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US Patrol Torpedo Boats

US Patrol Torpedo Boats Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2008 Title US Patrol Torpedo Boats
Author Gordon L. Rottman Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2008 ISBN 978-1-84603-227-1
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $17.95


Osprey has released this interesting title that provides a concise history of the famous PT Boats. Even though development of the motor torpedo boat concept started prior to World War I, the US didn't start development of an equivalent capability until the late 1930s. The US Navy ended up enlisting Elco and Higgins to develop and evolve the Patrol Torpedo (PT) boat as these craft gained experience in combat and new/improved armaments became available.

This title has a nice selection of illustrations and cut-away diagrams to show the similarities and differences of these different boat designs as well as a look at the typical weapons fit for each of these variants. The book also contains a nice range of black and white period photography of the PT boats in action.

The title goes on to discuss the highlights of the PT Boat's operations as well as its tactics. While the main armament of the craft was its torpedoes, these craft were fitted with a variety of canons and machine guns which allowed them to conduct a variety of interdiction and harassment missions.

The coverage of this title consists of:

  • Introduction
  • Development
  • Design
    • 80ft Elco
    • 78 ft Higgins
    • Construction
    • Signals
    • Armament
    • Propulsion
  • The PT Boat in Action
  • The Crews
  • Units and Bases
    • Command
    • Support
    • Life On Board
  • Deployment
    • Initial Engagements
    • South Pacific
    • Southwest Pacific
    • Europe
    • Postwar
  • Memorialized PT Boats

This book is a must-have for the historian and modeler to understand these attack boats in the context of World War II and will be a handy reference for the modeler that has one of Italeri's 1/35 PT Boats stashed away.

This title is recommended!

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!