Meulan 85ft Gasoline-class Motor Torpedo Boat, INS Tachmas (T-206) (1950)

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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 Tachmas (T-206) (1950).

Source: File:T206gunfwd.jpg - Wikimedia Commons



Source: File:T-206Haifa.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 Tachmas 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.

Tachmas is one of the few torpedo boats where we can actaully tell a little story she went through. Roughly around 1955, Tachmas was being worked on to add external fuel tank mounts to the ship. Sadly an explosion occured while welding these mounts, the explosion happend because some of the gasoline vapors from the empty fuel tanks had gone out. Luckily no one died during the explosion, but one of the workers was injured, and the ship was severely damaged.

She would be delivered back to the Meulan dockyard for repairs and improvements. One of the changes was to change the engines to diesel, and so this then turned Tachmas into the first Meulan 85ft Diesel-class Motor Torpedo Boat: Meulan 85ft Diesel-class Motor Torpedo Boat, INS Tachmas (T-206) (1957). Reborn and improved

INS Tachmas was armed with one 40mm autocannon, one 20mm autocannon and to the back of the ship two torpedo tubes that can fire German 17.7 inch (450 mm) F5b torpedoes were located. 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.



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)
Complement: 16

1 x 1 40 mm Bofors Mark VII
1 x 1 20 mm Oerlikon Flak 29
2 x 1 17.7" (450 mm) F5b Torpedoes

Well that is all for this little boat. Many more suggestions like these to come in the future!

See you on the battlefield!

Source: File:HafaPortMTBMooring1966.jpg - Wikimedia Commons



Main source:
סט"ר דגם מולן

Secondairy source:שייטת_הטרפדות

Category:INS T-206 - Wikimedia Commons