MAS 500 (Family)

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The MAS 500 was an Italian motor torpedo boat class used by the Regia Marina during WW2. MAS is the abbreviation for Motoscafo armato silurante, "torpedo-armed motorboat" in English.


Rank I

  • MAS 555 - MAS type "500" 3°Serie, 1941
  • MAS 561 - MAS type "500" 3°Serie, 1943 (MNR)
  • MAS 569 - MAS type "500" 4°Serie, 1941


The project for the MAS type "500" was presented in November 1935, because Italy needed motorboats armed with modern torpedoes (for that time) with a guaranteed speed of 44 knots assured by 2 petrol engines Isotta Fraschini "Asso" of 1,000 horsepower each.

This new class of MAS was studied by Cantieri Baglietto of Varazze and was shown to the Minister of the Navy and then accepted by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini.

The MAS type "500" were small fast wooden boats, unlike the MAS of the First World War they were much faster. They got different armaments over time and also different modifications.

The MAS type "500" were composed of almost 100 units, these wooden boats then obtained several modifications such as the use of metal instead of wood for the hull of the boat, and increases in size and crew complement.

The MAS 500 were produced in four series.

The first units of the MAS "500" had a wooden hull (the MAS 525 had a metal hull) with a hull with two steps and a range of 400 miles at 42 knots and 1,000 at 6 knots with auxiliary engines.

1°Serie: 26 units from MAS 501 to MAS 525. In particular, the MAS 424 had 3 Isotta Fraschini engines with 3 propellers instead of 2 but without auxiliary engines.

2°Serie: 24 units from MAS 526 to MAS 550. 2nd Series had the greater dimensions, were built with two-stepped wooden hulls, and had a range of 360 miles at maximum speed or 1,100 miles at 6 knots. MAS 550 had a metal hull.

3°Serie: 13 units from MAS 551 to MAS 564 divided into 2 groups

  • 1° Group from MAS 551 to MAS 554 had metal hulls, with a range of 350 miles at maximum speed and 850 miles with auxiliary engines.
  • 2° Group from MAS 555 to MAS 564 had wooden hulls, with a range of 395 miles and 913 miles respectively.

The MAS of 3rd Series changed the 13.2 mm Breda machine gun with the 20/65 Breda machine gun, this made the gun more effective against enemies at medium distances.

4°Serie: 12 units from MAS 566 to MAS 576. These units were almost identical to those of the 3°Series with some minor changes such as the adoption of the helm of manoeuvre in the bridge, the replacement of the shaft with support for the Breda 6.5 mm machine gun and the increase in the supply of ammunition for the 20/65 Breda machine gun.

External links

Italy boats
Motor torpedo boats  MC-490 · Freccia P-493 · MAS 555 · MAS 561 · MAS 569
  MS-15 · MS-53 · MS-472 · Stefano Turr · VAS 201 · GIS 811 · MC 485
Motor gun boats  MS-473 · MV-611 · Sparviero
Motor torpedo gun boats  Saetta P-494
Gunboats  Albatros