PDA

View Full Version : Does this sound familiar?



paulhager
09-05-2005, 08:27 PM
Here's an account of a torpedo attack on a merchant.



At a quarter past seven, U-703 launched her first two torpedoes at the target at a range of two miles (3200 meters). Lieutenant Commander Bielfeld put the ship€s speed at 10 knots, but both torpedoes passed harmlessly ahead of her. No bells shrilled the alarms so the attack passed unnoticed. Bielfeld believed the torpedoes had missed astern so he gave the target a speed of 12 knots and fired tubes II and IV: the torpedoes missed even farther ahead. While his crew hastened to reload tube I, he swung the U-boat round so as to bring her stern tube to bear upon the vessel. An hour passed. He had measured her speed now exactly €" 8 knots: she would cross his periscope sights at right angles and only a thousand yards (~900 meters) away. At 8:27 AM U-703 placed her fifth torpedo in the ship€s main engineroom.


The €œtarget€ was the 6645 ton Empire Byron. The attack occurred shortly after convoy PQ-17 was given the order to disperse, based upon faulty intel that a German task force centered on the battleship Tirpitz was preparing to attack.

Of interest is the fact that the German captain apparently was impatient and got the target€s speed wrong twice. When he finally got good position and was able to figure the correct speed, one torp was sufficient to get the fatal hit.

paulhager
09-05-2005, 08:27 PM
Here's an account of a torpedo attack on a merchant.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
At a quarter past seven, U-703 launched her first two torpedoes at the target at a range of two miles (3200 meters). Lieutenant Commander Bielfeld put the ship€s speed at 10 knots, but both torpedoes passed harmlessly ahead of her. No bells shrilled the alarms so the attack passed unnoticed. Bielfeld believed the torpedoes had missed astern so he gave the target a speed of 12 knots and fired tubes II and IV: the torpedoes missed even farther ahead. While his crew hastened to reload tube I, he swung the U-boat round so as to bring her stern tube to bear upon the vessel. An hour passed. He had measured her speed now exactly €" 8 knots: she would cross his periscope sights at right angles and only a thousand yards (~900 meters) away. At 8:27 AM U-703 placed her fifth torpedo in the ship€s main engineroom.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The €œtarget€ was the 6645 ton Empire Byron. The attack occurred shortly after convoy PQ-17 was given the order to disperse, based upon faulty intel that a German task force centered on the battleship Tirpitz was preparing to attack.

Of interest is the fact that the German captain apparently was impatient and got the target€s speed wrong twice. When he finally got good position and was able to figure the correct speed, one torp was sufficient to get the fatal hit.

Kaleun1961
09-05-2005, 09:48 PM
Good post, Paul. Thanks for sharing that with us. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

vanjast
09-06-2005, 12:52 AM
He must have been thick! If he'd asked the sonar guy to track the torps and ship he would have realised that his torps were ahead of the boat.
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

paulhager
09-06-2005, 08:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by vanjast:
He must have been thick! If he'd asked the sonar guy to track the torps and ship he would have realised that his torps were ahead of the boat.
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good point. You'd think it would have been SOP for U-Boots.

Which brings up another question. Were the listening capabilities of the allies not up to detecting incoming torpedoes? I'd expect that sprint-drift tactics would have allowed escorts to pick up torpedoes.