Fairmile-D (MTB-1942+)


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Information copied from Wiki.

This is all factual information as the real world did more to these boats than anything I could come up with. The variety of armaments fitted were amazing from a couple of machine guns through to 6pd/57mm cannons.

The Fairmile A motor launch was a type of motor launch designed by Fairmile Marine for the Royal Navy. Shortly before the Second World War the British industrialist Noel Macklin submitted to the Admiralty an innovative plan for the series production of a motor launch. The design used prefabricated parts, which allowed various small concerns, such as furniture and piano manufacturers, to produce the individual components. These components could then be assembled in separate shipyards. The hull was to be made of double diagonal mahogany planking with plywood frames divided into nine watertight compartments.

The Admiralty rejected the concept, and so the prototype was built as a private venture. In July 1939, two months before the outbreak of war, the Admiralty had a change of heart and awarded Macklin a contract to build eleven further Type A Fairmiles. The first vessel (ML100) was not completed until May 1940 because of handling problems at low speeds, although the subsequent boats had all entered service by July. Their role was to be anti-submarine escorts in coastal waters, but, once the better Fairmile B motor launches began to enter service in the autumn of 1940, the Type A boats were converted to minelayers.

ML-104 as minelayer - note mines along the side.

The Fairmile B motor launch was a type of motor launch built by British boatbuilder Fairmile Marine during the Second World War for the Royal Navy for coastal operations. While the Type A had been designed entirely by Fairmile, the Type B design had come from Bill Holt of the Admiralty based on the lines of a destroyer hull and the detailed design and production was taken on by Fairmile. Like all their designs it was based on total prefabrication so individual components could be contracted out to small factories for production and these arranged as kits that would be delivered to various boatyards for assembly and fitting out. Altogether approximately 650 boats were built between 1940 and 1945. As the war moved on, the vessels were adapted to other roles and the armament was modified and upgraded such as the replacement of the 3 pounder with one or more 20 mm Oerlikon cannon and removal of the ASDIC dome for more clearance as minesweepers. Some boats were configured as motor torpedo boats.

The Fairmile C motor gun boat was a type of Motor Gun Boat designed by Norman Hart of Fairmile Marine for the Royal Navy. An intermediate design, twenty-four boats were built in 1941 receiving the designations MGB 312 - 335. The Fairmile Type C was a reuse of the hull form of the Type A but with the lessons learned from the Type A incorporated in terms of steering and deck layout.

Five boats of the twenty-four built were lost to enemy action.

The class was mainly involved in close escort work with east coast convoys, and some boats were engaged in clandestine operations. MGB 314 took part in Operation Chariot, the daring raid on the St Nazaire docks (the only facility on the axis-held Atlantic coast suitable to refit Bismarck-class battleships outside of Germany).

Fairmile D motor torpedo boat was a type of British Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) designed by Bill Holt and conceived by Fairmile Marine for the Royal Navy. Nicknamed "Dog Boats", they were 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 in Britain. 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.

As can be seen, nearly a 1000 Fairmile MTB-MGB's were built during the war. They served everywhere around the coasts of the United Kingdom and Mediterranean Sea. They were versatile craft and the armaments put aboard them showed this. Want an MTB then put some torpedo tubes aboard. Some of the torpedo tubes were those removed from the US Four piper classes when the 50 Lend-Lease units were converted to ASW destroyers. Big 21" torpedo tubes in place of the 18" standard size put aboard most UK boats.


Displacement 102 standard, 120 full load
Length 115 ft
Breadth 21 ft
Draught 5 ft
Machinery 4 shaft, 4 Packard 4M 2500 petrol engines, total 5,000 hp
Speed 30 knots (at full load)
Range 500 miles at 30 knots, 2,000 at 11 knots
  • Fairmile-D 658 1944-45

    2 single 6 pounder guns
  • 4 20mm Oerlikon (2 single, 1 twin)
  • 2 twin .303 Vickers K guns
  • 4 light boat depth charges
Complement 20-24
Notes 6 pounder gun with autoloader on Mollins mounting


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