Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Talking of Scandals

A number of posts in various places have commemorated the D Day landings at Normandy.

This reminded me of one of the major scandals of WW2 which plagued the US Navy.

It is the story of defective torpedoes.

The culprit was the Mark 14 torpedo which was the standard weapon deployed by US submarines in the Pacific for the first two years of the war.

Image result for mark 14 torpedo

They were grossly defective.  The most damning commentary I could find was this, from Wiki.:

  • "It tended to run "circular", failing to straighten its run once set on its prescribed gyro-angle setting, and instead, to run in a large circle, thus returning to strike the firing ship."

The majority of these weapons either ran too deep, thereby missing their targets or failed to explode on impact.   I wonder how many American servicemen lost their lives as a result of this debacle.

Blame was sheeted home to an incompetent naval administration which failed to carry out sufficient testing prior to deployment of the weapon.

Some commenters at Kiwiblog have speculated that if Japan had won the battle of Midway the US submarine force would have prevented the Japanese from supplying its far flung outposts.  

Not with those damned things, they wouldn't.

1 comment:

The Veteran said...

Apropos nothing much at all but the Japanese had the Type 93 (Long Lance) torpedo which was generally recognised as the most advanced and deadly naval torpedo through much of the Pacific war. Not bad for a country populated by people seen by the West as having bad eyesight preventing them flying aircraft at night ...