TORPEDO TUBES

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Mounted midships, is a quadruple mounting for 'Mk 9', 21 inch diameter torpedoes. The ship only carried 4 torpedoes in the tubes and reloading was not possible at sea since it was a difficult procedure. Testing the torpedo by 'dry firing' in the tube could not be done because it had to be immersed in sea water in order to cool the engine. The torpedo mount could be rotated and fired electrically or manually from the bridge or from a local position.
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The control box has now been repaired and the torpedo tubes can now be rotated by electro-hydraulic means. In case the elecrics were put out out of action, the mount could be rotated manually by using the crank handles situated  in the middle of the mount. (Photo by Jerry Proc)
Torpedoes were fired by means of an impulse charge loaded into the breach of the firing pistol. It worked on the same principle as a 'spitball' being blown through a straw. The explosion of gas would throw the torpedo clear of the ship by a distance of 10 feet. Each torpedo weighed 3731 pounds, travelled at distance of 14,000 yards at 35 knots or 10,000 yards at 40 knots. Its warhead was filled with 250 pounds of 'Torpex' explosive which had the equivalent force of 800 pounds of TNT.  A MK 9 torpedo was driven by a 4 cylinder radial diesel engine so it also had to carry an internal air supply.
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The breech of the firing pistol has been opened up to show the impulse charge. (Photo by Jerry Proc)

 
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Starboard Torpedo firing station. After the target was sighted from this station, the torpedoes were remotely launched by lifting one those four little black levers in the centre of the photo. There was an identical station on the port side. If the bridge was put out of action, the torpedoes could still be fired under local control from the torpedo tubes. 

The torpedo tubes were labelled E-R-I-F when looking from the back.  The firing levers on either side of the bridge (located under the torpedo aimer) on the starboard side, left to tight, were engraved FIRE.  The officer or chief pulling those triggers did them in the order of F-I-R-E (if four were to be fired).  On the port side the levers were marked ERIF and the firing officer pulled them in that order starting with F. That firing sequence had been proven to avoid collisions or turbulence caused by the torpedoes being too close together once in the water. In all of this what's important is that firing sequence must begin from the aft most tube regardless if they are in the port or starboard positions. (Photo by Jerry Proc)

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July 16/08