Old video on a Steam Tug

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Re: Old video on a Steam Tug

Post by fredrosse » Fri May 01, 2020 2:46 pm

"I have doubts that any torpedo will ever be developed that greatly exceeds 60 knots for these basic reasons."

Your reasoning for that statement is that the torpedo's noise would allow defensive measures to attack the torpedo before it strikes the target. That may be the situation in today's world, but long before these modern countermeasures were developed, there were torpedoes developed that far exceeded 60 knots.

In the history of driven torpedoes, starting in the 19th century, there were no guidance systems for the torpedo, they were just a dumb missile, point and shoot. Guided torpedoes generally did not come along until after WWII. As far as a defense against torpedoes by detecting and attacking the torpedo when it is coming at you, there was virtually nothing available until approximately after WWII. And before WWII the the philosophy of "Fast Torpedoes are better" was prevalent, and indeed the military did strive for fast torpedoes. In the 1930s they were able to make very fast steam driven torpedoes, and successfully test it in controlled conditions of calm waters. However in the service of actual ocean conditions, control of torpedo submerged depth became virtually impossible. When the fast torpedo, traveling at close to 200 feet per second, would make a depth adjustment, it would often exit the water surface, with resulting very severe turbine over-speed, destroying itself.

More modern torpedo guidance systems are electronic, allowing depth control (as well as directional control) to function even with very fast torpedoes.
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Re: Old video on a Steam Tug

Post by Lopez Mike » Fri May 01, 2020 2:56 pm

All very true. But if the torpedo can't react to unpredictable target movements, it will be easily evaded. The beast might be fast but it's deaf. I suspect that fact has been a large reason for the abortive development of the type.

The usual reason to drop big bucks on a poorly thought out concept is the same old, same old. My money in the pockets of a really big company.
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Re: Old video on a Steam Tug

Post by TriangleTom » Fri May 01, 2020 5:23 pm

Given the relatively short ranges of these supercavitating torpedoes, I would not be surprised if they are intended only for defensive use at close range, in which case you've probably already been discovered so stealth isn't important. Sort of the same philosophy as submarine launched antiaircraft weapons; it's better to not need them, but once you do it's not going to matter how loud you are.

Also, I have to wonder how effective existing antitorpedo countermeasures are when dealing with a target so wildly faster than a conventional torpedo.
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Re: Old video on a Steam Tug

Post by Bert Blik » Sun May 17, 2020 6:09 am

Leaving all the torpedo violence aside for a minute and back to the original thread. What a gem of a video you've found . I have very happy memories being in the engine room of the tug St Merryn, which had a 1000 HP , Canadian built,triple expansion and being mesmerized by the the entire experience. Seeing the big crank wiz round and the big con rods fly up and down. And indeed the constant maneuvering. The chief, Douggie Richards, with a fag hanging from his lip and with one hand on the throttle and the other hand on the lever of the reversing engine. When the telegraph rang " stop" he always managed to leave the engine with the high pressure cylinder in starting position . I never once saw him use the " double high "
I'm grateful that I had the change to experience the tail end of "real steam " in the late seventies and the pride those men took in their engines.
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