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Re: Simuliar diamaters in different country's torpedoes
Posted by: Rainer ()
Date: April 08, 2008 01:19PM

Hi Thomas

The use of the same torpedo caliber can traced back to the inventor of this weapon, the engineer Robert Whitehead. Whitehead formed several companies all over the world to provide the navies with torpedoes in case of hostilities and other companies just copied the design (for example Schwartzkopff in Germany). Only France kept an own design with Schneider-Creusot. Thats why almost all major navies used the same torpedo design and then kept the caliber to save costs.

The first torpedoes were built with a diameter of 35,5cm and were later enlarged to 45cm (18"winking smiley because larger tail fins improved the range and accuracy. Prior to World War 1 the Admiralty searched a torpedo with a larger payload and greater range for use on the destroyers to fight against capital ships, so the diameter was enlarged to 21". A compromise between warhead weight and the size of torpedotube battery installations on the narrow decks of the destroyers of the time. This was soon adopted by the other users of the Whitehead-torpedo (USA, Italy, Japan, Russia).

Schwartzkopff in Germany intially built 45cm torpedoes and then also developed a larger torpedo for the German Navy, but it had 50cm in diameter and not 21". After World War 1 it was prohibited for Germany to develope torpedoes, but Spain soon asked for a torpedo based on the latest German design. In order to be compatible with the torpedo tubes already in use in Spanish Navy, the diameter had to be enlarged to 21". This caliber was simply adopted by Germany when they were allowed to built torpedoes again.

Only France enlarged the 45cm torpedo to 55cm, but its ships had to carry less weapons than those of other navies. French destroyers carried two torpedo launchers with 3 tubes each, while almost all other navies had destroyers carrying two launchers with 4 tubes each. The designers of French submarines had to resort to mixed installations (for example 6 tubes with 55cm and 2 with 45cm) in order to save space.

Only one exception proves the rule: the Japanese Long Lance torpedo of 24"
But the heavy torpedo installations on the Japanese destroyers had some major drawbacks. The weight led to structural problems and the ships had to carry less AA weapons or ASW gear than destroyers of the other navies.

Best regards
Rainer

Crew member of uboat.net

Options: ReplyQuote


Subject Written By Posted
Simuliar diamaters in different country's torpedoes Thomas Horton 04/01/2008 12:51PM
Re: Simuliar diamaters in different country's torpedoes ROBERT M. 04/02/2008 04:46AM
Re: Simuliar diamaters in different country's torpedoes ThomasHorton 04/02/2008 02:48PM
Re: Similar diamaters in different country's torpedoes ROBERT M. 04/03/2008 03:52AM
Re: Similar diamaters in different country's torpedoes ROBERT M. 04/03/2008 03:52AM
Re: Similar diamaters in different country's torpedoes ROBERT M. 04/03/2008 03:52AM
Re: Similar diamaters in different country's torpedoes ThomasHorton 04/03/2008 04:16PM
Re: Similar diamaters in different country's torpedoes ROBERT M. 04/06/2008 05:34AM
Re: Similar diamaters in different country's torpedoes ThomasHorton 04/07/2008 01:13PM
Re: Similar diamaters in different country's torpedoes ROBERT M. 04/08/2008 03:51AM
Re: Similar diamaters in different country's torpedoes ThomasHorton 04/08/2008 11:13PM
Re: Simuliar diamaters in different country's torpedoes Rainer 04/08/2008 01:19PM
Re: Simuliar diamaters in different country's torpedoes ROBERT M. 04/09/2008 06:12AM
Re: Simuliar diamaters in different country's torpedoes Bruce Dennis 04/09/2008 07:25AM
I might have an answer ThomasHorton 04/10/2008 02:03AM
Re: I might have an answer ROBERT M. 04/10/2008 08:00AM
Re: I might have an answer ThomasHorton 04/10/2008 03:24PM
Re: I might have an answer ROBERT M. 04/11/2008 06:55AM
Re: I might have an answer ThomasHorton 04/11/2008 01:59PM
Re: I might have an answer ROBERT M. 04/12/2008 12:43PM
Re: I might have an answer Richard Uno 04/10/2008 02:50PM
Re: I might have an answer ThomasHorton 04/10/2008 03:28PM
Re: I might have an answer Richard Uno 04/10/2008 03:53PM
Re: I might have an answer Rob Hoole 04/11/2008 08:35AM
Re: I might have an answer ThomasHorton 04/11/2008 02:02PM


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