Saturday, August 3, 2019
The Development of the Torpedo during World War I :: Torpedoes Torpedo Research Papers
The Development of the Torpedo during World War I The year is 1942, and German U-boats are wreaking havoc on allied shipping to Britain; the vital lifeline which allows the island nation to survive. Unchallenged, they sink hundreds of the merchant vessels which carry the desperately needed food, arms, and other equipment that is necessary for Britain's survival. They are silent and deadly; undetected until it is too late. With a loud deafening blast, a torpedo impacts the center of a ship, breaking its back. The other ships try to run, as their crews search for the unseen attacker by the glow of the ship slipping under the water to her final resting place. Cries of terror pierce the sky, as a ghostly shadow is seen heading for the flagship. The ship rolls to the side as it turns as hard as it can. The torpedo misses, but a second blast pierces the sky, disabling the ship's rudder and propellers. Tracking the submarine with its sonar, a destroyer escort moves at full steam to counter the threat. Once over the spot where the submarine lurks, depth charges are shot over the railing, and they sink quietly in the water to bring the fight back to the concealed enemy. As each detonates, the water bulges over top of where they were dropped. Knowing when it has met its match, the German U-boat retreats and the battle is over until another day. The histories of many weapons of World War II are well known, such as that of the tank and the airplane. However the torpedo is one that is often talked about, yet its history remains in the shadow of these other well known weapons. In an effort to learn more about this topic, I interviewed my grandfather. During the war, he worked in a group developing the sonic controlled torpedo. For many years, he was not able to tell anyone what he did, including his parents. It was not until several years ago when he saw a documentary on the television which had a segment that described the development of the torpedo did he feel that he could talk about what he really did during the war. I first began by asking him what he did during the war. He told me that he led a group who was developing sonic controlled torpedoes, which were designed to follow sound made by a ship or a submarine's propeller.