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Thread: Submarines.

  1. #1
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    Default Submarines.

    As there was a post in another subject on submarines cropping up and not wanting by any means to go off course in answering it , have started one on its own.
    I sailed with a chief engineer ex RN who served part of his time during the war on submarines, on being discharged from the Navy as a commissioned officer he received the cert. of service as a 1
    class engineer, allowing him to sail as chief. He told me that nearly all attacks by British submarines as regards torpedos was done from the surface and from the conning tower. I had no reason to dispute this and never tried to in any case. Are there any on site who can confirm. He must be a long time dead and was quite a character , he came up through the ranks from a stoker iand he reckoned he was the oldest commissioned Lieutenent in the RN. He lived in Portsmouth where his wife had a ladies hat shop , and she used to say to him , Gerry when you were an ordinary matelot you were a gentleman. Now your an officer your a pig. The way he used to tell the story had you in stitches.if you went ashore with him In Japan he spent al the time in the turko baths with the usual attendants. The john Wayne scenes with firing torpedoes from periscope depth he always said was bull###t. Are the wartime submarine movies another figment of someone’s imagination ? JS

    PS as an aside to this and may be of interest , he had acquired a liking for pink gins., but would never have ice in any drink. When I asked him why ? He said he was often in Malta during the war and had to be hospitalised from taking ice in his drinks the ice was dirty and he suffered dysentery and worse, he never forgot that . Shortage of a clean water supply was a hazard in Malta during the war. However drinking pink gin didn’t give him the illusion of seeing pink elephants as was a very sober man to normal MN standards. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 28th April 2020 at 12:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Submarines.

    The Germans always had the reputation of making the best binoculars and all glass prisms, maybe their periscopes were more capable than the British ones. JS.

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    Default Re: Submarines.

    Not quite what J Saborn meant, but definitely submarine story, Mollers Cedar Trader was an ex french tanker converted to ore carrying and was powered by 2 ex submarine engines.
    Definitely RN and gin, there was a story doing the rounds in the 50's of layed up RN ships at anchor that went aground on empty gin bottles.

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    Default Re: Submarines.

    I know what he was on about with water in Malta, it was still like that in the late 60's.

    When we had our pub in Strood, close to Rochester in Kent we had an ex RN guy who was about 5 foot 4 tall.
    Claimed he had been on submarines during the war, many of the other customers used to rib him saying the only reason you were there was because of your height.
    Not rue but always got a laugh.

    It was a couple of years later when in the Sole Street pub we heard he had passed, funeral in Maidstone with a RN service, so yes he was on them.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: Submarines.

    I sailed with an ex submariner, he was 4th engineer and one of his jobs whilst in the submarine service was maintenance of the deck gun, which begs the question how the heck do you keep a gun in working order when it spends most of its life submerged under hundreds of metres of sea water?
    Just asking
    Rgds
    J.A.

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    Default Re: Submarines.

    As long as the ammo is dry , what’s to stop it ? No doubt deck guns for submarines had extra appliances fitted for anti corrosion the same as ships with cathodes and anodes fitted around those areas most susceptible to corrosion. I took a ship out for trials for the navy , and the bofors guns were 40 plus years old , they fired ok although can’t vouch for their accuracy. Can’t imagine them having too much maintainance over their laid up life. Cheers JS

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    Default Re: Submarines.

    The French submarine Surcouf carried a biplane in a hanger. She sank in a collision 1942.
    Vic

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    Default Re: Submarines.

    Something I never knew or even thought about before I had contact with conversions for the Navy. Was that most know what reserve buoyancy is, Naval warships went one further than this and all void tank space and double bottoms were filled with what one called ping pong balls of varying sizes depending on the cubic of the space to be filled. In theory it should have been very difficult to sink a warship. Shows sometimes theory is not as good as actual facts . HMS Challenger whilst it was being built we were one of the stand ins for her. During the Falklands war it was found that aluminium burned very well thank you. As the Challenger had a lot of aliminium in her construction , she turned out to be a bit of a white elephant . Don’t know how long she was in commission for and what if any ship replaced her later. JS
    The original ship for doing such specialist work was HMS Reclaim and she was still around and worked with at various times. She even had a sail , and used to swing the diving bell out on think it was a Derrick or may have been a crane latterly. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 28th April 2020 at 10:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Submarines.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic mcclymont View Post
    The French submarine Surcouf carried a biplane in a hanger. She sank in a collision 1942.
    Vic
    Hi Vic, I didn't know about the French sub but remember reading some years ago about the Japanese subs that carried seaplanes, they
    were built from about 1942 and had different types that carried a seaplane, but their Jewel in the crown was a massive submarine that
    looked more like a ship, it had a huge deck mounted hangar that housed three aircraft, I can't remember the dimensions but it was not
    like any subs we've ever seen, I think it was known as I 400 or similar I can't remember how successful it was but know it had a range to
    take it anywhere in the world and then back to Japan, they liked their stuff big and also had the two biggest and most powerful battleships
    of WWII, the sisters Yamato and Musashi. cheers.

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    Default Re: Submarines.

    Hi John, believe the French had two submarines that could carry planes. The had a massive hanger, must have a sod to keep it watertight under pressure.
    Vic
    Last edited by vic mcclymont; 28th April 2020 at 03:39 PM.

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