DEPTH CHARGES AND THEIR PROPELLING CASES & Misc. Related


#1

Anyone interested in Depth Charges? I find them fascinating. While doing research on torpedoes recently, I came across this great web site page that had some nice information and photos.

de220.com/Armament/Depth%20C … harges.htm

I love the last picture that shows a close-up of the MK9 Depth Charge fuze or pistol.

Jason


#2

This is a field which could stand some serious investigation. Another fine addition to the forum Thank you.


#3

Thanks CSAEOD! I have recently become fascinated by these devises. Some depth charges seem to be nothing more then a garbage can with a fuze and gobs of explosive and some are incredibly high tech. I like the MK9 depth charge and the way they designed it to sink at a steady fast rate compared to the MK6. The MK9 also has stabilization fins.

Jason


#4

You are certainly correct. They didn’t call them “ash cans” for nothing. The German movie “Das Boot” has some super scenes of being on the receiving end of these.


#5

I saw that move last month. It was great and had gobs of depth charge footage. I think most of them were MK6 Depth Charges? I did not know they were called “Ash Cans” also.


#6

ASH CAN IS A WW2 DESTROYER TERM. You young folks won’t remember ashes. We older folks remember taking them out of coal furnaces . A messy job which had to be done constantly with the cheap grades of coal sold for home heating.


#7

Depth charge interest?? Oh, yeah, love that big stuff when I can afford the space. I have a 1945 dated Mk9 and a 1943 vintage Mk6. To properly display them, I’m currently restoring a WWII Mk6 K-gun and arbor assembly, just about identical to the example from the Oregon Military Museum shown below. I hope to someday display mine in a similar fashion, attached to a small pallet with casters, but with the depth charge properly chained to the arbor in launching positon. This IS a heavy setup.

The bronze plate in the center of the Mk6 is not the actual pistol but the booster assembly normally fitted to the opposite end. It looks very similar to the pistol except there is no dial in the center for setting the firing depth. Both the Museum and I are still searching for pistols for our depth charges just in case anyone has a spare or two.


#8

I love that picture! Thanks for posting it here as well as on the torpedo thread. It is great. I have another friend who is also looking for a inert pistol for his MK9. It seems they are very hard to find. I’d love to see pics of your restoration work when you are ready to share them :-)

Jason
PS: As cool as depth charges are, I wonder how they effect nearby and distant marine life, especially marine mammals?


#9

[quote=“ordnance”]Depth charge interest?? Oh, yeah, love that big stuff when I can afford the space. I have a 1945 dated Mk9 and a 1943 vintage Mk6. To properly display them, I’m currently restoring a WWII Mk6 K-gun and arbor assembly, just about identical to the example from the Oregon Military Museum shown below. I hope to someday display mine in a similar fashion, attached to a small pallet with casters, but with the depth charge properly chained to the arbor in launching positon. This IS a heavy setup.

The bronze plate in the center of the Mk6 is not the actual pistol but the booster assembly normally fitted to the opposite end. It looks very similar to the pistol except there is no dial in the center for setting the firing depth. Both the Museum and I are still searching for pistols for our depth charges just in case anyone has a spare or two.[/quote]

Rick, I have acquired a WWII dated(1944 I think) Mk6 pistol fuze. I haven’t yet decided what I am going to do with it. I think I might use it as a trade item. They are next to impossible to find(as you know) and when you are looking to add something new/different to the collection, you often need a trade item of this rarity to acquire something that you don’t already have. I have one in my collection, and the only other one I have ever seen was sold at Manion’s Auction House 4 years ago for $2427. Regards, Marshall


#10

Here is a drawing of the headstamp of a 1929 dated 2 Pounder (40x158R) case I have that shows it could be used in the " Pounder Mk I and II guns and the 9.5in DCT (Depth Charge Thrower). When used with the 9.5in DCT it was loaded with a special propellant charge and the mouth closed with a wad and/or cup. There is no way of knowing whether or not this was actually used as a depth charge propelling charge case as one case was manufactured and headstamped, then loaded to either a round with a projectile of a depth charge propelling charge, and this is a fired case.

Here is a photo of the case (shown next to a .50BMG round for scale):

There is some excellent information about British depth charges and depth charge projectors here. The 9.5in DCT is shown on that page. Scroll down to “Depth Charge Projectos”, it is the top one (Mark I and Mark II Thornycroft).[/img]


#11

[quote=“APFSDS”]I love that picture! Thanks for posting it here as well as on the torpedo thread. It is great. I have another friend who is also looking for a inert pistol for his MK9. It seems they are very hard to find. I’d love to see pics of your restoration work when you are ready to share them :-)

Jason
PS: As cool as depth charges are, I wonder how they effect nearby and distant marine life, especially marine mammals?[/quote]

Hello Jason, I can’t help but think that the hydrodynamic shock from a DC detonation would be catastrophic to any nearby marine mammals.


#12

Awesome hearing from you Marshall!!! I started this thread after going threw my files of reference pics and saw the photo you sent me a long time ago of your SUPER SWEET depth charge complete with pistol. I did not want to post the picture with-out your consent.

I was watching one of my favorite Discovery Channel shows called, Myth Busters last night and they were dissecting the myth about “SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL”. After a bunch of rounds fired into a barrel with a fish they finally figured out that all that was needed to kill the fish was the shock wave. Even a 9mm shot into a barrel from above standing on a ladder produced a large enough shock wave to destroy fish. Made me think about how much larger the shock wave is produced by a depth charge. I know sound travels much further in water then in air so even marine mammals miles away could be hurt I would think?


#13

At the Dutch forum the webmaster posted a photo showing a 2pounder case restamped for the 9.5 IN DCT. Looks like filling was june 1944.
Any more info would be welcome!


#14

Nice! That is very cool. I am sure someone here can find info on it. Thats gotta be a super rare case?

Jason


#15

I have a CD available which covers Japanese depth charges if anyone is interested. I also have a Naval Underwater Ordnance CD which shows the depth charges of the major powers in WW2 as well. These are available on ebay,Auctionarms or Gunbroker or from me directly . Direct purchase is postage prepaid.


#16

I have seen them and highly recommend them if you are into underwater ord.


#17

CSAEOD has made a huge amount of material available as reprints or in electronic formats which are nearly essential reference material for historians and collectors. Highly recommended!
And, a big thank you for his doing so!


#18

I just scanned a few pics from a fairly modern issue of Jane’s Underwater Warfare. Some modern depth charges are super high tech. Even more fascinating are the modern Sea-mines which I may make the subject of a different thread if their is a interest. A interesting note: It seems that, “Depth Charges”, have the claim to fame of being the longest established anti-submarine weapons

This is the short intro to Depth Charges in Jane’s. Hope it is readable.

This picture is off aAS-223 Depth-charge used by Chile. On the exterior it looks allot like our MK9 Depth Charge but on the inside it seems to be high tech. It is described as a fast sinking anti-sub weapon with a hydrostatic pressure activated pistol for targets between 30 and 490 meters deep.

Here is a realy neat Itailan air droped, “Smart Depth Charge”

Here is one of my favorites. Talk about specialized! This depth charge is made speficaly as a anti-frogman weapon.


#19

I agree John, CSAEOD’s reference material is a real educational resource. I have allot of them covering a wide range of specialties and they are so full of rare hard to find information. They really are great. I recommend big time! Besides the underwater ordnance material I really liked the artillery CD’s he has.


#20

Here are a couple views of the Mk5 impulse cartridge for use with the Mk6 single depth charge projector (SDCP). I found two of these at a garage sale about half way between my house and the Oregon Military Museum. Obviously, they got one and I kept the other for my K-gun.

The month character washed out in the photograph but the date on the headstamp is 4-45. I’m not sure if these are particularly scarce but I haven’t found any others in my ordnance gathering. The case is 9 1/4" long and 3.0" in diameter at the case mouth and contained 25 ounces of black powder.