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At random: The first periscope used by the United States Navy was not built for a submarine. The ironclad monitor OSAGE utilized a periscope to discover a Confederate cavalry unit taking cover behind the high banks of the Red River in Arkansas.
Human Torpedos.

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Posted 2009-11-17 12:45 PM (#32487)
Senior Crew

Posts: 168

Location: St. John's, Newfoundland.
Subject: Human Torpedos.

I’ve been watching a movie about, ‘human torpedoes,’ where two riders sit astride a modified torpedo which they then navigate into a harbor and attach a warhead to a warship. The one thing that strikes me is that all of them have the two man crew sitting bolt-upright on their steed. This must have created a lot of drag by doubling the head-on cross-sectional area while making them difficult to manoeuvre.

But they were effective. On December 21st 1941 an Italian team called, “The Sea Devils,” with three of these vessels entered Gibraltar Harbor (or Malta) and put the Battleships, HMS Valliant, HMS Elizabeth and a the tanker Segona out of action.

But did anyone come up with the idea of having the two man crew lay face down? They could have still read their compass and when needed - take her up and sit upright to, in other words, ‘up-periscope.’

By laying flat I think it would have been possible to increase the speed, range and controllability of their craft.

Did anyone try this?

Cheers, Hairball
Posted 2012-09-24 12:04 PM (#59541 - in reply to #32487)

Old Salt

Posts: 431

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Subject: RE: Human Torpedos.

A little different than what you asked about.
Posted 2012-09-25 6:08 AM (#59550 - in reply to #32487)
Master and Commander

Posts: 1517

Location: Wollongong, NSW
Subject: RE: Human Torpedos.

The Germans had some whereby the pilot pointed the torpedo at the target and then bailed out shortly before it hit - apparently the casualty rate was high. Have not yet researched them.
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