Some of us here got accustomed to evading torps by pretty much facing a baptism of fire, myself included, after taking enough torps and being sunk I quickly began to re-use tricks from BSP (Battlestations pacific & Midway)
First of all, what is a torpedo?
A torpedo, is a way of generally insane destructive power that can be launched from a ship, in most cases destroyers or cruisers (as you wont have subs in this game to worry about.) and aircraft launched from carriers, these craft are known as TBF's.
The history (Credits to wiki)
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it.
Historically, it was called an automotive, automobile, locomotive or fish torpedo; colloquially called a fish. The term torpedo was originally employed for a variety of devices, most of which would today be called mines. From about 1900, torpedo has been used strictly to designate an underwater self-propelled weapon. The original torpedo is a kind of fish: an electric ray. While the battleship had evolved primarily around engagements between armoured ships with large-caliber guns, the torpedo allowed torpedo boats and other lighter surface ships, submersibles, even ordinary fishing boats or frogmen, and later, aircraft, to destroy large armoured ships without the need of large guns, though sometimes at the risk of being hit by longer-range shellfire.
Today's torpedoes can be divided into lightweight and heavyweight classes; and into straight-running, autonomous homers, and wire-guided. They can be launched from a variety of platforms.
Although the term "torpedo" was not coined until 1800, the early submarine Turtle attacked using an explosive very similar in intent and function. Turtle dived under a British vessel to attach a bomb by means of an auger. The bomb was to be detonated by a timed fuse, probably a type of clockwork mechanism. In its only recorded attack, Turtle failed to attach its charge to the hull of HMS Eagle.
The first usage of the term torpedo to refer to a naval explosive was by American inventor Robert Fulton. In 1800, Fulton launched his submarine, Nautilus, and demonstrated its method of attack using a floating explosive charge Fulton called a torpedo. The submarine would tow the torpedo, submerging beneath an enemy vessel and dragging the torpedo into contact with it. Fulton successfully destroyed demonstration targets in both France and Britain, but neither government was interested in purchasing the vessel and Fulton's experiments ceased in 1805.
During the American Civil War, the term torpedo was used for what is today called a contact mine, floating on or below the water surface using an air-filled demijohn or similar flotation device. (As self-propelled torpedoes were developed the tethered variety became known as stationary torpedoes and later mines.) Several types of naval "torpedo" were developed and deployed, most often by the Confederates, who faced a severe disadvantage in more traditional warfare methods.
In this period, "torpedoes" floated freely on the surface or were bottom-moored just below the surface. They were detonated when struck by a ship, or after a set time, but were unreliable. These could be as much a danger to Confederate as to Union shipping, and were sometimes marked with flags that could be removed if Union attack was deemed imminent. Rivers mined with Confederate torpedoes were often cleared by Unionists placing captured Confederate soldiers with knowledge of the torpedoes' location in small boats ahead of the main fleet.
"Torpedoes" (mines) could also be detonated electrically by an operator on shore (as demonstrated also by Fulton), so friendly vessels or low-value enemy vessels could be ignored while waiting for the capital ships to sail over them. However, the Confederacy was plagued by a chronic shortage of materials including platinum and copper wire and acid for batteries, and the wires had a tendency to break. Electricity was a new technology, and the limitations of direct current for effective distance was poorly understood, so failures were also possible because of the decrease in voltage when the torpedoes were too far from the batteries. Former United States Navy Commander Matthew Maury, who served as a commander in the Confederate Navy, worked on the development of an underwater electrical mine.
On 12 December 1862, while clearing mines from the river preparatory to the attack on Haines Bluff, Mississippi, USS Cairo struck a torpedo detonated by volunteers hidden behind the river bank and sank in 12 minutes; there were no casualties. Cairo became the first armored warship sunk by an electrically detonated mine. It was raised in 1964, reconstructed, and is currently on display at the Vicksburg National Military Park.
Union Navy Rear Admiral David Farragut encountered tethered and floating contact mines in 1864 at the American Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. After his leading ironclad, USS Tecumseh, was sunk by a tethered contact mine (torpedo), his vessels halted, afraid of hitting additional torpedoes. Inspiring his men to push forward, Farragut famously ordered, as usually paraphrased, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"
CSS David with spar torpedo
The first torpedo designed to attack a specific target was the spar torpedo, an explosive device mounted at the end of a spar up to 30 feet (9.1 m) long projecting forward underwater from the bow of the attacking vessel. When driven up against the enemy and detonated, a hole would be caused below the water line. Spar torpedoes were employed by the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley (and were successful in sinking the USS Housatonic), as well as by David-class torpedo boats, among others. However, these torpedoes were apt to cause as much harm to their users as to their targets.
During the US Civil War, the term "torpedo" was also used to refer to various types of bombs and boobytraps. Confederate General Gabriel J. Rains deployed "sub-terra shells" or "land torpedoes", artillery shells with pressure fuses buried in the road by retreating Confederate forces to delay their pursuers. These were the forerunners of modern land mines. Union generals publicly deplored this conduct.
Confederate secret agent John Maxwell used a clockwork mechanism to detonate a large "horological torpedo" (time bomb) on August 9, 1864. The bomb was hidden in a box marked "candles" and placed aboard a barge containing Union ammunition (20,000–30,000 artillery shells and 75,000 small arms rounds) moored at City Point, Virginia, on the James River. The explosion caused more than US$2 million in damage and killed at least 43 people.
The coal torpedo was a bomb shaped like a lump of coal, to be hidden in coal piles used for fueling Union naval vessels. The bomb would be shoveled into the firebox along with the real coal, causing a Boiler explosion. Although the North referred to the device as the coal torpedo in newspaper articles, the Confederates referred to it as a "coal shell".
Nordenfelt-class Ottoman submarine Abdülhamid (1886) was the first submarine in history to fire a torpedo while submerged.
From the 1870s onwards, the word torpedo was increasingly used only to describe self-propelled projectiles that traveled under or on water. By the turn of the 20th century, the term no longer included mines and booby-traps as the navies of the world added submarines, torpedo boats and torpedo boat destroyers to their fleets.
One of the torpedoes used by Abdülhamid and Abdulmecit.
The first working prototype of the modern self-propelled torpedo was created by a commission placed by Giovanni Luppis (Croatian: Ivan Lupis), an Austrian naval officer from Fiume (now called Rijeka), a port city of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (modern Croatia), and Robert Whitehead, an English engineer who was the manager of a town factory. In 1864, Luppis presented Whitehead with the plans of the salvacoste (coastsaver), a floating weapon driven by ropes from the land, and made a contract with him in order to perfect the invention.
Whitehead was unable to improve the machine substantially, since the clockwork motor, attached ropes, and surface attack mode all contributed to a slow and cumbersome weapon. However, he kept considering the problem after the contract had finished, and eventually developed a tubular device, designed to run underwater on its own, and powered by compressed air. The result was a submarine weapon, the Minenschiff (mine ship), the first self-propelled torpedo, officially presented to the Austrian Imperial Naval commission on December 21, 1866.
Maintaining proper depth was a major problem in the early days but Whitehead introduced his "secret" in 1868 which overcame this. It was a mechanism consisting of a hydrostatic valve and pendulum that caused the torpedo's hydroplanes to be adjusted so as to maintain a preset depth.
Robert Whitehead (right) with a battered test torpedo, Rijeka c.1875
After the Austrian government decided to invest in the invention, Whitehead started the first torpedo factory in Fiume. In 1870, he improved the devices to travel up to approximately 1,000 yd (910 m) at a speed of up to 6 kn (11 km/h), and by 1881 the factory was exporting torpedoes to ten other countries. The torpedo was powered by compressed air and had an explosive charge of gun-cotton. Whitehead went on to develop more efficient devices, demonstrating torpedoes capable of 18 kn (33 km/h) in 1876, 24 kn (44 km/h) in 1886, and, finally, 30 kn (56 km/h) in 1890. Royal Navy representatives visited Fiume for a demonstration in late 1869, and in 1870 a batch of torpedoes was ordered. In 1871, the British Admiralty paid Whitehead £15,000 for certain of his developments and production started at the Royal Laboratories in Woolwich the following year. In 1893, RN torpedo production was transferred to the Royal Gun Factory. The British later established a Torpedo Experimental Establishment at HMS Vernon and a production facility at the Royal Naval Torpedo Factory, Greenock in 1910. These are now closed.
Whitehead opened a new factory near Portland Harbour, England in 1890, which continued making torpedoes until the end of the Second World War. Because orders from the RN were not as large as expected, torpedoes were mostly exported. A series of devices was produced at Fiume, with diameters from 14 in (36 cm) upward. The largest Whiteheadtorpedo was 18 in (46 cm) in diameter and 19 ft (5.8 m) long, made of polished steel or phosphor-bronze, with a 200-pound (91 kg) gun-cotton warhead. It was propelled by a three-cylinder Brotherhood engine, using compressed air at around 1,300 psi (9.0 MPa) and driving two propellers, and was designed to self-regulate its course and depth as far as possible. By 1881, nearly 1500 torpedoes had been produced. Whitehead also opened a factory at St Tropez in 1890 which exported torpedoes to Brazil, Holland, Turkey and Greece. The United States Navy started using the Whitehead torpedo in 1892 after an American company, E.W. Bliss, secured manufacturing rights.
Torpedo boat attack on the Chilean battery ship Cochrane during the 1891 Chilean Civil War
Whitehead had faced competition from the American Lieutenant Commander John A. Howell, whose own design, driven by flywheel, was simpler and cheaper. It was produced from 1885 to 1895, and it ran straight, leaving no wake. A Torpedo Test Station had been set up in Rhode Island in 1870, and an automobile torpedo produced in 1871 was unsuccessful. The Lay torpedoes were also largely unsuccessful as were various privately invented types. The Howell torpedo was the only USN model until Whitehead torpedoes produced by Bliss and Williams (later E. W. Bliss Company) entered service in 1894. Five varieties were produced, all 18 in (46 cm) diameter. An improved version, the Bliss-Leavitt, with a turbine engine was later produced, some with a larger diameter. Various versions were used in both World War I and World War II.
Whitehead purchased rights to the gyroscope of Ludwig Obry in 1888 but it was not sufficiently accurate, so in 1890 he purchased a better design (ironically from Howell) to improve control of his designs, which came to be called the "Devil's Device". The firm of L. Schwartzkopff in Germany also produced torpedoes and exported them to Russia, Japan and Spain. In 1885, Britain ordered a batch of 50 as torpedo production at home and at Fiume could not meet demand.
On 16 January 1878, the Turkish steamer Intibah became the first vessel to be sunk by self-propelled torpedoes, launched from torpedo boats operating from the tender Velikiy Knyaz Konstantin under the command of Stepan Osipovich Makarov during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. In another early use of the torpedo, Chilean frigate Blanco Encalada was sunk on April 23, 1891 by a torpedo from the gunboat Almirante Lynch, during the 1891 Chilean Civil War. The Chinese turret ship Dingyuan was purportedly hit and disabled by a torpedo after numerous attacks by Japanese torpedo boats during the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894. At this time torpedo attacks were still very close range and very dangerous to the attackers.
By this time the torpedo boat, the first of which had been built at the shipyards of Sir John Thornycroft in 1877, had gained recognition for its effectiveness, and the first torpedo boat destroyers (later simply destroyers) were built to counter it. Torpedoes were also used to equip gunboats of around 1,000 tons, these becoming torpedo gunboats.
Originally, torpedoes were designed to be straight running, though this was not always the case in practice. Around 1897, Nikola Tesla patented a remote controlled boat and later demonstrated the feasibility of radio-guided torpedoes to the United States military.
Twentieth century and the Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905
Several western sources reported that the Qing dynasty Imperial Chinese military under the direction of Li Hongzhang acquired "Electric torpedoes", which were deployed in numerous waterways along with fortresses and numerous other modern military weapons acquired by China. At the Tientsin Arsenal in 1876, the Chinese developed the capacity to manufacture these "electric torpedoes" on their own. A form of Chinese art, the Nianhua, depict such torpedoes being used against Russian ships during the Boxer Rebellion, whether they were actually used in battle against them was undocumented and unknown.
The Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905) was the first great war of the 20th century. It was the first practical and mass deployment of man's newly built steel battleships, cruisers, fledgling destroyers and submarines, and the torpedo boat. During the course of the war the Imperial Russian and Imperial Japanese navies would launch nearly 300 torpedoes at each other, all of them of the "self propelled automotive" type. The deployment of these new underwater weapons resulted in only 1 battleship, but 2 armored cruisers and 2 destroyers being sunk in action; with the remainder of the 80 some odd warships being sunk by the more conventional methods of gunfire, mines, and scuttling.
On 27 May 1905, during the battle of Tsushima, Admiral Rozhestvensky's flagship, the battleship Knyaz Suvorov, had been gunned to a wreck by Admiral Togo's 12 inch gunned battleline. With the Russians sunk and scattering, Togo prepared for pursuit, and while doing so ordered his torpedo boat destroyers (TBDs) (mostly referred to as just destroyers in most written accounts) to finish off the Russian battleship. The Knyaz Suvorov was set upon by 17 torpedo firing warships, 10 of which were TBDs and 4 torpedo boats. 21 torpedoes were launched at the pre-dreadnought, and 3 struck home, one fired from the destroyer Murasame and two from torpedo boats #72 and #75. The flagship slipped under the waves shortly thereafter, taking over 900 men with her to the bottom.
In 1915, Admiral Bradley A. Fiske imagined an aerial torpedo attack would be carried out close to the water and at night.
The end of the war fuelled new theories, and the idea of dropping lightweight torpedoes from aircraft was conceived in the early 1910s by Bradley A. Fiske, an officer in the United States Navy. Awarded a patent in 1912, Fiske worked out the mechanics of carrying and releasing the aerial torpedo from a bomber, and defined tactics that included a night-time approach so that the target ship would be less able to defend itself. Fiske determined that the notional torpedo bomber should descend rapidly in a sharp spiral to evade enemy guns, then when about 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 m) above the water the aircraft would straighten its flight long enough to line up with the torpedo's intended path. The aircraft would release the torpedo at a distance of 1,500 to 2,000 yards (1,400 to 1,800 m) from the target. Fiske reported in 1915 that, using this method, enemy fleets could be attacked within their own harbors if there were enough room for the torpedo track.
The first recorded launch of a self-propelled torpedo in battle by a submarine was on Dec. 9, 1912 during the Balkan Wars. The Greek submarine Delfin (ΔΕΛΦΙΝ) launched a torpedo against the Turkish cruiser “Mezdiye”. According to the archives, the attack was unsuccessful.
World War I
Torpedoes were widely used in the First World War, both against shipping and against submarines. Germany and its allies disrupted the supply lines to Britain largely by use of submarine torpedoes (though submarines also extensively used guns). Britain and its allies also used torpedoes throughout the war. U-boats themselves were often targeted, twenty being sunk by torpedo. Two Royal Italian Navy torpedo boats scored a success against an Austrian-Hungarian squadron, sinking the battleship Szent István with two torpedoes.
Initially the Japanese Navy purchased Whitehead or Schwartzkopf torpedoes but by 1917 they were conducting experiments with pure oxygen instead of compressed air. Because of explosions they abandoned the experiments but resumed them in 1926 and by 1933 had a working torpedo. They also used conventional wet-heater torpedoes.
World War II
In the inter-war years, tight budgets caused nearly all navies to skimp on testing their torpedoes. As a result, only the Japanese had fully tested torpedoes (in particular the Type 93, nicknamed Long Lance postwar by historian Samuel E. Morison) at the start of World War II. The lack of reliability caused major problems for the American Submarine Force in the early years of the American involvement in World War II, primarily in the Pacific Theater.
All classes of ship, including submarines, and aircraft were armed with torpedoes.[clarification needed] Naval strategy at the time was to use torpedoes, launched from submarines or warships, against enemy warships in a fleet action on the high seas. Targeting unarmed enemy merchant shipping was prohibited by rules of war. (In the event, merchantmen were armed and acted as de facto naval auxiliaries, rendering the distinction irrelevant.) There was concern torpedoes would be ineffective against warships' heavy armor; an answer to this was to detonate torpedoes underneath a ship, badly damaging its keel and the other structural members in the hull, commonly called "breaking its back". This was demonstrated by magnetic influence mines in World War I. The torpedo would be set to run at a depth just beneath the ship, relying on a magnetic exploder to activate at the appropriate time.
The Naval Torpedo Station in Alexandria, Virginia was one of three United States Navy factories to manufacture torpedoes during World War II.
Germany, Britain and the U.S. independently devised ways to do this; German and American torpedoes, however, suffered problems with their depth-keeping mechanisms, coupled with faults in magnetic pistols shared by all designs. Inadequate testing had failed to reveal the effect of the Earth's magnetic field on ships and exploder mechanisms, which resulted in premature detonation. The Kriegsmarine and Royal Navy promptly identified and eliminated the problems. In the United States Navy, there was an extended wrangle over the problems plaguing the Mark 14 torpedo (and its Mark 6 exploder). Cursory trials had allowed bad designs to enter service. Both the Navy Bureau of Ordnance and the United States Congress were too busy protecting their own interests to correct the errors, and fully functioning torpedoes only became available to the USN 21 months into the Pacific War.
Loading torpedoes into a Vickers Wellington medium bomber, May 1942
British submarines used torpedoes to interdict the Axis supply shipping to North Africa, while Fleet Air Arm Swordfish sank three Italian battleships at Taranto by torpedo and (after a mistaken, but abortive, attack on Sheffield) scored one crucial hit in the hunt for the German battleship Bismarck. Large tonnages of merchant shipping were sunk by submarines with torpedoes in both the Battle of the Atlantic and the Pacific War.
Torpedo boats, such as MTBs, PT boats, or S-boats, enabled relatively small but fast craft to carry enough firepower, in theory, to destroy a larger ship, though this rarely occurred in practice. The largest warship sunk by torpedoes from small craft in WW2 was the British cruiser Manchester, sunk by Italian MAS boats on the night of 12/13 August 1942 during Operation Pedestal. Destroyers of all navies were also armed with torpedoes to attack larger ships. In the Battle off Samar, destroyer torpedoes from the escorts of American task force "Taffy 3" showed effectiveness at defeating armor. Damage and confusion caused by torpedo attacks were instrumental in beating back a superior Japanese force of battleships and cruisers. In the Battle of the North Cape in December 1943, torpedo hits from British destroyers Savage and Saumarez slowed German battlecruiser Scharnhorst enough British battleship Duke of York to catch and sink her, and in May 1945 the British 26th Destroyer Flotilla (coincidentally led by Saumarez again) ambushed and sank Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro.
so thats the history, Part two will go onto how to successfully evade these shiny little suckers with a big punch,