HMS Express Participates in Baltic Training

HMS Smiter (left) and HMS Ranger (right) join the WURNU’s dedicated HMS Express in the Baltic for the centennial of World War I operations in the area

Some of the smallest ships are mirroring the actions of their predecessors 100 years ago during the Baltic’s biggest war games.

Seven Royal Navy P2000 fast patrol boats are among the 60 warships from across 18 allied/NATO/partner nations taking part in the huge Baltops exercise which ends this week. 

 The 54-tonne boats, typically used to give university students an insight into life in the Royal Navy, have been ‘attacking’ the numerous warships mustered for the US-led workout… just as British motorboats caused havoc in the Baltic in 1919.

Coastal motorboats – smaller, lighter but slightly faster than the P2000s, and armed with just a single torpedo and several machine-guns – were used extensively by the Royal Navy during the Russian Civil War.

In mid-June 1919, one evaded minefields and heavy enemy fire and launched a torpedo at the cruiser Oleg – 6,645 tonnes, bristling with a dozen 6in guns, a similar number of 11-pounders and protected by a belt of armour up to three inches thick – in Kronstadt Naval Base near St Petersburg.’

Read more about these exciting war games on the Royal Navy’s official website: