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Tricki Vic BB71

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If an enemy airplane dropped a bomb or strafed the depth charges mounted behind a DD would they go off? I know this sounds dumb but I'm just wondering.  Embarassed
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PostMon Jul 18, 2011 1:50 am
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Piper

 
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Tricki Vic BB71 wrote:
If an enemy airplane dropped a bomb or strafed the depth charges mounted behind a DD would they go off? I know this sounds dumb but I'm just wondering.  Embarassed

No, it's not dumb.  Ask away.

I am fairly sure no.  Depth charges have safeties that keep them from exploding, but when they're sitting on the deck, the safety is off so you don't have to fiddle around with the safety when a sub is right under you.   But, when GQ is ordered and enemy contact is expected, the sailors turn on the safeties so they're not exploding when you get a hit on the stern of the ship.  Now, I've never heard of DC's going off when the crews have had considerable time to check all of the safeties (note, I haven't read the accounts of many destroyer actions, so my knowledge of this is limited), but in the case of the Laffey (benson class) durning the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, the crews probobly didn't have much time to put the DC's on safe, and as it was sliding under, some-all of them went off and killed a lot of sailors in the water.  Now it isn't known weather the DC's weren't put on safe or if they were and the safeties failed, but it's highly possible that they went off on safe.

So, they probobly would go off if their wasn't any advance warning and the safeties were off, but if there was some, they would be on and they would most likely not explode (unless if perhaps they were hit by an HE shell).

Is that a good explination?
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PostMon Jul 18, 2011 4:41 am
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The Depth Charges were probably not put on safe.  This happened when the USS Hammann was torpedoed along with the Yorktown during the battle of Midway.  A few minutes after sinking, Hammann suffered a violent underwater explosion which was likely caused by Depth Charges and Torpedo warheads going off.  This caused more casualties among the men still in the water.
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PostMon Jul 18, 2011 6:56 pm
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Weeds came across a reference of a Japanese destroyer that was sunk by a strafing fighter. I can't remember if that was attributed to mines or depth charges but i would appear to be possible
PostWed May 22, 2013 12:39 pm
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CommanderSam

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From what I remember, one of the french battlecruisers in Mers el kebir was damaged by a coupled destroyer the depth charges of which exploded from air attack (torpedo?)

I'm checking my books Smile

Edit : It was patrol boat Terre-Neuve (Newfoundland) that was moored along Dunkerque with depth charges on its deck. It was torpedoed by a Swordfish and the charges detonated, causing serious damage to Dunkerque's hull.



I'm not sure gun damage would be sufficient but direct bomb hit on charges could be risky, I think.
PostWed May 22, 2013 6:14 pm
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Tricki Vic BB71

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This old thread. lol. Thanks for the info CommanderSam.
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PostThu May 23, 2013 12:04 am
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Long story short yes, but no.

It did happen, but a hit that lucky was very uncommon. That said it did happen.

Destroyer Kisaragi was hit by a 100 pound bomb in the DC racks and blew up violently off Wake Island in 1941.
It also happened with some frigates and ASW escorts if I remember properly. Usually the DCs were immune to strafing because they would be placed in lightly armored holding boxes from what I recall. Still a bullet in the right place or bomb could set them off, and then your ship is in a boat load of trouble.
Depth Carges blowing up were uncommon but could be very nasty. It would blow the stern off the ship. This gaurentees crippling or sinking.
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PostThu May 23, 2013 1:42 pm
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'Warspite'

 

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The Royal Navy was chasing an Italian sub-chaser which was doing quite well until a shell landed on the quarter deck and the depth charges blew up.

In one of the north Australian ports (Darwin?) the Japanese hit a ship carrying depth charges and she blew up, badly damaging the area around her.

In the movie 'Battle of the River Plate' a junior officer asks for permission to jettison the depth charges carried by one of the light cruisers and I seem to recall it was also standard practice on fleet destroyers to get rid of the depth charges prior to a gun action.

While torpedoes appear to be quite stable, if in close proximity to an explosion, any depth charge is just a large drum of H.E waiting to do something. If a bullet hit it, it would probably be ok. If a cannon shell hit a depth charge I would not like to be in the vicinity. Ditto if a bomb detonated among the depth charges.
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PostThu May 30, 2013 6:11 pm
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I think the Chickuma was crippled when a lucky hit from the White plains set ooff her long lances. That risk is why the US didn't put torps on their cruisers...so I'm told, anyway.
PostSun Jun 02, 2013 7:38 pm
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ihwarrior wrote:
I think the Chickuma was crippled when a lucky hit from the White plains set ooff her long lances. That risk is why the US didn't put torps on their cruisers...so I'm told, anyway.


US torpedoes had reliability concerns and and the navy heads probably decided they weren't worth the space and also most cruiser were being dedicated to AA screening roles leaving the  destroyers to handle torpedo duty.
PostTue Oct 22, 2013 12:05 am
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With this talk of depth charges going off accidentally, I'm reminded of all the depth charge mishaps that took place in the movie "McHale's navy"
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PostTue Oct 22, 2013 12:10 am
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torpman

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GreyFox78659 wrote:
ihwarrior wrote:
I think the Chickuma was crippled when a lucky hit from the White plains set ooff her long lances. That risk is why the US didn't put torps on their cruisers...so I'm told, anyway.


US torpedoes had reliability concerns and and the navy heads probably decided they weren't worth the space and also most cruiser were being dedicated to AA screening roles leaving the  destroyers to handle torpedo duty.

I am not sure of the exact reasoning as I do not have my edition of "Fleets" on me right now, but I know that the torpedoes were removed well before the issues with them were known. The triple tubes were taken off in the 30s, the issues were not known about until late '42 to '43 and were not fixed until mid '43. Also the cruisers were still intended for things other than AA screening. Almost every cruiser that escorted a carrier in 1942 (Or sailed for that matter) ended up in a surface fight at some point. They US still viewed them as offensive weapons except for the Atlanta's and even they ended up in a surface fight (Which raises the question on why the Atlanta and Juneau were put in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal when Pensacola was in the same take force, and removed to screen the Enterprise). The main reason they were removed if I remember was that they were considered not worth the risk after several fleet exercises and tests. The US decided that the cost to benefit ratio was not enough to keep them on their ships. (Though USS Houston would have disagreed)
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PostTue Oct 22, 2013 6:44 pm
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'Warspite'

 

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torpman wrote:

The main reason they were removed if I remember was that they were considered not worth the risk after several fleet exercises and tests. The US decided that the cost to benefit ratio was not enough to keep them on their ships. (Though USS Houston would have disagreed)


Interesting. British experience was that cruisers could (and did) fire torpedoes. It was torpedoes from HMS Dorsetshire which played a part in the sinking of the KM Bismarck. And, no, I am not getting into a debate about whether the Bismarck was already sinking.

Elsewhere cruiser torpedoes were fired at the Battle of the River Plate (unsuccessfully) while several other cruisers used their torps to 'finish off' wounded ships.
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PostWed Oct 23, 2013 10:37 am
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'Warspite' wrote:
torpman wrote:

The main reason they were removed if I remember was that they were considered not worth the risk after several fleet exercises and tests. The US decided that the cost to benefit ratio was not enough to keep them on their ships. (Though USS Houston would have disagreed)


Interesting. British experience was that cruisers could (and did) fire torpedoes. It was torpedoes from HMS Dorsetshire which played a part in the sinking of the KM Bismarck. And, no, I am not getting into a debate about whether the Bismarck was already sinking.

Elsewhere cruiser torpedoes were fired at the Battle of the River Plate (unsuccessfully) while several other cruisers used their torps to 'finish off' wounded ships.

Is it possible that they were removed so that weight would be reduced to allow the addition of the 4 more 5 inch guns as well?

[tangent] In other interesting notes, I am fairly certain the only time a US cruiser got a torpedo his was the USS Reno on the Princeton. The only time they could have been used in action was with the Atlanta and Juneau. Atlanta had hers disabled before she could fire them, which is a shame because they could have done some good. I am not sure if Juneau fired hers or not. On another random note, I personally feel that the Atlantas were good fighting units and got an unfair bad rep from the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Atlanta sank after taking a beating worse than what the Astoria or Canberra took, and lasted about the same amount of time. Admittedly Canberra was scuttled (Also for questionable reasons) so maybe the comparison is not that fair. But, the Atlantas still did pretty well that night all things considered. Juneau technically survived, and would have made it to port, had it not of been for a certain I-26. [/tangent]
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PostThu Jan 30, 2014 4:40 am
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When I played recently as the Italians against the French, I was quite surprised when the following occurred.  

After knocking out what little ASW the French brought to the fight, my subs took down the Richelieu.  This left me a couple of wounded cruisers to hunt down the Bearn.  My Bolzano and Trieste closed with the hapless French Carrier to finish it with gunfire.  

Boy was I surprised when my opponent says "and now my aircraft carrier fires it's torpedoes at the Bolzano".  I had to read the Bearn card three times before I allowed him to roll.  WTF!  An aircraft Carrier with torpedoes.  What will those French think of next....
PostThu Jan 30, 2014 3:55 pm
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Lethe wrote:
When I played recently as the Italians against the French, I was quite surprised when the following occurred.  

After knocking out what little ASW the French brought to the fight, my subs took down the Richelieu.  This left me a couple of wounded cruisers to hunt down the Bearn.  My Bolzano and Trieste closed with the hapless French Carrier to finish it with gunfire.  

Boy was I surprised when my opponent says "and now my aircraft carrier fires it's torpedoes at the Bolzano".  I had to read the Bearn card three times before I allowed him to roll.  WTF!  An aircraft Carrier with torpedoes.  What will those French think of next....


I remember losing a game because of objective loss from Arkhangelsk being sunk by a Bearn Torpedo.

It was originally a battlecruiser which sometimes had torpedoes at the time (like Hood) and I think they kept the tubes in the transformation.
PostThu Jan 30, 2014 7:41 pm
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CommanderSam wrote:
Lethe wrote:
When I played recently as the Italians against the French, I was quite surprised when the following occurred.  

After knocking out what little ASW the French brought to the fight, my subs took down the Richelieu.  This left me a couple of wounded cruisers to hunt down the Bearn.  My Bolzano and Trieste closed with the hapless French Carrier to finish it with gunfire.  

Boy was I surprised when my opponent says "and now my aircraft carrier fires it's torpedoes at the Bolzano".  I had to read the Bearn card three times before I allowed him to roll.  WTF!  An aircraft Carrier with torpedoes.  What will those French think of next....


I remember losing a game because of objective loss from Arkhangelsk being sunk by a Bearn Torpedo.

It was originally a battlecruiser which sometimes had torpedoes at the time (like Hood) and I think they kept the tubes in the transformation.

HMS Eagle carried 18 at one point! But, they were quickly removed.


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PostThu Jan 30, 2014 8:43 pm
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