Whanganuilibrary.com
Normal view MARC view ISBD view

Iron men and tin fish : the race to build a better torpedo during World War II / Anthony Newpower.

By: Newpower, Anthony, 1967-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, c2006Description: 235 pages : illustrations, plan, portraits ; 23 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781591146230(pbk).Subject(s): United States. Navy -- Weapons systems -- History -- 20th century | Torpedoes -- United States -- Design and construction -- History -- 20th century | World War, 1939-1945 -- Equipment and supplies | World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations, American | World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations -- SubmarineDDC classification: Summary: The first book to deal exclusively with the failure of the Mark XIV torpedo during the first two years of the American effort in World War II, this study combines analysis of the technological and bureaucratic problems with riveting accounts of combat to provide a new interpretation of the failure and the Navy's response to it.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due
Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction
Non-Fiction 940.545 NEW 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Building his case out of original research from U.S., British, and German archives, and from interviews with submarine veterans, Anthony Newpower presents a comprehensive study of the politics and technology behind the high failure rate of U.S. torpedoes early in WWII. His investigation focuses on the defects in the Mark XIV, which tended to run deeper than the set depth, detonate prematurely, and/or fail to explode when hitting a target.

The author attributes the nearly two-year delay to correct these defects to senior officials who blamed the crews for poor marksmanship and training rather than acknowledge that a grossly defective weapon had been sent into the fleet. In the end, the submarine force overcame bureaucratic inertia and fixed the problems on its own. Newpower's examination of the decision-making process and his chilling accounts of experiences with faulty torpedoes broaden the book's appeal.

Includes bibliography 9. [221]-224) and index.

The first book to deal exclusively with the failure of the Mark XIV torpedo during the first two years of the American effort in World War II, this study combines analysis of the technological and bureaucratic problems with riveting accounts of combat to provide a new interpretation of the failure and the Navy's response to it.

11

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

At the start of WW II, only Japan possessed reliable torpedoes. After Pearl Harbor, the US had to rely on aircraft carrier raids and submarine warfare to strike back at Japan, but until September 1943, its Mark XIV torpedoes performed poorly, often running deeper than the set depth with their contact and magnetic influence exploders malfunctioning. Historians ascribe these failures to limited prewar live-fire testing of the torpedoes, and the delay in correcting the defects to Bureau of Ordnance (BurOrd) officials, who blamed the malfunctioning on submarine captains and crews. Germans solved similar problems with their G7 torpedoes within six months, but it took Americans almost two years to achieve comparable results. In the most comprehensive analysis of the topic to date, Newpower (American Military Univ.) chronicles US torpedo problems, showing that they lasted until submariners simply stopped using the magnetic explorers. (Britain and Germany had abandoned them by 1941.) Officers in Australia conducted experiments that finally convinced BurOrd officials that depth regulators were defective. Newport Torpedo Station engineers then redesigned the depth regulators, and officers in Hawai'i solved the contact exploder problem on their own by redesigning the firing pin. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. J. C. Bradford Texas A&M University