Click for RUSSIANlanguage

Red fleet "Small Naval Hunters" - military motor boats

The MO was a class of small ships produced before and during World War II for the Soviet Navy. Their primary function of Small Sea Hunters originally was anti-submarine warfare.
During the war they carried out many additional roles from supporting landing operations to escorting convoys.

One MO-1 (1935), 27 MO-2 (1935-1936), 4 MO-3, 219 MO-4 (1937-1943), 46 MO-D3, 140 OD-200 (1943-1947), 66 BMO (1943-1945) ships were built.

MO ships had no armor and had a wooden structure, but consisted of nine sections isolated from each other, allowed to stay afloat even after suffering heavy damage.
MO-D-3 was the version of the TKD-3 MTB.
OD-200 was made of wood and partially armored by 7 mm plates.
BMO was made of steel, with armor of up to 12 mm.
OD200 small guard ship World War II Soviet Navy Soviet military motor boat MO-D3 foto WW2 red fleet
Soviet military motor boats OD-200 and MO-D-3

small sea hunter MO.4 foto WWII
WWII small naval hunter MO-4 of USSR fleet

Specifications of Soviet WW2 small guard ships
Warboat MO-2 MO-4 MO-D-3 OD-200 BMO
Crew 1624 16 22
Seaworthiness 4 6 5 4
Displacement, t 50 53 32 55 61
m Length 26.2 26.9 21.4 24 24.8
Beam 3.95 4 4 4 4.2
Draught 1.4 1.26 1 1.12 1.6
Speed, knots full 27 26 32 24 26
economic 20 15 9 6
Range, miles at full speed 333333500
at economic speed 43043015001330
Engines (Propulsion) Two GAM-34 + one AM-34, 2025 hp total Three GAM-34BS, 2550 hp total Three GAM-34BS, 2550 hp total Two Packard, 2400 hp total, + Two , 190 hp total, Two Packard W-8, 2400 hp total, + one ZIS-5, 68 hp
Armament Two 45-mm 21-K + Two 12.7-mm DshK , Two MB-1 Depth charge launchers One 37-mm cannon + Two 12.7-mm DshK, Depth charge launcher One 37-mm 70-K + Two dual 12.7-mm DshK (2-UK), Two MB-1 Depth charge launchers Two 12.7-mm dual DshK + 45-mm 21-KM (or 3 dual DshK) + One 37-mm 70-K , Two BB-1 Depth charge launchers

Russian MO2 small sea hunter in combat
Soviet Navy warboat MO-2 photo WW2.

Russian naval B.M.O. small guard ship foto WW2 red fllet
Soviet armoured sea hunter BMO of project 194. WWII photo.

Soviet WWII MO-4 sea hunters gallery

(note: most of the MO-4 units in Black Sea were named SKA, patrol boats).

3 July1942
During the evacuation of Sevastopol, the patrols SKA-0112 and SKA-0124, full of soldiers, were attacked by the German motor torpedo boats S-28, S-40 S-42 and S-102. A fierce battle erupted, and both the soviet units were sunk: 37 sailors and soldiers were captured by Germans including a general. Germans paid a price for their success, because while S-28 had one killed, the S-40 was heavily damaged by direct hit and suffered 3 killed and 10 wounded. S-40 was forced to 11 months of repair.

25 July 1942
In Azov Sea, Soviet patrol boat SKA-0175 together with the motor torpedo boat TK-154, attacked and sunk the German auxiliary patrol boat WM-2412 (2 POW and flag captured).

20 November 1943
Soviet patrol boats SKA-031, SKA-0141 and SKA-0512, helped by a seaplane Chye-2, scored the best success with depth charges in Black Sea: they damaged the German submarine U-18 that was then forced to return at the base (repairs however will last only until the end of January 1944).

Soviet submarine chasers scored a good number of successes as minelaying units especially with fields laid in the north of Azov Sea.

The lonely SKA-0175 was solely responsible for five confirmed sinking all in Azov Sea:
On 28 July 1942 on her mines sunk an unnamed Siebel-type landing craft manned by the Heer (Army), with heavy human losses.
On 10 August 1942 on her mines sunk both the German MFP Landing craft F-133 and an unnamed Siebel-type landing craft manned by Luftwaffe.
On 15 August 1942 on her mines sunk the Croatian (Ustasha fascist flotilla) minesweeping boat S-I.
On 16 August 1942 on her mines sunk the German Siebel-type landing craft SF-123 manned by Luftwaffe.

The second most successful craft was SKA-0412 (all in Azov Sea except the first):
On 24 July 1943 on her mines (laid alongside SKA-0712) sunk the German tug Hoflein.
On 29 July 1943 on her mines (laid alongside gunboats BK-121 and BK-122), sunk the small German merchant Immanuel (143 GRT) with a valuable cargo of manganese ore.
On 23 August 1943 on her mines (laid alongside gunboat BK-124) sunk the German lighter L-2109 (cargo of artillery shells casings).

Another successful craft was SKA-016, mines laid in the Kerch strait:
On 12 December 1942 on her mines sunk an unnamed Siebel-type landing craft manned by the Heer (Army), field laid alongside SKA-046
On 2 January 1943 mines laid individually by SKA-016 sunk the German MFP Landing craft F-162

Other two victories were:
On 19 June 1942 mines laid by SKA-038 and SKA-0118 sunk the German-controlled fishing boat MFK-2263 in Azov Sea
On 16 June 1943 mines laid by SKA-0165 sunk the German lighter n1353 close Kerch


25 August 1942
Into Ladoga Lake, MO-206, MO-213 and MO-215 (all of MO-4 class) ambushed and captured close Vekkosaari the Finnish motorboat E-32. There were 2 POW.

22 October 1942
During the Battle of Suhu Island in Ladoga Lake, MO-214 found and seized as trophy the abandoned infantry-boat I-6 (Germans believed her scuttled alongside a Siebel, but she was floating intact).

23 May 1943
The most famous fight of MO-4 class: a group of Finnish patrol boats (VMV-8, VMV-9, VMV-10, VMV-11, VMV-17) attacked with their superior number MO-207 and MO-303. Despite being outnumbered, the Soviets managed to break the attack, even if on MO-207 the commander was killed and 3 sailors wounded. Finnish suffered damage on their flag-ship VMV-17, suffering 1 killed and 1 wounded.
Old soviet sources wrongly claimed the sinking of Finnish motor torpedo boat Raju.
Finnish sources wrongly claim the sinking of 2 Soviet patrol boats.

14 May 1944
MO-122, MO-202, MO-213, MO-401 and MO-413 (all MO-4) fought against the German motor torpedo boats S-76, S-79, S-91, S-132, S-135. During the battle MO-122 was sunk with 9 killed. Germans had 2 wounded on S-91.

26 May 1944
MO-104, MO-302 and MO-313 (all MO-4) engaged S-91, S-97, S-114, S-135. Commander of MO-302 was killed alongside 2 sailors (other 11 were wounded) when the unit was damaged, however the Germans suffered a direct hit on S-97 and heavy damages (with 3 killed and 1 wounded) and 1 wounded on S-114.

15 July 1944 MO-104 and MO-105 (of MO-4 class) fought with motor torpedo boats TK-47 and TK-57 against the German submarine U-679. During the surface battle, a torpedo missed the submarine but it was hit by gunfire, suffering 8 wounded and retreating.

20 July 1944
The best success of MO-4 class. MO-103 attacked with depth charges and sunk the German submarine U-250.
The Submarine was sunk in low waters: commander and other 5 sailors were captured. The wreck was easy to recover and despite multiple German-Finnish attempts, Soviets accomplished it. On the wreck of U-250 was captured an Enigma machine and the new German acoustic torpedoes (Zaunkonig).

9 May 1945
On Victory Day, patrol boats and submarine chasers captured or sunk a number of German vessels attempting to flee west against the instrument of surrender: MO-121, MO-122, MO-131, MO-204 (of MO-4 class), patrol boats (former D-3 motor torpedo boats) SKA-175, SKA-176, SKA-177, SKA-183, SKA-192, and the BMO-type submarine chasers MO-537, MO-540, MO-541, MO-542, MO-543, MO-545 and MO-546 first encountered and destroyed the Strelnieks convoy: when the enemy replied with gunfire at the call of surrender the Soviet ships opened fire and forced the entire group to surrender (tug Strelnieks, other three small tugs and the two schooners scuttled, while Rota was seized because of the high number of prisoners), only the tug Una escaped. The Soviet formation split in two: MO-121, MO-122, MO-131, MO-204, SKA-183, SKA-192, MO-540, MO-545 encountered other two tugs: one scuttled (80 POWs alone on her) and the second one sunk on her own due overcrowding, this first group of Soviet ships brought a total of 800 POWs to Ventspils. Meanwhile the second group (SKA-175, SKA-176, SKA-177, MO-537, MO-541, MO-542, MO-543, and MO-546) entered in a gun-battle against another convoy that refused to surrender: without Soviet damage or losses, they sunk a tug, a barge and the two schooners, while tug S and barge n833 surrendered. This second Soviet group brought 670 POWs to Memel.

MO-4 class units were never employed to fight enemy vessels. They were less numerous, compared with the other Fleets, however were actively used for mine-laying purposes.
With these mine-laying operations, MO-4 class units scored some successes .
Most of the victories were wrongly claimed for years by submarines, motor torpedo boats, etc

16/03/42 German merchant Utlandshorn (2643 GRT) was sunk.

19/11/42 German auxiliary torpedo boat Schiff-18 Alteland (MN-01) was sunk. She was armed with 1 88mm gun and 2 torpedo launchers.

30/11/42 German merchant Westsee (5911 GRT) was sunk with a cargo of hay and straw.

30/11/42 German merchant Hans Rickmers (5226 GRT) was heavily damaged by mine and then finished and by Soviet coastal artillery, with a cargo of hay and straw.

1/02/43 German patrol ship V-5909 Coronel was sunk.

14/04/43 Norwegian tug Pasvik (238 GRT) was sunk.

21/09/43 German merchant Antje Fritzen (4330 GRT) sunk with cargo: 742tons of hay, 361tons of food, 2019tons of cement, 100tons of ammunition, 170tons of booths.

12/12/43 German patrol ship V-6016 was sunk.

25/01/44 German tanker Mil (244 GRT).

Both MO-121 (later renamed MO-113) and MO-163 (later renamed MO-131) gained 3 shared victories each. There was one surface-action victory: on 15 April 1943, MO-123 and MO-133 shelled and destroyed the motorboat Shchuka (46 GRT) on German shore. Ship defected earlier, Germans unloaded the cargo (food) but could not bring her to safety in time.


10 August 1945 Japanese merchant Riuko Maru n2 (2230 GRT) was captured by a group of Border Guard patrol boats near the mouth of river Vorovskaya. 405 POW were taken.

19 August 1945 Patrol boat PK-31 (MO-4 class, manned by NKVD) shelled and forced to run aground a Japanese schooner close Maoka (Shakalin island)

WWII fleets

War is over

main URL