Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Cruel Seas: Kitbashing The Kriegsmarine TA 48 Torpedoboot


In a book by Zvonimir Freivogel on the coastal war in the Adriatic, I came across a fascinating story concerning the TA 48 Torpedoboot. There doesn't seem to be a photo of this ship but Freivogel includes this drawing.

78 T - Austro-Hungarian

78 T was one of the SM 250T single funnel sea-going (sort of)  torpedo boats, built at Trieste in 1914 for use in the Adriatic. As built she had two 66mm cannon and 2 double torpedo tubes, a dozen mines and could achieve 28 knots.

T3 - Yugoslavian

After WWI and the break up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the boat was allocated to the KSCS Navy, later the Royal Yugoslav Navy.

T3 - Italian

In 1941, T3 was captured in port during the Invasion of Yugoslavia and allocated to the Royal Italian Navy. They partially modernised her by replacing her cannon with two 3 inch AA guns.

TA48 - Kriegsmarine (Nominally Croatian Navy)

In 1943, after the surrender of Ital, the Kriegsmarine captured T3 in the port of Rijeka and renamed her TA48. They removed the front torpedo tubes and replaced the stern 3" with a 37mm flak gun. In addition they fitted two 20mm autocannon in the bow and stern and possibly one on each wing of the bridge (information is a bit vague).

Largely crewed by Croats, TA48 was destroyed in  Trieste, where she had been made three decades earlier, by Allied aircraft. The date was the 20 February 1945.

Her sister ship, T1, was luckier - being returned to Yugoslavian service in '43 to survive in the Yugoslavian Navy until 1959. The twin-funnel Yugoslavian torpedoboot T7 (Austro-Hungarian F Class 96 F) also entered service in the Kriegsmarine (nominally Croatian Navy).

"On 24 June 1944, [T7] and the German S-boats S 154 and S 157 of the 7th S-Boat Flotilla were sailing between Šibenik and Rijeka, protecting German sea supply routes along the Adriatic, when they were attacked by the Royal Navy Fairmile D motor torpedo boats MTB 659, MTB 662 and MTB 670 near the island of Kukuljari, south of Murter Island.[20] Considering T7 one of the few significant threats to British boats in the region, the British commander ordered MTB 670 to launch a torpedo attack. The two torpedoes missed, so the MTBs pursued and approached the ship from abaft the beam. T7 opened fire at 150 yards (140 m). The MTBs returned fire with their forward and port guns, and within 30 seconds they had disabled her weapons and set her ablaze. At a speed of about 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph), T7 suddenly veered starboard, narrowly avoiding a collision with MTB 662 (it is not known whether her steering was damaged or if her crew was attempting to perform a ram) before running aground on Murter Island." From Reynolds, Dog Boats at War.

Torpedoboot A86

I can't find any Austro-Hungarian 250T torpedoboot kits but Mirage make a 1:350 kit of the German torpedoboot A86.


The A86 was built during WWI and was around 330t, equipped with two 88mm cannon and a single torpedo tube. She could do around 28 knots. The A class are of a similar size and configuration to the 250t Austro-Hungarian torpedoboots so I decided to convert one. The A Class had a single funnel so I elected to make TA 48, rather than my first choice of T7.

TA 48 Model

And here she is.

TA48 Model Stern

I replaced the rear gun with an H&R 40mm model in 1:300 and swapped the single torpedo tube for a triple tube I had left over from another kit.

TA48 Bow

I also added two 20mm guns made from 1:300 light anti-tank guns that I had in the bitz box and added some spare Warlord Kriegsmarine crew.

Scale Photo

1:350 Mirage kit alongside a 1:400 Mirage Town Class Destroyer.

Scale Photo

And alongside a Warlord Games 1:300 S-Boot.

The rough Cruel Seas stats are as follows:

Large, Speed 28 knots (28, 18, 9), Hull 95, Bow 3" Cannon, Stern 37mm, One 20mm on bow and stern, One MG on each bridge wing, Two torpedo tubes.

With Regular Crew, 210 pts.


  1. lovely stuff John this is what wargaming is all about,,,having fun!!!

    1. Exactly, it's my hobby .I play to relax, not to add more life stress .

  2. sorry that last comment was from john stallard at warlord games...

  3. Great looking model and some interesting history to boot. Excellent. Somehow Freivogel had slipped under my radar. Going to have to rectify that and get a copy. Sounds like a good read.

    1. After the Channel, the North Eastern Med was the prime coastal forces combat zone.

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