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Maihon

DD Torpedo Re-loads

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Would be quite interested to find out how many reloads your typical WW2 DD actually carried? None of the books I have seem to actually mention this, but looking at some of the in game models it might be just one full reload?

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Most Destroyers did not carry reloads AFAIK, Japanese destroyers are the exception with 1 set of reloads.

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Thanks, hadn't realised reloads were so rare.

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Depends on the nation. Some had interesting ways to "go around" the problem of torpedo reloading.

The US employed Destroyer tenders which, amongst other things, could carry spare torpedoes. A flottila of destroyers would rendez-vous with the tender and be able to reload at sea (though outside combat).

The polish class Grom (you may know her sister, Blyscawica) also had a very special set of tubes. Her launcher were designed to be compatible with several models and caliber of torpedoes, either 533mm torpedoes or 450mm torpedoes. Whilst it doesn't seem like much, it heavily increased her chances to be able to find spare torpedoes for her to use regardless of the allied port she'd be in - even a foreign one. I have never heard of any other launcher that could accomodate several calibers, which makes her very peculiar.

 

This is also why countries attempted to multiply the size of the launchers themselves. With two quintuples, you have two more torps without even needing to reload. This contributed in Japan developping a quintuple tube only later than some other nations despite its clear focus on torpedo power.

 

Of course, regarding destroyer who could reload at sea on there own, by that time, it's difficult to quote more than the japanese. I have heard of late-war US attempts to carry some spares and reload them, but it was experimental and took several hours.

Compared to that, the Japanese performances were outstanding. Quadruple tubes were always reloaded within about 25min, with sometimes a reload being complete in less than 20. A triple tube could be reloaded at sea within a quarter of hour. The legend says that in a land training, the ultimate record was a full reload of a quadruple tube in eight minutes - though this, like speed trials, happened in very specific, training conditions and is therefore not that much realistic compared to the 20mins average recorded at sea. Still, this meant a japanese destroyer was capable of simple step back a little from the battle, reload its tubes, and dive back, making them the only capable of launching more torpedoes than tubes they had in total in a single battle. Note that training isn't the only factor here : they were technologically designed for it. The whole launchers were designed in a way that would facilitate reload.

The japanese destroyers usually carried as many reload as tubes - with obvious exceptions being Shimakaze and the Fubuki super-class. The Fubukis' spares amount heavily varied during the war and between ships, going from none to 6. I have no data regarding how many spares Shimakaze carried, though I wouldn't bet above 5.

Cruisers also carried spares. I can't say for sure about that one but I think it may have been, usually, half their amount of tubes (once again, obvious exceptions being Ooi and Kitakami which didn't carry spares).

 

Edit :

For anyone who's interested in torpedo reloading :

The Japanese had two methods to reload most of their tubes. It could be done fully manually, or it could utilize the same propulsion technique, via pressured air, to help the torpedo inside the tube. Naturally, the second one was faster, though more prone to inducing technical difficulties, especially in heavy seas, under fire, or if the launcher has received any kind of damage, even minor splinters, therefore, manual reload, albiet longer by 5~10min, was usually the safer bet.

The following launchers did NOT have the possibility to use air pressure as an assisting tool for reloading :

The 8th year Type carried by Yuubari - this is because it served as atestbed for an alternate reloading method, electrically-powered, on which I have little detailed but which probably didn't work as intended considering it was never reproduced anywhere else.
The Type 90 carried by the Mogami class, which for reasons I have yet to discovere appeared to have a unique hydraulic-reload system instead.

The Type 92 arried by the Myoko class and the Type 92 model 3 carried by Ooi and Kitakami, which only had manual reload available.

 

Amongst 533mm tubes, the 6th year Type carried by the Minekaze super-class only had manual mode, but the type 94 carried by the Otori-class torpedo boats also had pressured air mode.

 

It seems the 61mm Type 92 Model 2 Kai does not have a non-kai counterpart - it seems safe to me to guess that the non-kai version was designed without air pressure reload mode, and was discarded and thus nevet mounted anywhere when the Kai variant was designed.

 

And hardly on subject but interesting nontheless, it seems a lot of people are puzzled when Shimakaze's launchers designation is mentionned, so I wanna confirm it : Shimakaze's launchers are the Type 0 Model 5, despite the fact that no other model for the Type 0 seems to even exist, suggesting either several prototype versions, or a total, unexplained change in naming conventions resulting in the Model bearing, for example, the number of tubes per launcher.

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Many thanks all, muchly appreciated :)

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Note that this was for example one of rationales for the four-stacker destroyers massive battery (for their size) of 4x3 torpedoes - one side was supposed to act as reload (hypothetically all torpedoes could also be launched in one massive salvo forward or aft, but that was quickly dropped).

 

The reloads on IJN destroyers and cruisers were mostly justified by the Decisive Battle doctrine, where the reload should have happened primarily between the night clash of screens and daylight battle line action, as such the system was pretty fast, advanced and all that... But ultimately built for the wrong type of war, bringing liability not only in the form of way too much compressed oxygen to be healthy, but also in the form of topweight (limiting protection of main gun turrets, limiting amount and caliber of AA guns, meaning the destroyer theoretically dual purpose guns had limited elevation...). 

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21 minutes ago, Tuccy said:

But ultimately built for the wrong type of war, bringing liability not only in the form of way too much compressed oxygen to be healthy, but also in the form of topweight (limiting protection of main gun turrets, limiting amount and caliber of AA guns, meaning the destroyer theoretically dual purpose guns had limited elevation...).

The further you go the more I'm puzzled. The likeliness of their torps to create a spectacular detonation when hit directly was known, sure, though it has little to do with the reloads themselves as torpedoes inside the tube had the same problem. Added topweight was also a problem, once again well known for these destroyers (though the real problems regarding that issue appeared - and were partially dealt with - BEFORE reloads on IJN DDs became standard).

That being said, I hardly see how these can limit protection of main guns, AA guns or elevation of DP guns. I know your point is that "added weight had the be saved somewhere". But you're wrong when assuming this meant things like defense, AA or elevation were scarificed.

 

For a fact, first of all, I'd like to remind you that the Akizuki class, despite being covered in AA guns, with high-angle DPs in efficiently defended mounts, also carried spares. She only had a quadruple tube though so one may say that the added weight was mitigated, but it's still a prime example of destroyer where  spares do not imply sacrifices within the categories you mentionned.

 

Besides them, I assume you said  "limited DP elevation" because the Type C turret could only elevate at 55° where the Type B could up to 75°. The thing is, without removal of spares or anything else, the Type D, mounted on the Yuugumo-class, could also elevate to 75°, just like the type B did, indicating that the spares had no influence on this factor, especially considering the similarities between Kagero and Yuugumo.

Since some membres of the Yuugumo class kept their spares all the while receiving AA upgrades, they also could carry up to 26 barrels of 25mm (and maybe even some 13.2mm).

 

I'll have a hard time commenting on the protection of main guns since... well, I have no data about the overall efficiency of IJN DD guns protection (where did you get yours btw ? I'm interested in reading it). But I still wanna point out that while no shield-less turrets of the same version existed (though could be designed), shield-less launchers existed. And yet, they kept the shield on them to. I believe they'd have sacrificied it, but they did not. Why would the shield of main gun turrets be the first to be reduced to save weight - especially since launchers had versions manufactured, used, and in activity elsewhere ?

 

I don't think the whole spare thing was wrong on their destroyers. Getting rid of it to add one 25mm and have thicker main gun shields wouldn't have helped them. Besides, them keeping spares is somewhat compensated by the fact that they carried smaller launchers than US ones - thus less torpedoes to start with - and had lighter launchers - even with the shield.

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On 11/07/2018 at 12:47 PM, LastButterfly said:

The further you go the more I'm puzzled. The likeliness of their torps to create a spectacular detonation when hit directly was known, sure, though it has little to do with the reloads themselves as torpedoes inside the tube had the same problem.

Yes, they had the same problem. Adding MORE volatile materials however makes the problem more serious (esp. as the stowed torpedoes were more difficult to get rid of). This is kinda akin to arguing that storing excessive cordite charges in the British battlecruiser turret stalks was not a problem since the magazines were full of cordite anyway. If nothing else, reloads doubled the chance combat damage would set off oxygen fire somewhere, with all the ugly outcomes.

 

 

 

Quote

 

Added topweight was also a problem, once again well known for these destroyers (though the real problems regarding that issue appeared - and were partially dealt with - BEFORE reloads on IJN DDs became standard).

That being said, I hardly see how these can limit protection of main guns, AA guns or elevation of DP guns. I know your point is that "added weight had the be saved somewhere". But you're wrong when assuming this meant things like defense, AA or elevation were scarificed.

My point is that added weight HAD to be saved elsewhere - heck, even you below describe in detail the limit on gun elevation, introduced primarily due to topweight issues and dropped only with wartime designs that placed same or smaller torpedo armament on a bigger (or at least wider) hull. Kagero hull was simply large enough to take eventually the high angle guns again (though still cannot support a decent HA fire control system). So... If 6 out of 9 "Special Type" classes built had to have their gun elevation curtailed due to topweight (or, in case of Kagero, as a legacy issue)... It kinda sounds like a problem and it does sound a lot like being connected to having to lug spare torpedoes. Tomozuru and fourth Fleet incidents came after Special type destroyers and led to a lot of changes (such as repositioning of the single gun on Hatsuharu class) on top of the elevation restriction.

 

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For a fact, first of all, I'd like to remind you that the Akizuki class, despite being covered in AA guns, with high-angle DPs in efficiently defended mounts, also carried spares. She only had a quadruple tube though so one may say that the added weight was mitigated, but it's still a prime example of destroyer where  spares do not imply sacrifices within the categories you mentionned.

See above. Akizuki was a new design, built around 100 mm mounts and had torpedo armament cut down to allow that. As a design, Akizuki was pretty good - though there is the question if without reloads she could not be designed slimmer and thus faster with the same powerplant. Then again, unlike in the game the top speed was generally not as important. 

Quote

Besides them, I assume you said  "limited DP elevation" because the Type C turret could only elevate at 55° where the Type B could up to 75°. The thing is, without removal of spares or anything else, the Type D, mounted on the Yuugumo-class, could also elevate to 75°, just like the type B did, indicating that the spares had no influence on this factor, especially considering the similarities between Kagero and Yuugumo.

Since some membres of the Yuugumo class kept their spares all the while receiving AA upgrades, they also could carry up to 26 barrels of 25mm (and maybe even some 13.2mm).

While Type B could theoretically go up to 75°(as they were intended for DP duty), practically they were restricted due to the topweight issues and this carried over to Type C with the limit being built in. This was not done "just because", and it was a significant downgrade in light of the Pacific war as it happened. So yes, the AA suffered from this, especially the AA that would allow the destroyers be worthwile in protecting other vessels. 25mm guns were not really able to do that, they were point defence for all intents and purposes. So... Yes, the elevation did suffer due to the topweight, large part of which were the torpedo reloads.

As for Yugumo, see above. This is kinda like saying that Mk.37 director did not cause any topweight issues because Gearings had no problem ;)

 

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I'll have a hard time commenting on the protection of main guns since... well, I have no data about the overall efficiency of IJN DD guns protection (where did you get yours btw ? I'm interested in reading it). But I still wanna point out that while no shield-less turrets of the same version existed (though could be designed), shield-less launchers existed. And yet, they kept the shield on them to. I believe they'd have sacrificied it, but they did not. Why would the shield of main gun turrets be the first to be reduced to save weight - especially since launchers had versions manufactured, used, and in activity elsewhere ?

Torpedoes and reloads were carried not only on destroyers - and the drawbacks were shared. The reason was also the same, focus on the Decisive Battle scenario. And cruiser turret protection definitely did suffer due to the weight-cutting. 25 mm turret armor was not really too good on a heavy cruiser. With Type B 127mm mounts the gunhouses had walls thick only 3 mm - compared to the standard enclosed mount for 5"/38 being 12.7 mm. The latter is at least partial splinter protection, akin to gun tubs and splinter shields around AA guns, the former is just to keep the water out. So yes, it applied to destroyers as well. Again, would such weight cutting be needed without the reloads? Not to mention the weight cutting translated also to stuff like hull endurance.

Quote

I don't think the whole spare thing was wrong on their destroyers. Getting rid of it to add one 25mm and have thicker main gun shields wouldn't have helped them. Besides, them keeping spares is somewhat compensated by the fact that they carried smaller launchers than US ones - thus less torpedoes to start with - and had lighter launchers - even with the shield.

Getting rid of it could realistically eliminate the reason to cut down elevation to 55°on Type C and restrict practical elevation use on Type B mounts, thus making the destroyers far more suited to the Pacific war as it played out. Note that it isn't a hindsight - most navies dropped the notion of decisive battle after WWI as the conflict shown that war of attrition will be the coming war's thing, even before there was need to start focusing on AA - while the torpedo reloads were "dead" weight that was driven by the "Decisive Battle" doctrine and in the end presented many inconvenient tradeoffs for the war that actually happened. Keeping spares compensated for the US larger batteries (well, larger until US ran into their issues with topweight and decided to axe one set of tubes to enable mounting Mk.37 director) again only for the decisive battle scenario. 

 

So in general, my point was that the tradeoffs (survivability, protection, esp. AA firepower) done on Special Type destroyers in order to have the advanced torpedo reload were a bit too much, esp. given that the scenario for which they were designed would never happen (and all oteher navies knew it)...

 

TL:DR: It was a perfect solution for a non-existent problem that prevented getting effective solutions to existing problem. Nothing more, nothing less.

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1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

Yes, they had the same problem. Adding MORE volatile materials however makes the problem more serious (esp. as the stowed torpedoes were more difficult to get rid of). This is kinda akin to arguing that storing excessive cordite charges in the British battlecruiser turret stalks was not a problem since the magazines were full of cordite anyway. If nothing else, reloads doubled the chance combat damage would set off oxygen fire somewhere, with all the ugly outcomes.

Yeah but I'm trying to find situations where the reloads, and not loaded tubes, were actually the cause of extensive damage when hit for destroyers. It appears to be fairly uncommon. Most detonation due to torpedoes happened because the loaded tubes themselves were hit or set on fire. Of course it's more explosive aboard and it means that if it gets set ablaze there'll be a big explosion and stuff, but then again, main guns did that, and even AA guns, and depth charges and the tubes themselves. I doubt the spares made that much of a difference in term of danger. The ship was already filled with fireworks before spares were installed. Especially since they were never far from the tubes anyway.

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

My point is that added weight HAD to be saved elsewhere - heck, even you below describe in detail the limit on gun elevation, introduced primarily due to topweight issues and dropped only with wartime designs that placed same or smaller torpedo armament on a bigger (or at least wider) hull. Kagero hull was simply large enough to take eventually the high angle guns again (though still cannot support a decent HA fire control system).

 

... Kagero did NOT have the really high angle guns tho. It was hers which couldn't elevate beyond 55°. I think you're mixing them up. What I described was how the Type C was carried aboard Shiratsuyu, Asashio and Kagero, then replaced by the higher-elevating Type D on the Yuugumos. Pretty much the contrary of what you're saying : when the hulls widened, the max angle of main guns lowered.

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

So... If 6 out of 9 "Special Type" classes built had to have their gun elevation curtailed due to topweight (or, in case of Kagero, as a legacy issue)...

 

6 out of 9 ? You ARE getting all of them mixed up, right ? The the DP japanese 127mm was invented with Ayanamis and retro-actively mounted on the Fubukis. Amongst the "9 Special-Type" as you call them (which I assume being Fubuki, Ayanami, Akatsuki, Hatsuharu, Shiratsuyu, Asashio, Kagero, Yuugumo and Shimakaze), only 4 and not 6 carried lower-angle guns : the Fubukis, because when they were built the HA had not been invented, and they were retro-fitted with Type B so they don't count. The Asashio, the Shiratsuyu, and the Kagero. That ultimately makes 3 out of 9 that carried main guns with 55° max elevation as opposed to 75°.

All of which came after the whole topweight problem discovery, because remember that Shitasuyu was an answer to said problem.

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

It kinda sounds like a problem and it does sound a lot like being connected to having to lug spare torpedoes. Tomozuru and fourth Fleet incidents came after Special type destroyers and led to a lot of changes (such as repositioning of the single gun on Hatsuharu class) on top of the elevation restriction.

 

And all of these incidents and changes came before IJN destroyers carried spare torpedoes. The Tomozuru and fourth fleet incident happened when only the Fubukis and Hatsuharus were built or in building, none of which had been designed to carry spares. You're so quickly assuming that topweight and spare torps are necessarly connected, you haven't even checked the fact that dates don't correspond. They litterally added the spares... AFTER adressing topweight. This sound like kind of a big proof that spares weren't that much of a topweight issue dontcha think ?

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

See above. Akizuki was a new design, built around 100 mm mounts and had torpedo armament cut down to allow that. As a design, Akizuki was pretty good - though there is the question if without reloads she could not be designed slimmer and thus faster with the same powerplant. Then again, unlike in the game the top speed was generally not as important. 

 

nah, she wouldn't have gone much faster by getting rid of 10 tons. Her low speed was due to the choosen engine and propellers. The Kai Akizuki design achieved top speed with a radically different engine (and slightly different hull shape).

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

While Type B could theoretically go up to 75°(as they were intended for DP duty), practically they were restricted due to the topweight issues

 

Where did you read that ?
Honestly. I want to know. Yes, the type B could reach 75° elevation, and yes, practically this was restricted. But I have NEVER read anything about topweight playing in that. The only reason I found on all possible sources on the matter is faulty visibility that litterally forbid high-angle fire. Unless blind. And, yes, on the Type C too.

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

it was a significant downgrade in light of the Pacific war as it happened

 

Also this is debatable. For turrets that trained at 12° per second and fired 8 round per minutes, with bad visibility ? Honestly, even if they could elevate at 90° and had radar-guided fire, they wouldn't have been bright in AA duties. They had bad AA, sure. Elevation was the least of their troubles on the matter though.

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

25mm guns were not really able to do that, they were point defence for all intents and purposes.

Yup. once again, tho, you can't blame that on the spares' weight. Even if the spares had not been there... The japanese would have put more 25mm. They had no better AA gun anyway.

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

Torpedoes and reloads were carried not only on destroyers - and the drawbacks were shared.

 

This is correct. You have my apologies if I have not been clear on that point, but I was only adressing issues about destroyers. My knowledge of IJN cruisers, their spares and their implcations is more scarce, therefore I will not risk myself there and will not argue with a subject I know less well.

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

And cruiser turret protection definitely did suffer due to the weight-cutting. 25 mm turret armor was not really too good on a heavy cruiser. With Type B 127mm mounts the gunhouses had walls thick only 3 mm - compared to the standard enclosed mount for 5"/38 being 12.7 mm. The latter is at least partial splinter protection, akin to gun tubs and splinter shields around AA guns, the former is just to keep the water out. So yes, it applied to destroyers as well.

 

Would you be kind enough to indicate me where I could find these numbers ? I'll be honest I'm really interested to complete my knowledge on the subject.

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

Again, would such weight cutting be needed without the reloads?

 

We can easily give a preliminary answer to that question if you can give me an approximation of the weight saved (or the required numbers for me to calculate it myself, which would be : needed volume or dimensions of shields, actual volume or dimensions, type of alloy employed). That way, we can compare it to the weight of spares and apply some mechanics formula to compare the way these forces add up on the ship itself.

I'd be glad to try and simulate a calculation of it if you an provide me with the numbers I'm missing - regarding data on the turret shields.

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

Getting rid of it could realistically eliminate the reason to cut down elevation to 55°on Type C and restrict practical elevation use on Type B mounts, thus making the destroyers far more suited to the Pacific war as it played out.

 

As said above, other problems would have prevented it instead, and had they not existed, the added value would have been very minor.

 

1 hour ago, Tuccy said:

the torpedo reloads were "dead" weight that was driven by the "Decisive Battle" doctrine and in the end presented many inconvenient tradeoffs for the war that actually happened.

 

I'll make a wild guess here, so nothing historical, but i doubt this is the only reason (by far). It may be more linked to the fact that they wanted each vessel to be individually superior due to their lower industrial power (which is a different concept, because it's far more technical than strategical). After all, the concept of spares was devised at the same time when they redesigned the Hatsuharu class to avoid excessive unbalance. And on the hatsuharu design it meant sacrifying the third triple tube. I think these two events may be linked... with the use of reloads being simply a way to compensate for a loss of direct torpedo power. Less tubes, but tubes can be reloaded easily, so in the end, your torpedo power remains similar.
At least it sure sounds like it.

 

2 hours ago, Tuccy said:

So in general, my point was that the tradeoffs (survivability, protection, esp. AA firepower) done on Special Type destroyers in order to have the advanced torpedo reload were a bit too much, esp. given that the scenario for which they were designed would never happen (and all oteher navies knew it)...

 

And my point was not that the tradeoffs were not too much but that most of the ones you mention may not actually be linked to the weight or volume of spares.

Also, could you please not generalize all IJN DDs to the Special Type ? Special Types were Fubuki, Ayanami and Akatsuki classes in that order. Other classes were not Special Types.

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One of the ships that did suffer from an in launcher torpedo explosion was the Polish ORP Grom, sister ship to ORP Blyskawica; she was attacked by an HE 111 during the Narvik campaign and one of the bombs struck the loaded launcher causing a torpedo warhead to explode, breaking the hull in two as a result.

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1 hour ago, Maihon said:

One of the ships that did suffer from an in launcher torpedo explosion was the Polish ORP Grom, sister ship to ORP Blyskawica; she was attacked by an HE 111 during the Narvik campaign and one of the bombs struck the loaded launcher causing a torpedo warhead to explode, breaking the hull in two as a result.

 

Yeah, but such cases are numerous. I was trying to find cases - if any exist at all - where torpedoes outside launchers detonated.

Thanks tho.

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