Hello everyone! Today I’m going to start suggesting one of the many Torpedo boats Israel operated.
We’re starting of with this one, the Meulan 85ft Gasoline-class Motor Torpedo Boat, INS Peres (T-207).
Source: File:T207Closing.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
The story of the boats bought by Israel from the French Meulan company is quite interesting. In the late 40’s, early 50’s, it was very hard for Israel to buy fully armed vessels from any other country due to restrictions being put on deals like that. And so many ships were bought stripped of all their weaponry and Israel then added their own weapons to them, which led to some very unique modifications of foreign ships.
But there was always demand for a way to buy armed ships, and in comes the French Meulan company. Meulan had only built private yachts and never did anything that included armed militairy vessels. This made it so that they didn’t have any restrictions placed on them regarding the rules for selling armed vessels to other countries. Meulan was given one of the Israeli boats they bought of the British Power Boat Company, and they examined the boat and set out to create their own with some improvements. And so Meulan created their 85 foot Motor Torpedo Boats for Israel.
Meulan would sell a total of six of these boats to Israel. The first four being powered by Junkers Jumo Gasoline engines, and the last two having Napier-Deltic Diesel engines.
INS Peres was one of the first four fitted with Junkers Jumo Gasoline engines. The boats with these engines were quite complex since these Junker Jumo engines were originally aircraft engines. In order to properly adepts the engines into the boats, the engines had to be fitted upside down and there were four of them which drove two propellors. So two engines had to be coupled together into a gearbox that then drove a single propellor.
There were more interesting features added to the ships, but if I have to describe it all we’re going to be here for awhile.
INS Peres was originally armed with just two torpedo tubes that can fire German 17.7 inch (450 mm) F5b torpedoes. But later around 1954 she would be given the same armaments we see on the other Meulan Torpedo boats, that being one 40mm, one 20mm and two 12.7mm machine guns. The torpedoe tubes were kept too. Something that is interesting about the 20mm guns is that they are Oerlikon autocannons, but not the variant used by the allied forces of WW2. No, instead of those, Israel can be seen using the surplus of 20mm Flak 29 Oerlikon guns left over from Germany after they lost the war.
They are ofcourse identical in performance to the Allied variants. But their mounting is slightly different and it’s a cool little detail I thought I point out.
On the photo below we get a great view of the ship while it is launching a torpedo. Sources say that the torpedoes used were older German aerial torpedoes, and this image is what I used to determine that it were the F5b torpedoes that the Israeli’s launched from these torpedo tubes.
Displacement: 62 tons
Length: 85,3 feet (26 meters)
Breadth: 20,7 feet (6,31 meters)
Draught: 5 feet (1,52 meters)
Machinery: 4 x Junkers Jumo 210 Gasoline engines
Max speed: 42 knots (78 km/h)
Well that is all for this little boat. Many more suggestions like these to come in the future!
See you on the battlefield!