Best Torpedoes

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by elmilitaro, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. elmilitaro

    elmilitaro Member

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    Ok guys, what country do ya'll think had the best torpedoes?


    Japan in my opinion.
     
  2. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Agreed, Japan. The Long Lance was fairly comfortably in my opinion the best torpedo of the war, especially in the early years.
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    For surface hips that was certainly the case all through the war. Unfortunately for the Japanese, it couldn't be used in a submarine.

    For Submarine use my vote would have to be for the Germans from around 1941 on. They had all sorts, ones with magnetic pistols, ones that homed onto the sound of a ships engines, ones that went a distance and then circled so if you aimed it at a ship in convoy and missed it would circle and have a chance of hitting another.

    Strangely enough, if you asked for the worst I would say Germany up till 1940 they were awful, maybe even worse than the early American torpedo's.
     
  4. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    or even surface ships, to much rum
     
  5. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    The 24inch Long Lance was ( in my opinion ) the best it had a teriffic range, around 10 miles at getting towards 50 knots, very good guidance, topped off with 1000 lb warhead, if it had sported the British Duplex trigger it would have been even better.
     
  6. elmilitaro

    elmilitaro Member

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    I agree, how many people improvised their torpedoes to hit ships in shallow water.
     
  7. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Germany for sure, with their acoustic homing G7es T5-11 torpedo's "Zaunkönig's" (Or "GNAT's" as the Allies called them), and the pattern running G7e FAT or LUT torpedo's.

    The G7es T5 "Zaunkönig I" was an improvement on the already successful G7es T4 "Falke". The "Falke" worked much like a normal straight running torpedo for the first 400m of its run, then its acoustic sensors became active and searched for a target. (The Zaunkönig torpedo activated its acoustic sensors after only 250m)

    The introduction of the "Falke" in 42, meant that German U-boats could now remain more deeply submerged and fire at convoys with nothing to give away their position but the noise of their screws. And rather than aiming with a periscope, the torpedo could be roughly aimed at a sound contact as detected by a U-boat's hydrophones, and the homing device could be trusted to find the target without the need for precise aiming.

    However the allies were on to the Germans:
    The allies had a great deal of intelligence about the Zaunkonig – even before it had entered service. Thus as soon as they had confirmation that an acoustic torpedo was being used, they introduced the Foxer, an anti-acoustic torpedo device. This noise maker was towed behind warships to decoy the acoustic sensors of the torpedo. While designed to lure the acoustic torpedo away, it made such a loud noise that it broadcasted the convoy’s location for miles away, attracting U-boats which would have otherwise not have heard the convoy. In addition, it also interfered with the escort’s sensors and sonar, making it of dubious value in its role.

    However this wouldn't help the allies much, as realizing what was happening, the Germans introduced the second generation of acoustic torpedoes which were more accurately tuned to a ship’s propeller noise.(The Zaunkönig II)

    The G7es T11 also called "Zaunkönig II" had an improved range and sensitivity, enabling targets moving at 9 knots to be tracked. The Zaunkonig II could also be launched from up to depths of 50 meters (164 feet), compared to 15 meters (49 feet) for the Zaunkönig I.

    These German acoustical torpedo's were so advanced that there wouldn't be any Allied equal before more than a year after WW2.
     
  8. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The USN had a fairly successfull acoustic torpedo nicknamed "cuties".

    They were to be used against anyi sub ships. It had a very small warhead, but since it was going to aim at and explode on or near the screws and rudder of its target, it would disable its prey.
     
  9. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    However these USN acoustic torpedo's didn't have the tracking abilities of the Zaunkönig's, and as you mentioned yourself their small explosive charge wasnt really up to snuff.

    IIRC the USN Mark.24-33 torpedo warhead's consisted of no more than 92 lbs of explosives, compared to the 607 lbs warhead of the Zaunkönig. (A big difference !)
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I am having trouble deciding between the Japanese, British, and Germans. I think these 3 countries made the best torps of the war.
     
  11. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    British ones tended to be simple but effective. It should be noted that we used a WW2 Mk 8 to sink the Belgrano in the Falklands
     
  12. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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  13. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    That is a good site syscom, I use it a fair bit, good charts as well showing how much superior the Long Lance was than the comparable torpedo's of the day.
     
  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The whole site is fantastic.
     
  15. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Yes it is, a great source of information.
     
  16. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Yes that is a good site, and it also shows just how fast the Japanee's torp's were, and with massive warhead's.

    But, the fact that these Jap torp's were straight running torp's with no guidance, other than a gyroscope wich only insured the torp would pass its pre-established target area, prevents me from giving them first place as the best torp's of the war.
     
  17. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    The torpedos that the japanese produced I think where excellent however the delivery systems (Ships Subs come way down the league as far as Im concerned)
     
  18. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Yes, in the beginning of the war Japanese torpedo's were excellent, better than any western torpedos.(And much better than the German G7a T1)

    But as WW2 progressed Japanese torp's began lacking behind their western counterparts. Especially German torpedo's were much more advanced than Japanese torpedo's by the mid to late-war period.
     
  19. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Agreed.
     
  20. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Here is some info on the German Torpedoes of WW2.

    53.3 cm (21") G7a T1

    Ship Class Used On Surface ships and Submarines
    Date Of Design about 1930
    Date In Service about 1938
    Weight 3,369 lbs. (1,528 kg)
    Overall Length 23 ft. 7 in. (7.186 m)
    Explosive Charge 661 lbs. (320 kg) Hexanite
    Range / Speed 6,560 yards (6,000 m) / 44 knots
    8,750 yards (8,000 m) / 40 knots
    15,300 yards (14,000 m) / 30 knots
    Power Decahydronaphthalene (Decalin) Wet-Heater
    Notes: Also known as "Ato," this torpedo was issued throughout the war and was considered to be very reliable. The 44 knot speed was found to overload the engine and was not used during the early years of the war. The early models used in 1939 had ranges about 20% less than those given above and the warhead was 617.3 lbs. (280 kg). The turbine drove a single six-bladed propeller.
    The Federapparattorpedo (spring-operated torpedo) or FAT variation had a simple guidance system that allowed a series of long or short legs or loops at the end of a configurable length of straight course.

    Starting about mid-1944, the Lagenunabhängiger Torpedo (LUT) variation was introduced which was a more sophisticated version of FAT. LUT could be fired at any target angle and could follow a curved path to its target. LUT had problems with the targeting gear not disengaging at launch, resulting in "tube runners" and appears to have been rarely used after December 1944.

    53.3 cm (21") G7e T2 and T3

    Ship Class Used On Submarines and Schnellbootes (E-boats)
    Date Of Design about 1935
    Date In Service about 1939
    Weight 3,534 lbs. (1,603 kg)
    Overall Length 23 ft. 7 in. (7.186 m)
    Explosive Charge 440 lbs. (200 kg) Hexanite
    Range / Speed 5,470 yards (5,000 m) / 30 knots
    Power Lead-acid batteries
    Notes:
    Also known as "Eto," this unit used a 100 hp electric motor that drove two contra-rotating two-bladed propellers. The above range and speed could be reached only if the batteries were preheated to 30 degrees Celsius. These torpedoes had to be serviced every three to five days in order to maintain their reliability. The most common variations were as follows:
    T2: This version had two batteries, each having 26 cells and rated at 93 amp hours in total.
    T3: Same as T2 but with influence fuze.
    T3a: Same as T2 but with a larger battery capacity of 125 amp hours.
    T3b: The propulsive part of the Marder Submarine. Max speed of 2.5 knots.
    T3c: The torpedo for the Marder Submarine. The forward battery was eliminated.
    Weight: 2,937 lbs. (1,332 kg)
    Range / Speed: 4,370 yards (4,000 m) / 18.5 knots.
    T3d Dackel: A very long range / slow speed version intended for use in harbors or restricted bays. Could be programmed with specific circling or legs at the end of a straight run.
    Length: 36 feet (11 m)
    Weight: 4,885 lbs. (2,216 kg)
    Range / Speed: 62,300 yards (57,000 m) / 9 knots.
    T3e Kreuzotter: Another Midget Submarine Torpedo.
    Weight: 2,961 lbs. (1,343 kg)
    Range / Speed: 8,200 yards (7,500 m) / 20 knots

    Homing Torpedoes 53.3 cm (21") G7e T4, T5, T10 and T11

    Ship Class Used On Submarines
    Date Of Design about 1940
    Date In Service 1943
    Weight T4: 3,080 lbs. (1,937 kg)
    T5, T5a and T5b: N/A
    T10: 3,571 lbs. (1,620 kg)
    T11: N/A
    Overall Length 23 ft. 7 in. (7.186 m)
    Explosive Charge 440 lbs. (200 kg) Hexanite
    Range / Speed T4: 8,200 yards (7,500 m) / 20 knots
    T5: 6,230 yards (5,700 m) / 24-25 knots
    T5a and T5b: 8,750 yards (8,000 m) / 22 knots
    T10: 5,470 yards (5,000 m) / 30 knots
    T11: 6,230 yards (5,700 m) / 24-25 knots
    Power Lead-acid batteries
    Notes:
    Many records on these torpedoes were lost when the Gotenhafen experimental station was demolished to prevent capture by the Soviet Union. Serious experiments on homing torpedoes began in 1936.
    T4 Falke: The first passive homer. Homing was by a simple noise measurement. Intended for use against merchant ships so the low speed was acceptable.
    T5 Zaunkönig 1 (wren): Known as GNAT to the British. For use against convoy escorts. Designed to home in on cavitation noise of around 24.5 kHz which was equivalent to propellers on an escort traveling at 10 to 18 knots. First successful combat use in September 1943.
    T5a: A modified T5 used by S-boots (E-boats).
    T5b: Same range as T5a but used by submarines
    T10 Spinne: A standard torpedo modified to use wire guidance. First issued in 1944 but the results were not satisfactory.
    T11 Zaunkönig 2: Improved T5 less influenced by Foxer (towed noise maker).

    45 cm (17.7") F5

    Ship Class Used On Aircraft
    Date Of Design 1935
    Date In Service 1939
    Weight 1,625 lbs. (737 kg)
    Overall Length 15 ft 9 in (4.804 m)
    Explosive Charge 441 lbs. (200 kg) Hexanite
    Range / Speed 2,200 yards (2,000 m) / 33 knots
    Power Decahydronaphthalene (Decalin) Wet-Heater
    Notes: The F5 was a low-performance Norwegian Torpedo developed by Schwarzkopf. Dropping speed was 75 knots from 50 - 80 feet (15 to 25 m).

    45 cm (17.7") F5b

    Ship Class Used On Aircraft
    Date Of Design 1935
    Date In Service 1941
    Weight 1,598 - 1,790 lbs. (725 - 812 kg)
    Overall Length 15 ft 9 in - 16 ft 11.5 in (4.804 -5.160 m)
    Explosive Charge 397 - 551 lbs. (180 - 250 kg) Hexanite
    Range / Speed 2,200 yards (2,000 m) / 40 knots
    6,560 yards (6,000 m) / 24 knots
    Power Decahydronaphthalene (Decalin) Wet-Heater
    Notes: The F5b was in service from late 1941 to the end of the war with relatively minor changes. To control flight in the air a wooden K3 tail was used that broke off when entering the water. This was replaced in 1944 with L2 which was similar but had ailerons operated via a heavy gyro. The L2 tail permitted increased dropping speeds and heights, the maximums actually achieved were 183 knots and 390 feet (120 m). The differences in weights and lengths in the table above are due to the different warheads.

    45 cm (17.7") F5W

    This was the German designation of the Italian Fiume torpedo "W" and was used in large quantities before the 5b was available.

    Overall Length 18 ft. 10.5 in. (5.750 m)
    Explosive Charge 441 lbs. (200 kg)
    Range / Speed 3,300 yards (3,000 m) / 44 knots
    8,750 yards (8,000 m) / 30 knots
    Power Wet-heater
    Notes: Fiume (Whitehead) torpedo. Also used with sub-caliber fittings to enable it to be fired from 21" (533 mm) tubes.

    All of this info can be found at: http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/index_weapons.htm
     
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