Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

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marcelo_malara
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Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by marcelo_malara » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:31 pm

Hi guys, a time has passed since I last entered here!

Question, which was the longest range hit achived with a Type 93 torpedo? I know it was at 22000 yards but can not find the victim.


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Byron Angel
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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by Byron Angel » Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:59 am

marcelo_malara wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:31 pm
Hi guys, a time has passed since I last entered here!

Question, which was the longest range hit achived with a Type 93 torpedo? I know it was at 22000 yards but can not find the victim.


Regards

Hi Marcello,
This occurred during the Battle of Kula Gulf, just after midnight on 5 July 1943. An American force of three CLs and supporting DDs had entered Kula Gulf to bombard Japanese positions at Vila. Two Japanese DDs (still working on identification) in the vicinity opted to flee from the strong American threat. While doing so, one or both of the Japanese ships launched a long-range torpedo attack which succeeded in hitting the DD USS Strong at 0045 hours, causing her to sink at 0122 hrs. Estimated range was "over 22,000 yards (11 miles)".

B

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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by marcelo_malara » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:32 pm

Thanks!

Was it deliberately aimed at the victim? Or was it launched in "the general direction"?

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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by Byron Angel » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:37 pm

marcelo_malara wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:32 pm
Thanks!

Was it deliberately aimed at the victim? Or was it launched in "the general direction"?

Difficult question to answer on several fronts. We do not know the tactical set-up - range of detection, relative positions and speeds of attacker(s) and target(s), number of torpedoes launched, or even the possible involvement of a search radar by the IJN. In any case, a 22,000+ yard run (very nearly the Type 93's range limit at the 50 knot speed setting) implies a run time of at least 13+ minutes. That is a L O N G time to expect an individual ship target to maintain a steady course and speed. My best semi-informed guesstimation is that, rather than an attack upon a single target, it was likely a multi-torpedo "browning" attack fired against a formation of ships, with USS Strong winning the "booby prize". "Browning" attacks against formations were quite common when ranges were long, going all the way back to WW1.

Hope this helps.

B

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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by HvKleist » Thu May 02, 2019 4:06 pm

The Type 93 hit by heavy cruiser HAGURO on the Dutch destroyer KORTENAER at the Battle of the Java Sea was probably comparable, if not longer, I think.

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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by wadinga » Fri May 03, 2019 7:13 pm

Hello All,

Hitting deliberately at these enormous ranges with comparatively slow moving weapons is an almost impossible fire control problem. You don't know the range, course or speed of the target and hence where they will be quarter of an hour or more later, when the weapon gets there, even supposing they don't change one or more of these things in the meantime.

The Navweaps page also includes "wander" since the torpedo has only a gyro to know where it is and keep it on course, a tiny error in azimuth ends up as a big left or right error at these ranges. Not to mention tides, currents etc.

Hence mass launching stands a better chance.

from Wikipedia- info seems about right.
The Japanese launched two huge torpedo salvoes, consisting of 92 torpedoes in all, but scored only one hit, on Kortenaer. She was struck by a Long Lance, broke in two and sank rapidly after the hit.
So who knows if it was Haguro's or somebody else's?

Kula Gulf http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/ba ... _gulf.html
The three escort ships, Niizuki, Suzukaza, and Tanikaze, headed north.
These two Japanese groups showed up on US radar at 1.40. Ainsworth closed to 11,000 yards and then moved onto a course of 302 degrees, in order to keep at a medium range. He decided to split his fire and open a radar controlled bombardment. The cruisers and two destroyers were ordered to fire on the four ships of the second transport group, which showed up as the bigger radar target, while the destroyers Nicholas and O'Bannon targeted the escort group. When it became clear that the larger group was also much further away Ainsworth changed his mind, and ordered the cruisers to concentrate on the escort group first.
The Japanese only had radar on one ship, the Niizuki. They had detected the Americans at 1.06, but continued with their primary mission. At 1.46, with the Americans closing on him, Admiral Akiyama ordered his ships to turn north and called the second transport group back into the action.
The battle began at 1.57 when the Helena opened fire. Several of the other American ships waited to see if they could fire their torpedoes before opening fire with their guns, and thus missed the change to use either weapon effectively.
The initial American bombardment did claim one victim, the Niizuki, which was hit by the first salvo and was soon sinking. Admiral Akiyama went down with his ship.
The other two destroyers in the escort group fired their long lance torpedoes at the start of the engagement. Three of them hit the Helena just as the Americans were preparing to turn towards the east. The first hit at 2.04 and the last at 2.07. Her bow came off, she began to break up and sank rapidly (see below for the fate of her crew)..
Range probably (only?) about 11,000 yds 8 torps on each destroyer, probably fired the lot, 16 in all.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by marcelo_malara » Fri May 03, 2019 9:44 pm

The action that Byron mentioned was not Kula Gulf battle (which happened on July 6th) but another on July 5th.

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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by marcelo_malara » Fri May 03, 2019 9:51 pm

Anyway, I concurred that it is a very difficult proposition hitting a moving target about 200 m long at 22.000 yards with a 50 knot weapon, in fact it is a difficult hit with an 800 m/s shell! It appears a case of over engineering beyond practical usage.

Is there any surviving primary documentation about the parameters of the launching in any of the battles in which it was used?


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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by marcelo_malara » Fri May 03, 2019 9:53 pm

"You don't know the range, course or speed of the target"

Wadinga, for torpedo shooting you do not need the range, it does not enter in the calculation.

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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by Byron Angel » Sat May 04, 2019 2:25 am

marcelo_malara wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 9:53 pm
"You don't know the range, course or speed of the target"

Wadinga, for torpedo shooting you do not need the range, it does not enter in the calculation.

Re Range - generally true, except in a case when there is a possibility that the distance of predicted intercept from launch point may exceed the running range of the torpedo(es) - (which, to be honest, would be a rare occasion).

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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by marcelo_malara » Sat May 04, 2019 3:14 am

Yes! Another exception is when the torpedo is fired with a large gyro angle (ie: the torpedo is to make a large change of course after being launched), in which case the range is needed. For a derivation of the equations, I suggest https://www.amazon.com/Fleet-Submarine- ... 0974304530.

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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by HvKleist » Sat May 04, 2019 4:59 pm

We know that the torpedo which hit & sank KORTENAER was from HAGURO because that salvo was launched ~20 mins later than the 43 launched earlier by DesRon 4/NAKA + DDs.
And the next large torpedo salvo launch (by DesRon 2/JINTSU + DDs) was not for another 30-40 mins, or so.

HAGURO's torpedo had travelled for approx. 18 mins when it hit KORTENAER. At the Type 93 36kt setting, that would be ~21,800 yds. At the 42kt setting, it would have been some 25,500+ yds. Given the recorded ranges between the forces at that time (as shown in Sentai 5 fire control tables) it is entirely possible that it was the greater distance (25,500+ yds).

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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by wadinga » Sat May 04, 2019 7:00 pm

Hello All

Indeed I believe the US Torpedo data Computer required range input, since guesstimates of enemy course are very difficult, and once the torpedo leaves the tube there is no second guessing, whereas every salvo with guns is a new chance for correction. Also the speed of target across the field of view depends on their distance away from the observer. We know from PG's aborted firing at Denmark Straits that the torpedo team wanted their own dedicated rangefinder. For periscopes ranges are estimated by the waterline-masthead height of target against graticule. Most accurate torpedo shooting again individual ships takes place at 3,000 yds or less.

After looking at Battle of the Java Sea by F C van Oosten he provides a table saying Yudachi and sisters fired 16 torpedoes at 16:45 and Haguro 8 at 16:52.He says Kortanaer was hit at 17:13. Maybe it was Haguro. 1 hit out of a total 43 shots. (Plus possible non-exploder on Exeter, apparently) Presumably each ship used her own seperate fire control solution, but they were firing at a "line of battle", rather than individual targets.

The second, 92 shot salvo, he says started by Haguro, after reloading, at 17:48 and scored no hits at all.

USS Strong has been designated as a Long Lance victim (previously considered a mine) although since she made several radical turns after the weapon must have been fired, she was unlucky to be hit for sure. See http://www.destroyerhistory.org/fletche ... ussstrong/
The wreckage of US Navy’s World War II destroyer USS Strong (DD 467) was discovered by the expedition crew of Paul G. Allen’s research vessel (R/V) Petrel resting 300 meters (nearly 1,000 feet) below the surface of Kula Gulf, north of the island of New Georgia, in the Solomon Islands.
The destroyer was found on February 6, 2019.
All the best

wadinga
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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by marcelo_malara » Sat May 04, 2019 7:46 pm

Yes, the TDC has an input for range, but it is at the only effect that the impact would not ocurre outside weapon range. Same for the German equivalent.

Look at this part of a German Uboat war diary:

Image

It says:

Three torpedoes from tubes I, II, IV , launch parameter: bow right, angle on the bow 80, speed 11 knots, E = 2000, fire interval 2, depth 3 m, point of aim middle.
Hit after 4 min 43 sec = 4350 m.

E is the distance as entered in the computer, quiet less than the 4350 m of the actual run. German submariners usually entered a much closer distance in the computer to the effect that the computer would not disallowed the launching.

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Re: Type 93 torpedo longest range hit

Post by wadinga » Sun May 05, 2019 12:56 am

Hello Marcelo,

The Wikipedia article on the TDC confirms there is an equation which needs no range, depending solely on angles, before saying in practice you do.
Range plays no role in Equation 1, which is true as long as the three assumptions are met. In fact, Equation 1 is the same equation solved by the mechanical sights of steerable torpedo tubes used on surface ships during World War I and World War II. Torpedo launches from steerable torpedo tubes meet the three stated assumptions well. However, an accurate torpedo launch from a submarine requires parallax and torpedo ballistic corrections when gyro angles are large. These corrections require knowing range accurately. When the target range was not known, torpedo launches requiring large gyro angles were not recommended.
However I am sure you are right for surface vessels as it says steerable torpedo tubes are different. Except if you visit the fascinating
http://tvre.org/en/acquiring-torpedo-firing-data where it outlines the value of having range data. This is a brilliant site. I am going to read up on this as it says a lot which can apply about what happened at Denmark Straits.

I guess it is perfectly true to say you don't have to have range data.

All the best

wadinga
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