WWI torpedo & mine photos


#1

These are from 1915 edition of “Collier’s Photographic History of the European War”. I decided to start commemorating 3 years ahead of 100th anniversary of WWI because at the rate they are burning London there will be nothing to commemorate in 2014. Again, the book is big, my scanner is small and quality suffers. Enjoy.




#2

The torpedo photo is very nice. Can you post it sharper ?


#3

Is this OK, Doc?


#4

Thank you.


#5

AWESOME thread, SKSVLAD! Fantastic photos that I have not seen before. Hope you post more when you find the time.

Jason
PS: Torpedoes Are My 2nd Favorite Ammunition After Tank Fired APFSDS ROUNDS :-)


#6

Last april before going to SLICS I visit te Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago

They have a German Submarine U-505
The U-505 was boarded and captured on June 4 1944







#7

Nice pictures and cool thread, but I am a bit partial to torpedoes.
Wonder if that TT shown is British or American?


#8

Here is another US minelaying photo from a different 1918 book. Shows a situation similar to the 1st photo.


#9

I am pretty sure both the mine laying photos are from the same day and time. Note the exact same uniforms in the same relative positions in the launch. The life ring on the stern of the boat at the upper right is marked “SOUTH CAROLINA” so both boats are from the same ship.

USS South Carolina was only in service from 1910 until 1921 when she was decommissioned in part of the Naval downsizing following WW1.


#10

In the 1st photo the letters ‘SC’ are clearly visible on the bow of the boat, denoting South Carolina. This was the battleship South Carolina, obviously. There was another South Carolina, much later, that was a nuclear powered guided missile cruiser.

I don’t think mine laying by battelship crews would have been a very cost-effective interprise. Doubt it was done very much. Even removing mines from her path would have put the behemoth in terrible jeapordy, I would think.


#11

Are we sure the sailors are indeed engaged in laying mines? Photo captions are often written by people who have no idea what is depicted, and this might show them working on floats for anti-torpedo nets. or laying a bouy to mark obstructions, or something else totally unrelated to mines.

One sailor has latched on to something on the upper part of the sphere, but hardly one of the trigger horns used in contact mines of the period.


#12

John, good point actually. It looks a bit weird when sea mines are layed from a small wooden boat with a little crane. The normal procedure would be quite different.

To start with we would need to identify that item hooked up there and see if it is a real mine.


#13

[quote=“JohnS”]Are we sure the sailors are indeed engaged in laying mines? Photo captions are often written by people who have no idea what is depicted, and this might show them working on floats for anti-torpedo nets. or laying a bouy to mark obstructions, or something else totally unrelated to mines.

One sailor has latched on to something on the upper part of the sphere, but hardly one of the trigger horns used in contact mines of the period.[/quote]

There is no sign of a sinker to anchor the mine to the seabed and to set the depth that it floats below the surface. They don’t look like mines to me. Ususlly moored mines were trundled off the stern of a ship via rails, complete with their sinker, depth setting mechanism etc.

gravelbelly


#14

This is training not tactical mine laying. Battleships were not used to lay mine fields. They did have the ability to establish a defensive perimeter of mines. The development of the torpedo boat started this. The “destroyer” which was developed as the “torpedo boat destroyer” was created to stop the torpedo boats but the defensive perimeter continued for decades more. These sailors may be practicing that.


#15

This photo came from a Mineman source and shows similar objects which, according to the hand-writen note on the photo, shows training or dummy mines being readied for use. I’m told by a former Mineman that these were used in shallow water with anchors of opportunity, not the roll-off sets like the MK 6. He said these were 1905 Spherical Moored mines and used guncotton as the explosive (250 lbs). They weighed a little more than 1/2 ton and used a pendulum type inertia exploder. These were replaced in the US inventory with the MK 6 mine which was used in WWI and later.