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New series of Das Boat on Sky

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New series of Das Boat on Sky

Old 11th Jun 2020, 10:01
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Sunderland and torpedos

Torpedos were certainly not routinely carried. The only reference I can find is to experiments carried out at the MAEE at Helensburgh as part of the run up to attacks on the Tirpitz.

Bombs, mines, depth charges could be run out on carriers from the “bomb room” under the wing centre section. Four stations per side. IIRC the carriers were winched out by hand. I don’t remember that it was possible to rearm the carriers in flight using any stores kept in the bomb room, but I think not.

Slightly dim memories of a tour conducted for me by my father, ex 209/205.
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Old 11th Jun 2020, 10:24
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Originally Posted by Caramba View Post
Torpedos were certainly not routinely carried. The only reference I can find is to experiments carried out at the MAEE at Helensburgh as part of the run up to attacks on the Tirpitz.

Bombs, mines, depth charges could be run out on carriers from the “bomb room” under the wing centre section. Four stations per side. IIRC the carriers were winched out by hand. I don’t remember that it was possible to rearm the carriers in flight using any stores kept in the bomb room, but I think not.
Yes, the sliding carriers could be re-loaded from inside before being slid outside again. There was full internal rack storage inside for the full load of just under 5000lbs.
The sliding racks were load limited to 1000lb.

And no standard torpedo could be carried by the Sunderland, as they were too long to pass through the side hatches, and they didn't fit on the racks in standard fit.
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Old 11th Jun 2020, 15:47
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A Sunderland flying boat is on display at the RAF Hendon museum , in which you can go inside and walk through the aircraft . Excellent.
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Old 11th Jun 2020, 17:45
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ISTR there was an anti-submarine weapon similar in size to a depth charge that was actually a homing torpedo but for security reasons it wasn't called a torpedo. So presumably the Sunderland could carry torpedoes, they just wouldn't appear on the records as such.
Also IIRC the Sunderland at Duxford was involved in trials to carry 2 Chariots (manned torpedoes) cradled on the side of the hull for launching after a water landing, probably the closest the Sunderland got to carrying full sized torpedoes.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 04:45
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Originally Posted by Brewster Buffalo View Post
For us Brits there is a U-Boat here...https://www.visitliverpool.com/thing...-story-p229341
I think the important role that US subs played in isolating and defeating Japan doesn't receive the attention it deserves.
I've read several books about the US subs against Japan (my dad served in the Army Infantry in the Pacific so I have a natural interest in the Pacific part of WW II). The US subs were not particularly effective in 1942 - their tactics were still in development, and the torpedo's basically sucked. By early '43 they'd worked out most of the kinks, and the US subs had a field day against Japanese shipping (it's interesting to read that apparently oil tankers were considered bigger prizes than most of the naval ships aside from the aircraft carriers).
However by the end of 1944/early 1945, they had been so successful at sinking most of the available Japanese shipping, they were quite literally running out of targets.
Kiltrash, I toured the Bowfin first - I didn't find it at all spacious (I remember thinking I'd want to be an officer so I didn't need to share a bunk, but even the captain's quarters were cramped). That's why I was so shocked at the size of the U Boat in Chicago when I toured it - it was tiny!
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 11:12
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I first saw the original Das Boot as a television mini series on BBC2. According to Wiki this comprised six fifty minute episodes and was in 1985. The original 149 minute film had been released in 1981 but I hadn't been aware of it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Das_Boot

I thought it refreshing and brilliant.

I now have the Blu ray version and on watching it again, whilst still enjoyable and thought provoking, I agree with the author of the original book when he criticises 'the hysterical overacting of the cast'. I would say 'some of the cast'.

I can see no reason to remake it as it was already technically superb. Naval films that could be remade with good use of CGI could cover the sinking of the Bismarck or Scharnhorst, or even the battle of Jutland. There is already excellent (but not perfect) coverage of the sinking of the Blucher in the invasion of Norway:


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Old 12th Jun 2020, 11:16
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
I've read several books about the US subs against Japan (my dad served in the Army Infantry in the Pacific so I have a natural interest in the Pacific part of WW II). The US subs were not particularly effective in 1942 - their tactics were still in development, and the torpedo's basically sucked. By early '43 they'd worked out most of the kinks, and the US subs had a field day against Japanese shipping (it's interesting to read that apparently oil tankers were considered bigger prizes than most of the naval ships aside from the aircraft carriers).
However by the end of 1944/early 1945, they had been so successful at sinking most of the available Japanese shipping, they were quite literally running out of targets.
Kiltrash, I toured the Bowfin first - I didn't find it at all spacious (I remember thinking I'd want to be an officer so I didn't need to share a bunk, but even the captain's quarters were cramped). That's why I was so shocked at the size of the U Boat in Chicago when I toured it - it was tiny!
The classic book on RN submarine warfare is Edward Young's One of Our Submarines. Later in the book he enters the Japanese war and as you say, at this time they were feeding on scraps.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 12:49
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Really enjoying this series even if the onshore subplot is a bit lame and superfluous. My own little random U-Boat story was when I used to go back to Austria as a child to see our extended family, we always stayed at a family friends house, a lovely old clockmaker who was a former U-Boat sailor in the war.

Being a keen young historian I always used to ask him about his time on U-Boats and he’d always fob me off with a story about capturing a shot down Mustang pilot when he was home on leave. Once I asked him again (well I was 8!) when he was having a beer with his old veteran buddies and they all laughed loudly at my suggestion that he finally tells a few stories about his time on U-Boats.

So he died only a few years back and my dad told me that our friend was actually in the Waffen SS, not the U-Boat service. Kind of makes sense now.....
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 14:06
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Originally Posted by Hipper View Post
I first saw the original Das Boot as a television mini series on BBC2. According to Wiki this comprised six fifty minute episodes and was in 1985. The original 149 minute film had been released in 1981 but I hadn't been aware of it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Das_Boot

I thought it refreshing and brilliant.

I now have the Blu ray version and on watching it again, whilst still enjoyable and thought provoking, I agree with the author of the original book when he criticises 'the hysterical overacting of the cast'. I would say 'some of the cast'.

I can see no reason to remake it as it was already technically superb. Naval films that could be remade with good use of CGI could cover the sinking of the Bismarck or Scharnhorst, or even the battle of Jutland. There is already excellent (but not perfect) coverage of the sinking of the Blucher in the invasion of Norway:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ79i11JSnU
There have been a number of 'cuts' ranging from 149/ 300 minutes. Difficult to say which is the best.
I am sure I read somewhere or heard on a Directors cut that the crew had a pretty wild time of it whilst filming in France.
'Lt Werner' or somebody, riding a motorbike through a bar window!
Maybe I am getting old, but the 1981 original still looks as fresh as it did when first released.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 15:18
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My older brother was a US Navy submariner at the end of WWII. He was subsequently assigned to the US Naval base in Key West Florida where captured German U-boats were being examined and tested for capability. He never talked about what was learned from the examinations and testings. I suppose it was classified information. What he did say was that every time he left port on one of the U-boats he always thought he may not return. He said he never had this concern while serving on the US Navy subs...
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