During World War Two the German navy and British navy both had small fast motor torpedo boats that were utilized to combat enemy shipping. Germany had the S-Boat or Schnellboote (called the E-Boat by the allies) and the British had the Motor Torpedo Boat or MTB. The boats on both sides were designed for speed and agility which allowed them to attack enemy ships quickly, launch torpedoes, and then maneuver away before the enemy ship’s gunners could target and hit them. Both the S-Boat (E-Boat) and the MTB were successful in their roles and served throughout World War Two.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released E-BOAT vs MTB, The English Channel 1941-45 as Number 34 in their Duel series. It is a paperback book with 80 pages. Included with the text are color and black and white photographs, color illustrations, color maps and detailed captions. It has a 2011 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-406-2. The book examines the German E-Boat (Schnellboot or “Fast Boat”) and the British MTB (motor torpedo boat).
Design and Development
The Strategic Situation
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. I didn’t notice and spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book. Williamson covers the design, development, technical data, German and British combatants and the use of the E-Boat and MTB in combat very well. It is obvious that Williamson has gone to great lengths to research the E-Boat and MTB and provides a very well written and accurate history on both types of craft. Anyone interested in German E-Boats and/or British MTBs will find this book very informative and interesting.
There are a total of 51 black and white photographs and 3 color photographs throughout the book. Most of the photographs are nice and clear, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so maybe that is just typical. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author.
THE COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS
There are 9 color illustrations by illustrators Ian Palmer and Howard Gerrard are very well done, nicely detailed and cover:
- Vosper Type I MTB
- Other British Coastal Craft
- Low Forecastle E-Boat: S 7
- E-Boat evolution
- E-Boat armament/MTB Armament
- Three illustrations showing typical E-Boat attack formation
- Typical E-Boat Unit Formation
- Engagement between E-Boat and MTBs
- E-Boat attack on American LST 531
THE COLOR MAPS...
There are 2 color maps in the book and they show operations in:
- British and German navy bases
- British and German navy bases, mine laying operations and German main targets
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs well. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. It details the E-Boat and the MTB very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.
Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
Great Weapons of World War II
John Kirk and Robert Young
Walker Publishing Company, Inc.