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Type-7 Vs Balao

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by denny, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. denny

    denny Member

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    Unless they are just way too different to compare.......
    ...If you were to toss both boats into The North Atlantic in 1943, which might The Kriegsmarine have preferred.?
    Thank You
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    The middle sail on the US subs prevented all-round viewing...very annoying for a gunner, also 20mm cannon or .50 cal? Id go the 20mm.
    Krupp steel is how id go...
     
  3. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    A better comparison would be with a Gato as the first Balao entered service in 1943 when the Type VII was nearing the end of it's useful life.

    The US boat is significantly larger so can make longer cruises but IMO against effective ASW would not last long. IIRC the Italians used a couple of ex US boats alongside a recovered acciaio class (that are usually considered similar, if a little worse, than a Type VII) post war for ASW training and the US boats were considered easier to spot/kill. ASW conditions in the Atlantic are different from the Med but that possibly goes against the type VII that will be mostly unable to use it's max diving depth to escape.

    On the other side US WW2 radar is better, and that may allow more intercepts.

    But the biggest difference is simply size and cost, the U-Boat war was attritional, and Type VII were mass produced, a bigger more expensive boat requiring nearly twice the crew with no corresponding jump up in performance is not a smart move.
     
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  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Possibly better to compare a Type IX to a US boat, being closer to size. Though not a expert, recent reading has led me to think that beyond Radar and crew amenities, German submariners would not be too keen on US designs. I gather there was a general preference for the Type VII due to its greater nimbleness as compared to the Type IX.
     
  5. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    Too different to compare. Even a Type IX is much smaller than a fleet boat while having the same range.
     
  6. denny

    denny Member

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    Wow...OK.
    I did not realize the USA Sub was that much bigger.
    Guess I can do a Wiki comparison.
    Thanks For The Info.......
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I seam to recall reading that US boats had air conditioning while the German ones didn't. This didn't make much difference in the North Atlantic but in tropical waters it could be fairly important. The US boats also carried more torpedoes. Which probably makes sense for a long range patrol boat but less sense to one making fairly short patrols.
     
  8. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

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    Somewhat off the particular subject but I have only been inside two submarines, the US Drum, a Gato class boat and U-505, a type 9.

    The Drum:
    Class & type: Gato-class diesel-electricsubmarine[2] Displacement:
    • 1,490 long tons (1,510 t) surfaced
    • 2,060 long tons (2,090 t) submerged[2]
    Length: 311 ft 9 in (95.02 m)[2] Beam: 27 ft 3 in (8.31 m)[2] Draft: 17 ft (5.2 m) maximum[2] Propulsion:
    Speed:
    • 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph) surfaced[6]
    • 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph) submerged[6]
    Range: 11,000 nmi (20,000 km; 13,000 mi) surfaced at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)[6] Endurance: 48 hours at 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph) submerged,[6] 75 days on patrol Test depth: 300 ft (91 m)[6] Complement: 8 officers, 75 enlisted[6] Armament:
    • 10 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedotubes

    • 6 forward, 4 aft
    • 24 torpedoes[5]

    [*]1 × 3-inch (76 mm) / 50 caliberdeck gun[5]
    [*]Bofors 40 mm and Oerlikon 20 mmcannon

    And the U 505.

    Type: Submarine Propulsion:
    • 2 × MAN M 9 V 40/46 supercharged 9-cylinder diesel engines, 4,400 PS (4,300 shp; 3,200 kW)
    • 2 × SSW 1 GU 345/34 double-acting electric motors, 1,000 PS (990 shp; 740 kW)
    • 6 × Daimler-Benz MB501 20 cylinder Diesel marine engines with total power of 9,000hp (IX-D/42 Variant)[1]
    Test depth: 230 m (750 ft) Complement: 48 to 56 (55 to 63 in Type IXD) Armament:
    • 6 × torpedo tubes (4 bow, 2 stern)
    • 22 × 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedoes (24 in Type IXD)
    • 1 × 10.5 cm SK C/32 naval gun
    • various AA guns
    The Type IX U-boat was designed by Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine in 1935 and 1936 as a large ocean-going submarine for sustained operations far from the home support facilities. Type IX boats were briefly used for patrols off the eastern United States in an attempt to disrupt the stream of troops and supplies bound for Europe. The extended range came at the cost of longer dive times and decreased maneuverability. It was derived from the Type IA, and appeared in various sub-types.
    Type IXs had six torpedo tubes; four at the bow and two at the stern. They carried six reloads internally and had five external torpedo containers (three at the stern and two at the bow) which stored ten additional torpedoes. The total of 22 torpedoes allowed U-boat commanders to follow a convoy and strike night after night. As mine-layers they could carry 44 TMA or 66 TMB mines, but many of the IXC boats were not fitted for mine operations.
    Secondary armament was provided by one 10.5 cm (4.1 in) deck gun with 180 rounds. Anti-aircraft armament differed throughout the war. They had two periscopes in the tower. Types IXA and IXB had an additional periscope in the control room, which was removed in Type IXC and afterward.


    Contents [SIZE=12.502px] [hide] [/SIZE]​

    [*]2Type IXB

    [*]3Type IXC

    [*]4Type IXC/40

    [*]5Type IXD

    [*]6See also
    [*]7References
    [*]8Bibliography


    Type IXA[SIZE=small][edit][/SIZE]
    Main article: German Type IXA submarine
    General characteristics (IXA)[2] Displacement:
    • 1,032 t (1,016 long tons) surfaced
    • 1,152 t (1,134 long tons) submerged
    Length:
    Beam:
    • 6.51 m (21 ft 4 in) o/a
    • 4.40 m (14 ft 5 in) pressure hull
    Height: 9.40 m (30 ft 10 in) Draft: 4.70 m (15 ft 5 in) Range:
    • 10,500 nmi (19,400 km; 12,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
    • 65 nmi (120 km; 75 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged


    Now you can easily look up the type 7 and the Balao for overall specs and draw conclusions but my visits to both, many years ago left me with distinct impressions. All I could think about inn U 505 was human beings actually lived fought and died in one of these. I felt claustrophobic, tense. Great empathy for those who had to serve on one and it was larger than a type 7.

    Inside the Drum I had some concern for having to be in one but mostly I had great curiosity for how it worked, what people did at stations, the enormous amount of equipment, gauges, piping, etc. Now it was not spacious by any means but I had a totally different feeling in it relative to it's opposite , 505. Perhaps I was thinking of the numbers sunk, the high death rate, my visit to the U-Boat Memorial near Kiel and seeing Das Boat too many times but my visit to 505 had a morbid quality to it. The Drum lacked that. I bring this up as morale has to be an issue yet from what I read the U-boat crews managed to fight effectively until the end. All submariners are a special breed, though folks.

    Interesting how movies affect you. Das Boot is grimy, confining , non-heroic, a good sense of reality in my limited experience, but very moving to me. Most WW2 set American submarine movies can be interesting or not but I never felt tense or had and emotional feeling about them. All felt a little fakey, perhaps it was those models in swimming pools that did it. I exclude that Matthew McConaughey sub movie, my mind protects me from remembering the title, I did have emotion about it, mad at self for wasting time !! :)

    Interesting topic.

    Gaines
     
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  9. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I remember years ago watching an Australian Oberon class submarine coming in after a voyage...the submariners coming out felt sick at the over oxygenated air...and the cleaners went in...with breathing apparatus...put me off submarines as a vocation.
     
  10. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    Diesel electric propulsion has its advantages but compactness isn't one of them. The USN loooooved DE powet plants(late standard tpye battleships, Lexington class carriers)but once the treaties limited overall displacement they went to geared turbines.
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    You mean something like this:
    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/oeh/research/oberon.pdf
     
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I believe that you mean Turbo-Electric propulsion, not diesel/electric propulsion of submarines.

    I also believe that you meant weight instead of compactness.
    Compactness was one of the benefits of a turbo-electric propulsion system. A turbo-electric propulsion system was not as wide as a direct-drive system, and a turbo-electric system could be better subdivided for better compartmentalization.

    However, two of the costs were that a turbo-electric plant was heavier and more expensive. Which is why it was abandoned in the Treaty and Depression eras.
    http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-038.htm

    .
     
  13. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    wow...after reading that...my initial impression was spot on...or perhaps not as bad as the real conditions...Submariners have a tough slog at the best of times...cant believe they put up with it...
     
  14. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    Of course turbo electric though both were heavy.
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    It should be noted that as far as gun armament goes most US boats upgraded to 4" then 5" deck guns during the war and some upgraded to 2 5" deck guns. The US boats also usually ended up with 40mm and/or 20mm AA guns although the Germans upgraded their AA suites as well.

    With regards to Krupp steel I'm not sure the steel used in US subs was inferior to that of the German subs. Certainly when you look at surface ships the US tended to use better steel throughout than the Germans did.
     

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