So where do they go?

Ok guys, I'm 56 and can honestly say that I have seen just about every sub
movie made. In the movies about modern subs you see the torpedo miss it's
target and go on to explode harmlessly somewhere else. In the WWII movies you
see the Captain say "fire 1" and maybe even "fire 2". Then he's looking through
the periscope while someone times it. 10, 9, 8 ---1. Silence, "Damn, it
missed" or "Damn it's a dud". Ok, so where does it go if it misses? Never
though about it before.
Reply to
ARMDCAV
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I'd say it goes 'til it runs out of steam, hits something else (say, rocks, an island, a dolphin) then sinks... much like the US torpedo tests that *finally* proved to the higher-ups that our torpedos were defective. They went, hit the rocks, and sank.
Reply to
EGMcCann
to the bottom. sometimes they hit shore lines, like how the brits got the german magnetic field torps and mines.
Reply to
e
Ok so your saying torpedos don't float? In that case then maybe there are thousands of torpedos laying on the bottom of the ocean? So whats the percentage here? How many torpedo launches did it take to get a hit?
Reply to
ARMDCAV
Armdcav asked concerning torpedos after a miss:
Don't remember the source either the "Silent Service" TV series or book my uncle brought home with him from his time in subs...supposedly a sub in the Pacific "sank" a truck on shore after the torpedo traveled under the ship target.
Sounded good to me :-) Rick Clark
Reply to
OXMORON1
I think that was 'Operation Petticoat". One of the Nurses hit the 'fire' button by mistake.
Woody
OXMOR> Armdcav asked concerning torpedos after a miss:
Reply to
James Woody
Woody noted about the sinking of the truck:
Definitely was in that movie, but they took it from real life. Of course I could be wrong.
Rick
Reply to
OXMORON1
It depends on the torpedo to a some extent, but for the most part they run out of fuel sink to the bottom and stay there. propulsive systems on torpedoes vary, some ran on compressed gas, some electric etc etc. but eventually they do run out of fuel. Some older types would no doubt detonate when they hit bottom, most newer torpedoes can be detonated by remote if they miss their target, largely to prevent their being recovered and examined by unfriendlies. I have no doubt there are quite a lot of armed but unexploded torpedoes on the sea floor. I am not 100% certain of this but I think the Germans built a hydrostatic valve detonator into theirs which detonated the device if it was in the water for 20 minutes or more after firing. I know also that some later torpedoes would transform themselves into anti-shipping mines if they missed their target.
Reply to
Umineko
That would have been unlikely considering the torp motors weren't designed for multiple use (surprise, suprise) and that refuelling them with air (or was it O2) and fuel was probably beyond the average U-Boots supplies.
Don't know about the pistols but most of the torp motors were basically 2 strokes of quite intricate complexity. Just ask Dr Felix Wankel who developed the rotary engine, he spent a lot of war years designing torpedo motors.
I'm no expert on torpedos or their motors but I wouldn't look forward to the recovery of a armed torpedo............
Reply to
The Raven
ballentine's battle of the atlantic says that. i also read it somewhere else.
Reply to
e
FWIW I believe the U.S. Navy recovered an unexploded Japanese type 91 mod. 2 aerial torpedo left over from the Japanese attack off the floor of Pearl Harbor in May of 1991. I believe they simply cut the warhead off and dumped it in deep water rather than try to dis-arm it after all these years.
Bill Shuey
Reply to
William H. Shuey
I remember reading about a trawler in the 1950s picking up a German torpedo in it's net, exploding and killing several crewmembers.............Joe
Reply to
Joe Drees
OK, so they do/don't float. They can/ can't be a surface hazard. One sub expended most of his torpedos with no (luck?). Shee. So how many torpedos (the percetage if you know) were expended to get a hit?
Reply to
ARMDCAV
In the book "The Golden Horseshoe" abour Otto Kretschmer and U-99 I am sure there was one occasion where Kretschmer was running out of torpedoes and hadn't been that successful - I think it was early 1940 - and he had the torpedoes set to float after they had finished their run so that they could be recovered and re-used.
I don;t know how common a practice this was, but I think it led to the Germans realizing that they had a design flaw in their torpedoes (as well as the magnetic pistols they were using).
Brian
Reply to
Brian Kucks
...
This is a great idea! Why not spread all over the ocean random mines, without even knowing their exact placement? So if going through the ocean during war is not enough exciting, now we have even more fun! Smart, really smart!
Cheers R.
Reply to
Riccardo C.
Gents, try here
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for German
and here
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for Jap.
I'm sure a little looking with Google will bring up info about the other nation's torps.....
RobG (the Aussie one)
Reply to
Rob Grinberg

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