Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

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Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby LuciferBox » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:04 am

This is a great site - been reading your fascinating posts for years.. finally I had to post something. Apologies if you've covered this before

Re : super torpedoes fired by Rodney at Bismark.. , the "the only known occasion that a battleship fired torpedoes at an enemy battleship"

Date Of Design About 1923
Date In Service About 1925
Weight 5,700 lbs. (2,585 kg)
Overall Length 26 ft 7 in (8.103 m)
Explosive Charge 743 lbs. (337 kg) TNT
Range / Speed 15,000 yards (13,700 m) / 35 knots
20,000 yards (18,300 m) / 30 knots


First off ...how did they compare with the Japanese Long Lance torpedoes? The LL's were devastating in the Pacific, why weren't the older RN super torpedoes more widely used beyond the Nelson class BS?

Doe we know categorically if Rodney actually hit Bismark with one of these? I would guess it would have left at least a scratch bigger than the air and cruiser launched torps?

I guess as newbie to this forum i've got to go somewhere and tell my life story? Can I make it up?
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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby northcape » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:28 pm

Hi!

Regarding the Bismarck: There are absolutely no indications/observations from either the British or the Germans that Rodney's torpedoes hit their target - this possibly is as close as possible to 'Categorically'.
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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby Byron Angel » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:06 pm

The Type 93 "Long Lance" oxygen torpedo was a MUCH more powerful torpedo. Its exact specs (there were several variants) can be found on the web, but, if memory serves, the LL would travel 20,000 yards @ 50 knots while carrying a 50% heavier warhead; its maximum range at reduced speed setting was something on the order of 45-50,000 yards.

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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby alecsandros » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:45 am

Byron Angel wrote:The Type 93 "Long Lance" oxygen torpedo was a MUCH more powerful torpedo. Its exact specs (there were several variants) can be found on the web, but, if memory serves, the LL would travel 20,000 yards @ 50 knots while carrying a 50% heavier warhead; its maximum range at reduced speed setting was something on the order of 45-50,000 yards.

B

...
As an addition:
after the war, a US technical commision invetigated the use of LLs. They were surprised by the weapons capabilities, BUT also noted that:
the LL were much more sensitive than normal torpedoes, and required highly skilled operators to transport them into the ship's magazines, and when in combat, to prepare and actualy launch them.

If the slightest mistake was make in their handling and preparation, they would travel erraticaly.
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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby Dave Saxton » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:42 pm

And travel erratically they did in far too many cases. The inconsistent performance of the LL cost the Japanese dearly in several battles. The foremost example is at 2nd Guadalcanal. In this case Adm Kondo's cruisers had 37 torpedoes in the water launched from ideal positions and ideal target angles against South Dakota, and not one of these torpedoes found their mark. South Dakota would likely have been sunk if only a handful had operated properly. Indeed both Washington and South Dakota escaped nearly certain torpedo hits without knowning it and without taking any evasive action that night.

The British torpedoes may have lacked remarkable performance specs, but they usually worked, and they were plenty destructive if they found their mark. The torpedo failure fiascos of both German and American torpedoes early on is well documented as well.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.
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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby Byron Angel » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:09 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:And travel erratically they did in far too many cases. The inconsistent performance of the LL cost the Japanese dearly in several battles. The foremost example is at 2nd Guadalcanal. In this case Adm Kondo's cruisers had 37 torpedoes in the water launched from ideal positions and ideal target angles against South Dakota, and not one of these torpedoes found their mark. South Dakota would likely have been sunk if only a handful had operated properly. Indeed both Washington and South Dakota escaped nearly certain torpedo hits without knowning it and without taking any evasive action that night.

The British torpedoes may have lacked remarkable performance specs, but they usually worked, and they were plenty destructive if they found their mark. The torpedo failure fiascos of both German and American torpedoes early on is well documented as well.



Dave,

Let's not over-hype the technical delicacy of the Type 93 series oxygen torpedoes, especially compared to the two year technical debacle endured by US torpedoes. The Type 93 was a successful weapon system that accounted for about two-thirds of all USN surface warship losses in the Solomons/Bougainville campaign, including the longest range torpedo hit in history @ 22,000 yards.

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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby alecsandros » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:34 pm

Byron Angel wrote: The Type 93 was a successful weapon system that accounted for about two-thirds of all USN surface warship losses in the Solomons/Bougainville campaign, including the longest range torpedo hit in history @ 22,000 yards.

B


They were successfull, but not to the extent they are usualy credited with.
There were quite a few cases when they did not deliver (Samar comes to mind now)...
The high number of ships sunk by them should be read in the context of the total number of LL torpedoes fired... which was quite large.
IIRC, only a few % of the total number of LL's used by surface ships in the most important engagements managed to hit USN vessels...
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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby Mostlyharmless » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:33 pm

I am not sure if any Type 93 torpedoes were fired during the Second Battle of Guadalcanal except for those fired by Tanaka's two ships, Kagero and Oyashio, which only arived at the end of the battle. Washington evaded those by a perhaps fortunate change of course. The only destroyers with Kondo's force that might have fired Type 93 torpedoes were Asagumo and Teruzuki but those had taken part in the First Battle and may have used all or certainly most of their torpedoes.

The rest of Kondo's destroyer were older ships armed with torpedoes which used compressed air rather than oxygen. Similarly, the cruiser Nagara also had the older torpedoes. There was also the sense that these were not the “first team”. For example, Hara Tameichi is rather dismissive of Kimura Susumu's competence in torpedo tactics.
Added as edit: Sorry it seems my memory is getting more defective. On page 157, Hara is critical of Kondo rather than Kimura
Editing the edit! Hara is critical of Kimura but it is in the discussion of Leyte Gulf after which Kimura was relieved. Hara mentions that he had shown that he was not a fighter at Guadalcanal on page 270. Unfortunately, there is no index in my edition of Japanese Destroyer Captain.
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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby Byron Angel » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:37 am

alecsandros wrote:They were successfull, but not to the extent they are usualy credited with.
There were quite a few cases when they did not deliver (Samar comes to mind now)...
The high number of ships sunk by them should be read in the context of the total number of LL torpedoes fired... which was quite large.
IIRC, only a few % of the total number of LL's used by surface ships in the most important engagements managed to hit USN vessels...



.... Sorry, Alexandros, but I find this "low hit percentage" argument to be a disingenuous. Low hit percentages have always been an inescapable feature of surface torpedo warfare, especially in long-range daylight actions. The IJN, like every other navy of the period, was quite aware of this. - especially so in a case such as Samar, a daylight action fought at long range against small, fast dramatically maneuvering warships. No matter how the issue is viewed, the Type 93 was, in performance terms, the fastest, longest ranged, most explosively powerful torpedo shipped aboard any surface warship torpedo in WW2. The numbers don't lie. The Type 93 dominated the Guadalcanal and Bougainville campaigns.

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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby alecsandros » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:46 am

Byron Angel wrote:
alecsandros wrote:They were successfull, but not to the extent they are usualy credited with.
There were quite a few cases when they did not deliver (Samar comes to mind now)...
The high number of ships sunk by them should be read in the context of the total number of LL torpedoes fired... which was quite large.
IIRC, only a few % of the total number of LL's used by surface ships in the most important engagements managed to hit USN vessels...



.... Sorry, Alexandros, but I find this "low hit percentage" argument to be a disingenuous. Low hit percentages have always been an inescapable feature of surface torpedo warfare, especially in long-range daylight actions. The IJN, like every other navy of the period, was quite aware of this. - especially so in a case such as Samar, a daylight action fought at long range against small, fast dramatically maneuvering warships. No matter how the issue is viewed, the Type 93 was, in performance terms, the fastest, longest ranged, most explosively powerful torpedo shipped aboard any surface warship torpedo in WW2. The numbers don't lie. The Type 93 dominated the Guadalcanal and Bougainville campaigns.

B


Hi Byron,

Of course the type 93 had the best capabilities of all WW2 torpedoes. It was a little technological marvel.

In actual battles though, they did not perform as good as they could have, and Dave's example above only strengthens the argument. 37 torpedoes launched for 0 hits is not that nice.

At Samar, the IJN heavy cruisers got as close as 8km to US carriers, and a good number of torpedoes were launched, but again, to no effect.

====

There are good analysis available online, showing the kind of effect the type 93 had in various battles. It was good, but not as good as the specs show.
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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby Byron Angel » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:38 am

alecsandros wrote:
Byron Angel wrote:
alecsandros wrote:They were successfull, but not to the extent they are usualy credited with.
There were quite a few cases when they did not deliver (Samar comes to mind now)...
The high number of ships sunk by them should be read in the context of the total number of LL torpedoes fired... which was quite large.
IIRC, only a few % of the total number of LL's used by surface ships in the most important engagements managed to hit USN vessels...



.... Sorry, Alexandros, but I find this "low hit percentage" argument to be a disingenuous. Low hit percentages have always been an inescapable feature of surface torpedo warfare, especially in long-range daylight actions. The IJN, like every other navy of the period, was quite aware of this. - especially so in a case such as Samar, a daylight action fought at long range against small, fast dramatically maneuvering warships. No matter how the issue is viewed, the Type 93 was, in performance terms, the fastest, longest ranged, most explosively powerful torpedo shipped aboard any surface warship torpedo in WW2. The numbers don't lie. The Type 93 dominated the Guadalcanal and Bougainville campaigns.

B


Hi Byron,

Of course the type 93 had the best capabilities of all WW2 torpedoes. It was a little technological marvel.

In actual battles though, they did not perform as good as they could have, and Dave's example above only strengthens the argument. 37 torpedoes launched for 0 hits is not that nice.

At Samar, the IJN heavy cruisers got as close as 8km to US carriers, and a good number of torpedoes were launched, but again, to no effect.

====

There are good analysis available online, showing the kind of effect the type 93 had in various battles. It was good, but not as good as the specs show.



..... Please cite this on line "analysis". I would dearly love to read it.

B
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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby alecsandros » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:53 pm

Byron Angel wrote:

..... Please cite this on line "analysis". I would dearly love to read it.

B

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-067.htm
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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby Byron Angel » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:19 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Byron Angel wrote:

..... Please cite this on line "analysis". I would dearly love to read it.

B

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-067.htm



LOL. With all due respect, Alecsandros, I have corresponded with Joseph Czarnecki and consider him rather more than highly biased. His entire argument in this article of his is based upon a perceived Japanese "failure" to meet their pre-war estimated hit percentages in a series of engagements that never involved the types of targets anticipated in their planning. How shocking! Here's a different line of inquiry to ponder - what navy got the best service out of its surface torpedo weapon systems during WW2?

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Re: Rodney torpedoes compared to Long Lance?

Postby alecsandros » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:59 am

Byron Angel wrote:LOL. With all due respect, Alecsandros, I have corresponded with Joseph Czarnecki and consider him rather more than highly biased. His entire argument in this article of his is based upon a perceived Japanese "failure" to meet their pre-war estimated hit percentages in a series of engagements that never involved the types of targets anticipated in their planning. How shocking! Here's a different line of inquiry to ponder - what navy got the best service out of its surface torpedo weapon systems during WW2?

Byron

I wouldn't focus on the 15% hits quota, but on the overall descriptions of the engagements.

It's a good compendiunm of Pacific surface engagements, and the overall picture is that the type 93 did not deliver as it was expected in quite a number of combats.

The US Navy technical mission to Japan, 1945-1946, produced a 400 pg report concerning type 93 construction and effectiveness.
While they were impressed by the weapons capabilities, they also mentioned, from variious interviews, their tendency to not function correctly due to their handling sensitiveness.

And again, that doesn;t make the type 93 any less of a marvel, but it was NOT the end-game weapon that it is usualy expected to have been.
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