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sub on sub torpedo kills

Discussion in 'Atlantic Naval Conflict' started by Hummel, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Hummel

    Hummel Member

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    Hey all!
    I was wondering, were there many sub on sub torpedo kills in the Atlantic (or the Pacific for that matter, but I can't post in two fora at once)? Were they on the surface? I don't think they had real homing torpedoes in WWII -- and certainly not anything similar to the modern wire guided semi-active sonar homing torps of today. I know I am asking a BIG ASS question, but I do that, and I love the conversations they sometimes generate because so many of you are hardcore experts on this stuff, while I am MOST DEFINITELY NOT! LOL

    I ask one thing though -- Remember to argue an argument and NOT THE PERSON! Keep personal feelings out of the discussion please? I have had a couple of really promising threads get locked because some folks (who shall remain nameless) got their collective panties in wads and went off on others. Thank you. Really. Thank you.
     
  2. Richard

    Richard Expert

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  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I thought I read about a British S or T class out of Malta that sank a Italian Sub. But maybe it was claimed but not confirmed?
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Hummel,

    Richard is correct, there was only one confirmed kill were both submarines were submerged. However, there were many submarine vs. submarine kills were the attacker was submerged and the target was surfaced. There were "real" homing(passive acoustic) torpedoes used by submarines. AFAIK, they were only credited with ships kills. Also, they came along late in the war, as such, they did not see all that much use. The only homing torpedo with submarine kills credited was the Mark 27 "FIDO", however, it was an air-dropped torpedo.

    belasar,

    Could you narrow that down a wee bit, IIRC, the Italians lost 18 submarines to British submarine torpedoes. Italian submarine losses can be found here: HyperWar: US Submarine Losses in World War II [Italian Submarine Casualties]
     
  5. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    There were very few in WW 2. The only way this could happen was if the target boat was surfaced. There was no means for one submarine to attack another while submerged developed by any nation in WW 2. The Germans experimented with 3D sonar and hydrophones towards the end of the war but nothing came of it. It wouldn't be until well into the 50's with systems like the USN's PUFFS that a sub could attack another submerged in 3D.
     
  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Would the circular-running torpedoes have had a chance of a kill, or was this so unlikely as to be ruled out completely for all practical purposes?


    "I know we sank that submarine, I saw it go down!" "1941"
     
  7. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    It happens. Here's one case off New Jersey:

    NOVA Online | Hitler's Lost Sub
     
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  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I think one RN sub managed a submerged vs submerged kill of a German sub.
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Sorry, but that has been disproved. A circular running torpedo does not explain the two holes found in U-869's hull, when IIRC, "Shadow Divers"(been a while since I have read it) only mentioned one. The center section has been devastated by a large explosion, while on the starboard side, in the vicinity of the after torpedo room, there is a somewhat smaller hole with much less damage, but damage nonetheless. The sinking has been credited to the USS Howard D. Crow(DE-252) and USS Koiner(DE-331).

    USCG: Page Title
    Gary Gentile Productions - Shadow Divers Exposed
    Scuba Diving - New Jersey & Long Island New York - dive Wreck Valley - Dive Sites - Submarines - U-Boats
     
  10. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Sub to sub surface kills were not uncommon, just looking through Roskill
    in appendix on 1942/43 "u-boat" losses:
    U-335 3/08/42 Saracen
    U-301 21/01/43 Sahib
    U-644 7/4/43 Tuna
    U 303 21/5/43 Sickle
    In the list of Allied Med losses
    HMS Rainbow 13/10/40 Toti
    The list is by no means definitive, Roskill suffers from the "belittle the Italians" proaganda imperative and there are a lot of "presumed mine" and "unknown" that may turn out to be actually submarine with more research on currently available data.
    IMO a WW2 circling torp is very unlikely against a submerged sub, IIRC they were designed to go to immediately surface depth as the intended target was surface ships.
    BTW should we add Koursk (obviously not WW2) to the (very short as she would be #2) list of sub underwater kills ?IIRC there were also a number of close calls on NATO training exercise wth homing torpedoes picking the wrong target, though I suspect they had no live warheads so would have done little damage if hit.
     
  11. Chi-Ri

    Chi-Ri Member

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  12. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I read this a few weeks ago, but it refered to a surface kill, not an underwater one. As you point out there seems to be several of this type. As I read the OP I took it to mean a kill of any type, sorry for any confusion I may have caused.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I thought you were looking for a specific sinking. As, I too had no idea of how successful the British submarines were against their Italian opposites. I though there were going to be only a handful sinkings, and was very surprised when I saw how many there actually were.
     
  14. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I was reading a general history of the period and while it stated that Italian subs had good to excellent crews, the subs themselves left much to be desired. They took too long to submerge and their periscopes were too short and when at periscope depth they were easy to see from above.
     
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    In most circumstances any sub could be seen from the air.* This is what made blimps deadly.

    *The Turks spotted four foot wide mines in about 20 feet of water in the Dardanelles in WWI.
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I don't buy that the periscope was to short and this made it easier to see from above. Depending on water conditions any submarine can be spotted from the air down to between 120 feet - 160 feet. However, a more plausible argument would be that the shorter periscope made the submarine "broach" more often. This could be to any one of a number of things, ranging from genuine loss of control, torpedo firing, heavy wave action, rough weather, etc.
     
  17. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    AFAIK there was even a "blue on blue" incident when Tricheco sank Gemma on 8/10/1940.
    Generally speaking the Italan 600t class, that with 59 units made up the bulk of the force, were not as good as the VIIC, the Argo /Flutto were roughly equivalent, but the main reason for the British successes are ULTRA and a a lack of cooperation with the air force that prevented effective air patrols near the ports.
     
  18. Chi-Ri

    Chi-Ri Member

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    Besides, the Brits had good ASW equipment and effective tactics - without them the work of ULTRA would not earn them so many successes.

    Regards,
     
  19. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Many losses occurred at "choke points", like harbour entrances or the Messina straits, where it would be very dangerous for a British sub to linger, ULTRA and the lack of a air patrols rendered effective what would otherwise be suicidal tactics.
     
  20. CTBurke

    CTBurke Member

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    I thought I recalled one incident of a US sub's torpedo circling around and hitting the mother ship (??)
     

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