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German land torpedoes?

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by WASDA10, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. WASDA10

    WASDA10 New Member

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    Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

    I found this picture in a book accompanied by a text claiming that the Germans used 'land torpedoes' during ww2.
    The book is called 'The Amazing weapons that never were', it's a collection of articles, reports, etc. about futuristic and original weapons. This includes both weapons that were never built (f.e. the death ray) and weapons that were developed (f.e. the V2). The text says the following:
    I haven't been able to find any information about this weapon. I have already tried a few other forums, but found nothing.
    Perhaps someone here knows what this weapon was, or whether it even existed in the first place.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Originally mines were called "torpedoes" and used on both land and sea during the ACW.

    This is probably what they are talking about:
    Goliath tracked mine - Wikipedia
    Not sure I'd call it a torpedo though ... in fact pretty sure I wouldn't. In todays terminology it would be an RPV.
     
  3. WASDA10

    WASDA10 New Member

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    I also thought the book might have been talking about Goliaths, but then the text would have been wrong at some points. First of all the specifications aren't the same (150 pounds in the text, 130 pounds for the Goliath; 1500 yards of cable in the text, ca. 700 for the Goliath). Also the text says the torpedo was used in Russia, while the Goliath was used on all fronts. And the text mentions an anti-tank weapon while the Goliath was also used against fortifications, infrastructure, etc. The picture doesn't show anything resembling the Goliath, even though plenty of good pictures exist, and the text also doesn't mention the Goliath by name (it's a relatively famous weapon after all).
    Those are the main reasons why I thought this might have been another weapon. Of course it's also possible the book just didn't do their research properly.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Certainly sounds as thought the "land-torpedo" they are describing is the Goliath.

    However, it is far from being a "a military innovation claimed by the Germans."
    Look up these:
    “Torpille Terrestre Electrique”(French - 1915)
    "Schneider Crocodile"(French - 1915)
    "Wickersham Land Torpedo"(American 1917-1918, patented 1922)
    "Type 98 Ya-I Go" (Japan - 1937)
    "Engin K"(French - 1940)...Some say that this design was the basis for the German Goliath.
    "Vickers Mobile Land Mine" aka "Beetle"(British - 1940)
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It is best to remember that there were 3 types of Goliath, each with an increased payload.
    Leichte Ladungsträger Goliath Sd.Kfz.302 - 60 kilos of explosive
    Leichte Ladungsträger Goliath Sd.Kfz.303a - 75 kilos of explosive (closest to the listed 150 lbs of explosive.
    Leichte Ladungsträger Goliath Sd.Kfz.303b - 100 kilos of explosive

    Operational range was in excess of cable length - 1.5 kilometers for the Sd.Kfz.302. No great leap to guess that the author/s swapped yards and kilometers.
     
  6. WASDA10

    WASDA10 New Member

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    It sounds indeed very plausible that the author messed up and perhaps even exaggerated a bit. On a side note, do you have any idea what the picture is from? I tried an image search with google, but nothing showed up.
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    IIRC, the photo is a German propaganda shot, and the "torpedo" was edited in.

    The torpedo bunker in the photo was located in Vlissingen, Netherlands.
    [​IMG]

    Not much remains today
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MG60ukSHy...ssingen700_2014-12-09_spinne-batterie-fb2.jpg

    Links:
    kyff torp, Stichting Bunkerbehoud, Onderzoek, Awall Zeeland

    Title says Norway, but wanders to cover other German torpedo bunkers.
    Torpedo Bunkers in Norway • Axis History Forum

    Torpedobunker
     
  8. the_diego

    the_diego Member

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    Must be really hard to steer towards a target past 1,000 yards. And what if the target runs circles around a tree?
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It was also quite slow compared to an operational tank. Which is why the propaganda photo shows it being used against one that has already been knocked out.
    [​IMG]
    Take a close look at the SU-85, and you can see that it has already been disabled.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If the author was also writing about "death rays" that may be a bit on the generous side.
     
  11. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Which brings up the question, does anyone here know if the Goliath was ever used successfully? I've read several accounts of them being used but every incidence that I've ever read of ended in failure.
     
  12. WASDA10

    WASDA10 New Member

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    Thanks a lot for the information. About the goliath, this might not have been the greatest anti-tank weapon available, but it should have excelled at taking out bunkers, trenches and other kinds of fortifications, things that don't move too much. The Germans also built over 2000 of them, so they must have had some value.
     
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  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    You mean like this article in Life Magazine(July 23, 1945).
    LIFE
     
  14. WASDA10

    WASDA10 New Member

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    Yes, exactly like that
     

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