HMS Mimi and HMS Toutou

HMS Mimi And HMS Toutou

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HMS Mimi and HMS Toutou

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HMS Mimi and HMS Toutou were motor launches of the Royal Navy. After undergoing an unusual journey from Britain to Lake Tanganyika in the interior of Africa, the ships played an important role in the African naval struggle between Britain and Germany during World War I. The names mean Meow and Woof Woof in Parisian slang. They had originally been named Dog and Cat by their erstwhile commander, Geoffrey Spicer-Simson, only to have the names rejected by an apparently scandalized Admiralty.Miller, Battle for the Bundu p. 198

Journey to Tanganyika

The ships eventually named the Mimi and Toutou were being built at the Thornycroft Yards on the Thames at the beginning of the war. Originally commissioned for the Greek Air Force,Miller, Battle for the Bundu p. 198 the ships were requisitioned by the Admiralty to meet the needs of a scheme to create an African inland navy. Both Mimi and her sister ship HMS Toutou had a length of 40 ft and could travel at up to 19 knots by virtue of two 100 hp petrol engines attached to twin screws. This would make the ships the fastest on Lake Tanganyika when they eventually arrived. The British armed them with a 3 pounderFoden, Mimi and Toutou Go Forth, p. 37 in the fore and a Maxim gun aft. Although it was discovered that the frames of the boats could not endure the 3 pounder's recoil...
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