By Tony Bryan
In the course of global struggle II, few teams in the Royal military fought a tougher, extra severe battle than the boys of Coastal Forces. Their task was once to function the Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs), Motor Launches (MLs) and Motor Gun Boats (MGBs) that safe coastal convoys, attacked enemy ones, and played a myriad of tasks, which come with the losing of brokers and commandos on a opposed shore, raids on enemy ports, and near-suicidal assaults on higher enemy warships. whereas the MTBs have been the "bombers", offering their payload of excessive explosive torpedoes, the team of the MGBs used their computing device weapons and small-calibre weapons to sink, burn or ruin their enemy opposite numbers. therefore they observed their frail, smooth craft because the "Spitfire of the Seas".
Motor Gun Boats have been just like Motor Torpedo Boats, in basic terms their decks have been filled with as many weapons as they can hold - and to guy those guns, they required a bigger group. in the course of the early years of the warfare, they have been used to counter the risk posed by means of German E-Boats within the English Channel, yet via 1941 they have been in use offensively, undertaking sweeps alongside the enemy coast looking for prey. via 1942 British MGBs have been visible within the Mediterranean, interdicting Axis offer routes to North Africa, and later aiding the Allied invasion forces as they landed in Sicily, Italy and the South of France.
The majority of those small wood craft have been inbuilt Britain through the British strength Boat corporation or Fairmile Marine. They got here in quite a few styles and sizes, yet in overdue 1942 the Fairmile "D" MGB made its visual appeal - a ship which might come to dominate coastal operations over the last years of the warfare. often called "Dog Boats" through their group, they have been quickly, strong and flexible. by way of the tip of the struggle, over 2 hundred of those small boats were equipped and so they represented the head of wartime British motor boat design.
This New forefront name tells the tale of those fragile yet lethal little warships.
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Additional info for British Motor Gun Boat 1939-45 (New Vanguard, Volume 166)
The damaged E-Boat (pictured on page 34) was taken in tow, with a white ensign flying from a jury-rigged mast. Unfortunately, another group of E-Boats was encountered on the voyage home, and the prize had to be scuttled. However, MGB-87 still had her German prisoners, and entered Felixstowe in triumph, with the German flag flying beneath her white ensign. VESSEL LISTINGS M/L a n d M G B S p e c i f i c a t i o n s 60ft British Power Boat MGB Numbers: MGBs 1-5, 2 2 - 3 9 , 4 0 - 4 5 , 49 Dimensions: Length: 60ft 3in; Beam: 13ft 3in Draught: 2ft 9in Displacement: 19 tons Propulsion: Two Napier engines (MGBs 4 0 - 4 5 had Rolls Royce Merlin engines) Speed: 25 knots (40 knots for MGBs 4 0 - 4 5 ) British warships and amphibious craft on their way to Dieppe, during the disastrous raid on the French port in 1942.
5in Vickers MGs, mounted in a Mark V powered mount. While useful weapons, they lacked the punch to damage enemy E-Boats seriously, and consequently most of these mounts were replaced by 20mm Oerlikons when the larger weapons became available. A single 20mm Oerlikon, mounted in the stern of a 70ft BPB MGB. Later in the war, two-barrelled mounts became more common and by 1944 most Oerlikons were fitted onto powered mounts. Note the safety bar, to prevent the gunner hitting the boat's superstructure.
Finally, all Coastal Forces vessels carried smoke floats or smoke-making apparatus. Smoke floats were thrown over the side, and burned for up to ten minutes. The chloro-sulphonic acid (CSA) smoke-producing apparatus was usually mounted in the stern of an MGB, and came in a range of forms. For the most part, these could be used to produce a dense white smoke screen, which would also last for about ten minutes, depending of course on wind strength. MGBS IN ACTION In a book of this size there is all too little space to describe fully how these boats and their weaponry operated in action.