Technology and Operations  
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RE: Torpedo data computer
Posted by: kurt ()
Date: January 22, 2001 06:06PM

\"US Subs thru 1945\" has a good description of the US TDC. If you find anything on the German TDC, let me know, I\'m curious, too.

Basically a TDC is a mechanical calculator, so once all the variables (probably the most subtle is the effect of curvature of the torpedo arcing to the desired course as a function of forward speed of the sub) are included there should be little difference in accuracy. I bet both German and US models were roughly equal in capability and accuracy.

The other great variables would be consistency torpedo performance (especially speed of the electrics - where the German had the edge, I believe) and the accuracy of the data from the periscope operator (usually the sub commander). This relied no only on judgement, skill and experience, but time and lack of stress - figuring angle on the bow and target hieght (hence distance) is easier against a single ship sailing alone than in the midst of a heavily defended convoy.

Since both US and German subs tended to overestimate the size of their kills one can assume that distance to target measurements tended to be off, since this relied on correctly estimating the hieght (size) of the target. The US ST radar, a range finder on the periscope, took a lot of this guesswork out, but didn\'t come out till so late in the war that its effect was limited.

So the number of hits achieved relied on a lot more than just the quality of the TDC.

Which I bet you already knew, SK.

Thoughts?

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