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Mosquitoes of Britains Navy Ready to Sting

Discussion in 'Britain at Sea!' started by Jim, Oct 3, 2006.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    [​IMG]

    This motor torpedo-boat is out on patrol in the North Sea with her fourfold Lewis guns ready to give a particularly warm welcome to any German air raider. The most numerous class is the British Power Boat type each of which carries two 18-inch torpedo tubes and eight Lewis guns. There were eighteen of these boats numbered 1-19, it would never do to have a 13! :p
     
  2. Kelly War44

    Kelly War44 New Member

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    Excuse my ignorance, please Boss, but does H.M.M.T.B. stand for?:eek:
     
  3. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    No igorance Kelly ;)
    His Majesty's Motor Torpedo Boat.
     
  4. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The first two post WW1 Coastal Motor boats were ordered on 27th September 1935. By October another four Scott-Paine boats were ordered. The six boats were commissioned on 27th April 1937. The 1st Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla was born. The first public appearance was escorting King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I with Princess Elizabeth down the River Thames from Westminster to Greenwich to open the new National Maritime Museum housed in the former Royal Hospital School buildings.

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    The 60 foot Scott-Paine boats carried two 18 inch aircraft torpedo's stored in the engine room on overhead rails, with two hinged lattice girders stowed on deck. The hinged lattice girders swung over the stern to form a continuation of the engine room overhead rails. The torpedo's fired foreward from astern of the boat, and it took great skill in aiming the boat at the target, firing, then turning sharply away to avoid the torpedo.

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  5. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    M.T.B’s were designed for high speed and maneuverability on the water to get close enough to launch their torpedoes at enemy vessels. With next to no armour, the boats relied upon their agility at high speed to avoid being hit by gunfire from bigger ships. They were the direct successors of the coastal patrol boats of the last war, but they were far superior to them in every respect. Though only 60 feet long, their light wooden hulls were so perfectly constructed that they could stand the strain of three engines developing a total of about 1500 h.p, driving at a speed of 40 knots, that is, about 46 miles an hour; some of the latest boats could attain as much as 55 mph. The usual complement of a 60-foot M.T.B. was two officers and eight men. Possibly it was to these boats that Churchill referred on February 27th, when he spoke of craft specially built for submarine destruction.

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    Two motor torpedo-boats are going “all out” in the North Sea. In the stern of the one in the foreground can be seen a depth-charge and the apparatus for dropping it overboard. It also has the coupled Lewis guns ready for action.

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    The crew’s quarters are necessarily cramped, and on deck the men get the full force of the elements. Here, heavily clothed a M.T.B’s crew is coming ashore for a few hours rest.

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  6. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    Good topic chaps and great photos.

    I thought I'd look up the American equivalent. Their boats were bigger (of course!:D ) at 78 feet, and called Higgins boats.

    Why "RON" ? (Scratches head...:confused:)

    Photos are rare on the web but here's a couple:


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  7. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Talking about Americans J.F.K served on a MTB, during WWII, his boat was sunk by a Japanese Destroyer, a short version below:

    The PT-109 was sent out on a night mission to intercept the Tokyo Express, a convoy of destroyers on a night resupply mission. In a poorly planned and uncoordinated attack, 15 boats with 60 torpedoes did not score a single hit. The PT-109 patrolled the area in case the enemy ships returned. Around 0200, on a moonless night, Kennedy's boat was suddenly rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri traveling at 40 knots on August 2, 1943 in the Blackett Strait between Kolombangara and Arundel in the Solomon Islands. In ten seconds, the boat was cut in two. One crewman was killed in the collision, and another was missing. Although the Japanese destroyer did not realize that their ship had struck an enemy vessel, the damage to PT 109 was severe.

    Kennedy led the survivors, clinging to the wreckage of the boat, to swim to safety on the deserted Plum Pudding Island the distance of a couple of miles over four hours. Using a strap he clenched in his mouth, Kennedy would tow one of the men who was burned so badly, he could not swim. Kennedy would swim out in the channel searching for passing PT boats, and he led them to another island which had trees with coconuts and water.

    Solomon Islanders Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana were scouts working with the Allies in dugout canoes. The explosion of the PT-109 collision on August 2 was noticed by Australian coastwatcher Lt. Arthur Reginald Evans, who dispatched them to look for possible survivors, although the US Navy had already given them up as lost after seeing the huge explosion. They found Kennedy and his crew four days later. Their small canoe couldn't accomodate many people safely, and islanders didn't know english. Gasa suggested that for lack of writing paper he could incribe a message on a coconut plucked from a nearby tree by Eroni. This message was delivered 35 miles to the nearest allied base. A later canoe returned for Kennedy, and American PT boats where able to pick up the remaining survivors.

    An article about the experience was printed in Reader's Digest just before Kennedy's first Congressional run, and the campaign reproduced the article and distributed it to potential voters. A campaign pin of the PT-109 was also distributed.

    Though Kennedy emerged a hero (awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal) a few in the military, including Douglas MacArthur, thought he should have faced a court-martial for losing his boat in such a manner. Their argument was that such a quick and maneuverable craft should have been able to escape getting struck by a slower enemy craft.
     
  8. Dave War44

    Dave War44 Member

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    Ha ha ! Amazing story!
    (I had no idea Lee Harvey Oswald was in the Imperial Japanese Navy) :D
     

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