Smoke generators

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Francis Marliere
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Smoke generators

Postby Francis Marliere » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:33 am

Gentlemen,

as far as I know, WWII warships could emitt funnel smoke by changing settings on engines. The smoke screen however it did not last long (strong wind could clear it quickly) and was not totally opaque. Ships fitted with smoke generators could generate chemical smoke which was opaque and lasted longer. I know that Destroyers and Japanese cruisers had smoke generators. Do you know which other ships (if any) had some ?

Thanks for any help,

Francis Marliere

PS : I seem to remember that funnel smoke was black and chemical one was white. Am I right ?

Byron Angel
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Re: Smoke generators

Postby Byron Angel » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:16 pm

..... You are correct that funnel smoke = black and chemical smoke = whitish. Chemical smoke appears to have had an advantage of lingering near the surface (perhaps some "hands-on" practitioners can comment on this point). Many ships, from cruisers down to small escort craft carried chemical smoke generators, and in some cases jettisonable chemical smoke pots. Larger warships may have done so as well, but I cannot point to any confirmed examples at the moment.

Conventional smoke screens were produced by oil-fired ships altering the air-fuel moisture in their boiler burners. Hence, any oil-fired ship could produce a conventional smoke screen to some degree. Typical doctrine appeared to call for 3-4 destroyers acting in unison to produce a proper optimally effective smoke screen. Such a screen could be very effective under suitable weather conditions. The Naval Review archive has a good essay on early post-WW1 smoke screen tactics if you are interested.

B

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tommy303
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Re: Smoke generators

Postby tommy303 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:17 pm

In the Kriegsmarine, smoke generation was normally done by chemical means, although it was possible to create smoke by altering the air flow to the fire boxes in the boiler rooms to generate a dark blackish brown smoke. Being hot, though, this smoke would rise and tend not to cover the ship very well. In diesel ships such as the Panzerschiffe, diesel fuel could be injected into the exhaust manifolds to create a lighter greyish white smoke, but also being hot, it suffered the same problems. Consequently, the normal means of making smoke was to use canisters containing chlrosuphonic acid. Compressed air would force the acid out through atomizing jets and the acid would absorb moisture from the air creating a dense artificial fog, which being cold would hug the surface and obscure the ship. In large ships the smoke cannisters were in a smoke generation room at the stern with the acid being sprayed out through tubes in the hull plating. These cannisters could operate from about 20 minutes before needing to be replaced. In smaller vessels the cannisters were on the deck near the stern (logical because the smoke produced is toxic and corrosive). Chemical smoke floats and pyrotechnic smoke floats were also employed, particularly by small craft, to confuse an enemy which might be in pursuit.

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Re: Smoke generators

Postby alecsandros » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:00 pm

Very interesting guys !

Did the chemical smoke create problems to the crew of the ship ?

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tommy303
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Re: Smoke generators

Postby tommy303 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:40 pm

It could, and some care had to be taken when smoke was deployed. I believe the men in the actual smoke compartment wore special clothing and gas masks when operating the smoke generators. Placing the generators and the spray ports at the stern helped protect the crew of a ship from the worst effects of the smoke screen as long as the ship was moving.

There is a more complete description and photographs here:

http://www.bismarck-class.dk/technicall ... rator.html

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

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Re: Smoke generators

Postby fredleander » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:43 am

For the Kriegsmarine S-boote (MTB's) smokelaying was part of their core tactics. I am not sure if they had smoke generators as such or if a substance was simply injected into their exhaust system when applying power. Those factors usually went hand-in-hand.

Fred
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Francis Marliere
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Re: Smoke generators

Postby Francis Marliere » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:15 pm

Gentlemen,

thank you for your kind and very interesting answers.

Best regards,

Francis Marliere

Francis Marliere
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Re: Smoke generators

Postby Francis Marliere » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:17 pm

Byron Angel wrote:Many ships, from cruisers down to small escort craft carried chemical smoke generators, and in some cases jettisonable chemical smoke pots. (...) The Naval Review archive has a good essay on early post-WW1 smoke screen tactics if you are interested.


Byron,

do you mean that cruisers of all major navies did have smoke generators ?
I am interested on the essay you are talking about. Could you please provide an URL ?

Best,

Francis

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tommy303
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Re: Smoke generators

Postby tommy303 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:39 pm

Francis,

You might find this on line manual interesting:

http://www.hnsa.org/doc/smoke/index.htm

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
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fredleander
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Re: Smoke generators

Postby fredleander » Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:43 am

Francis, if you look at the pictures in the link below you'll see that destroyers are mainly smokelaying through their funnels. An important mission for the destroyers was to screen larger friendly warships or convoys.

Fred

https://www.google.se/search?q=destroye ... 7#imgdii=_
www.fredleander.com - River wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion

Byron Angel
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Re: Smoke generators

Postby Byron Angel » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:58 pm

Francis Marliere wrote:
Byron Angel wrote:Many ships, from cruisers down to small escort craft carried chemical smoke generators, and in some cases jettisonable chemical smoke pots. (...) The Naval Review archive has a good essay on early post-WW1 smoke screen tactics if you are interested.


Byron,

do you mean that cruisers of all major navies did have smoke generators ?
I am interested on the essay you are talking about. Could you please provide an URL ?

Best,

Francis



Hi Francis,

[1] Go here - http://www.naval-review.org/archive.asp
[2] Find the "Article Index"
[3] Search under "smoke" and you should see it immediately (in 2 parts)

BTW, you can get totally immersed in the Naval Review archive. It contains 90 years of fascinating articles and material.


Re cruisers and artificial smoke generators, I tried to choose my words carefully. I have not done a precise study of the subject, but my general reading suggests to me that such equipment was not uncommon aboard cruisers.

B

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Re: Smoke generators

Postby pete » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:29 am

There appear to have been very large numbers ( about 200 ) of small craft ( less than 20t displacement) designated NEBELTRAEGER
assigned to Havenschutz units . I can find no references to these on the web other than a very complete listing on the Oceania site.

Does anybody have any further details or information about these boats ?

I can only assume that they probably were equipped with the smoke cannisters mentioned in this thread.

There were also about 50+ Ballon Traeger which again I assume were used to tether barrage balloons for harbour defence
( do not confuse these with the Sperrbrecher which also usually deployed Barrage Balloons...these Ballon Traeger were again small craft of about 100t)
Again any details or information would be most welcome ..

I know there is more interest in the glamorous big battleships , but the myriad of small craft were a crucial part of the Kriegsmarine's war effort
and shouldn't be overlooked


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