During WW2, the Soviet Navy went on producting motor torpedo boats in larger numbers than any other warship. Cheap and capable of operating on rivers as well, with gunboats, they soon proved highly valuable to perforom a large variety of roles, from the black sea to the baltic and their confined shallow waters, but also the pacific. Indeed in total, around 500 were delivered to Soviet Forces, in five main types, the last being produced for many years during the early cold war. They were identified by letters and very comparable to Italian MAS boats, for which they took inspiration from. Their style was unique, notambly the famous G5 type which basically were the standard Soviet MTB of WW2. Statistics of their actions are hard to find. Only a dozen axis surface ships and u-boats combined were sunk during the war, and because of the small sizes of the torpedoes carried by the main TMB series, a hit was rarely fatal. Losses however, were heavy. It is estimated for example, that for all of G5 boats delivered (Circa 292), only 191 were still extant in 1945. However, with their powerful engines and sturdy design, quite unique, these MTBs achieved amazing speeds. On trials, a prototype aluminium unladen G5 reached 62 knots (115 kph, 71 mph).
Development of Soviet MTBs
Brief overview of WW1 Russian MTBs
The invention of Motor Torpedo Boats (abbreviated since the beginning of the 20th century "MTB") had many fathers, but it's the marriage between more reliable torpedoes and fast civilian boats that created them. Smaller and cheaper than regular torpedo boats, they became a way of detterence on a budget, an attractive solution for coastal defense. In that realm, Imperial Russia already had some experience:
Nikolson MTBs (1905)
In 1904 already, seeing tests made in the UK for harbour defense and concerned over the safety of Port Arthur, an order was passed in 1904 to the US shipyard Flint & Co., for 35 tonnes, 20 knots MTBs. They were carried in modules, assembled in Sebastopol, and scheduled to be sent to the far east, but the war ended before this was realized. They were shipped instead to the Baltic and laid up in 1910-11 because of oil shortages. Places in reserve in 1921, they were reactivated in 1937 to be converted as sub-chasers (Mo 312 class) and saw WW2 as well, almost three wars in a career.
Motor Launches (1915-18)
Although these were not MTBs (they were slow and only had machine guns) these small vessels used for patrols were quite numerous and provided extra experience with small boats construction:
SKA series (1916): 12 built hy Zolotov NyD, Petrograd, for the Baltic
SK series (1915): 18 US-built, assembled at Revensky NyD for the black sea fleet. On was converted as a MTB.
MN series (1916): 18 of the Same, for the Arctic defence.
N°511 serie (1916): 31 of the same, also assembled in revensky for the black sea.
BK series (1917): 12 built by Revensky for the Black sea fleet.
Soviet authorities have a look at MTBs again (1921)
As a fighting type, the MTB was a cheap, light unit of great interest to Soviet authorities, not having the industrial capacity for a large fleet (yet), and prioritizing coastal defense policy. The observation of the successes of the Italians against the Austro-Hungarian fleet during the great war naturally led them to consult once again their main technological partners in naval matters, but also the British. Up to that point, the latest MTBs in the hands of the red army were eight British CMB 40ft-type MTBs, transferred to Whites and later captured. They were not only pressed into service with the Soviet Navy until worn out, but inspired greatly some developments. Propelled by a Thornycroft V-8 or Thornycroft V-12 or even a FIAT or Green 12-cyl. petrol engine they reached from 27 to 27 knots, but were armed the same way. The last was discarded in 1934.
Tupolev, the famous aeronautical designer, was approached thanks to his experience of aluminum, to build the first ANT1-4 prototypes in 1921-23. These units used Italian (Isotta-Fraschini) or American (Wright Cyclone) engines. Subsequently different models were defined, starting with the Sh-4 (1928), SM1 (2 prototypes, 1931), and ultimately the G5 (1933) by using the standard powerful GAM-34 engine and standard marine torpedoes (21 inches). Several hundred of the G5 will be produced, and used intensely in the black sea fleet and baltic, but without registering a resounding victory. They remained the bread and butter of Soviet coastal warfare during WW2. Experiments were made for more power and heavier armament: The G6 (1935), G8 (1938), SM3 (1940), D4 (1940). Only another serie than the G5 built and operated in USSR existed, the D3 (139 built). It should be noted that the Soviet Navy also received via lend-lease US and British MTBs, 90 Vosper 70ft types, a few Higgins 78ft, and 60 Elco 80ft types, plus 12 captured MTBs from Romania and Bulgaria after Thrace was retaken by the Soviet Army. On the latter chapter, these 12 MTBs were captured in August and september 1944 when this coast was retaken by the Soviet army, recommissioned as TKA-951-955 and TKA-958-964, all returned in 1945.
G5 in patrol. The most popular Russian torpedo boats were designed by the aircraft manufacturer Tupolev.
Tupolev's G5s were an interwar design, but produced in much smaller numbers during the war (circa 39). They were most famous, but the larger D3s were far most popular and used wooden hulls, saving on strategic materials. At the end of the war, the Soviet Navy needed to rebuilt its pacific fleet for intended operations against Japan. The Komsomolec class were supposed to replace the G5s, but arrived too late and will see action against Japan.
The Stalnoi SM1 and 2 in 1931, the G6, quite heavy (70 tons) and equipped with 8 GAM-34BS engines, the G8, with 4 engines and capable of 47 knots, the prototype of the D3, the D2, in 1939, equipped with 52 ASW grenades, the SM3 (1940), capable of 45 knots, and the D4, the last avatar of this series, capable of 39 knots with 3300 hp procured by three engines. They will all be seen in detail in this post.
Scale model by Hristo Boevski (cc)
Armament of Soviet MTBs
With approx. 300 MTBs in 1941, 250 G5 and 52 Sh4, the Soviet Navy had a way to defend its coastal waters. To this were added a complement of G5 boats of the last serie and about 140 larger D-3 class vessels.
They were armed with two types of torpedoes:
-Two 18-in naval torpedo for the Sh-4 (like British CMB)
-Two 21-in naval torpedoes (G5, D3), 533 mm (21") 53-38 type.
They were also all given heavy machine guns, the 12.7 mm "Duskha" (DSHK):
-One on Sh-4, 1-2 on G5, or even 4 on D-3. The 1945 Komomolec class had two twin mounts
Some D3 replaced their 0.5 in heavy MGs by lend-leased 20 mm Oerlikon guns.
Other D3s combined a Soviet 25 mm (0.98 in) with a 12.7 mm HMG.
-ASW armament: It was limited to the D3 and converted vessels like the Sh-4 serie and olders G5 series. They carried 4 standard ASW depth charges or more aft, on rails.
-Rockets: After trials were made with Katiusha rocket launchers in 1942, the authorities confirmed the use of 82mm and 132mm army type, mounted behind the conning tower on the last series and converted earlier boats.
-Mines: Although this is not well documented, photos showed boats modified to carry aft (in the former torpedo cradles) eight small naval mines. At least five G5 boats were converted this way, which served on the baltic.
Tactics of Soviet MTBs
The ANT-1, Sh-4 and G5 types were all based on the Italian WW1 standard SVAN type, which carried two torpedoes aft. They were launched tail first. This implied the MTBs needed to approach their target more than standard front-firing, tube launching MTBs (like German E-Boats). Once at the required distance, the Boat turned hard, presenting its stern for launch. When in the right direction, the torpedo was dropped, and a cable release actioned their engine (most often oxygen turbine). The boat was in the right direction by then to depart the other way at full speed, now much lighter. The unguided torpedo precise launch time was complicated to establish, more than in a standard torpedo tube. Indeed, additionally to trigonometry, the boat needed to present ots stern at the right angle before firing, which was far less straigthforward than just "aiming" the bow of the boat on the expected point where the target would be before firing.
The standard 533 mm (21") 53-38 used on Soviet MTBs was first designed in 1936 and shared with almost all other soviet surface combatants, but also submarines. It was based on an Italian model, powered by a Wet-heater, carrying a 661.4 lbs. (300 kg) igh explosive warhead to three possible settings: 4,270 yards (4,000 m)/44.5 knots, 8,750 yards (8,000 m)/34.5 knots and 10,940 yards (10,000 m)/30.5 knots. Given the way G5s approached, the first setting was more likely. Such small and agile target, either presenting its bow and stern most of the time, and its flank only when turning, was a hard target to hit by any means from 4000 yards/meters away. It was more likely also these MTBs launched both torpedoes when engaging, to keep the benefit of speed and agility when retiring, launching in succession to avoid wake interference of the first on the second torpedo, and maximizing any hit chance.
Soviet MTBs operated in pairs, so that one boat would help another in case of one ship being hit or disable for any reason. Trained crews precious, even to soviet standards. This also ensured there was always a patrol at sea when the squadron was in harbor, with some boats in repair and maintenance. With four torpedoes also, there was at least four chances of hitting a target.
Being made a bit like aircraft, in aliminium, or wood for he D-3, the boats were light but totally unprotected due to stability issues. Sometimes crews welded over some plating but it was a non-compliant field measure, endangering the boat's stability. Their light construction (espcially G5s) was also a problem. Aluminium was hard to work on, and the boats could be damaged by collision with any obstacle and between themselves or badly damaged by heavy weather. They were judged too small to operate past Force 4. The problem was solved with the D-3s, much larger and designed to carry on and operate in Force 6 waves.
-It should be added that the two aft torpedo cradles, when free, were handy to cram inside around 20 men, ten seated on each side. G5s were used as fast transports on rivers and coastal areas, a nice, fast way to bring reinforcements. At 55 knots (101 kph 63 mph), they were much faster than any truck or tank, with the advantage of a free surface. They were fast less vulnerable to the Luftwaffe due to their speed and agility. They were used also often in night operations for the same reasons, but hardly fit for "commando" operations due to the high level of noise produced by the engines. They were all but stealthy.
Proyekt ANT class (1921-28)
The denomination "ANT" shared by planes designed by A.N.Tupolev (hence the acronym), was applied to four motor torpedo boats built in the 1920s, in order to test the adptation of two WWI designs by the Soviets: Captured British CMB (notably at Kronstadt) and Italian SVAN Type MAS were studied. Both used the same stern-launched torpedoes and used several petrol engines to drive two propellers.
As small speed boat propelled by a 160 hp Isotta-Fraschini engine for 40 kts.
Unknown petrol engine, 35 kts. Appearance not known.
-ANT3 Pervenec/Pervenetz (1927):
8.9 tonnes, armed with a single 18-inches torpedo, two MGs, designed at TsAGI, Moscow. She was given two Wright Cyclone aviation engines for a total of 1050 bhp, for a top speed of 54 knots. She was discarded in 1941.
-ANT4 Tupolev (1928):
Also called N°14, also from TsaGi Moskow. Ten tons, same powerplant, 50 knots and two 18-in torpedoes. The latter vessels were designed specifically by the aero-hydrodynamic institute headed by Engineer A.N. Tupolev (giving his name to ANT-4), Pervenec being just a project name. The last boat was the basis for the next SH-4 serie, and went on as prototype to tests some improvements on the Sh-4 in the 1930s. She was BU in 1937. The other were also likely discarded before even WW2 broke out.
SM1 class (1931)
Two experimental MTBs, officially named "Stalnoi", the first to receive the Soviet GAM-34 petrol engine. They were much larger at 25 tonnes, and the two engines developed a total combined of 1540 bhp for a top speed of 30 knots. Although as testbeds for the engines they made their point, they were not considered very successful, too large and underpowered, whereas the Soviet admiralty wanted to reach at least 45 knots. The next G-5 were in effect a completely revised version of the Sh4 using the same engines.
Also related were two vessels built at 194 Yd (Marti Yd), Leningrad: The S-1, and S-2. They displaced Displacement fully loaded 28 tonnes, measured 23.5 by 3.80 with a 1.90 m draught, had three shafts connected to GAM-34BS petrol engines for 2,250 bhp total, allowing for 27 kts. They carried 3.5 tons of fuel oil, for an endurance, of 270 nm at 12 kts, and armed wit a twin 7.6mm/94 MGs mount, and three aft 450 TT (stern) or 3 DCR (36). Complement was 6. They were not followed by any production because too slow. In 1942, both received a single 20mm/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, and one 12.7/79 DSHK They were active during WW2.
Also called Proyekt ANT-5, this model was developed by TsAgi Moskow and built at 194 Yd (Marti Yd), Leningrad as No1. This was the prototype of G-5 MTB series. A further development of Sh-4 type with 21-in or 533mm torpedoes, increased length and more powerful engines: Displacement 14.5 tonnes, 19.1 x 3.40 x 1.20, 2 shafts Isotta-Fraschini petrol engines 2000 bhp, 5,8 tonnes fuel, 200 nm/31 kts. Armament single 7.6mm/94 (.3 in) LMG, two 533 TT mm (stern) or 4 mines, crew 6.
A single, 70 tonnes (standard) experimental boat designed at TSaGi from 1932, she was powered by no less than eight GAM-34BS (later BPF) in the initual design, for a total of 6800 bhp, procuring 42 knots. This boat was an attempt to create a large weapon platform, with a much heavier armament and even some armor; The final design carried no less than three torpedoes tubes, one 45 mm/46 AA gun and three heavy machine guns. Many of its lessons were incorporated in the D3 serie. This was a far larger vessel akin to a "destroyer leader" but for MTBs.
The G6 Displaced 86 tonnes FL, was 34.9 pp 36.5 max long, for 6.60 wide, 1.90 m of draught, two shafts, eight GAM-34BPF petrol engines, 7760 nhp for 50 kts, and carried 8.9 tonnes of fuel oil for an endurance of 435 nm at 28 kts. Armament: Single 45/43 21K, single 12.7/79, quadruple - 7.6mm/94 LMG AA, 3three 533 TT (stern)/3 mines, and at first a single triple trainable TT later removed. Complement 30. Fate:
-In 1937, three other boats are being reported built, the No104, 114, 124, or DTK class. Almost no info, specs or photo exist today.
-In 1937 also, also a special program saw the development of the UKU class, laid down in 3.1937 and launched in 3.10.1939. This MTB was given Multipurpose turbines running on coal with Ramsin boilers. Probkems with the concept led to suspend development, eventually cancelled in 1951.
A single experimental 26 tonnes boat, so closer to the SM1/SM2, with two TTs and three MGs, four petrol engines which produced 3200 bhp. With all that power, the G8 was able to reach 47 knots. Displacement fully loaded was 31 tonnes, for 24.2 x 3.78 x 1.50 and four GAM-34BPF petrol engines 4000 bhp and 32 knots. She carried 4.2 tons of oil and had a complement of 10.
The D2 was a brand new type of experimental boat, the denomonation reflecting its armament as a sub-chaser, slightly larger and better armed than the G5. The first was in fact built after the D3 prototypes, in 1939, and was much smaller at only 17 tonnes. It was propelled by two GAM-34FN engines for a total output of 2200 bhp. She carried two MGs and no less than 52 depht charges. Tested in 1940-41 it was not followed by any production.
Technically also a motor torpedo boat, but semi-experimental as only three were built. With this class, the Soviet Navy was stepping into a brave new world, of air-cushion vehicles. Indeed, the idea of air-cushion was known for sustentation and speed, however it took several years until 1939 to have the first operational of such MTBs ever. Displacement fully loaded ws estimated 11 tonnes, for an overall lenght of 24.0m, 5.40 m width, unknown Draught. They were powered by an unknown powerplant estimated 2,000 bhp 70 kts, two single 12.7mm/79, two 450 TT (stern) tubes. Crew was 5. In 1940, TKL-1 was followed by TKL-2, 3 and 4. Fate is unknown. They probably were discarded during WW2. There was also in 1941 a smaller version of the L5 called Proyekt TKL-20, with three boats made, 20-22, using air cushion too.
SM3, SM4 (1940)
A continuation of the earlier SM design, the SM3 was about the same displacement of 26 tonnes, and was equipped with three shafts, each drving a GAM-34FN petrol engine for a total of 3300 bhp and 45 knots. Armament was unchanged two torpedoes and two MGs. The SM4 built in Marti comprised the N°124 in Sept. 1941 and 164 in 1944. These were endurance boats tailored for minelaying. Displacement 42 tons FL, 23.3 x 4.60 x 1.80, 4 GAM-34 petrol engines for 4000 bhp and 30 kts, same armament and 9 crew.
An evolution of the D3 serie, the experimental D4 built in 1940 had three of the new GAM-34FN engines, 1,100 bhp each for a total of 3,300. With 22 tonnes, however she only reached 39 knots, but she was basically a gunboat with no less than twelve 0.5 in heavy machine guns and the same torpedoes. A smaller boat, a return to the philosophy of the G5 at 15 tonnes and two diesel engines for 2400 bhp and 56 knots was developed, but this unnamed prototype became the basis for a famous serie: The Komsomolec class.
-Another foggy type, developed in 1944-45 was the TK-450 YUNGA (project TM-200) (1944 - 1945). They were developed as sub-chasers, and Displacement was 47 tons, 23.4 x 4.40 x 1.70, powered by three Packard petrol engines, 3600 bhp for 30.7 kts and 488 nm of autonomy. Arament was three 12.7mm/79, and two 533 TT, crew 11. They had a partly wooden and metallic hull but soon appeared overloaded and slow.
Lend-lease soviet MTBs
US-Built Vosper type 70feets, transferred in 1944-45, 90 actually shipped, on 140 scheduled, but 50 cancelled after the end of the war with Japan. All but one joined their destination, three were sunk in action: TK-224 (9.9.1944), TK-239 (15.7.1944), TK-565 (16.8.1945). Displacement standard: 33 tonnes, 45 FL, 22.1 x 5.87 x 1.68m, 3 shafts petrol engines (various), 3,375 bhp, 39 kts, 11,200 L petrol, 570 nm, one 20mm/70 Mk 4, two twin 12.7mm/90, two 533 TTs and 2 DCs plus SO or SCR-517A radar, crew 11. Discarded 1949, 1955-56.
US-built Higgins boats, 78 feets type, of which only two were effectively transferred in 1943, of an original total of 59 scheduled for transfer and all but four transferred, some of which were lost at sea during the transfer, leaving two operational in the Soviet Navy (accoridng to Conways). They were called in service the No21 motor torpedo boats class and sources converged to say seven were lost in action: No21 (12.5.1943), TK-214 (10.3.1945), TK-203 (19.8.1944), TK-209 (9.5.1944), TK-212 (10.4.1944), TK-217 (8.5.1944). In reality, those effectively transferred were the N21 (ex-PT89) and 22 (ex-PT86), 202 to 213 (ex-PT265 - 276), TK-215 to 218 (ex-PT289 - 292), TK-219 (ex-PT294), TK-222 (ex-PT293) and TK-851 - 882 (ex-PT625 - 656).
US-Built Elco Type, delivered in 1944-45. The 60 scheduled all arrived in port. There were no loss to the enemy. In fact, in all, the allies planned to ship 259 US-built MTBs to the Soviet Union. Of these, 205 were shipped, three lost en route, and 53 shipped in "knocked out" kits, assembled in Russia. Displacement standard 38tons, 54-61 tons FL, 24.4 x 6.30 x 1.60m, 3 shafts, var petrol engines 4050-4500 bhp,
41-43 kts, 11,400 liters gasoline, 500 nm at 20 kts, variable armament.
Losses amounted to 9 and 76 were later returned to the US in 1954 (and scrapped afterwards) while the Soviets themselves 26 and 66 others were declared unseaworthy in 1954 and probably scrapped or recycled. 25 were also scrapped in the Barents sea in 1956 under US supervision.
Also called N°21 OSOAVIAKHIMOVETS class, this was the first serie of MTBs in the Soviet Navy. Derived from the ANT-3/4 prototypes, it was slightly larger at 10.8 tonnes standard, and swapped the former powerplant for two more modern Wright Typhoon, which together developed the same 1050 bhp as previous boats. Since they were heavier, top speed, light and on trials was around 49 knots, but maintained at 44 knots in service. They were armed the same way as the previous ANT-4, with two light torpedoes of 18-inches or 457 mm, and one light 0.3 (7,62 mm) machine gun. Like the late ANT serie they had the characteristic hull later also found on the mass produced G5, with a turtleback hull and amos a flat belly, largely inspired by the British CMB. This help's the ships stability even in heavy weather. There was a small conning tower and observation deck, plus the aft section left free for two torpedo cradles. The front housed the crew.
When the design was authorized, 36 were ordered under the FY1926 naval program, followed by an extra sixteen under the first five-years program in 1932. For the first time, they used an aluminium alloy that the soviet aeronautical industry just started to master. This made them light, and for the extra 16 boats ordered, they were given more powerful Isotta-Fraschini engines to reach a combined 1600 bhp, allowing them to reach 50 knots. They were designed, as for ANT-3/4 by TsAGI under guidance of A. N. Tupolev. They had a duralumin stepped hull, reminding the shape of a seaplane float; As usual torpedoes were launched from chutes astern, there was no torpedo tube. Circa 55 were commissioned and they were spread between the baltic, black sea and pacific; But at that stage, careless maintenance in part due to the poor training and lack of equipments meant their hull suffered much. By the end of the 1930s they were all worn out and reclassed as sub-chasers for some, and NKVD guardships or harbour training and utility launches. They were no longer active in WW2, quickly retired due to be considered of low seaworthiness, with a small endurance and weak armament (the main torpedoes were changed on the next model).
Specifications Sh4 1928
10.9 tons standard, 12.8 tons full load
18.08 x 3.33 x 1 m (59 x 10 x 3ft)
2 shafts Gasoline Wright Typhoon engines 1050 bhp
44 knots ()
2x 18in Ts, 1x 0.3 in
Type G5 (1934-44)
Type G5 4-views (1/48)
These were the Soviet standard for torpedo boats, also called No13 motor torpedo boats. Globally derived from the Sh4 and under the influence of the MAS, they were produced from 1934 to 1945 in several series, 7, 8, 9, 10 before hostilities, and type 11 during the war. The output of their successive russia-designed GAM-34 engines (GAM-34B, BS, BS-F) rose from 1,250 to 2,000 hp and their top speed from 45 to 56 knots. They were also made in aluminum alloy, with the same general lines as the Sh4, curved "turtle back" deck, shallow draft and torpedoes released from the stern, rudder first. Crucially however their aft section was lenghtened and strenghtened to carry to 21-inches torpedoes, to carry the same standard type in use throughout the fleet.
Until 1941, 253 were put into service, and another 39 after for a total of 292. This was the largest production of such ships in the world. Some also participated in the Spanish War, 4 being offered to the Republicans, and there were still 191 left after 1945. They were divided between the Baltic (42), the Black Sea (77), and the Pacific (135). Most had one or two standard 12.7 mm DSH-K heavy machine guns, but others had a Katyusha ROFS-82 or 132 rocket launcher on their rear range from 1944. It should be noted the G5 had another use, Finland: 3 MTBs were indeed captured between 1941 and 1944 and served under Finnish colors either from Vihuri or Viima but all were later returned to the USSR and returned to the Baltic Fleet.
Specifications G5 serie 7/8 1934
14.03 tons standard
17.30 x 3.33 x 0.6 m (57 x 10 x 1ft)
2 shafts Gasoline GAM-34 engines 1,250 bhp
45 knots ()
2x 21in Ts, 1x 0.5 in
Specifications G5 serie 9 1936
2 shafts Gasoline GAM-34B engines 1,600 bhp
49 knots ()
Specifications G5 serie 10 1938
16.25 tons standard
17.30 x 3.40 x 0.6 m (57 x 10 x 1ft)
2 shafts Gasoline GAM-34BS engines 1,700 bhp
53 knots ()
2x 21in Ts, 2x 0.5 in DSHK
Specifications G5 serie 11 1940
16.25 tons standard
17.30 x 3.40 x 0.6 m (57 x 10 x 1ft)
2 shafts Gasoline GAM-34BS-F engines 2,000 bhp
56 knots ()
Type D3 (1938)
D3 type at sea (src conways)
with also a much greater range allowing them long patrols. The D3, still was way smaller than the G8, at 28 tonnes versus 70, and it was a radical departure of the small MTBs built until then.
These wooden boats were developed in 1938 as larger dimesnions, able to withstand high seas and heavy weather. But the GAM 34-FN or BS engines being rare, they were not all equipped with three. The slowest therefore served as submarine hunters, giving rise to the TK. Habitable and better armed, their torpedoes were launched by a more modern system. 130 will be built until 1945, the vast majority (110) for the Baltic. 10 were lost in operations.
Specifications D3 serie 1938
32 tons standard, 35 FL
21.62 x 3.96 x 1.33 m ()
3 shafts Gasoline GAM-34FN engines 3,600 bhp
39 knots ()
2x 21in Ts, 2x 20 mm AA, see notes
D3 type blueprint
Type Komsomolec (1945)
Komsomolec class at St. Petersburg
The last Soviet MTBs of the war, these well-armed and fast units were to succeed the G5 in 1941. But development dragged on so much that they were not operational until 1945. One of these was for example the 1943 STK DD, built at 340 Yd, Zelenodolsk. Design-wise they represented a radical departure from 1930s designs and leaned towards Western models, many of which were Vosper, Higgins and Elco boats transferred bia lend-lease. But the Komsomolec type was noticeably smaller, faster, with the same flat deck, larger aft section, and two side torpedo tubes. The first 12 entered service in the Baltic sea Fleet, and another series of 12 in the Pacific Fleet, deployed against the Japanese in August to September. These MTBs were also known in the Navy ast the TK-7 ODESSKIY PATRIOT.
Light and very fast (world record), they had two twin DSHK heavy machine guns of the latest model, formidably precise and fast. They served as the basis for major post-war series, including their successors, the Shershen. In all, the Project 123bis saw 89 boats produced until 1949, followed by the Proyekt M123bis (1949, 42 built), and Project 123K in 1950-55, so all in all a total of 336 units that made in 1955 the bulk of Soviet coastal defense.