Torpedoes are ammunition


#1

One of the most interesting aspects of the torpedo to me is the fuze. Here is a nice one for sale on Gunbroker and a war time photo of the same type. Does anyone else have wartime photos of torpedo fuzes ?

Ian Hogg wrote in one of his many books that the fuze is the weapon and that everything else is based upon that fuze working. A fuze which does not work is a very expensive and sometimes fatal problem.


#2

The torpedo artifacts thread from the old forum is still there but locked up. Why the lock ? This thread is extremely interesting and well received. It is hard to find and should not be.


#3

That appears to be for the GNAT series of German torpedoes and while they may, indeed, refer to it as a fuse, in the U S Navy they are referred to as Exploders or Exploder Mechanisms. It will make a difference if you try to search the web for them.

During the 1930’s the Navy began experimenting with a dual system (contact or influence) for detonating torpedoes and it is still in use today, though greatly improved. The early MK 6 Exploder was the cause of some of the problems encountered with the MK 14 and MK 15 torpedoes early in the war but once those bugs were ironed out, it became very effective.

The MK 6 was a hunker of a piece of gunmetal (as I recall) and a pain to work with but the detonators came seperate and were usually installed after the weapon was on board the sub or vessel. This meant removing the exploder and installing the detonator cups which were stored outside the Torpedo Room. Even after the detonator was installed it required water run time to charge the capacitor and remove a safety device from the detonator cup so they were fairly stable. I’m sure this was a design feature because torpedoes were known to come loose and knock around during depth charge counter-attacks.

Current exploders are about the size of a coffee can and come installed, ready to go. There is usually a safety device which requires removal before launch and the required in water run to arm the exploder.

The above applies to US torpedoes. I will try to get some photos but most of the post WWII Exploders are probably still classified material. The face of the MK 6 is very interesting. It fits into the bottom of the torpedo, not the front or tip.


#4

Please explain the functioning of this device.


#5

Well, not wartime photos, but torp fuzes USED during assorted wars.

I’ve got some different ones that I haven’t gotten around to loading onto Photobucket that I’ll add later.


#6

Essentially, in the magnetic influence mode, the disturbance a steel ship creates in the magnetic field is picked up by the torpedo and when the torpedo passes beneath the target a charge is sent from the capacitor to the detonator and the warhead explodes.

In the contact mode there is an inertia ball switch that closes when the forward motion is disturbed and closes the firing circuit.

You can google MK 6 Exploder and find a number of sites that explain it in more detail.

Here is a MK 14 torpedo in Hawaii with warhead attached. Note the forward section (warhead) and the row of screws on the underside. That is the Exploder mechanism, in place.

The blade-like things that appear to be on the nose are actually the propellers from another torpedo, not part of the MK 14.


#7

Rick, any info on the first one with the “wings”?


#8

EOD

Sorry, no info.


#9

[quote=“SlickRick”]EOD

Sorry, no info.[/quote]

Where is it ?

I have to entice Jason back on. He was very discouraged by previous experience.


#10

Essentially, in the magnetic influence mode, the disturbance a steel ship creates in the magnetic field is picked up by the torpedo and when the torpedo passes beneath the target a charge is sent from the capacitor to the detonator and the warhead explodes.

In the contact mode there is an inertia ball switch that closes when the forward motion is disturbed and closes the firing circuit.

You can google MK 6 Exploder and find a number of sites that explain it in more detail.

Here is a MK 14 torpedo in Hawaii with warhead attached. Note the forward section (warhead) and the row of screws on the underside. That is the Exploder mechanism, in place.

The blade-like things that appear to be on the nose are actually the propellers from another torpedo, not part of the MK 14.[/quote]

Thank you. Clear enough.


#11

The mini-sub pic was from IWM, the winged torp from the EXPLOSION Museum. Got a few from the Royal Navy Museum as well, but haven’t gotten them loaded to Photobucket just yet.


#12

The thing with wings should be, unless I’m mistaken, a Paravane, which is actually used in mine sweeping. Basically a floating cable cutter towed behind the sweep ship.


#13

This is another one.


#14

Rarely seen ;




#15

Making them for WW2


#16

Air stabilizer for dropping from planes?
Soren


#17

Any air platform


#18

The MK24 is actually a drone shut… at least we called it that. It’s a small parachute in that bag (you can see the lanyard clearly in one photo) and when the tordedo was dropped from an aircraft the lanyard deployed the chute which slowed the torpedo down and helped it enter the water at the right angle.
The torpedoes shown with the ‘stabilizers’ are MK 44 torpedoes, which are electric ASW weapons that went out of service in the 1970’s. They were replaced by the MK46 which is still in service today. The same torpedo was launched from the MK32 SVTT (surface vessel torpedo tube) but without the stabilizer. They could also be used as an ASROC payload in which case they DID have the stabilizer.
When I was stationed aboard the USS Bainbridge (CGN-25) I had to be able to load one of these on a helicopter and did it several times with exercise or dummy torpedoes for training or certification. I had to connect that lanyard to the airframe as part of the process.
As far as I know they still use those kits today so I can’t see why they would be rare. Maybe in the civilian world, collecting world, but not in the Navy. Course, last time I saw one of those up close and personal was 1978.
I was looking for a vidio to show the stabilizer in action but as yet, have not found one. However this is an excellent vidio on loading and launching ASROC… even better if you understand Thai!
youtube.com/watch?v=JPbIRbYwmM8


#19

Not many take souvenirs like this. Some time in the future a truck load may be surplused but it hasn’t happened yet. This is the only one which I have seen for sale in the past couple of decades. Not much interest in collecting this kind of thing. Did you bring one home ? Most didn’t.


#20

No Dr, I did not bring one home… there is a place in Leavenworth Kansas for people who tried and I never cared to visit there. Frankly, there are a lot of things I could have brought home and didn’t because at the time, I saw no interest in doing so. Hindsight has identified my lack of proper judgement.