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 Author  Topic: What was doctrine concerning firing the torpedoes during combat?
GregB

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of GregB  Posted on: Dec 6, 2011 - 4:28pm
What was doctrine concerning firing the torpedoes during combat?

In other words, a boat is out on patrol and sees a target and decides to
fire torpedoes at it. How many torpedoes would the boat launch and in what
order? (I assume that there was a doctrine on how to handle these actions?)

If the boat only launched 2 torpedoes, which two would it launch? Would
distribution of weight have any play in the decision on which 2 were launched?

I ask this because I am thinking about have 1 or more of the torpedo tubes
empty on my model and I want it to be fairly accurate on which tube(s) are
empty.

Thanks,
GregB


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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Dec 6, 2011 - 7:41pm
Hi Greg, I have seen in the "MTB Tactical Orders and Doctrine" booklet linked to this website (on the Links page) , a lot of operational doctrine such as torpedo attacks. I think I remember seeing they recommend firing the 2 aft torpedoes first (#3 and #4) in order to distribute the weight better and allow for better maneuvering. I am pretty sure the rule was meant to apply to 80 gfoot Elco boats mostly, I am unsure if Higgins boats went by the same thing.

Here is an excerpt from Torpedo attack Salvo timing, read the last paragraph.......

Section 4105. Time elements in firing torpedoes.-

(a) The firing interval of a torpedo is the time interval between the control officer's mental decision to fire and the instant the torpedo takes the water. For electric firing this interval should not average more than 1.5 seconds. All electric firings should be paralleled by emergency percussion firings.

(b) Emergency percussion firing is when personnel stationed at the tubes, strike the torpedo impulse chamber firing pin with a mallet, upon the order to fire torpedoes. It should be standard practice to use this method of firing, whether electrical firing circuits are working or not.

(c) The salvo interval is the time interval between successive discharges which comprise the salvo or the time interval between launching first and last torpedoes of a salvo. Salvos of torpedoes are separated into discharges in order to reduce the chance of torpedoes colliding with each other near the firing point. In boats carrying four torpedoes with two on each side, after torpedoes should be discharged before the forward ones if all four torpedoes are to be fired in the same salvo. In firing all four torpedoes, at least five seconds should elapse between discharge of the after pair, and discharge of the forward pair.



Jerry Gilmartin

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Allan

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Allan   Send Email To Allan Posted on: Dec 6, 2011 - 8:00pm
Greg:

My research indicates that the eighty-foot Elcos operating in New Guinea routinely fired their after torpedoes first, as documented in several action reports. They were not fired as pairs, though. With the port and starboard tubes cranked out to firing position, the angle of departure would be very differnt for each torpedo. Either one or the other was fired and then if time permitted the PT boat heading was adjusted and, if a need was indicated, a second was fired.

Allan


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  GregB

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of GregB  Posted on: Dec 6, 2011 - 8:45pm
Jerry,

Thanks! I remembered that site after I posted the question. But I only
looked at the night torpedo attack section and missed what you mention.

Allen,

Thanks as well. I suspected they would have launched the aft torpedoes first but couldn't find anything to verify. Especially since I was looking in the wrong
section of the doc Jerry mentioned.

Thanks again
GregB



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CJ Willis

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of CJ Willis  Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 - 8:31am
I was a torpedoman aboard 242. We never had the opportunity to fire our torpedoes since we were fighting barges but we were told to fire the rear ones first. PT Boats will plane better and run faster with more weight forward so if you fired the front torpedos first it would definitely affect the speed of the boat. When we would have races with other boats as we were coming in after a night on patrol Our crew would all get on the bow and we would pick up an inch or two of manifold pressure thus 2-3 knots more speed.

C. J. Willis

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GregB

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of GregB  Posted on: Dec 7, 2011 - 10:01am
Mr, Willis

Thanks so much for your response. That's what I thought might be the case but to now hear it from a PT Boat Veteran answers my question completely.

Thanks again,
GregB


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