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Restoration of the MTB 219

219 is a motor torpedo boat (MTB), that protected the English Channel in World War II. The vessel has been undergoing a restoration to it’s former glory and can be seen in Durleighs’ yard. The yard space has been given to help towards the cost of the restoration. The 219 once completed will be launched, then opened to the public as a museum.

In February 1942 the 219 was one of a pack of five Motor Torpedo Boats which attempted to attack the German battle cruisers: Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen as they dashed through the English Channel, protected by destroyers, E-Boats and the Luftwaffe.

Although the attack was unsuccessful and the battle cruisers managed to get through, none of them were ever able to return to attack allied shipping in the Atlantic again.

The MTB 219 also excelled herself in rescuing a number of downed Fairey Swordfish aircrew. Others weren’t so lucky. Of the eighteen young men of the Fleet Air Arm who flew the wood and fabric bombers, only five survived the battle.

Posted on February 2nd 2015

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