Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - 02:59 AM UTC
This was the name given to the Japanese Type 93 torpedo by writer Samuel E Morison. The strange thing about the name is it was given to the Type 93, after the war. These torpedoes are considered the best torpedoes used during the entire war.
The type 93 began development in 1928 along with the type 95. The 93 was a surface launched type weapon. The main difference with this torpedo over other was its oxidizer, compressed oxygen, instead of compressed air. Pure oxygen is actually very difficult to control and handle, but Japanese engineers worked out a method to use it with great effect.
The type 93 was started using compressed air. The engine would then gradually switch from the compressed air to the pure oxygen oxidizer, when fully on pure oxygen the torpedo could run farther and faster than other torpedoes. To hide the use of pure oxygen the tank was called “Secondary Air Tank” on schematics.
The type 93 was fitted to surface ships and used in a very useful tactic. A spread of the weapon would be launched at 20,000 yards, double of the normal range. The incoming ships would be hit by these torpedoes and in turn cause the damage or loss of an attacker’s strength. Allied planners thought the torpedoes came from submarines operating with the surface ships. It was not until 1943 that the weapon was known to the allies when one was captured intact.
The type 93 caused considerable damage due to its use and large warhead. How ever the type 93 was as deadly to the ship carrying them as the targets. With their large warhead, 490kg and compressed oxygen, they were susceptible to explosions after taking battle damage. Japanese ship captains had to decide if they wanted to keep their weapons when entering either a gun battle or an air battle. IJN Chōkai was taken out by a single 5” round after it hit her torpedo storage room.
The Type 93 was a weapon the allied commanders did learn to respect and fear.
Placed around RTC Orlando there were different types of torpedoes from all over the world, including a type 93. That thing was BIG!
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