Saturday, 28 August 2010

(1929-1941) Motor Torpedo Boats "T1" and "T2"

T-2Built by Thornycroft in 1929, T-1 and T-2 were the only motor torpedo boats that the Greeks had at the beginning of World War II. They carried no name but just the codes T-1 and T-2. Each boat's crew included two officers, two petty officers (both engineers) and two sailors (gunner, radioman).

GA-09 in German serviceT1 and T2 did not see any significant action during the war, although they would certainly be useful against the Italians. They were used only in secondary roles. In 1941, they were sunk by German air raid in Salamis Naval Yard. The Germans repaired them and used them in the Aegean with slight modifications, renamed G-09 and G-10.

Interestingly, in 1939 the Greeks had ordered four newer motor torpedo boats from Vosper. These were never delivered due to the outbreak of the war. They were used by the British as MTB-218, 219, 220 and 221. Admiral Athanasios Spanidis on MTB-218 and 219 (translated from magazine "Ptisi" no143):
"In early February 1940, the Naval attaché in London informed me that I would be placed as commander of two new motor torpedo boats, being built in Portsmouth. The plan was to use them unarmed in peacetime against smuggling and armed with torpedoes in the case of war. When the war started, the English government informed the Greek that both boats should be delivered to the English Navy except if they were transfered from the Greek Ministry of Economy to the Hellenic Navy, in which case H.N. crew should be sent to receive them and not of the Ministry. During the negotiations, I studied the sailing characteristics of the boats. Towards the end of April, I went to Portsmouth to attend the final trials of the two motor torpedo boats... The news from Athens regarding the negotiations showed that they would probably be left to the English. For the record, the Greek Ministry of Economy considered it a success to receive 20,000 pounds in compensation for these ships and deny the Hellenic Navy from two capable boats. Judging by the war record with the English, I consider them as useful as our submarines in the Adriatic, with their great speed and their torpedo armament."

Operational History
1929 - Commissioned.
20 Apr. 1941 - Sunk, captured and modified lightly by the Germans

Thornycroft 55ft CMB class Motor Torpedo Boats "T1" and "T2"

Displacement: 15 tons
Propulsion: 750 hp
Length: 16.5m
Width: 3.3m
Draft: 0.9m
Speed: 37 knots
Armament: 2 × TT 457mm (fired astern), 2 × Lewis MG, 2 depth charges
Crew: 6

For Gamers and Game designers
Although these two did not see significant action, similar torpedo boats were particularly successful for other nations, such as the British and the Italians. Notice the peculiarity of the torpedoes; they were fired astern.

For Modellers
A model of T-1 from the Hellenic Maritime Museum:
Model of T-1 from the Hellenic Maritime Museum

A recent model by Stavros Soulis that entered the IPMS-Hellas 2009 competition:
Model of Greek CMB by Stavros Soulis Model of Greek CMB by Stavros Soulis