Motor Torpedo Boat 451

British Power Boat Motor Torpedo Boat 451 (as doctored by myself before I knew of the following photographs).

MTB451 at speed
MTB451 fron MTB450
Going "George30"

These great photographs of British Power Boat Motor Topedo Boat 451, our former houseboat, have come from the website devoted to Coastal Forces in the Second World War and in particular to the pages covering the 35th MTB Flotilla. The first photo (left) shows her at high speed; the middle photo shows her through the gunsight of MTB450; the third (right) shows her at "georgethirty" 30 knots.

Some years ago I contacted the Admiralty Historical Section to see if there were any photographs of the vessel, which drew a negative response. These photographs, therefore, have come from other sources and I am extremely pleased, and happy to acknowledge the souces. A link to the 35th MTB Flotilla can be found on my Maritime Links Page.


British Power Boat Motor Topedo Boat 451, was built originally as Motor Gunboat 132 at the British Power Boat Company’s Hythe (Southampton Water) yard. Whilst building she was re-classified as an MTB and given the number 451. She was completed on 5th November 1943, with three Packard petrol engines giving a B.H.P. of 3,600, and giving her a speed of 39 knots. She displaced 41 tons and her dimensions were 71feet 9 inches in length, 20 feet 9 inches in breadth and depth of 5 feet 9 inches. Armament consisted of one 2 pounder gun forward of the wheelhouse, two 20mm ( 1 x 2 ), four .303 inch ( machine guns) machine guns and two 18 inch torpedo tubes. She had a complement of 17 crew.

MTB 451 was allocated to the 35th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla at Felixstowe where, in April 1944, the flotilla was moved to Newhaven. For the Normandy landing on 6th June 1944, her flotilla was temporarily allocated to the Portsmouth Command.

She took part in the landing and subsequent operations in the English Channel. On 8th July, 1944, she was in action with an enemy force of E-boats about 19 miles east of Cap d’Antifer, in which she was damaged by shell fire and was out of action for a month.

In September, 1944, MTB 451 returned to Felixstowe with her flotilla and was based there when the war in Europe ended in May 1945. (this information is by courtesy of the Historical Section at the Admiralty, and was given to me on 29th December 1959, whilst living in Australia).

My late father was employed at British Power Boats, at their Poole yard, as Chief Storekeeper ( or chandler) and it was during this time that he bought a little book entitled "The Little Ships" written by Gordan Holman in 1943 about the Coastal Forces, and many of the photographs were of British Power Boat craft, with a few Vosper built MTBs also featured. It was whilst the company was winding down at the conclusion of hostilities that he saw the boat arrive at the yard, it was then transferred to a private yard, Bolson's Boatyard, closeby, where she was de-commissioned and put up for sale. Here she lay moored until purchased by my parents in 1947 to be transformed into a houseboat.

In October 1947 she was towed to Lymington, in Hampshire, where she was moored at one of the Lymington Slipway’s moorings. One month later my parents and I left Poole and moved aboard MTB451 which was renamed later, and totally repainted a smart white with red water line and dark green anti-fouling.

On the following two pages are reports, copied from official action reports of a night action in January 1945.

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MTB 451 Battle Report
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MTB as Houseboat