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Torpedo damage Screenshots

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Wow that's quite a gaping hole!

It's also crazy to think there's nothing left of the hundreds dead at their resting place, except everyday items reminding us of how they lived as Royal Navy sailors. RIP.

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Impressive how badly outdated torpedo protection and flooding protection has an impact in the sinking of a ship. Outdated ship, still passable for surface combat, but the more powerful torpedoes was its achillesheel. Just like in the attack on Pearl Harbour the aircraft torpedoes wrecked havoc on the USN ships.

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Not sure that would be a proper conclusion on the aerial torpedo:

All of the torpedo hits, along with the other damage received and the end result:

Battleships

  • Oklahoma: hit by five torpedoes, capsized; total loss. 429 dead.
  • West Virginia: hit by two bombs, seven torpedoes, sunk; returned to service July 1944. 106 dead.
  • California: hit by two bombs, two torpedoes, sunk; returned to service January 1944. 100 dead.
  • Nevada: hit by six bombs, one torpedo, beached; returned to service October 1942. 60 dead.

Ex-battleship (target/AA training ship)

  • Utah: hit by two torpedoes, capsized; total loss. 64 dead.

Cruisers

  • Helena: hit by one torpedo; returned to service January 1942. 20 dead.
  • Raleigh: hit by one torpedo; returned to service February 1942.

 

The only ships sunk by torpedo alone were the Utah and Oklahoma.  19 hits on stationary targets by 40 launched torpedoes.

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Detailed examination of torpedo and other damage to BBs at Pearl Harbor:

https://www.navalhistory.org/2012/12/07/december-7-1941-the-destruction-of-the-battle-line-at-pearl-harbor

Quote

The five battleships attacked by torpedoes in the first stage of the assault had two different forms of underwater defense. The first, worked into the Oklahoma, Nevada, and Arizona during modernizations between 1928 and 1931, consisted of an external bulge or blister and internal compartments backed by a longitudinal torpedo bulkhead of 40-pound nickel steel armor and 20-pound medium steel plates for a combined thickness of 1 1/2 inches. The bulge, or outer defensive layer, was empty. Behind the original shell of the ship was a layer of fuel tanks, and behind that layer was yet another, then the inner, armored bulkhead which stretched vertically from the double bottom to the third deck. The maximum thickness of the protective layer was 14 feet, and the two void layers inboard of the bulge were filled with fuel oil to absorb the blast and pressure of an exploding torpedo.

The second system, originally built into the Tennessee and Maryland classes, covered the center two­-thirds of each ship with a layer of five compartments with a total protective depth of 17 1/2 feet on each side. Immediately behind the shell was a void space 4 feet wide, while the next three compartments–­each 3 feet wide–were wing fuel tanks. The bulkheads of these compartments were designed to be stiff enough to resist compression but resilient enough to bend under the pressure of an underwater explosion. Behind the liquid-filled layers was a void 4 1/2 feet wide; its inner boundary was an unpierced longitudinal bulkhead of special treatment (armor) steel with a maximum thickness of 1 inch. The empty and oil-filled protective compartments were strengthened and subdivided by transverse bulkheads, and the spaces behind the torpedo defense system could be rendered watertight in the event of an attack. Both systems of defense used voids and liquid layers together, but the system designed originally for the Maryland and Tennessee classes was superior because of its greater depth and because it held sudden flooding to a minimum after an explosion.

The evidence suggests that the torpedo defense systems of the Nevada and Pennsylvania classes, even as modernized, were inadequate. On the other hand, the system designed for the Tennessee and Maryland classes–which were not modernized in the 1930s–was far superior; it kept the West Virginia from capsizing and should have kept the California afloat. The Nevada‘s underwater damage resulted from one torpedo and two bomb hits. While still in her berth, the ship was torpedoed

 

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@akd Great article thanks for posting. 

@Pedroig What is interesting about the torpedo hits is that the hit rate is higher (40%) than the horizontal bombs (16%) but the damage done per hit is much less even given the unready state of the BB line. 

Obviously the anti-torpedo defenses of the ships modernized in the 1930 & 40 faired much better, but isn't that very late or past the UAD timeline?

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22 hours ago, DeRuyter said:

@akd Great article thanks for posting. 

@Pedroig What is interesting about the torpedo hits is that the hit rate is higher (40%) than the horizontal bombs (16%) but the damage done per hit is much less even given the unready state of the BB line. 

Obviously the anti-torpedo defenses of the ships modernized in the 1930 & 40 faired much better, but isn't that very late or past the UAD timeline?

the stationary bbs were hit by level bombing attacks with quite heavy bombs (800kg bombs or 1700 lbs) which results in more penetration which might be why the damage was so high
in addition to that the bombs were substantially heavier than usual japanese bombs granted the bombs did not have large fillers and as far as i know unreliable


hitrate being lower is almost certainly due to the fact that the 800kg bombs were not dropped by dive-bombing but were level bombing and thus accuracy was not high

https://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/B/o/Bombs.htm

the shallow running of the japanese torpedoes might also have an effect on their damage as they hit high and closer to the belt than they normally would

i believe this would mean for their payload less damage would be caused as there was less pressure to compress the torpedo explosions

Quote

Obviously the anti-torpedo defenses of the ships modernized in the 1930 & 40 faired much better,

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-047.php

it seems that torpedo protection did not actually improve much beyond the 1915 Tennessee class in terms of design while alot of other designs were tried they did not end up as effective for the depth (though i believe tds depth was increased during the 40s on ships)

57288_BB-43_Sheet5.jpg

best i could find regarding USS Tennessee TDS layout

last article is a really good read regarding TDS and the effectiveness of different schemes

Edited by Christian
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On 10/15/2019 at 9:22 PM, Pedroig said:

Not sure that would be a proper conclusion on the aerial torpedo:

All of the torpedo hits, along with the other damage received and the end result:

Battleships

  • Oklahoma: hit by five torpedoes, capsized; total loss. 429 dead.
  • West Virginia: hit by two bombs, seven torpedoes, sunk; returned to service July 1944. 106 dead.
  • California: hit by two bombs, two torpedoes, sunk; returned to service January 1944. 100 dead.
  • Nevada: hit by six bombs, one torpedo, beached; returned to service October 1942. 60 dead.

Ex-battleship (target/AA training ship)

  • Utah: hit by two torpedoes, capsized; total loss. 64 dead.

Cruisers

  • Helena: hit by one torpedo; returned to service January 1942. 20 dead.
  • Raleigh: hit by one torpedo; returned to service February 1942.

 

The only ships sunk by torpedo alone were the Utah and Oklahoma.  19 hits on stationary targets by 40 launched torpedoes.

Interesting. It seems torpedoes as a whole were also far less cruel too, as long as they don't blow up the ammunition. Hood and the Jutland ships all lost around 1,000 men each.

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On 10/18/2019 at 2:04 PM, Shaun said:

Interesting. It seems torpedoes as a whole were also far less cruel too, as long as they don't blow up the ammunition. Hood and the Jutland ships all lost around 1,000 men each.

indeed, it seems as if plunging fire from shells or bomb angles (again, plunging factor) did more to accelerate ship destruction than torpedoes.  I would imagine it had something to do with minimal protection on horizontal surfaces, made only worse with what had to be a rather one-sided thought process on where the most damage would be received: vertical surfaces.  It didn't help that the British had a very dangerous flaw in their turrets for loading the guns, something they took great pains not to repeat in the years after The Great War. 

 

That said, look at any of the combat operations involving catastrophic sinkings by torpedo during WW2.  Loss only seems to be great where procedures weren't followed (Taiho, Barham, Shinano, Indianapolis):  Ark Royal, Eagle, and Wasp had fairly minimal casualties for the hits received.

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It seems like while torpedos are quite likely to kill a ship, especially deep running ones they don’t actually do all that much damage to the usually crewed portions of the ships.

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I think you're all underestimating the effects of torpedoes due to the external factors of Pearl Harbor.

Every ship that ended up settling to the ground would've been a hull loss at sea, and most of them would've sunk so fast as to make rescue of most of the crew almost impossible, especially under battle conditions.

Oklahoma capsized and lost over a third of her crew while not going under the waves completely; both West Virginia and California settled on the ground with their main deck still above the waterline, and West Virginia was also evacuated when damage control efforts proved futile; and Nevada was beached to prevent her from sinking, thereby also eliminating one of the main causes for crew loss during WW2.

Granted, a magazine hit and subsequent disintegration of a ship's structure would be immediately lethal, as can be seen from what happened to HMS Hood, USS Arizona and HMS Royal Oak.

Edited by PainGod
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Depends on torpedo... if it's Heavy Deepwater Torpedo it hits not into the Bulge, but into the bottom of the ship where protection is poor. But it works only against ships with draught over 8-8,5 metres(28ft and deeper). Mostly it's a submarine torpedoes. And if DWT hits in magazine area ship goes off like HMS Barham. 

Aerial and DD's torpedoes sits in the water around 6 to 16 ft deep. 

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The torpedo exploders have a lot to do with damage incurred.  Influence exploders are designed to run under the hull not actually hit and the magnetic influence of the ship tripped the exploder, which creates more damage than contact exploders actually striking the ship.  Exploding a meter or two below the hull, not actually touching the hull creates far more damage.  The explosive force as well as the shock of the water pounding the hull can break the ships back (keel) or make huge holes.  The Royal Oak damage looks like a influence exploder and not an actual hit as the hull was forced in over a large area.  The Japanese torpedoes at Pearl were reported to be contact exploders so the 'holes' were not that large as you can see in the later dry dock pictures.

 

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On 10/28/2019 at 3:50 PM, PainGod said:

I think you're all underestimating the effects of torpedoes due to the external factors of Pearl Harbor.

Every ship that ended up settling to the ground would've been a hull loss at sea, and most of them would've sunk so fast as to make rescue of most of the crew almost impossible, especially under battle conditions.

Oklahoma capsized and lost over a third of her crew while not going under the waves completely; both West Virginia and California settled on the ground with their main deck still above the waterline, and West Virginia was also evacuated when damage control efforts proved futile; and Nevada was beached to prevent her from sinking, thereby also eliminating one of the main causes for crew loss during WW2.

Granted, a magazine hit and subsequent disintegration of a ship's structure would be immediately lethal, as can be seen from what happened to HMS Hood, USS Arizona and HMS Royal Oak.

Except for the California I mostly agree with you. The California was lost due to incompetence. I am not sure if her Captain was relieved, but he certainly should have been. The ship never achieved anything close to condition Zebra (all water tight openings closed) and was lost due to progressive flooding thru open hatches and scuttles.

You also need to consider that warships at sea with full power available and with the crews at battlestations (condition Zebra set) are much more difficult to sink than ships in port at 0700 Sunday morning.

Edited by PFWiz
spelling

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I would like to point out that HMS Barham is a good example of how devastating torpedo hits could be at high seas, the ship capsized in less than 4 minutes, only then blowing up. Estimates are that most of the dead would have died either way as they were still inside the ship when it capsized.

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