Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Warships (HMCS) Commissioned 1931–1949, Motor Torpedo Boats, Motor Gun Boats and Fairmiles

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Warships (HMCS) Commissioned 1931–1949,

Motor Torpedo Boats, Motor Gun Boats and Fairmiles

Data currrent to 11 June 2019.

Motor Torpedo Boats

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, PA144574)

MTB 462, 29th Flotilla, UK, 1944.  Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) was the name given to fast torpedo boats by the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy.  The 'motor' in the formal designation, refers to the use of gasoline-powered engines, to distinguish them from the majority of other naval craft that used steam turbines or reciprocating steam engines.

MTBs were designed for high speed, operating at night, low speed ambush (to keep noise low and to produce no wake) and manoeuvrability on the water.  This enabled them to get close enough to launch their torpedoes at enemy vessels.  With no significant armour, the boats relied upon surprise and their agility at high speed to avoid being hit by gunfire from bigger ships.

Canadian MTBs were used by the RCN's 29th MTB Flotila.  They were originally designed as Motor Gun Boats (MGBs)  armed with a 6-pounder (57-mm, 2.24 inch) gun, to engage enemy small craft.  They were re-designated Motor Torpedo Boats.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950981)

RCN Motor Torpedo Boat MTB 460 at speed, 29th Flotilla, English Channel, ca 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950975)

RCN Motor Torpedo Boats, 29th Flotilla in line-ahead formation, English Channel, ca 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950976)

RCN Motor Torpedo Boats, 29th Flotilla in line-ahead formation, English Channel, ca 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950977)

RCN Motor Torpedo Boats, 29th Flotilla in line-ahead formation, English Channel, ca 1944.  MTB-460 was commissioned in March 1944 and sunk on the night of 2 July 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194301)

MTB ML230 loading landing craft for the raid on Dieppe, Aug 1942.

 (RCN Photo)

Fairmile Q065.  The Fairmile D motor torpedo boat was  designed to combat the known advantages of the German E-boats over previous British coastal craft designs.  They were bigger than earlier MTB or MGB designs (which were typically around 70 feet) but slower, at 30 knots compared to 40 knots.  229 boats were built between 1942 and 1945.

Many versions were produced or converted from existing MGB and MTBs.  Since the Fairmile D could be fitted out with a mix of armament that gave it the capabilities of both a Motor Gun Boat and a Motor Torpedo boat, the MGB designation was dropped.

 (IWM Photo, A 25162)

A Fairmile D armed with a Molins autoloader and a 6-pounder 7-cwt gun Mk. IIA in a power operated Mk. VII mounting, and crew.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524493)

Fairmile ML106, HMCS Beaver PTC706, built at Grew Boats, Penetanguishene and delivered 28 August 1943.  She served with the 70th Flotilla in Bermuda during the war.  On 28 June 1948, she was assigned to HMCS Star but suffered a serious fire in July of 1949 that required costly repairs. In September of that year she was reclassifed as PTC706 and in 1954 was renamed Beaver.  In May of 1956, she was transferred to HMCS York but was declared surplus in November of 1957 as a result of dry rot.  She was laid up at the Hamilton Harbour Commission and by 1961 was reported to be in ruins.

 (William Carey Photo)

RCN Fairmile ML Q064.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4166338)

Fairmile ML, NW Europe, damaged harbour, ca 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950984)

Fairmile B, Q060, off the coast of Newfoundland, 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950983)

Fairmile B, Q094, bow Oerlikon AA Gun, off the coast of Newfoundland, 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950982)

Fairmile B, Q094, off the coast of Newfoundland, 1944.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950978)

Fairmile Motor Torpedo Boats, some from the 65th Canadian MTB Flotilla, Great Yarmouth, UK ca 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950863)

Fairmile, Signal lamp and rating, 1943.