The Fairmile "D" Motor Torpedo Boat (Anatomy of the Ship)
By John Lambert
Publisher: Naval Inst Press 1985 120 Pages
PDF 62 MB
The name Fairmile is justly famous for the company's various Coastal Force motor launches and other types used by the Royal and Commonwealth navies (as well as those nations with navies in exile) during the Second World War. The Fairmile 'B' was built in very large numbers, both in the UK and abroad, and later 'D's are well known for being the most heavily armed craft for their size of that period - but how did that vast organisation come into being? This is a small part of that story and the process that brought the 'D' into existence.
During the First World War the success of German submarine attacks in British coastal waters led to demands for large numbers of anti-submarine motor launches. These were not available from British sources, and the need was met by the production of some 580 motor launches, by the Electric Boat Company of Bayonne, New Jersey, USA, for shipment to the United Kingdom. Their design was based upon that of a type of motor cruiser popular in the US. Early units were 75ft overall, but later deliveries were 80ft in length. Powered by two 6-cylinder petrol engines, and displacing about 42 tons, they were armed with a single 3pdr gun, on occasion a Lewis light machine gun, and depth charges.
Whilst they did provide some measure of defence, in truth, they were not very well suited to the conditions that prevailed along British coasts, being found wet in any seaway, and consequently of limited operational value. However, it proved that there was a requirement in time of war for large numbers of motor launches for patrol and anti-submarine duties.
Missing Pages 35-38 & 69-70