Patrol Boat, or Patrol Craft, a small, high-speed naval vessel used for antisubmarine warfare, coastal patrol, harbor defense, and river warfare. The patrol boat classification includes motor torpedo boats, motor gunboats, fast patrol boats (successor to the PT boats [torpedo patrol boats] of World War II), and various kinds of river patrol boats. (Exact designations vary from navy to navy.) Patrol boats are generally about 75 feet (23 m) long, displace less than 100 tons, and carry crews of 11 to 25 men. Many are capable of speeds of better than 40 knots. Hydrofoil patrol boats, which travel on underwater foils (similar to aircraft wings) rather than on their hulls, travel even faster.
The successes of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero during the first six months of World War II stunned Western observers. Its dominance was frightening, but soon surpassed. Learn about the rise and fall of the A6M Zero, and its unique design specifications.
The Supermarine Spitfire was continuously improved throughout World War II, with 22,000 Spitfires produced. The Spitfire fought successfully in every theater of the war. See specifications for the Spitfire and read how this heroic airplane developed.