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sub on sub torpedo kills

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

  1. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    In the Pacific US subs sank their Japanese counterparts on a regular basis. The I-boats were too 'chatty'. Not only did the transmit too often but once per day -midnight?- they send their exact position to the HQ. With this info it was fairly easy to vector in a US sub.
     
  2. SymphonicPoet

    SymphonicPoet Member

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    ^CTBurke

    My recollection of Richard O'Kane's account would suggest U.S. torpedoes made circular runs with alarming regularity. So far as I can recall Tang is the only confirmed self kill due to a circular run. O'Kane speculated that Mush Morton's Wahoo might have been lost similarly, but the wreck was found a few years ago and she seemed to have succumbed to a conventional depth charge attack. (Albeit a fairly well coordinated one including both surface and air forces.) O'Kane reported a circular run that struck his boat on at least one other occasion, but the torpedo was a dud. (Gotta love those early war U.S. torpedoes.) A fair number of submarines of all sides were lost with all hands and no clear account, so it's quite possible that there are others, as O'Kane speculated.
     
  3. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    That's how they originally thought the U-869 was sunk (after it was confirmed that the old records were incorrect and she was found off New Jersey, rather than Rabat!). But it was later confirmed to be a series of destroyer depth charge attacks. But still, it was a very common problem and boats did sink due to it.
     
  4. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    USS Tullibee was also sunk by a circular running torpedo, according to her one survivor who spent the rest of the war in a Japanese prison camp.

    US subs were credited with sinking 28 Japanese submarines, while only one - Corvina - was lost to a Japanese sub. As others have touched on, there were a number of other sinkings of surfaced submarines, including a couple of blue-on-blue incidents.
     
  5. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    Tulibee was one, along with the USS Tang
     
  6. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Richard, above, gave a fine link to the only case in WW2 where one submerged boat sank another. It is very well documented and constantly in the news for U 864 was carrying canisters of mercury bound for Japan in February of 1945. As a result of the attack U 864 split into and now mercury is beginning to leak out at 500 feet deep and in Norwegian waters. Studies are being made as to how to either cover the sub in a concrete casing or retrieve the mercury. a Military Channel program has also run on the subject, not that it would constitute the final word, but the event was well known at the time and now.

    Enigma intercepted a message about the trip with exacting information plus further information radioed about shaft problems U 864 was having. UMS Venturer, a type "V", was sent to sink U 864. She had already sunk U 771 the year before, on the surface. Venturer located U 864 through periscope sightings , having a good idea where she was and figured out her zigzag pattern. The British captain Jimmy Launders calculated where he thought the other sub would be and shot a spread of 4 torpedoes and the last fired sank U 864. Launders received a DSO for this , to me, combination of skill and luck.

    I am currently reading "Being Silent They Speak" ,was free on Kindle, about HMS Unbeaten, a "U" class sub based at Malta for most of her duty. She sank two Axis subs on the surface, The Italian Guglielmotti and U 374. She fired a 4 shot spread at another Italian sub but missed. She was later accidentally sunk by what is believed to be a Wellington in the Bay of Biscay. A good read.

    Gaines
     
  7. merdiolu

    merdiolu Member

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    First U-Boat sunk by Allied submarines was U-36. It was sunk off Faroes in 4th December 1939 by a torpedo fired from British submarine HMS Salmon. Interesting that U-36 was going north to a new base provided by Russians in Kola Inlet according to Russian-Soviet Non-Agreession Pact signed in August. Stalin did not waste time to provide bases for German Navy to be used in Atlantic against British shipping.
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I have read and I think I even recall a picture of an RN sub being towed behind a merchant ship for ASW work. I think this was usually done as part of a convoy. I have a vague memory of reading of RN subs used in this maner actually getting a few kills.
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I thought that was a WWI Tactic used to get German "Q" ships?
     
  10. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    Never heard of this tactic before, Iwd... do you happen to have the picture?? That would be interesting to see.
     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    I only recall the towed submarine tactic being used in WWI, and IIRC it did score a few kills. The sub would be submerged, though, with a phone line for the towing ship to alert it if a U-boat appeared. It was not used in conjuction with convoy; the idea was to let a U-boat think it had a lone, small, helpless target, usually a fishing trawler, not worth a torpedo, so that it would surface and either use its deck gun or scuttle the ship after making/allowing the crew to abandon (to that extent it took advantage of the Germans' humane tactics early in the war).

    A Q ship carried hidden guns and would engage the U-boat itself if it managed to lure it into surfacing. I suppose a Q ship could also tow a submarine, but it would be a bit superfluous.
     
  12. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    So it was ruse attempt... I had a hilarious vision of a submarine being towed behind a ship moving at less than a kmh and shooting torpeoes every which direction :D
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Looks like you are correct, Here's a link and some verbaage from a reference:
    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/british_submarines_and_the_.htm
    Here are some sub vs sub links that may be of interest:
    http://uboat.net/allies/ships/rn_subs.htm
    WWII
     
  14. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    Nice. This is probably an ok place to ask what the value of an American vs British vs Japanese vs German etc torpedo was. ..Would the long lance be cheaper because of less parts?
    If a trawler was not worth the price of a torpedo, what was the cut off - just military targets?
     
  15. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    This earlier discussion http://www.ww2f.com/topic/53768-torpedo-cost/?hl=cost includes the cost of German torpedos, 25-50,000 reichsmarks.

    The mechanism of the Long Lance was not much different from other liquid fueled or "wet heater" torpedos; it simply used compressed oxygen rather than compressed air, which gave it its enhanced performance. Long Lance is not a Japanese term; it was coined by historians after the war. It's usually applied only to the 24" Type 93 torpedo used on surface ships, although there was a 21" submarine oxygen torpedo, the Type 95.
     
  16. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm pretty sure that is not the case. In a previous discussion on them (I think it was either on the ijn board or axis history) a period Japanese document was quoted where the term used for them translated as "Long Lance". Most references I can find do support your position however so it's possible I'm wrong here or it's just really obscure. I'll ask over on the IJN board and see if anyone there can help.
     
  18. Glenn Shiveler

    Glenn Shiveler New Member

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    It should be noted the USS Batfish (SS-310) sank three Japanese submarines In February 1944.
    RO-115 sunk on Feb. 10th
    RO-112 sunk on Feb. 11th
    RO-113 sunk on Feb. 13th

    These Japanese subs were equipped with radar and were on the surface. The USS Batfish noticed the enemy radar emissions, and was guided within range to set-up the torpedo attacks. There remains some speculation whether the USS Batfish was ordered to the rallying position in order to intercept these Japanese submarines due to code breaking efforts. For sure, the USS Batfish was in the right position at the right time, and utilized the enemy radar emissions in order to move into position in the attacks that sank those submarines.
     
  19. Glenn Shiveler

    Glenn Shiveler New Member

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    The USS Batfish (SS-310) sank three Japanese submarines on its 6th mission, all within 72 hours in the South China Sea. The Batfish observed the Japanese submarine radar emission while these vessels were on the surface. The Batfish used its SJ radar signals to home in on the enemy to move into firing position and destroy the enemy using torpedoes. The RO-115 was sunk on February 10, 1945, followed by the RO-112 on February 11th and the RO-113 on February 13th.
     

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