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Breda guns, MTB 61

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:38 am
by reinaart
I've made a list of the Vosper MTBs that were fitted with captured Italian 20mm Breda guns at some point in their service history. No doubt there were more, these are the boats known to me :

MTB 61, MTB 77, MTB 82, MTB 85, MTB 86, MTB 89, MTB 97, MTB 226, MTB 243, MTB 290 and MTB 298.

MTB 61 (a 70 ft Vosper) is particularly interesting because it was turned into a gun boat by adding three Breda guns (source Coastal Forces Veterans forum) :

"Wartime Activities
1/42 8th MTB Flotilla
(allocated for service in Mediterranean)
MTB 73 at Greenock
MTB 75, MTB 76, MTB 77, MTB 78, MTB 79, MTB 80, MTB 81, MTB 82 to join on completion
8th MTB Flotilla
7th MTB Flotilla
25/01/43 MTBs 61, 77 and 82 arrive in Malta.

15/2/43 MTB 61, MTB 77 and MTB 82, depart Malta for a patrol off the island of Marittimo (South West Sicily). MTB 307 and MTB 315 are to rendezvous in the patrol area. MTB 61 has been converted into an MGB by landing the torpedo tubes and fitting three captured Italian Breda 20mm guns. MTB 61 suffers a failure of the hydraulic steering gear and goes to tiller steering. "

It would be interesting to have a pic of this particular conversion. I wonder if this IWM pic could possibly show the vessel in question. The front section of the torpedo tubes appears to have been removed and I assume that another Breda gun was mounted on its port side :

Image WITH THE MTB'S ON PATROL IN THE MEDITERRANEAN. MARCH 1943.. © IWM (A 17655) IWM Non Commercial License

This pic probably shows the same vessel and a Breda gun on the port side :

Image WITH THE MTB'S ON PATROL IN THE MEDITERRANEAN. MARCH 1943.. © IWM (A 17656) IWM Non Commercial License


Re: Breda guns, MTB 61

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:11 am
by Peter
It is with great interest that I read of the topic Breda Guns. As Radar Operator aboard MTB 243 from May 1943 , I can recall the fitting of the Breda Gun which had a somewhat up beat on our Skipper Lt Du Bouley who took great offence at the removal of the torpedo tubes and the fitting of the Breda Gun . So much so he took the boat after this "re-fit" to safe waters outside Manfredonia Italy and fired off a few rounds in disgust and anger. This incident is well documented in the History of the 24th flotilla by HF Cooper
But on a more treasured memory of MTB 243 was in October 1943 with 2 other boats of the 24th we made our journey across the Adriatic to the Island of Vis a journey that we were to make many times in the coming months , on board we had a delegation of Officers from the British High Command in Italy to discuss with Tito's Partisan Army Command, the setting up of a British Military Base on the Island of Vis.
The success of this meeting has been well documented with the RN Coastal Forces playing a major role in the eventual outcome of this assistance to Tito and his Partisans in the battle to free their Country

Re: Breda guns, MTB 61

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:37 pm
by reinaart
Thanks Peter for your reply. By the way, my 1/35 model of MTB 378 is finally nearing completion (no Breda guns on this model though) :


Kind regards,