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 Author  Topic: Where'd U place 40mm if U commanded the boat?


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of PeterTareBuilder  Posted on: Oct 23, 2010 - 10:51pm
Hi there.

Just for curiosity. If you were the commander of an 80' Elco PT boat where would you prefer the 40mm to be placed? Why would you want it there?

I can think of reasons to have it on the stern and also can think of reasons to locate it on the bow.

I'd really be interested in hearing input from any of the veterans on this forum.

Thanks again and cheers from Peter

"Give me a faster PT boat for I'd like to get out of harm's way!"

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of EARL RICHMOND  Posted on: Oct 24, 2010 - 12:49am
i think i would have it placed center between the bow and the galley hatch,forward of the would have given the gunner more solid placemrent for steaddiness and better access to a replacement gunner if he was would also have more room for ammo storae.very seldom would the firing been directed to the front of the boat,it was usually done to port or starboard sides.if it was directed forward it still could be done

earl richmond

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Frank J Andruss Sr


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Oct 24, 2010 - 1:30am
At 1.150 pounds the single Bofors Cannon was a heavy weapon. She was placed at the stern because of concerns with the boats ability to plane. It was thought that by adding this weapon to the stern the boat would still be able to get up on step in an acceptable period of time. Test's were conducted at Elco as the constant change in weight changed the performance of the boat. With that in mind, I would prefer to have kept the gun at the stern and still have the ability to manuver and reach flank speed in a resonable time frame. As Earl has already commented on, most of the weapons on the boat were used in conjuntion with a port or starboard attack. In running away from danger, the 40mm in the stern could still lob shells at the attacking enemy, where having the gun on the bow this could not be acheived.

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Chip Marshall

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Oct 24, 2010 - 1:21pm
Having the 40mm on the foredeck or over the engine room has been an ongoing argument within BuShips circles concerning the WW2 boats, the post-war aluminum boats, and the Nasty class boats of Viet Nam.

The problem with the foredeck is the unstable nature of the platform when the boat is at speed. If, in the general mission of the craft, the boat is usually chasing an enemy vessel, having the heavier weapon forward is a reasonable call.

However, if the boat is usually running away after a raid or mission, having the heavier weapon aft over the more stable platform of the deck over the engine room/lazarette for protection against the pursuit craft would seem to the way to go.

If speed is not the issue and the weapon is normally deployed broadside along with everything else, fore or aft (barge busting), it doesn't matter. When the boat is up on plane, they would be going to or from an engagement.

All of the post war designs (including the early Nasty class) had their 40mm fore and aft. The Higgins PTs sold to the Argentinean Navy also had 40mm fore and aft. The Argentianean Navy kept their arrangement until scrapping the last of the boats in the 1970s.

The foreward 40mm was removed from the Nastys (with a couple of notable exceptions) basically because the accuracy of the weapon dropped off considerably the faster the boat went (and they were FAST). The 40mm mounted aft was really closers to the boat's center of gravity than the WW2 boats.

I seem to remember that one of the Israeli MTBs, I believe the one of Italian design, has the 40mm amidships (close to the center of gravity) and mounted above the main deck.

Chip Marshall
Silver Spring, Maryland USA

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Will Day


Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Will Day   Send Email To Will Day Posted on: Oct 24, 2010 - 3:43pm
I would place the 40mm on the stern, primarily for weight and stability reasons as already mentioned. Plus with 20 & 37mms forward, you could bring more total weapons to bear, albeit of smaller caliber.


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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Oct 24, 2010 - 6:56pm
All explanations are very good. But when your crew, the primary concerns were also stated: weight distribution and stability reasons, the stern providing a more stable shooting platform, 40mm used to cover withdrawl from action area.
In my opinion, they experimented with the 40mm fore and aft to create a gunboat hybred(If they used along the lines of the PT 59-61/PT 283-286 idea on 80 foot Elco's and 78' Higgins, to follow along the lines of the Royal Navy MGB). Which was a good idea, you probably could have gotten away with 4-6 of these boats within each squadron, but the way the war unfolded for PTs, especially in the Pacific, they probably would have done 4 times as many patrols as the "conventional" boats(with torpedoes), because of all the barges. Who knows???
I do know I used the 40mm on the foredeck of my PB's(65 MK lll PB, 1989-1992)but because our max speed was around 28 knots we could shoot at full speed, providing that we were in 1-3 foot seas! Otherwise it was pure shoot for effect! these were later replaced by the 25mm Bushmaster chain gun.....don't get me started on this one, lets just say you had to be DIW to maintain a continous rate of fire! I loved the 40mm!!
Take care,

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