** These files are made available under the Creative Commons – Attribution – Non Commercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) **
The Italians were very much world leaders in small craft operations during WWII. These two boats were some of their more unusual innovations.
The MTM Explosive Boat was essentially a small motor boat packed with explosives.
Operated by a single man, it would be dropped off near an enemy harbour. The operator would then arm the 330 kg charge and approach an enemy ship on a collision course.
It was intended that the operator would use a primitive ejection seat to escape before colliding, and that a two stage system would first sink the boat, then explode the main charge underwater.
In practice, this mechanism was unreliable and operators were often instructed to arm the contact fuse and stay with the boat all the way.
The MTSM was a slightly less suicidal venture. Derived from the MTM, it mounted a single, stern launched torpedo instead of a suicide charge. It was otherwise very similar, and was operated by a team of two men.