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Mk VIII torpedoes

spearfish

War Hero
The MK VIII torpedo had a very long service within the Royal Navy from 1925 until the 1980s but what problems did any of you encounter with it? The version used during WW2 seemed to have problems with leaking air vessels and I have come across a few examples where a boat may have been lost from an internal explosion caused by a defective torpedo. I also have a copy of a wartime TGMs personal diary where he records the success rate of torpedoes fired by the boat. One had a gyro failure and came back at them which obviously was a cause for concern.
 
Apart from getting covered in grease sleeping next to one when I was a Pt 3 nothing of note, but then again I was a back aftie.
 
That’s a coincidence, just reading secrets of the conqueror ( which is a great read). In it, it explains why it needed a ww2 torpedo to take out a ww2 ship.
 
I was reading a report recently where a diver reported that he had found three MKVIII that had been fired at a target and missed .I know that practice shots would float but would a war shot sink at the end of its run if it didn’t hit anything? I am also interested in problems with the air vessel inside the torpedo causing detonations within the torpedo prior to launch and causing tbe boat to be lost.
 
I believe that warshots are designed to sink as you don't want your opponent finding one and discovering the weapons capabilities, there again I wasn't an OA so could be totally wrong.

Mk VIIIs were still in use when I joined boats, and I slept next to one when I was a Pt III sleeping down the bomb shop, and I've not heard of one exploding due to the air reservoir causing the boat to be lost. Again, happy to be corrected.
 
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From my understanding of airborne launched warshot torpedo's. at the end of a 'run' it would simply sink to the bottom.
 
Mk8s were indeed to designed to sink if they failed to hit the target and/or detonate. IAW some international agreement or other I believe. Obviously practice weapons were different and were designed to float so that they could be recovered. I've only heard about the odd gyro failure. I can't recall any stories of a Mk8 exploding inside a UK boat, not since WW2 at least anyway. There was another weapon that exploded (in the 50s?) but that was a different type, rather similar to the thing that went wrong on the Kursk I believe.
Are you writing a book on submarine disasters?
 
The Elmers lost a boat during the Cold War due to a fire casued by faulty torpoedoes and almost lost another. It is a full chapter in Blind Mans Buff.
 
Mk8s were indeed to designed to sink if they failed to hit the target and/or detonate. IAW some international agreement or other I believe. Obviously practice weapons were different and were designed to float so that they could be recovered. I've only heard about the odd gyro failure. I can't recall any stories of a Mk8 exploding inside a UK boat, not since WW2 at least anyway. There was another weapon that exploded (in the 50s?) but that was a different type, rather similar to the thing that went wrong on the Kursk I believe.
Are you writing a book on submarine disasters?
The one in the 50s was the Sidon and it was an HTP fuelled weapon, @janner is all about on that one.
 
The one in the 50s was the Sidon and it was an HTP fuelled weapon, @janner is all about on that one.
Around 0826 16th June 1955 Sidon was alongside Maidstone at Portland preparing to slip to carry out firings of a "Fancy" torpedo, (I think it was designated Mk12 but don't quote me.) There was an explosion in one of the foreward tubes which took the rear tube door back towards the accommodation space. Sidon subsequently sank and 13 men lost their lives. The explosion was thought to have been caused by a leak of the High Test Proxied fuel coming into contact with metal fittings in the torpedo. Kursk is thought to have suffered a similar fate with even more tragic circumstances.
On the 16th June this year we will be laying a wreath on the Sidon Memorial at Portland Heights followed sadly by the scattering of Norman Deacons ashes in Portland Harbour. Norman was one of the last survivors of the Sidon tragedy. As far as I am aware there are now only two survivors left.
 
For those that haven’t seen it there was news this week about the discovery of the wreck of HMS Triumph in Greece. The diver who found the boat hasn’t shown the damage but he has been talking about an internal explosion rather than contact with a mine. Triumph had previously lost most of her bow when she detonated another mine in the North Sea but was repaired and sent back to war. Hopefully once he has given some more information a cause of the loss will be determined.
 

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