ROCS HDML Class Motor Launch

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

HDML Fang 1 on the Huangpu river


After WWII a team of naval students from China went to the UK to study the operations of cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and motor boats. This rose from a deal struck between China and the UK in 1945 where the UK would provide a 7,000 ton cruiser, a destroyer, submarines, and Harbour Defence Motor Launches (HDML’s) to China’s navy. This was the second team to go as in 1944 the first team went to the UK to study how to operate and received a flower class destroyer escort.

The second team was split into 2 groups one studying cruisers and destroyers and the other HDML’s. The HDML group first learned how to steer a fishing boat before moving on to motor torpedo boats. They would finally train on HDML’s a month before the conclusion of training.

In March 1947 the first HDML (1406) arrived in China. Afterwards HDML’s 1058, 1390, 1405, 1033, 1068, 1047, and 1059 arrived, with 1059 arriving in September.
After reception they were renamed “防 (Fang: Defense) 1-8” and assigned to the coast guard fleet stationed in Shanghai.

Because many of the officers that had trained in the UK dispersed and went elsewhere, it took a year of further training before the boats would be fully ready. During this time the Chinese civil war had restarted and they were assigned to patrol the Yangtze River from Zhenjiang to Hankou.

There they mainly deterred communist troops from advancing across the river and on September 10, 1948 Fang 1, 4, and 7 were sent to the Zhoushan islands to help fight against the communist troops there. When Shanghai was attacked by the communists they supported larger warships in defending the city. Afterwards when Shanghai fell to the communists the HDML’s retreated to Dinghai (Zhoushan islands) and was reorganized as the First Motor Boat fleet. There they fought against the communists along the coast of Zhejiang and supported the national army’s assault on the Chuanshan peninsula in Ningbo. Afterwards they helped in defending a few islands in Zhoushan before retreating to the Dachen islands and Keelung, Taiwan. Unfortunately during the retreat Fang 3 and 8 were lost. They were then renamed from Fang 1-8 to No. 681 - 687 (except for 683 and 688).

When they fully withdrew from China to Taiwan following the national army’s defeat they were assigned to harbor duties and decommissioned on New Year’s Day 1960.


Displacement: 45 tons

Length: 72 ft (22m)

Beam: 16 ft (4.9m)

Draught: 5 ft (1.5m)

Propulsion: 2 x Gardner 8L3 engines (main engine), 1 x gardener 1.C.2 (auxiliary)

Speed: 10-12 knots

Crew: 11-12


1 x 40mm Pom Pom mark VIII (bow)

1 x 20mm Oerlikon mark VII (stern)

2 x twin 7.7mm Vickers machine guns

HDML in Taiwan. Stern 20mm has been removed


民国海军舰船志: 1912-1937
By: 陈悦


Great option for Chinese coastal! +1