Soviet Motor Torpedo Boats of World War II cover
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In the 1920s and 30s, aircraft designer Andrey Tupolev designed a series of advanced torpedo boats for the USSR. Superbly illustrated, this is their first history in English.

The Soviet Navy's fast attack craft were inspired by the 1919 Kronstadt raid, conducted by British hydroplaning, torpedo-armed Coastal Motor Boats (CMBs). The first were to be CMB copies, but with Soviet shipbuilding incapable of the project, it was handed to the Aerodynamic Institute, headed by Andrey Tupolev. Built with aircraft engines and technology, his 50kt boats were as photogenic as they were bumpy and noisy, and made a vivid impression on propaganda newsreels. Some were adapted with remote control guidance, a pioneering development of the naval drone.

Written by a former Soviet naval architect, this book is the first in English to offer a history of these fascinating, dashing craft. He explains that, technically advanced but flawed, the Sh-4 and G-5 had no opportunity to act in their designated role in World War II. Instead, some were employed instead as landing craft, while others were rearmed and used as minelayers or subchasers. Many were adapted as fire support craft with Katyusha rocket launchers installed.

Packed with superb new artwork and unpublished photos, it examines Tupolev's torpedo boats as well as the handful of other MTBs the Soviet Union fielded. It is an account of a rare impressive design in the prewar Soviet Navy.

Table of Contents

- The development of the CMB, 1915
- CMBs in Russia, 1919
- The Soviet 'Young School'
-Sh-4 type
The G-5 type
-General arrangement
-Series production
Further developments
Torpedo boats at war
- Organization
- War production
- Lend-lease
- Performance
Further reading

Product details

Published Mar 25 2025
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 48
ISBN 9781472866608
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations Illustrated throughout with 40 photos and 8 pages of colour illustrations
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Series New Vanguard
Short code NVG 336
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Przemyslaw Budzbon

Przemyslaw Budzbon is a naval architect who work…


Waldemar Góralski

Waldemar Góralski lives in Poland. A graphic desi…


Piotr Forkasiewicz

Piotr Forkasiewicz was born in 1978 in Opole, Pola…


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