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 Author  Topic: Mark 14 torpedo difficulties..great history in this video
TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Mar 5, 2020 - 9:08am
Here is an excellent history on why the US torpedoes were so bad (just posted on YouTube in February 2020):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ5Ru7Zu_1I

The Skipper of the PT-157 told me accounts of knowing his crew sent torpedoes right on target only to have nothing happen. This of course put them in immediate jeopardy.

On the night of August 1, 1943 (the night the PT-109 was lost) RON-9 and other other PTs in mixed in with them, in Blackett Straight (in the Solomons) fired upwards to 30 torpedoes and NO hits...which would found later to be due to the unfortunate issues of the torpedoes ran closer to 25-feet depth instead of the expected 11-foot depth. This meant the torpedoes ran right under their intended enemy ship targets. This was further confirmed in the days following this action when coast watchers reported seeing torpedoes on beaches in the area (which makes sense at the PT were firing from deeper waters towards their targets that were closer to the shorelines. A maneuver the Japanese used to help keep the PT devil boats only to one side).

WORKING torpedoes, resulting in the sinking of far more enemy ships, would have altered the record of PTs and submarines to one of even greater accomplishments and even changed the strategy of the enemy.

P.S. For those tracking the removal of the PTs' original torpedo tubes, this is the reason why (in the Solomons that would be the Fall of 1943). Hanging racks replaced the tubes although the period of greatest opportunity was already over as the Japanese went to barges that hug the shoreline to deprive PT and aerial attacks rendering the use of torpedo to a much lesser role.


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Drew Cook

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Drew Cook  Posted on: Mar 5, 2020 - 11:52am
Thanks for your post, Bridge.

I found and posted the official IJN's document of it's response and recommendations for encountering and handling of U.S. PT boats here a few years ago. The IJN document, despite our poorly-performing torpedoes, was very, very respectful and wary of our PTs, considering them a definite threat to be reckoned with.

I guess the Japanese were thinking our early PT torpedoes were as good as their "Long Lance" fish. Would that they had been!


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TheBridge

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TheBridge  Posted on: Mar 5, 2020 - 8:53pm
Drew,

I very much agree that if the fish had been reliable PTs would sunk a great number of big ships and have accounted for a quicker pull back by the Japanese. Thank the lucky stars the Japanese did not know what a disaster the torpedoes were. In their minds they must had concluded the PTs were poorly trained rather then poorly armed. Japanese intelligence should have caught on to this.

Bridge


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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: Mar 6, 2020 - 4:41pm
Hey Bridge, good video thanks for posting it here. The PT Boats as you know did not use the submarine Mark 14 torps, about which the video is mostly addressing, but the older Mark 8 torpedoes that were even worse than the Mk14. I am pretty sure they were subject to similar issues, however they were not fitted with the magnetic exploder like the Mk14 was. The Mk8 probably did suffer from the same problems with the depth setting mechanisms, but since they Mk8 was used in WW1 it is hard to be sure it was the exact same mechanism used on both marks. I imagine the Mark 14 had some type of improvements made to it between the time Mk8 came out and Mk14 was made. Just a guess there. I read somewhere about RON22 in the med where one PT asked if the other boat had shot its torps yet, and got a response that No, we were too busy avoiding your torps to shoot our own! So I think the gyroscope on the Mk8 was defective as well. Thanks again for posting this interesting subject.
Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

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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: Mar 6, 2020 - 4:52pm
posted in wrong topic

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