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During our enforced stay at home, seems TV provides something to do -  and can provide information you may have not been previously aware of.  There was a prog entitled "war at sea" which covered the naval history of WW1.  There was a problem with German submarine attacks on our merchant fleet,  but when the Yanks entered the war, they came up with the idea of boxing them into the North Sea by building a linear minefield from Scotland to Norway, at a cost in today's money of £2 billion.   It apparently claimed five U-boats in the last year of the war.  Presumably they cleared it after the war !    😉

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I watched a youtube documentary the other day about the problems that the yanks had with their torpedo design.

Interesting how the upper management, experts/designers and government all insisted that the torpedo was fine and that any problems were down to the "unskilled" naval personnel that were using them.

two big flaws were found. the first was the design and placement of the detonator which meant that when the torpedo hit it's target it failed to detonate and just bounced off with a resounding clang.

The second was the testing method for the depth setting. it did not take into account varying sea pressures around the areas of action. this meant that torpedo depths were actually deeper than was set. this meant that torpedoes regularly tootled merrily under the ships they were aimed at and just carried on going til they ran out of propulsive power.

think they did solve these problems by the end of the war or at least very shortly after.

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From what i remember it was the engineers on the ships and submarines themselves who somehow managed to figure out a way to get them to work.

They got reprimanded by high command for not following the directions laid out in the manual, which was highly top secret and kept in a safe in a vault in some basement and who only those with clearance had access to.

After which here was an account of one japanese aircraft carrier that was hit by 40 odd torpedoes. five of which actually detonated the rest just bounced off or went underneath it. This was because the loaders and armourer were following directions given to them. Even after that the designers still insisted that there was nothing wrong with the torpedoes and that it was the fault of the ratings who were in charge of arming and loading them.

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On 3/27/2020 at 11:24 PM, Observer II said:

During our enforced stay at home, seems TV provides something to do -  and can provide information you may have not been previously aware of.  There was a prog entitled "war at sea" which covered the naval history of WW1.  There was a problem with German submarine attacks on our merchant fleet,  but when the Yanks entered the war, they came up with the idea of boxing them into the North Sea by building a linear minefield from Scotland to Norway, at a cost in today's money of £2 billion.   It apparently claimed five U-boats in the last year of the war.  Presumably they cleared it after the war !    😉

Another fact on the same prog, that I wasn't aware of : -   the last casualties of WW1 were caused 7 months after the 11th Nov 1918, at Scapa Flow., where the German High Seas Fleet had been impounded.  Fed up with the machinations of the Versaille Conference,  the German Admiral ordered that all his ships be scuttled.  The crews then rowed over to the British ships guarding them, but were refused rescue and actually fired on, killing some German sailors. These last fallen of the Great War were buried in a Naval Cemetery on the Island of Hoy.  💀

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I once visited a designer outlet in Alexandria Scotland that was built on the former site of a car manufacturer that had long since closed. They had a small museum showing how during the war, the factory was the largest producer of torpedoes in the UK. Being almost on the banks of Loch Lomond it was the natural to use the loch as a testing ground and some of the loch’s freshwater dolphins were trained to chase and recover the test torpedoes. Although there were never any accidents, small plaque in the museum pays tribute to their role in the war. Plenty of shops for the ladies and old cars for us blokes, it’s a worthwhile stopover if your ever up in that part of the world.

 

Bill :)

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