Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by corpcasselbury, Nov 19, 2004.
Any battles with their Soviet counterparts?
The Germans had a class of ship they styled torpedo boats, although they appear to be small destroyers, equivalent to the British frigates or maybe even American DEs. Everything I've read about them indicates that they were well-balanced, effective ships capable of holding their own against Allied warships. Opinions and comments on these interesting vessels?
The prewar classes were reasonable expressions of the type, though it doesn't seem to me that WWII had much use for torpedo boats in general. Only the Italians got much worthwhile work from their torpedo boats, in the med convoy duel. The Germans did get one more class of decent boats into service, but only after a pair of embarrassing classes that were, in theory, an upgrade from S-boats. In fact, they were frail, ugly, and generally icky.
The ones I'm talking about are, IIRC, the MOWE class ships (there's an umlaut over the 'o', BTW), first class fighting vessels by all accounts.
The named ships were all the prewar units built under Versailles. The later types had T-numbers only.
Hmmmmm...I can see I'm going to have to do some research on this subject, because I'm pretty sure I read that MOWE and her sisters were new units in WW2.
As long as we're on the subject, though, what is your opinion of the T-class torpedo boats?
Most of them were frail, ugly, and generally icky. It's hard to understand why. At 800 tons, they should have had some value; I don't know what the 800 tons went into. These ships were seriously short on capability.
magnetic mines and PT guns
the mines were usually swept by a sweep using an electric tail. it was a loop of heavy cable with floats that carried a large amount of DC current. the field from it would trigger the mine.
amercian PTs tended to aquire odd weapons. PT109 carried a 37mm anti tank gun on her foredeck complete with trails. other weapons mounted were aircraft rockets, mortors, about every machine gun in the US inventory, 20mm and 40mm AA guns, all kinds of small arms, and other things like bazookas.
Re: magnetic mines and PT guns
PT-109 carried a 37mm gun salvaged from the wreck of a P-39 Airacobra, not an antitank gun; this was generally the source for all the 37s mounted by the PTs. And the crew of PT-109 couldn't fire theirs because it was lashed to the deck but not bolted down.
I found some pics on some Finish site, but i can't find it now. Tiornu could you help?
my source about the 37MM anti tank gun was a boss i used to have. he was in kennedy's squadron. corpsman. while he was not assigened to 109 he knew the whole crew and was invited to kennedy's inraguration so i have to consider him to be a knowledgable source. he stated that there had been some horsetrading that ended up with 109 owning a 37 antitank gun that they mounted on the foredeck just as it was, trails and all. he don't remrember him saying how it was mounted but i could easily see it getting lashed down. according to carl there was some talk of courtmarshal for losing 109 from what was if effect a traffic accident caused by a poor lookout by 109 but there was pressure brought to bear so they gave him a medal for getting his crew out instead.
The 37mm gun was from Bell P-39 Airacobra fighter aircraft.
The M9 37mm ex-Airacobra cannon was fitted in a 3pdr mount as a standard PT weapon. However, the gun on PT 109 was, as lynn1212 says, the anti-tank gun. I remember reading a crewman's recollection of the famous night when he saw the Japanese destroyer about to ram; he quickly grabbed a 37mm round and slammed it into the breech of the gun--but it was closed. Then, wham!
The reason some officers wanted to court martial Kennedy is that two of his men were asleep while on a combat mission, while two others were lying around on deck, taking it easy, and he allowed this to happen. His father, Joseph Kennedy, Sr., had a lot of political clout and pulled a lot of strings. In the end, the court martial was dropped and JFK was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, which was as high an award as the Navy brass would allow under the circumstances. I don't think he should have gotten it.
Well he did managed to crash one of the most sucessful US PT boats. If he was anybody else he would probably be court marshalled.
not really. the 109 was not an outstanding boat. according to my old boss she was mainly known for her skippers ability to find friendly women almost anywhere. the squadron was one of the best though so i guess by extension the 109 was a better that adverage. her main claim to fame was having a good publicity campain. its funny how things work out. kennedy screws up, gets his boat sunk by a DD that never even saw him, and ends up president. hows that again?
Re: not really
109 was sucessful before JFK became her skipper.
Which speaks volumes about Kennedy's command abilities and combat skills, IMHO. :roll:
JFK was a good enough skipper and in some other unit he would have shined. he just had the bad luck to be in a group of overachivers. it was really all his father's fault. old joe kennedy pulled some strings and got joe jr. into a top secret outfit that was using B-17s as a sort of remote suicide plane and got jack into the 109. he figured that it would help later when his boys ran for the top job. he got 1 son killed but the backup got elected.