May 1943

MTB 63 Sunk in collision with friendly warship, Libya, April 1943

MTB 64 Sunk in collision with friendly warship, Libya, April 1943

MTB 67 Sunk by air attack, Crete, May 1941

MTB 68 Sunk in collision with friendly warship, Libya, December 1941

MTB 73 Sunk by air attack, Sardinia, November 1943

MTB 74 Sunk by shore batteries, St Nazaire, March 1942

MTB 77 Sunk by air attack, Ionian Sea, September 1943

MTB 87 Sunk by mine, North Sea, October 1942

MTB 93 Sunk in collision with friendly warship, Harwich, August 1944

MTB 201 Sunk in surface action, English Channel, June 1942

MTB 203 Lost at sea (cause unknown), English Channel, May 1944

MTB 213 Sunk by air attack, Crete, May 1941

MTB 214 Sunk by air attack, Crete, May 1941

MTB 215 Lost at sea (cause unknown), Mediterranean, 1941

MTB 216 Sunk by air attack, Crete, May 1941

MTB 217 Sunk by air attack, Crete, May 1941

MTB 218 Sunk by mine, English Channel, August 1942

MTB 220 Sunk in surface action, English Channel, May 1942

MTB 222 Sunk by mine, North Sea, November 1943

MTB 230 Sunk in collision with friendly warship, North Sea, November 1943

MTB 237 Sunk in surface action, English Channel, August 1942

MTB 241 Sunk in surface action, North Sea, March 1944

MTB 242 Foundered, Malta, July 1945

MTB 243 Damaged then scuttled as target, July 1945

MTB 248 Sunk in collision with friendly warship, English Channel, June 1944

MTB 255 Destroyed by fire, Ostend, February 1945

MTB 259 Foundered, Mediterranean, June 1942

MTB 262 Sunk by air attack, Tunisia, February 1943

MTB 264 Sunk by mine, Tunisia, May 1943

MTB 266 Sunk due to damage in surface action, Alexandria, April 1944

MTB 267 Foundered, Mediterranean April 1943

MTB 284 Destroyed while freighted as cargo, Mediterranean, September 1943

MTB 285 Destroyed while freighted as cargo, Mediterranean, September 1943

MTB 287 Wrecked, Dalmatian Coast, November 1944

MTB 288 Sunk by air attack, Sicily, July 1943

MTB 308 Sunk by air attack, Tobruk, September 1943

MTB 310 Sunk by air attack, Tobruk, September 1943

MTB 311 Sunk by mine, Tunisia, May 1943

MTB 312 Sunk by air attack, Tobruk, September 1942

MTB 314 Captured, Tobruk, September 1942. Sunk by air attack, April 1943

MTB 316 Sunk in surface action, Sicily, September 1943

MTB 347 Sunk in surface action, North Sea, October 1944

MTB 352 Sunk in collision, North Sea, March 1944

A group of 73-foot Vosper MTBs, built by J.S. White of Cowes, photographed at the end of the war. Although White produced 32 boats according to Vosper designs, the yard also produced six White designs (MTBs 424 to 429) that carried a 6-pounder forward, and a twin Oerlikon aft. (Imperial War Museum)

MTB 357 Sunk in surface action, North Sea, December 1943

MTB 360 Sunk in surface action, North Sea, October 1944

MTB 365 Sunk in surface action. North Sea, October 1943

MTB 371 Wrecked, Dalmatian Coast, November 1944

MTB 372 Sunk in surface action, Adriatic Sea, July 1944

MTB 412 Sunk in collision with enemy warship, Normandy, July 1944

MTB 417 Sunk in surface action, English Channel, March 1944

MTB 430 Sunk in surface action, Normandy, July 1944

MTB 434 Sunk in surface action, Normandy, July 1944

MTB 438 Destroyed by fire, Ostend, February 1945

MTB 444 Destroyed by fire, Ostend, February 1945

MTB 448 Sunk by air attack, Normandy, June 1944

MTB 459 Destroyed by fire, Ostend, February 1945

MTB 460 Destroyed by fire, Ostend, February 1945

MTB 461 Destroyed by fire, Ostend, February 1945

MTB 462 Destroyed by fire, Ostend, February 1945

MTB 463 Sunk by mine, Normandy, July 1945

MTB 465 Destroyed by fire, Ostend, February 1945

MTB 466 Destroyed by fire, Ostend, February 1945

MTB 494 Sunk in collision with enemy warship, North Sea, April 1945

A trio of MTBs berthed at the submarine base in Malta. The two 77-foot Elco boats in the foreground sport two different types of splinter camouflage; grey and dark grey on their lower hulls. (Private collection, Museum of Naval Firepower, Gosport)

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