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Old August 14 2013, 02:06 PM   #123
Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
The Tang avoided a ram from a transport, then fired her stern tubes at same transport (which also collided with a tanker that got in the way.) Then she escaped at full speed from the escorts.
..until 23 October, when she contacted a large convoy consisting of three tankers, a transport, a freighter, and numerous escorts. Commander O'Kane planned a night surface attack. Tang broke into the middle of the formation, firing torpedoes as she closed on the tankers (later identified as freighters). ... As the submarine prepared to fire at the tanker which was crossing her stern, she sighted the transport bearing down on her in an attempt to ram. Tang had no room to dive so she crossed the transport's bow and with full left rudder saved her stern and got inside the transport's turning circle. The transport was forced to continue her swing to avoid the tanker which had also been coming in to ram. The tanker struck the transport's starboard quarter shortly after the submarine fired four stern torpedoes along their double length at a range of 400 yd (370 m). The tanker sank bow first and the transport had a 30 up-angle. With escorts approaching on the port bow and beam and a destroyer closing on the port quarter, Tang rang up full speed and headed for open water. When the submarine was 6,000 yd (5,500 m) from the transport, another explosion was observed, and its bow disappeared.
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
If a defending ship fires on an attacking ship that is pursuing her then it's still defending i.e. "taking action against challenge or attack". A submarine's defensive options are not exclusively dive and hide but also includes run fast on surface and firing on attacking ship. In this case from the Norweigan sub's perspective they had a U-boat pursuing her and they defended by firing their stern tubes before the U-boat could get a shot off with her bow tubes.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
Or sink the escorts afterwards on the way out.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Photon torpedoes, doubly so. These things are supposed to have yields equivalent to hundreds of megatons.
And the same photon torpedoes can be adjusted in power making them useful for disabling or warning fire.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
Phasers and photon torpedoes are useful in discouraging pursuers, especially if the weapon is in the aft of the fleeing ship which is most likely what will be pointed at the pursuers.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
But you don't fire photon torpedoes unless you're trying to kill someone or are otherwise completely out of options.
The Defiant fired a torpedo into the Lakota and they were only trying to "disable" them. The Reliant fired a torpedo (or two) into the Enterprise while trying to "disable" them. Photon torpedoes are not exclusively "kill" or "completely out of options" weapons.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
You say "desperation tactic" I say "defensive tactic". They used their aft torpedoes at least twice to attempt to slow a pursuer down. Once against "Q" in "Encounter at Farpoint" and another against the Borg in "Q Who".

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Reliant uses them twice, both times to ATTACK the Enterprise, not to keep it from chasing.
The second time, in the nebula, was against the Enterprise that was chasing the Reliant. If the Enterprise had not veered away before Khan responded they would've been hit.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
Which again points canonically to the aft torpedoes being used to fire on pursuers to discourage or destroy them.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
Oh yeah, another defensive fire instance.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
Like phasers. Which you pointed to above that can be used as defensive weapons.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
I see no differentiation between firing defensively with your stern torpedo and labeling same torpedo as "offensive"-only weapons. If you're under attack and you fire your torpedo in defense then you've used your torpedo as a defense against their attack.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
Night surface attacks were used with great success by the US subs of WW2 in the Pacific. From p171-172 of US Submarine Operations of WW2:
Thus the SJ's [search radar] installation resulted in a marked increase on night attacks. Concurrently the night-surface approach came into its own as the favored night tactic...
..the percentage of night attacks made in 1942-30% of the year's attack total-provides a basis for comparison [only a few subs were equipped with search radar that year]. In 1944, with the SJ then installed, the number of night attacks had increased to 57%... the advantages to be gained from a night attack, with a high-speed surface approach guided by radar's "electronic eye," inclined many submarine captains to employ the tactic. Before the war's end, opportunities for day-periscope attack were being deliberately passed up by commanding officers who preferred to defer their attack until they were protected by darkness.
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
That doesn't change that the torpedo was used more times than you had thought and in a non-experimental way.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
They dived to hide mostly when they knew they could get overrun or caught by the escort. If they were on the surface and were faster than the escort then they were just as likely to make a run on the surface.
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