Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by BigEFan, Dec 12, 2019.
So set some of the hedge hogs that go off under ten feet of water.
Were hydrostatic fuses that sensitive?
Normal DCs had minimum settings of 50 feet. Would also require a redesign of the projectile to accommodate the hydrostatic fuse.
Probably better off with a train able DC thrower.
Timed impact fuze would do the trick.
Sunderland dropped their bombs very much like a hedgehog...in sequence
An Intervelometer was standard on almost all, if not all, multi-engine bombers.
Then why were so many ships sunk in WW2 by torpedo? Were the nets not 100% effective, or not widely employed? It seems like a simple solution to the problem of torpedoes, have a net made from cable wire (or rope?) that is just strong enough to catch a torpedo, suspended on both sides of EVERY ship. The Battle for the Atlantic would have been won earlier by all warships and supply ships crossing the Atlantic to England, fitted with effective torpedo netting .
Nets dangling out from the side of a ship were not a simple solution simply because you don't steam with torpedo nets streaming alongside; torpedo nets are for when you're parked somewhere. You can't make them strong enough to stand up to the strains of open sea forces and if you could make them so strong you would seriously, seriously, compromise any ability to maneuver or make anything close to a respectable speed, not to mention the added weight topside - for which any already built ship was not designed - for the equipment to reel this stuff in and out when you want to enter any place crowded with shipping or to tie up to a pier. You are not the first one to suggest this solution, and you see how well it was received.
Frankly, overtime, nets became pretty useless unless you wanted to protect a ship not likely to go anywhere, but you'd prefer not to have holes poked in the side, Tirpitz comes to mind. A more common use would be if you wanted to wall off from submarine access an entire anchorage area such as Hampton Roads (usually this also involve prodigious quantities of mines, contact and direct control) with a lovely net stretching across the channel from Fort Monroe to Fort Wool. But that was to stop submarines, not torpedoes, and had to be opened every a ship entered or left the anchorage. Mines were far more effective in keeping unwanted visitors out. Indeed, it was not until late in the war that US submarines had the sonar capability to navigate Japanese mine fields. At sea, convoying; a good and aggressive air patrol where available; well armed, equipped and trained escorts; and robust ASW doctrine could keep you much safer than trying to drag around some dubious valued netting.
"So many ships . . ." were hit and or sunk by torpedoes, while unfortunate for the recipients, were but a small percentage of the available shipping bottoms or warships from the Allied perspective. Losses to submarines were a scary thought in some circles in Great Britain, but they were never really and truly in danger of folding up over same, even before US industrial shipbuilding kicked in. Were the times unpleasant, yes, they were, but on the whole survivable. For folks like the Japanese who could not make good their losses, merchant or naval, and had a stinky ASW doctrine, oh well. It was a numbers game, the Allies won, the Axis, primarily the Japanese, lost. Circles in circles . . . technology, training, intelligence, equipment and execution rolled together were the solution to the submarine problem which solved the torpedo problem.
They didn't use them. The reasons are not in my memory bank right now. I do know that Kimmel didn't want to have to take the time to get them out of the way if an emergency sortie was needed.
..the best defense against a torpedo is offense----DDs/fighters/etc--don't let them fire or drop the fish
But subs frequently got through.