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The silent war.

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The silent war.

Old 15th Sep 2018, 07:11
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
Jack: I think he was retelling a personal account, rather than an account from HMS Alliance. My oppo's account was that they had been tailing the Russian sub, recording engine and prop sounds. The way they did that meant sitting directly astern of the Russian boat in the Sonar blind spot and matching their own revolutions to those of the Russian. This was going very well and when the Russian boat stopped, Warspite also stopped directly astern. When the Russian boat started to move again, Warspite again matched propellor revolutions. What they didn't know was the Russian boat had gone astern and Warspite was going ahead. There was an almighty smash and Warspite initially headed for the bottom, out of control (plus my mate's efforts on the forward planes!) They immediately surfaced with the Russian boat parked on their deck. The Russian boat slid off and was lost. The ships of the nearby surface fleet spotted this and "it all went wrong"!
Thanks KelvinD the RN must have had a lot of undercover things going on during and even after the cold war
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 07:27
  #22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Jackw106 View Post
Thanks KelvinD the RN must have had a lot of undercover things going on during and even after the cold war
Quite, and not even the sneaky beaky stuff. Out of the public eye, if it wasn't given to the media then it didn't get any air time.

One story USN, not RN, was in the Med decades ago. The fleet had the usual Soviet submarine trying to get through the screen and been given a hard time by the escorts. The Red skipper seemed to have lost his rag and the resultant photos show the submarine on a collision course with the escort, periscope trained astern, just before he hit the port quarter.

I have not been able to find anything on the web - it was around 50 years ago.
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 12:00
  #23 (permalink)  
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The USN & CIA spy missions
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Old 15th Sep 2018, 19:38
  #24 (permalink)  
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One of the most astonishing stories from the Cold War era was the stealing of a Soviet towed sonar array by HMS Conquerer (not long after she sank the Belgrano). Not only did they cut the cable undetected, they had to make it look like the cable had snapped.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 16:47
  #25 (permalink)  
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Ref my #20 - but better late than never !
Danny samples Life Under the Ocean Wave (Part II).Union Jack,

You must be positively psychic ! How did you guess ? (See my few words on the "Heads" below - your comment now takes on a double entendre, too !)..D


Part II

When the skipper reckoned that there was sufficient water below the keel to allow it, the diesels were stopped, electric drive took over the propulsion, all the hatches were closed and we went under. But not very far: naturally we were always at periscope depth in those congested waters. Then we were split up into individuals for a guided tour of the vessel.

We were shown the rating's bunk space; if you kept a dog in such conditions the RSPCA would be after you. Then we saw the Wardroom; I've seen bigger wardrobes: if you got three officers in there at once you wouldn't be able to close the door. The engine room was dominated by the massive diesel engines and what little space was left was mostly filled by a black-bearded giant of an Engine-Room Artificer who might have walked straight out of the "Victory". We only had a cursory look at the torpedo compartments as of course there were none of the things aboard.

Most interesting were the loos ("Heads" in naval parlance). Behind the doors was painted a list of "Instructions for Use", which really meant "Instructions for Flush". You were well advised to read these most carefully. Offhand, you had to close Valve 'A' and open Tap 'B', then work handle 'C', then do something else with 'D' - the list went on and on. And if you got it wrong, you could let in the Solent and sink the submarine. We decided it might be better to be anti-social and leave the job to the next man, who hopefully might be practised in the art.

High point was your time in the Control Room. They let us have a go at steering the ship, this was done by reference to a little panel Directional Gyro very similar to the DGs in all the aircraft of the period. It seemed simple enough, although you had to wait a bit between turning the wheel and seeing a result. But we were allowed nowhere near the "elevators" - diving planes - for obvious reasons !

Meanwhile our Captain, resplendent in the white woolly roll-neck of his profession, navigated the ship. This was done by visual bearings, and again we were charmed by the centuries-old routine. It went like this:.."Up Periscope"...(scouts around for suitable landmark)..."Ship's Head !"..."Ship's Head, Sir"......"NOW !"....."123, Sir"..(or whatever)...."Down Periscope" Skipper reads off from compass rose engraved on a ring round periscope...notes time, does simple sum, plots position line on chart..."Up Periscope"...(finds another mark). And so on. I suppose Columbus worked this way in his home waters.

As the rotation system allowed only one of us in the Control Room at a time, they were able to play their favourite Practical Joke on us all individually:
Skipper looks around till he spots some slow little tug, coaster or fishing boat, heading directly towards us, but a mile away, and no danger at all. Hands periscope over to us "Take a look". What we do not see is that, as he turns aside, he slyly works a twist-grip on one of the handles. This puts into the optics a set of 40x (?) binocular prisms, so when you look you see something the size of the "Queen Mary" bearing down on you from 100 yards away, with a huge "bone in its teeth", about to run you down in seconds. You recoil with a cry of horror: this absolutely makes their day for them. They revive you with a mug of cocoa (which seems to do the same duty in their Service as tea does in ATC).

All too soon it is time to come up and go back to home port. The conning-tower hatch is opened, the diesels start with a tremendous hiss and clatter, and down into the Control Room comes the most glorious cold, fresh, sweet sea air sucked in by the engines. We realise how stuffy it must have been - and we've only been down less than an hour. What must it be like after 12-plus hours, I do not like to think.
Old 17th Sep 2018, 17:41
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
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I vividly remember a trip through a U boat just after the war (located on Edinburgh's Mound), even to a small boy it was claustrophobic.
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