This weapons system fired six mortar bombs ahead of the ship, hence
it was called an 'ahead throwing' weapon. Squid bombs, each weighing some
300 pounds, were hoisted from the Squid magazine to the Squid Handling
Room located at the aft end of the ship. Here, they were rolled on to racks
and stored in a 'ready use' state. The elevation of the port and starboard
mortar tubes could be varied to produce different triangular firing patterns
when the bombs detonated. When fired by the force of an explosive charge,
the bombs sailed over the length of the ship and landed a short distance
ahead of it. Six bombs were fired in a preset sequence so they actually
formed opposite triangular patterns. The first salvo was set to explode
at the deepest setting. The second salvo was set for 50 feet shallower.
These two patterns encircled the target and the simultaneous explosions
at the two depths would crush the pressure hull of the submarine.
|A view of the Squid Handling Room looking forward and starboard.
The bombs were hoisted from the Squid magazine which held up to 96 weapons.
They were stored in racks until required. The bomb on the right is aligned
with the roller conveyor and ready to be pushed through the aft bulkhead
and unto the loading trolley. (Photo by Jerry Proc)
|The starboard mortar barrels have been swung to the horizontal position
in order to depict a loading state. Once in the barrel, an electrical cable
was attached to the nose of each Squid. This method provided the most current
target depth information prior to the moment of launch. The other end of
the cable was attached to an anchor point on the launcher. When the Squid
was fired, the cable was sheared and the bomb was on its way to the target.
Another bomb in the lower left corner is ready on the trolley. (Photo
by Jerry Proc)
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