During the occupation, the shipyards of Meulan received several patrol boats and plane rescue boats, all based on the French Picker company’s plans, most notably the VTB 15. When the country was liberated in 1944, 10 hulls were being built. 2 of them were the original VTB 15 and 16 serie ; the other 8 however, correspond to a serie of German boats called Räumboot, more specifically from the Type 301 serie. 4 of those hulls were abandonned (303, 304, 306, 308) but two others were converted to plane rescue ships (301 and 302) and became V 120 and V 121, while the last two (305, 307) were finished as Motor torpedo boats called VLT (for “vedette lance torpille”) VLT 1 and VLT 2.
Slowly finished, those MTBs would know only a few months of armed status, most probably to evaluate the efficiency of this kind of ship, which were judged obsolete. Both VLT were equipped with Yak 1100HP engines and achieved satisfying results in 1947. However, the USSR wanted paiment for those engines. As the Navy refused, the engines were taken away, and replaced by German Jumo 211 engines. Armed in 1948, they were used for trials during which they showed astounding performances, but didn’t manage to convince the staff, and they were stripped of their weapons in summer 1949. The VLT 2 was dismanteled in 1951, while the VLT 1 would be used as a model for a serie of MTBs sold to the Israelian navy in 1952, before being dismanteled in 1958.
Total length : 30, 65m
Total width : 5,92m
maximum displacement : 67,69t
type : 2 x 1200HP Jumo 211, 4 cycles, 6 cylinders V pattern.
propellers : 2
Torpedoes : 2 x 550mm torpedoes
2 x 40mm Bofor canons
2 x 20mm Oerlikon canons
WARNING : These are the Type 40K schematics. Although they do not have the same bridge, they share however the same hull.
MTBs recovered by the French after the liberation. The VLT 1 or 2 is the furthest in the back.
Photo of the VLT 2, with an emphasis on the AA weapons.
Photo of the French post-war use of one of the hulls similar to the VLT.
SHD Toulon :
série 2A1 and 2A4
Dossier 17S2 archives lehler
Série TTC, TTD, TTY, 1BB2, 1BB8, DD1
SHD Cherbourg :
Dossier 2 A1, 2A5
SHD Centre des archives de Châtellerault (CAA):