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Book Review
Vosper MTB's In Action
Vosper MTB's In Action
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights


The pending arrival of the Italeri 1/35 Scale Vosper MTB prompted a question as to what would be a good reference for the boat. Al Ross kindly pointed me in the direction of the above publication. Written by Garth Connelly, with illustrations by Ernesto Cumpian and Richard Hudson.

ISBN is 0-89747-412-0. This publication is no longer in print but I had no trouble picking up a copy. Garth Connelly also still has a few original copies left is you have trouble getting hold of one and you should contact him via

Ptboat World

The Book

The book is in a typical Squadron/Signal publication lay out style, with 54 pages of A4 landscape containing data and information. The pages are of good quality and a number of plates are provided covering the various styles of Vosper produced during WW2.

The book is written in an easy to follow manner and laid out in a logical sequence. So lets have a look at what gets covered.


The opening 2nd page is set aside for acknowledgements, dedications, and copyright details etc.

Page 3 has a cracking photograph of MTB 378 moving at speed.


The introduction begins on page 4 and outlines the development of the Vosper as a private venture in the pre war period. This is a short but interesting beginning, giving one a decent understanding of how the whole project got off the ground.

1938 – 1939 Vosper MTBs

The next section covers 1938 – 1939 Vosper MTBs. This is again written in a logical and easily readable manner, covering the first MTB developed for the Navy, and outlining in detail the boat specifications and equipment.

Accompanying each section are a series of very good quality pictures showing the boats at that particular time period.

1940 Vosper MTBs

The book then moves on to Vosper MTBs during the 1940s, again detailing the production numbers, specification armament with appropriate related pictures. This is a slightly longer section also showing line drawing of the 1940s version, pictures of the internal and external arrangement and also interestingly the alterations made to the MTB for the very famous St Nazaire Raid.

1941 Vosper MTBs

Page 17 brings us onto the 1941 Vosper MTB and covers the production numbers, specification for that period. On page 18 we get to Vosper’s during 1942 again with the appropriate date on specification and type.

Page 21 introduces a section on MBT 510 the only long hulled torpedo boat designed and makes for interesting reading regarding the testing of equipment for operational boats.

1943 – 1945 Vosper MTBs

By the time you reach page 23 you should have a good understanding of the design and development of the Vosper, it’s markings and varied armaments for the early war years. This section leads on the boats use over the period 1943 – 1945. Sandwiched in-between this section are two pages of plates showing the MTB in its various stages of development, which are a very useful resource in terms of layout and painting.


Pages 28, 29 and 30 cover the basic construction methods used to manufacture the boat and again contains some nice stills of the boat in development.


Pages 31 and 32 are given over to the types of engine specification with accompanying pictures. No detailed drawing of the engine are provided but the reference pictuers are clear.


Types of armament are covered across pages 33 to 40, again accompanied by line drawing and actual pictuers of the various weapons used on the boat. This section contains detail about the variours armament arrangements/specifications for specified time periods and makes for interesting reading.

Operational Usage of the Vosper MTBs

This is more an over view of tactics rather than a detailed split of specific operations and deployment. It makes for good general back ground reading and is accompanied by several pages of various MTB s ‘in action’ so to speak spread across pages 42 to 49. This section provides a good selection of information on specific boats as well as a n ice pictorial history.


All the MTB serials are mentioned in the book starting with the first project boats. Who built what is covered so you can identify boats by number and time period. The plates provide a useful colour reference for the various boats and spread through out the book are a wide variety of interesting and useful photographs.

The photographs are line drawing are of good quality and I think this is a cracking publication for those seeking a good all round and cost effective introduction to the Vosper MTB. Each photograph is accompanied by a suitable caption giving as much detail about the picture as possible such as identifying the MTB number, armament and so on.

Given its size it is not nor does it pretend to be a detail history of the Vosper MTB. What it is and what it achieves effectively is to provide the reader with a good basic understanding of the boat and it’s development, specification, armament and basic deployment throughout the war years. It achieves this effectively and accurately.

The book provides a good range of quality and useful references for the model builder or general reader. It does not go into ‘in action’ in detail but if that is something you seek then it does provide a good sounding board for further research into to specific areas of operations.

Types of boat markings and painting schemes are highlighted appropriately in the text throughout the book
Highs: Logically laid out with good solid information by time period. Excellent accompanying photographs and plates. Easy to read.
Lows: An index of MTB by number and builder might have been useful as a quick reference guide.
Verdict: Highly Recommended
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 4013
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Oct 03, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2020 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. All rights reserved.


Looks like a must have for the new Italeri kit. might be an idea for squadron to put it back in print Si
OCT 05, 2010 - 10:01 PM

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