Monday, March 16, 2015

Soviet MTBs

The Soviets used G-5, D-3 MTBs along with MO-4 gunboats against the Finns. Aside from the SM-3 and one D-3, all the MTBs in the Black Sea were G-5s.

Soviet torpedo boats [MTBs] were developed from 'experience with their own Type Sch4 (an earlier Russian design--itself based on British First World War CMBs), Italian plans, and new Soviet design ideas. The majority of all Soviet high-speed motor torpedo boats of World War II were of this type, called G-5.' Its specifications are:
Length: 19 meters (roughly 60 feet)
Beam: 3.3 meters (about 17 feet)
Draft: 1.5 meters (almost 5 feet)
Displacement: 14.84 tons
Speed: 48 knots loaded, 53 knots stripped
Machinery: Two 850 hp. GAM gasoline engines
Armament: 1 12.7mm (.50 cal) machine gun, 2 53.3 (21 inch) torpedoes in stern troughs
Interesting features of Type G-5 were the light aluminium hulls and the change to the more powerful 21 inch torpedo (earlier Soviet attempts to develop MTBs used the 18 inch torpedo). Type G-5 was built from 1930 to 1939 to various specifications as Series 7, 8, 9,10, and 11, with the last named series being produced in 1939, fitted with two GAM 34 BSF engines which called for more robust hulls, and one boat was reportedly able to attain a speed of 62 knots unladen.'

Some 329 boats were built to this design from 1934-1944, divided into five basic series. In 1942, following the successful use of home-made Katyusha 88mm rocket-launchers from boats of this type, the naval authorities ordered 82mm and 132mm army rocket-launchers to be adapted for naval use (242 had been ordered by 1945). Some of the G5-class boats completed from 1943 to 1944 had torpedo wells plated out, and missile-launchers mounted above the conning tower. 

No 7K412 from 23 February 1944
Funds to complete No. 106 were raised by public subscription so, in addition to her number, she bore the name commemorating the donors (Moscow artisans). She participated in landings on Kerch in November 1943 and in the Crimea in April 1944. From April 1945 she served with the Danube Flotilla.


Since the mid-1930s the Soviet Navy had run an experimental programme with a view to producing large, seaworthy motor torpedo-boats. Following trials of the G5- derived boats of various sizes, the stern-launching system was abandoned in favour of deck torpedo-launching racks. Soon two types of wooden- and steel-hulled boats of this kind were selected for further evaluation. The general performance of the larger, wooden-hulled boat was found to be satisfactory and series production began in 1939 under the designation D3 class. Because of engine shortages fifty-six hulls were completed as subchasers and it was only when Packard engines became available that the construction programme reached its peak. A total of 119 boats, (torpedo-boats or subchasers) had been built by 1944.
Displacement 32.1 tonnes full load
Dimensions 21.6m overall length x 3.9m beam x 1.35m max draught
Armament two 533mm torpedo tubes/launching gears, two 12.7mm MG. eight depth-charges
Electronics Tsefej-type hydrophones
Machinery 3-sbaft GAM-34F petrol engines, 3,150bhp
Speed 37kts
Endurance 550nm at 8kts
Complement 2 officers and 6 - 8 men

Soviet Warship Building and Actions
The Soviets built a large number of MTBs during the war and were definitely able to replace them. Between 1941 and 1945 Soviets built:
31 - Komsomolets class
5 - Yunga class
38 - D-3 class
71 - G-5 class
1 - STK DD class

The Soviet Navy saw little action in WWII, so any history of the actions of the surface fleet will be hard to find. Combined, the Soviet battleships, cruisers, destroyers, gunboats, and minesweepers failed to sink a single Axis ship, either merchant or warship. The subs and MTBs had some success, but suffered very high losses in comparison. Most of the larger ships were used as floating batteries while the bulk of their crews served ashore.

Jurg Meister credits the MTBs with sinking 1 Finnish minesweeper, 4 German minesweepers, 1 German torpedo boat, approximately six small German auxiliary minesweepers or patrol craft, and approximately four large and 10 very small German merchant ships, fishing boats, or other small craft, plus two Japanese merchant ships.

No comments:

Post a Comment