Video encyclopedia

Torpedo boat


High speed motor torpedo boats of the Navy (1943)


Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB) 'Spitfires of the Sea' World War Two 1939-45


Swedish missile boat R142 Ystad seen from torpedo boat T121 Spica


USS PT Patrol Torpedo Boat ELCO 80 - similar to John F. Kennedy PT-109 -12


STILETTO - Herreshoff Designed Wooden Torpedo Boat cruising on Narragansett Bay

A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval ship designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs rammed enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes, and later designs launched self-propelled Whitehead torpedoes. They were created to counter battleships and other slow and heavily armed ships by using speed, agility, and the power of their torpedo weapons. A number of inexpensive torpedo boats attacking en masse could overwhelm a larger ship's ability to fight them off using its large but cumbersome guns. An inexpensive fleet of torpedo boats could pose a threat to much larger and more expensive fleets of capital ships, albeit only in the coastal areas to which their small size and limited fuel load restricted them.
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  • Spar torpedo boats 

  • Self-propelled torpedo 

  • First torpedo boats 

  • Early use in combat 

  • Torpedo boat destroyers 

  • Motor torpedo craft 

  • Fast attack craft today 

  • Bibliography