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Chinese Navy - PT Torpedo Boat

The torpedo boat is a small combat ship used for offshore combat with a torpedo as the main weapon. In addition to performing missions, you can also perform other tasks such as patrol, alert, anti-submarine, and mine. However, with the end of World War II, the navies of various countries gradually installed more advanced anti-ship missiles. The torpedo boats have basically been replaced by missile boats, but continue to undertake tactical tasks such as rapid surface assaults in naval battles.

The torpedo boat has a small tonnage, high speed and flexibility. The displacement is usually tens of tons to hundreds of tons. The speed is 30 to 40 knots , some can reach 50 knots, and the cruising capacity is 500-3000 nautical miles. The boat is equipped with 2 to 4 torpedoes. Some boats are also equipped with 20 to 76 mm caliber guns. The larger tonnage boats may also carry mines and deep water bombs. The matching sensor systems includes search, detection, weapon control, communication and navigation, and electronic warfare.

The development of torpedo boats coincided with the appearance of torpedoes. In 1873, the bow gun was removed from the German gunboat SMS Basilisk, built in 1862, and replaced by a torpedo tube; Basilisk was thus the first "torpedo carrier" of the Imperial Navy , although not the first "torpedo boat" in the true sense.

Manchu PT BoatFor the type of warships, the Chinese are no strangers. As early as during the Westernization Movement, the Beiyang Navy of Daqing was equipped with the most advanced torpedo boats at that time. The Chinese Navy fielded a deep sea torpedo boat in the 1880s. One of these boatsalmost sunk the Japanese ship "Fulong" in the Sino-Japanese War.

By the end of the 19th century, there were already torpedo boats in various navies. However, because the early turbine system was not mature and the effective range of the torpedo was too short, most of the torpedo boats were only installed on large warships. They were transported by large warships to the vicinity of the battle.

During the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese Navy used the torpedo boats extensively to defeat the Qing army and the Russian fleet of Lushun and Weihaiwei with a high degree of power and powerful torpedoes, and sank several large warships.

In the 20th century, the marine main engine gradually matured, and oil gradually replaced coal as a new power source for ships. The weight of the torpedo boat was greatly reduced, so that the total weight began to be compressed within 100 tons. The steam turbine engine and the gasoline or diesel internal combustion engine gradually replaced the reciprocating type. The speed of the engine and the torpedo boat has also increased dramatically to 20 to 30 nautical miles.

In the Great War, the Italians were the first to exploit the new possibilities created by the progress of the engine by creating the MAS torpedo launchers, powered by powerful Isotta Fraschini engines, surprisingly modern at the time. The acronym MAS stands for Motobarca Armata Svan (SVAN Armored Power Boat, named after the Venetian yard that produces them). The poet and propagandist Gabriele d'Annunzio, participating in the MAS raid on Buccari ( Bakar ) transformed it into a Latin motto: "Memento Audere Semper", Remember to Always Dare.

Lieutenant Luigi Rizzo succeeded in the sinking of the enormous Austro-Hungarian battleship Szent Istvn with his tiny MAS 15 on June 10, 1918, in the Adriatic, while his team-mate, Aonzo, saw his torpedoes, poorly regulated, pass under the Tegetthoff, commanded by Admiral Horthy, who narrowly escaped sinking.

Studied by all the major states, this remarkable military success led in the inter-war period to create a new variant of the torpedo concept. The appellation changed according to the country, the British called it Motorboat, the Germans Schnellboot, the Americans Patrolboat, but the formula remained the same with a few variations: a motor boat capable of high speeds thanks to powerful engines and armed with two or four torpedo tubes. Even more than its predecessors, it remained limited to coastal operations because of its small size.

Before and after the founding of the People's Republic of China, a group of old World War II ships with small tonnage, poor ship conditions and poor firepower were almost all the homes of the People's Navy. In addition to organizing the power to repair these old ships and barely maintaining a certain sea power, the new China can only rely on the strength of the Soviet Union to rebuild its navy. Along with the signing of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Assistance, a large number of Soviet advanced naval equipment and experienced technical experts came to China to provide valuable support for the construction of the People's Navy during the initial period.

Through Lend-Lease, the Soviet Union obtained a batch of American-made PT-type torpedo boats. This kind of speedboat has been widely praised by grassroots officers and soldiers. After referring to the technology of PT boats, the Soviet Union made a series of improvements to the ?-123 boats in their hands. During the Great Patriotic War, the main battles were basically carried out on land, and the Soviet Red Army completely became a supporting role. However, the operations carried out in the offshore area made the Soviets aware that torpedo boats, escort boats and other light ships were performing offshore harassment, mine and warning, etc.

The Soviet experts not only brought a full set of drawings of various types of Soviet-made destroyers, but also introduced a mature torpedo speedboat to the Chinese. The Soviet experts first brought the K-123B and K-123K torpedo speedboats to China, which were modified to the ?-123 Communist Youth League torpedo boat.

In the People's Navy, the reunion of the Chinese and the torpedo boats was about to write a glorious battle history. Although the technical strength of the Chinese shipbuilding industry was weak at the time, it was not difficult to copy the two torpedo boats according to the information provided by the Soviet side.

The moment when the blade is unsheathed was coming soon. In the autumn of 1954, the People's Air Force and the Navy repeatedly confronted the other side in the direction of Dachen Island. The naval speedboat unit that had been waiting for it finally got a chance to play. The 18 ?-123?/? boats of the 31st speedboat brigade entered the east of Zhedong, and on the 31st of that year, the 8th squadron of the 1st squadron attacked and waited for an ambush. The torpedo boat launched eight torpedoes in the enemy's bullets and rain, and then escaped from the war. Soon the sound of the thunder explosion in the "Taiping" [a US Navy escort destroyer with a standard displacement is 1,140 tons] rang through the sea, and the abdomen of the ship was torn open with a big hole and sank after a few hours at sea. The newly established torpedo boat unit succeeded in the first battle.

In the years that followed, the torpedo boats of the Peoples Navy were extremely active. The Soviet-made ?-123?/? type and the domestically produced 6602 type successively went into battle and continued to make great achievements. For example, in the sea encounter in the Golden Gate area in 1958, the first speedboat brigade dispatched 6 speedboats of 1 squadron and 2 squadrons, sank the "Taisheng" landing ship, and wounded the "Zhonghai" landing ship, killing the enemy. 486 people (the "8.24" naval battle, after the victory was adapted into the movie "Haiying"). In the "8.6" naval battle that broke out on August 6, 1965, my speedboat 11 brigade dispatched six speedboats.

With anti-ship missiles that are far superior to torpedoes in range or speed, they are increasingly active in the battlefield after World War II. Torpedo boats are now basically replaced by new missile boats equipped with anti-ship missiles. The active boats have been decommissioned; in addition, the anti-submarine function of the torpedo boats is replaced by more flexible anti-submarine helicopters or anti-submarine patrol aircraft. However, the Korean Peoples Army and the Cuban Navy, which are decades behind the worlds leading national navies, continue to serve in the old torpedo boats because there are no large surface ships above the frigate level.




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Page last modified: 14-10-2019 19:10:26 ZULU