MAS 431 motor torpedo boat

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Guangdong Navy MAS 431


The MAS torpedo boats first started their service in China with the Cantonese navy when MAS-218 was purchased in 1921 and MAS-226 & 227 shortly after that. Not much is known about their service and these boats were scrapped in 1934 when they were replaced by new British CMB boats. Afterwards the Guangdong Navy purchased 2 new MAS torpedo boats from Italy in the early 1930’s. The model purchased was the MAS 431 model introduced in 1931. However unlike the base model the Guangdong navy’s boats had a couple of improvements. The engine was more powerful and the machine guns were switched from 6.5mm to 12.7mm (possibly 13.2mm).

There’s conflicting sources as to what the two boats were named as one says they were named “Fast boat No 3 & 4” the other “No 3 & 4 thunder boats”. I’ll just refer to them as No 3 and 4. No. 3’s captain was Chen Yutian and No. 4’s was Lin Changpeng and later Deng Cuigong. Two Italian consultants also came with the MAS 431’s as advisors.

In June 1936 the torpedo speedboats of the Guangdong navy were incited to defect to the nationalists. However only 2 actually made it (CMB No. 1 and MAS No. 4 ) as the captains were on leave that day. CMB No.2’s captain was watching a movie at the theatre and could not be contacted and MAS No.3’s captain Lin Changpeng’s bus broke down on the way back to base. The next month Guangdong and Guangxi navy’s were taken over by the nationalists and the 4 torpedo boats of the Guangdong navy were reunited once more.

In October 1938 the MAS torpedo boats would meet their fate as the Japanese made their advance towards Guangdong. MAS No. 4 would be destroyed by Japanese aircraft along with the two CMB’s while No. 3 escaped. A few days later No.3 would also be found by Japanese aircraft. The crew fired at the aircraft but in the end they would ignite torpedoes abandon their boat. Thus marking the end of the Guangdong Navy’s 4 torpedo boats.

Abandoned MAS 431 No.3. Picture taken by Japanese recon aircraft

Specifications (MAS 431 type):

Displacement: 15.5 tons

Length: 16 m

Width: 3.95 m

Draft: 1.25 m

Propulsion: 2 x Fiat engines

Horsepower: 2,000 HP (Guangdong navy’s MAS 431 is different from the base 1,500 HP)

Speed: 43 knots (69 km/h)

Armament: 2 x 12.7 or 13.2mm machine guns (bow and stern)

Torpedoes: 2 x 450 mm torpedos

5 x depth charges

Italian MAS 431:





MAS 431 | laststandonzombieisland

MAS 431 (**) - Gruppo di Cultura Navale

作者 (author): 陈悦 著

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