Modern Day, News, WW2

Soviet Torpedo Boat Discovered After 78 years

  • The Soviet Republic built 300 G-5-class torpedo boats between 1933 and 1941.
  • In March 2020, Russia found one of the 73 boats lost during World War Two.
  • The Russian Navy recovered the well-preserved ship from Karantynna Bay, Sevastopol.

Tens of thousands of ships met their ultimate fate during World War Two. To this day, finding the remains of these warships is commonplace. While some discoveries are happy accidents, most require months, even years, of careful planning. A similar story is the case of a vessel raised from Karantynna Bay, Crimea.

In March 2020, the Russian Navy found one of its long-lost G-5-class torpedo boats. During World War Two, the vessel had sunk, protecting Sevastopol (1941-42). Considering all of this the boat is in excellent condition despite being underwater for more than 70 years.  A G-5-class motor torpedo boat passing in front of the Soviet cruiser Kirov in 1940

G-5 Motor Torpedo Boats

The Russian Navy started building G-5 torpedo boats in the early 1930s. These were improved and enlarged versions of the Sh-4 torpedo boats. Andrei Tupolev, a renowned aeronautical engineer known for his innovative designs, supervised this project.  By 1941, the Russian Navy had manufactured around 300 of these vessels, 73 of which were lost during World War Two.

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Before World War Two had broken out, the Russian Navy had sold four G-5 torpedo boats to the Spanish Republican Navy during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).  After the end of World War Two, Russia also sent a handful to North Korea for use in the Korean War (1950-53).

G-5 Torpedo Boat
A Soviet built G-5 in North Korea’s Victorious War Museum

What was so different about the G-5 torpedo boats?

The G-5 vessels had a very unique streamlined design. They looked very different from how someone would imagine a torpedo boat and looked more like a racing launch than a naval vessel. The boat had a curved body and a submarine-styled pilothouse, making it appear like a wingless aeroplane. This was not surprising because it was based on a design by Tupelov himself.

However, the peculiar, shaped body hardly left any standing space for the pilot. Interestingly, an odd shape was not its only quirk. The Soviet G-5 boats also had a peculiar torpedo launching mechanism as well. The torpedoes had a slower speed than the boat itself, so they were dropped from the rear of the craft rather than the front to prevent the boat from catching up with and colliding with its own dropped bombs!

The recently discovered G-5 is still awaiting to be put on permanent public view.