VTB-8, the first operational motor boat of the French navy

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VTB 8, the first successful motor boat of the French navy


About the VTB 8 and its interest in War Thunder :

The VTB 8 is a good contender for a reserve tier MTB for the French coastal tree. Fast, armed with a couple MGS and two torpedoes, its firepower may be a little on the light side but nothing that wouldn’t be acceptable at that tier.

Context :

The French Navy became quickly aware of the efficiency of the Motor Torpedo boats after WW1. Among the biggest inspiration were Italian MAS, which quickly proved the potential of those ship, for example after sinking the austrian battleship Szen Itisvan, but most importantly, the British Thornicroft Coastal Torpedo boats which were extensively used during the war. Buying Thornycroft boats in 1921. They quickly became the VTB1 and VTB 2, “Vedette torpilleur” the first testing bench for a futur French made serie of MTBs, in a program called “Flottille d’échantillons”, or “sample fleet”, testing various technologies on successive operational boats. after testing the torpedo system on single torpedo carrying boats called “VT model A” or VTA, the VTB (carrying two torpedoes and more) quickly took off. The VTB 2 to 7 were the first serie of torpedo boats. trying various engine, various components and constructions, the results were disappointing, with a tendency from the early hulls to break down, as well as the engines being unreliable, incapable of keeping a 40 knot speed over long periods of time. Only the VTB 7 was deemed successful, and served as a test bench for torpedoes in the French navy for several years, before being dismanteled in 1941.

VTB 8 :

The VTB 8, 9 and 10 program followed those experimental machines as a mean to continue working on a more perfected MTB. Decided during the 1928 program the VTB 8 was built by the Melan Shipyard and used Silbur Lorraine engines. The VTB 8 used the Loire “claw” system, releasing torpedoes by the side ; it had a lot of issues, most notably in the precision of the torpedo when rolling down inside the water, and fragile metallic claws. It was equipped with a standard twin Darne 7.7mm machinegun turret as defense against aircrafts.

When the war finally came, only the VTB 8 found its way to England. There, it was taken by the British navy after the French Armistice, and given to the Free French Naval Forces, where it served as a patrol boat until the end of the war.

Specifications :


Length (at sea level) : 18,76m

Total length of the hull : 19,20m

Total length : 19, 60m

width (sea level) : 4,19m

Total width : 4,20m

Depth of the hull : 0,705m

maximal draught under the propellers : 1,08m

height of the forward freeboard : 1,23M

height of the middle freeboard : 1,40m

height of the rear freeboard : 0,93m

submerged surface : 2,30m2

floating surface : 59,14 m2

volume of the hull : 23,902 m3

displacement sea water: 25,5T

theoric displacement : 22T

expected displacement : 21,56T


type : Lorraine

power : 1100 HP

propellers : 2

Max speed predicted: 48 knts

Trials max speed : 52 knts

autonomy : 180 miles

maximum power at 1600t : 2200 HP

fuel consumption per miles at 48 knts : 12,265 kg


Torpedoes : 2 x 450mm torpedoes Mle 1909 R

Torpedo launching systems : VTB 8 : lateral Loire claw system

1 x 2 DARNE 7.7mm machinegun turret

Photos :

PLAN of the VTB 8







VTB 8 before delivery in Cherbourg, trials in 1933


VTB 8 (center) in England with the FFNL, you can see the claws on both sides. the two other MTB are the VTB 11 and 12


Photo taken in Paris. You can see the rear launching mecanism of the VTB 9 on the left, and the claw launching mecanism of the VTB 8 on the right.


Primary :


SHD Toulon :

série 2A1 and 2A4

Dossier 17S2 archives lehler

SHD Vincenne

Série TTC, TTD, TTY, 1BB2, 1BB8, DD1

SHD Cherbourg :

Dossier 2 A1, 2A5

SHD Centre des archives de Châtellerault (CAA):

Trial reports and plans

Secondary :

SAIBENE Marc, Les vedettes lance-torpille FRANÇAISE, Marines Editions, 2007, 127 p.


Though weakly armed, it will make a good starter. I look forward to the French Coastal tree! +1

As for armament, it may seem too weak, but the fact that the boat is close to 100 km/h is appealing.
Not bad for a CAP boat! +1

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