1. #1
    The Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA) has provided a massive amount of documents and manuals all about naval ships. There are many that are pertain to WWII submarines.

    These should provide hours of reading and discovery if you are interested in the how-tos of WWII fleet submarines. They might even help you in the creation of a SH mod.

    They are constantly adding new things, so check out their Documents and Manuals page for updates.

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    UPDATE: All American WWII submarine war patrol reports are now available online thanks to HNSA. You can also purchase these reports on disc individually at Submarine Memorabilia.


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    The Fleet Type Submarine, Navpers 16160, is the first in a series of submarine training manuals that was completed just after WW II. The series describes the peak of WW II US submarine technology.

    Submarine Information and Instruction Manual, 1942 was used for training on board S-class (built 1918-1925) submarines.

    Submarine Torpedo Fire Control Manual, 1950. This describes how to plan a submarine's approach and attack using the fire control systems on Fleet and Guppy submarines with straight running torpedoes.

    Torpedo Data Computer Mark 3, Mark 3, Mods 5 to 12 inclusive, O.P. 1056, 1944 describes the most successful torpedo fire control computer of WW II. It is considered a masterpiece of mechanical computing design.

    Submarine Attack Course Finder Mark I Model 3, O.D. 453, 1922. This describes the circular slide rule commonly know as an "is-was" used to calculate an approach and attack by an submarine.

    Torpedo Angle Solver Mark VIII Operating Instructions, O.D. 3518, 1941. This describes the hand operated torpedo angle solver commonly called a "banjo". It is used to calculate the gyro angle when the Torpedo Data Computer is not available.

    5-Inch Gun Mount Mark 40, OP 1029, 1944, describes the five inch, 25 caliber, wet mount gun used on U.S.N. submarines near the end of WW II.

    20 MM Antiaircraft Gun, OP 911, 1943, is a Navy service manual for the anti-aircraft gun of choice during the early years of WW II.

    20 MM Antiaircraft Gun Mount, OP 909, 1943, is a Navy service manual for the 20 mm gun mounts used aboard ships during during the early years of WW II.

    40 MM Antiaircraft Gun, OP 820, 1943. The maintenance manual for the Bofors 40mm gun. This was the most widely used anti-aircraft gun of WW II.

    A Brief History of U.S. Navy Torpedo Development, by E.W. Jolie, OP 353W or TD5436, 1978. This provides basic information on most US Navy torpedoes up to 1978 (Submarine, Surface and Air).

    Torpedoes Mark 14 and 23 Types, OP 635, 1945, is the basic service manual for the principle U.S.N. steam torpedo of WW II.

    U.S. Navy Torpedo Mark 18 (Electric), OP 946, 1943, is the basic service manual for the principle U.S.N. electric torpedo of WW II.

    The Submarine Commander's Handbook, ("U.Kdt.Hdb."), 1943 describes the submarine U-boat tactics of Nazi Germany.

    Standard Submarine Phraseology, describes a set of uniform voice procedures and phraseology for use throughout the U.S. WW II submarine fleet.

    Unit Course in Marine Electricity, 1942. Museum ships stabilizing or restoring their electrical systems will appreciate many parts of the manual. Items such as the proper ways of working with armored cable, lacing, etc. are included.

    Introduction to Radio, 1946. An introduction to electronics and naval radio. It covers basic tube electronics in the beginning, then explains the basic operating instructions for typical WW II radios.

    Notes on Servicing Radio and Sound Equipment, 1942, is a training manual that introduces the art of tube radio and sound equipment repair. This included both receivers and transmitters, and the motor generators they use.

    Transmitter Servicing Course 503/4, 1945, is a training manual that focuses on WW II naval transmitters TAJ, TBK, TBL, TDE and TBS.

    Radar Operator's Manual, 1945. This is a WW II radar operator's manual. It covers the most typical radars of WW II.

    Arma Gyro-compass Mark 7, Mod. 4, 1943, is a service manual for the preferred U.S. submarine gyro-compass of WW II. This was also used on small surface ships that had fire control, but only one gyro. It is very similar to the Arma Mk 8 Gyro-compass used on larger CA, BB, and CVs.

    Catalogue of Electronic Equipment, NavShips 900,116, 1952, is a U.S. Navy catalog of electronics that includes almost all the WW II equipment and some of the early Cold War equipment.

    Visual Call Sign, DNC 4(A), 1945, is a U.S. Navy list of visual (as compared to radio) call signs used during WW II.

    SS-381 - USS Sand Lance - Booklet of General Plans, 1943, Balao Class

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    There are other numerous great sources of information out there. PigBoats.com is a great resource on submarines from the Holland up to early fleet boats like the Tambor class.

    And of course, if you want to actually SEE most of this stuff in person, make a trip to your nearest museum submarine. There are 6 Gato, 8 Balao, and 2 Tench class submarines here in the USA that you can tour. More on those can be found at SUBMARINEMUSEUMS.ORG.
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  2. #2
    wh1skea's Avatar Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Chattanooga, TN
    Great stuff!!! If only they had manuals for the other deck guns besides the 5/25....
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  3. #3
    Any documentation or T.O. that has been isssued by the military and has been unrestricted can be found out there somewhere.

    link to the 4" and 3" guns nomenclature


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  4. #4
    Originally posted by wh1skea:
    Great stuff!!! If only they had manuals for the other deck guns besides the 5/25....
    If one still exists out there, I feel certain that Rich will acquire it long enough to get it online for the HNSA website. The 5/25 was just added a couple of weeks ago I believe.
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  5. #5
    Surely there are many out there in private hands most of these where printed in the hunderds or thousands.
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  6. #6
    Wasatch.'s Avatar Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    This is sticky material.
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  7. #7
    I feel like I need to send you a donation. I haven't had to buy a book in two weeks.
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  8. #8
    Thanks Ducimus and MWolfe.

    As far as finding manuals, at least one of the ones you see was purchased for a hefty, hefty price (not sure as to exactly who the purchaser was) on eBay just so it could be preserved and placed online.

    You'd be shocked as to how greed affects people instead of trying to do something for the greater good.
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  9. #9
    Updated to include the brand new section of the HNSA website where you can find every WWII submarine war patrol report online:


    I know we'll all have a blast with that page.
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  10. #10
    There is a place called Submarine Force Library & Museum in Conn. That has everything under the sun involing US subs in WWII but I dont know if it is online I have seen it mentioned in a few books over the years I guess it would a good place to visit if you are an ultra sub buff. You are right people do aquire things that are of no value to them and then try to sell them for a high price. My grandmother once got all this stuff from a lady she knew whose husband had died he was a Marine Corps Corsair pilot and she just gave all thses books he had about Corsairs to my grandmother to give me if I wanted them many of the books even have foot notes the guy had written in them about his experiance. Afew days later my grandmother came by with this old insturment that the widow offerd me in my young ingnorance I did not realize that it was a navagation aid given to pilots of fighters and other small aircraft so I did not take it I thought it was just some old highschool slide rule. I have never seen one of these tolls since outside of a museum oh well. I did one day buy at an antique mall one of those Army dairies that they stopped giving in 43' some time it looked good so I paid $40 for it what a deal! It had been written in by a very firey private who was in supply through out the early Pacific battles so the stuff this guy had to say classic.
    I mean this guy should have been a comideian for the stuff he wrote about the Japs, the Army , the brass it is such a good read. I am sure the guy who sold it never even once looked at it though the privates penmanship is pretty sloppy it took me 2 or 3 weeks to figure out his writing.
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