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Old August 13 2013, 05:52 PM   #122
Crazy Eddie
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
The Tang successfully used her stern tubes against ships that attempted to ram her...
I must be misreading something, because my understanding is that the tang MISSED; the civilian ships ended up colliding with each other and the destroyer simply failed to sink it.

So what was the Norwegian sub going to do to defend themselves?
If they were DEFENDING themselves they would have gone deep and hidden. But they weren't defending themselves, they were attacking what they suddenly realized was an enemy ship. If their stern tubes had been empty, they would have simply turned round and fired with the forward tubes.

Now you're just being silly. That torpedo tube is there for offense and defense.
Torpedoes are not defensive weapons. Except to the extent that the best defense is a good offense, which is one of the reasons submarines sometimes try to sink the escorts first.

Photon torpedoes, doubly so. These things are supposed to have yields equivalent to hundreds of megatons. If you hit anything that isn't heavily shielded or extremely well put together, you SHOULD blow it to smithereens. The only real defense for starships is a deflector shield; phasers can be used as point defense against enemy torpedoes (if the FX team has been doing their homework) and are sometimes used to "Discourage pursuers" as such. But you don't fire photon torpedoes unless you're trying to kill someone or are otherwise completely out of options.

Or no different than the E-D firing her aft torpedoes to slow down or blind a pursuing enemy ship to affect an escape.
Something they did only once, as a desperation tactic against an enemy they could not conceivably fight. And like your sub examples, it did little to "discourage" Q's pursuit in the end.

The canonical use of aft torpedo tubes on starships is more or less the same as it is on submarines. Reliant uses them twice, both times to ATTACK the Enterprise, not to keep it from chasing. Enterprise-D uses its aft tubes as a distraction against Q while separating the saucer at warp (which makes two desperation tactics in one move) and later uses them against the Borg. The last time they use them, it's to destroy Lursa and B'etor's bird of prey after first [tech]ing their shields down.

The best use of aft torpedoes is in Nemesis, where Enterprise fires salvoes of them while maneuvering aggressively against the Scimitar. Here, as before, they are being used by a starship that is attempting to destroy a superior enemy and needs to be able to still maneuver while doing so. As with submarines and starships: the aft tubes give you effectively omnidirectional firepower and let you shoot at the enemy no matter what direction you're facing.

Photon torpedoes, like their sub counterparts, are OFFENSIVE weapons. Having aft torpedoes simply gives you the capacity to (counter)attack an enemy who has positioned himself behind you. Defensive torpedoes are still on the drawing board right now and it's doubtful they'll ever be installed on submarines.

You're oversimplifying it. For daytime and nighttime periscope attacks that would be true but not for daytime and nighttime surface attacks. Depending on visibility conditions the WW2 submarine could choose to fight on the surface and utilize her faster surface speed.
Or so they thought, until German commanders discovered -- much to the dismay and incredulity of their intelligence services -- that the Allies had installed surface search radars on just about everything.

According to "Naval Weapons of WW2", p264 by John Campbell the T5 torpedo was in use in Sept 1943 and used 640 times with 58 hits (9% hit rate) against typically "difficult" targets. This is compared to the aggregate hit rate of over 20% for other German torpedoes. That doesn't sound experimental or used only a handful of times.
Actually, I'd read the T5 was essentially a wake-homing torpedo that was incorrectly considered "acoustic" because it homed in on turbulence/cavitation patterns caused by a vessel's movement through the water. Hence the launch depth: at 60 meters, a submarine won't leave any kind of wake the torpedo could detect, while a surface-launched submarine is likely to get hit by its own torpedo even after a 400 meter run. The nature of the guidance system wasn't known to the allies until after the capture of U-505 and nobody bothered to set the record straight because the U-boat fleet was basically in ruins by then.

The T4s were purely acoustical, though, tracking the actual propeller noise and acoustic profile of the target vessel, but german technology wasn't sophisticaed enough at the time to make this work so they simply redesigned the seeker to steer itself towards the next noisiest thing in the ocean; moreover, some of the T5's hydrophones pointed "up" so that the torpedo would cross the wake of the target, hear it recede, then know it was time to turn back the other way where it crossed the wake again.

You should read "US Submarine Operations in WW2" by Theodore Roscoe.
U.S. Submarine operators had the advantage that Japanese ships didn't have radar and American submarines DID. That, plus surface attacks make ALOT more sense when you're in a honking-big Gato class with a bunch of sucky torpedoes that run way too deep and have a 40% dud rate.

Though even then, IF the Japanese got a fix on one of them, it was "dive and hide" time. For most of the war, the Mk-14 just wasn't a good enough weapon for any commander to sanely expect one to save his ass if an enemy escort ship started gunning for him.
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