depth charges



Russian double-barreled grenade launcher with a very specific purpose. It uses unique depth charge style grenades designed for use against swimmers/combat divers. The FG-45 round seen in the top photo is the fragmentation grenade which detonates at a particular depth. The SG-45 round is a signal flare meant to mark the enemy swimmer/diver’s last location. It’s intended areas of use are aboard boats and submarines that have surfaced. (GRH)


The Ghost Ship of Kentucky

Tucked away in a small creek just a bit downstream from Cincinnati, Ohio rests a 114 year old ghost ship known as the Celt. It simply fascinates me the history that this one ship has and upon first glance of this rusted hulk you would never imagine so. Originally setting sail back in 1902 as a luxury yacht of a wealthy railroad executive, Celt was 180 feet long and powered by steam. The ship changed hands in 1917 when the US Navy started renting small, quick vessels to outmaneuver German U-boats during World War I. It was during this time that it was renamed the USS Sachem (SP-192) and was used as a coastal patrol boat after being outfitted with depth charges and machine guns. One of the most notable things about it’s life during WWI is that it was loaned to Thomas Edison while he conducted US Government funded experiments onboard in New York as head of the Naval Consulting Board.

After the end of WWI the Sachem changed owners a couple of times before landing back in the hands of the Navy for $65,000 in 1942. The Navy then changed the name to USS Phenakite (PYc-25) and used the vessel to patrol the waters off of the Florida Keys. Phenakite was used for a brief time after WWII to train soldiers to test sonar equipment before being decommissioned and returned to the previous owner in 1945. Subsequently it was sold to Circle Line of NYC and renamed Sightseer but was soon renamed Circle Line V and served as a tour boat until 1983. In 1986 a Cincinnati local named Robert Miller bought the ship for a mere $7,500 and before leaving the New York Harbor it had a cameo in Madonna’s video for ‘Papa Don’t Preach’. After traveling up the Hudson, through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi and into the Ohio River, the ship settled in a small creek next to Miller’s property in Northern Kentucky where it has rested since.


The Cuban Navy and the sinking of the U-176, World War II

During World War II the Cuban Navy did not have a large role within the Allied Forces.  Mainly the Cuban Navy performed patrols of the Caribbean for U-Boats, conducted rescue missions, and escorted merchant ships.  However, during the war Cuba would take part in one notable combat action which would result in the sinking of the German U-Boat, the only kill claimed by the Cuban military during the war.

On the 15th of May, 1943 a Cuban and Honduran merchant vessel set sail from the Cuban port of Sagua Grande while escorted by three submarine chasers.  The submarine chasers were large speedboats donated to the Cuban Navy by the United States.  While small and lightly armed, the boats were perfect for anti-submarine actions as they were very fast, so fast that they could easily chase down a submerged submarine and drop it’s cargo of depth charges on a U-Boat

Unbeknownst to the small convoy, the German submarine U-176 shadowed the fleet.  Commanded by Korvettencapitan Reiner Dierksen, the U-176 claimed 10 ships sunk throughout it’s career.  Among the victims were the Cuban merchant ships Mambi and Nickeliner, resulting in the deaths of 23 Cuban sailors.  Capt. Dierksen intended to add two more notches on his periscope and continued stalking the Allied merchant ships.

As the U-176 stalked its prey in the Caribbean, the Cuban Navy brought into play the ace up its sleeve, an American Kingfisher floatplane, a special amphibious patrol plane that could takeoff and land in water.  From water level a German U-boat could easily hide below the waves, but when viewed from a thousand feet in the air the submarine was a sitting duck.

The kingfisher patrol plane spotted the U-176 and dropped a smoke buoy on its position.  The submarine chaser CS-13, under the command of Ensign Mario Ramirez Delgado peeled off from the convoy to investigate the area.  After making hydro acoustic contact with the U-boat, which was diving to escape attack, Delgado ordered depth charges to be released.  The first two charges detonated normally, throwing up columns of white foam and spray.  The third charge struck near U-176 with an audible clang at 250 feet.  Delgado ordered a fourth depth charge fired immediately.  The fourth charge struck directly on U-176’s torpedo room, causing a massive explosion that lifted the submarine chaser’s stern into the air.  After the fatal blow the remains of the U-176 sank to the bottom of the Caribbean at a depth of 500 feet, taking all crew with her.  A large oil slick confirmed the destruction of U-176, which was conclusively verified after German naval records were captured at the end of the war.

For his part in the command of sub chaser CS-13 Ensign Delgado  received the Medal of Naval Merit with Distinctive Red (Cuba), the Medal of Congress (United States), and a promotion to the rank of Lieutenant.  During the war he charted over 15,000 miles while escorting Allied convoys through the Caribbean.

The sinking of the U-176 would be the only combat action Cuba would participate in during World War II.

enrique262  asked:

In the Pacific, why weren't Japanese submarines as effective a their American or German counterparts?

While the Japanese started WWII with some very capable submarines and crew, I believe it is their submarine warfare doctrine that ultimately limited their effectiveness. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Differences in submarine operation doctrine.

The US Navy used their submarines mainly against merchant shipping, while the Japanese primarily focused on landing hits on enemy warships.

The US Navy’s submarine force was a major factor in the destruction of Japan’s logistic support of its forces. Of all Japanese merchant ship losses, more than 54% in GRT were caused by Allied submarines. The number is 4,779,902 tons confirmed, about 9 times the tonnage of warships confirmed sunk by submarines according to William P. Gruner.

The Japanese, however, used their submarines mainly in an offensive role against warships. There were notable successes, for instance, the sinkings of USS Wasp (CV-7), USS Juneau (CL-52), and USS Indianapolis (CA-35). It should be noted that warships are harder to sink than merchant ships - warships are faster, more maneuverable, able to withstand more punishment and better defended as well. The difference in submarine doctrine is understandable, though, as targeting enemy merchant shipping takes a bit of time to show its effects, and the Japanese had very little time, as every day America’s military would grow bigger and stronger.

2. Japanese submarines were built in lesser numbers compared to their American counterparts.

By the start of the war, the Japanese had 64 submarines in operation. During the war another 126 large submarines were commissioned. The US Navy, in comparison, reached a total of 288 submarines at maximum during WWII. The fact that by late-war the Japanese were already in no position to contest the skies and seas did not help. 

3. The Japanese’s lack of ASW ships and advanced weapons.

The US Navy cranked out an impressive number of destroyer escorts and escort carriers, which proved to be capable submarine hunters. The Allies, in order to combat the German submarine threat in the west, also put a lot of effort in developing more effective anti-submarine weapons, such as the Hedgehog mortar and the FIDO homing torpedo. In contrast, the Japanese had less advanced submarine detection gear, and their primary anti-submarine weapon for most of the war was the depth charge which was not as effective.


William P. Gruner. US Pacific Submarines in WWII.
Mark E. Stille. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War.

K-class airship K-69 of Airship Patrol Squadron ZP-1 lifts off the flight deck of escort carrier USS Mindoro, Apr 28, 1950. 

The K-class blimp was a class of blimps (non-rigid airship) built by the Goodyear Aircraft Company of Akron, Ohio for the United States Navy. These blimps were powered by two Pratt & Whitney Wasp nine-cylinder radial air-cooled engines, each mounted on twin-strut outriggers, one per side of the control car that hung under the envelope.

Some airships were armed with an M2 Browning and even Depth Charges, the K-Class was used until 1959, however the USN continues to use Blimps today.

So, spoilers ahead, so don’t read if you haven’t watched Civil War yet.

I saw a lot of discussion of this moment and I’m really happy to see there are a lot of people, who understood the depth and the emotional charge of it.

I just want to make two points, which define this situation:

1. Bucky Barnes IS A VICTIM.

2. Tony Stark HAD EVERY RIGHT to go so completely mad with emotion.

People usually tend to make these points mutually exclusive, but they are not. They make this situation what it is. Because it doesn’t have a clear answer or a villain.

I agree with people, who found Black Panther smart and wise, composed. Yes. And it’s interesting how in the end Tony has the same reason to act against Bucky Barnes, as Black Panther had in the beginning of a movie. BUT IT’S NOT THE SAME.

First of all, T’challa’s father wasn’t killed by Bucky AT ALL. Black Panther overcomes his hatred and rage, seeing what happens with heroes, who are consumed by it. However, he HAS a legit person to blame for that crime, a person, who will pay for his crime, rotting in prison. It won’t bring his father back, but the killer will PAY. Moreover, let’s not forget that right after the death of his father T’challa was hellbent on killing Bucky. Without judge and jury. He had a whole movie to embrace and overcome his rage and hurt and he got closure.


It hit him so hard, because he was already in a vulnerable place. After all the events of Civil War, after the visit to prison and General’s threats, he comes to Steve and Bucky TO HELP, and then he is shown A FUCKING SECURITY FOOTAGE OF BOTH OF HIS PARENTS DYING. And not in a car crash, they are brutally murdered. Wow, gee, is there any reason for him to get emotional?

His “villain” will never pay for the death of his parents. You can say, “okay, Barnes was brainwashed by HYDRA, so HYDRA is the villain, so blame them”. It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. The Winter Soldier killed his parents, deprived him of any chance to reconcile with his father, choked his mother to death, and there is NOBODY to answer for that, because Bucky Barnes is also a victim. It’s so fucked up.

And at that moment Tony just snapped. It can also be argued that he could see Barnes as the reason the Avengers split, because really, Steve’s priority at the time was not to keep the team together, but to protect his old friend. And now this. Is Tony justified to KILL Bucky? No. Is his reaction understandable? Yes.

I would only like to add one more thing. Steve ‘I don’t like my teammates keeping secrets from me’ Rogers SHOULD have told Tony sooner. Maybe NOT WITH BUCKY PRESENT, you know. MAYBE WHEN THEY WERE STILL TEAMMATES, trusting each other. Would it have gone over peacefully? No. Tony wouldn’t just say ‘okay, so, your buddy was brainwashed, totally don’t blame him’. But it wouldn’t have been this awful mix of hurt, rage and BETRAYAL. It was such a horrible way to find out.

So, yeah, Steve, totally judging you on this one. You were really protecting just yourself and even that at the end didn’t work.

March 19, 1917 - French Battleship Danton Sunk by U-Boat

Pictured - The Danton-class battleships were an improvement over earlier French ships, but they had the misfortune of being completed just before the launch of HMS Dreadnought, which made them immediately obsolete. Although unsuccessful, their combination of archaic and modern design made them marvels to look at.

The French battleship Danton was underway to the Strait of Otranto after a refitting in Toulon when she had the misfortune of meeting German submarine U-64. She carried far more sailors than usual, as she was bringing reserves from Toulon to Corfu, where they could man other ships. Although she took a zig-zagging course to elude German subs, U-64 scored a torpedo hit on the afternoon of March 19 off Sardinia.

Danton went down in 45 minutes, with just under 300 men including her captain. Fortunatly, a nearby French destroyer arrived and picked up over 800 survivors before driving away the U-boat with depth charges.