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Nukelavee45

Can torpedo impacts change ship courses?

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I'm not asking this in terms of the game mechanics, just in a "Hmmm, I wonder?" kinda way.  My understanding of basic physics tells me it's possible -  if you apply sufficient force to an object, it will move. 

A torpedo warhead, as we know, applies a huge amount of force when it detonates - on the other hand, even small ships are pretty massive.  I realize the amount of force any torp applies is affected by many factors like distance from the hull, direction, etc.  Plus, the mass of the water on the other side will resist any push on a give vector... 

I imagine those factors are also involved in why torped ships get their bow snapped off or their keels broken (plus, the rigidness/strength of the ships frames, etc), but...

Do you think it's possible,like, was it ever reported, that a ship could be turned by a torp exploding close enough without breaking it in two?

 

Just an odd Monday morning question.

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If not talking about in-game mechanics, I think it is possible to change course with a torpedo. The detonation force caused by the explosion of the torp will affect the course of a ship slightly (around 10 degree port or starboard or higher depending on the strength of the explosive force). Also depending on the point of contact as well. If the torpedo strucks the center of the ship there will be no affect, so the torpedo must hit the end or front of the ship in order for this to happen. Tho it will be a small and the ship will return back to its course. Also this will apply to light and not to heavy ships.

BUT either way, the ship will be heavily dmged if not destroyed before this happens.

Edited by Akashi_Nyan

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It would also depend on the size of the ship.

A large ship would not move much, while a smaller ship would move more.

Figuring this out would require some math.

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Largely only in the Z-dimension.

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6 minutes ago, DrHolmes52 said:

It would also depend on the size of the ship.

A large ship would not move much, while a smaller ship would move more.

Figuring this out would require some math.

Far more math than I feel like trying to figure out. heh

 

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I actually think it would be due to other reasons if at all. Given how the ship would start flooding, it would develop a list to the side of the hit and possibly be affected in her course by that by some degree.

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Newton's laws of mechanics say yes, it is after all an outside force acting on an object that is - on the Y axis at least - at rest. The rest is a function of the ship's structural integrity post impact, the explosive force of the torpedo, the location of impact and the mass of the ship.

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I have seen lots of footage of torpedoes causing a ship to stop sailing horizontally and start sailing vertically. Does that count?

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From a reality position, unlikely. Most torpedoes dont actually hit a ship, they detonate under it. In the case of deep draft targets like a BB, CV, or heavily loaded cargo vessel it would take a massive side detonation on the bow or rear qtr to move even a degree.

 What "can" happen is a detonation changing rudder position or damaging a rudder. You can also have massive hull damage creating enough drag to cause a change in course.

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1 minute ago, Hatework said:

I have seen lots of footage of torpedoes causing a ship to stop sailing horizontally and start sailing vertically. Does that count?

I think that should count.

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2 minutes ago, Ares1967 said:

From a reality position, unlikely. Most torpedoes dont actually hit a ship, they detonate under it.

Modern torpedoes, yes. WWII era and before torpedoes, not so much - they work on impact. Proximity fuses only became commonplace after WWII, for the most part.

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Not a mathematician or expert by any stretch,,, but a torpedo is highly unlikely to change the course of a ship when you take in all the factors.

How much energy does it take to move a ship 'forward' via the path of least resistance?  Nimitz Class CV - 190 MW engines  Spruance DD - 60 MW engines.

How much energy in a typical torpedo?  For sake of argument, lets say 1000lbs of TNT - which equals 1.89 Mega Jouels of energy - or approximately 527 Kwh

There are thousands of variables at play.  Mass of ship, angle at which torpedo strikes the hull, speed of ship at time of impact, point of impact (fwd or aft) etc.

So just for sake of argument lets look at HOW much energy a torpedo could place against a ship at any one point at the moment of impact and see how that compares to how much energy it takes to move the ship normally.

First - when a torpedo detonates it will encounter the following:  1. Loss of energy due to absorption by the ship's structure. (think crumple zone of a car.  2. Loss of energy not directed into the vector point of the torpedo.  3. Resistance of the ship to movement due to size and water.

For sake of argument I'm throwing these out there.

1. Loss of energy due absorption by the ship - 20% (the mass of the ships bulkheads, equipment )

2. Loss of energy to surrounding non vector environment - 20% (this is probably low, but whatever)

3. Loss of energy due to ships resistance to movement - 40% (note, when calculating power requirements for a ship to move forward via the path of least resistance of a hydrodynamic hull is generally 20%.  Since trying to do this 90 degrees perpendicular to this vector I'm doubling this value.)

So based on these very rudimentary values, assumptions and probably math errors on my part, what is the amount of energy 'left' from the torpedo detonation to move the ship off course.  ~20% of energy released from the warhead.  ~100kw of energy

~100Kw of energy - or 0.05% of a Nimitz CV power plant  and 0.175% of a Spruance power plant.    Is this enough to force a ship, going thru the water to SLIDE sideways through the water a tiny bit altering the direction? 

Personal opinion:

- Slow moving ship - no way

- Fast ship struck at the bow - CV - no.  DD - slight chance

- Fast ship struck astern or amidship - no way (the entire ship acts as a rudder with the bow being the major force to overcome.  )

Again, my opinion,,, probably major errors along the way.  Very simplistic.

 

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1 minute ago, Lert said:

Modern torpedoes, yes. WWII era and before torpedoes, not so much - they work on impact. Proximity fuses only became commonplace after WWII, for the most part.

Prox. fuses were very common before WW2. USN torps had magnetic detonators in addition to contact triggers. USN doctrine was to set torp running depth under estimated keel depth. Mag. trigger design was such that the torp wouldn't detonate until it was under the ship.

 One of the reasons USN took so long to officially recognize its torp problems was due to having faulty contact triggers as well as problems with depth control. Since so many torps would be duds when set for a surface run and flat misses when set for a deep run, BuOrd decided it was obviously an aiming issue.

 Germany had it's own early war torp issues involving both contact and magnetic triggers.

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1 hour ago, Nukelavee45 said:

I'm not asking this in terms of the game mechanics, just in a "Hmmm, I wonder?" kinda way.  My understanding of basic physics tells me it's possible -  if you apply sufficient force to an object, it will move. 

A torpedo warhead, as we know, applies a huge amount of force when it detonates - on the other hand, even small ships are pretty massive.  I realize the amount of force any torp applies is affected by many factors like distance from the hull, direction, etc.  Plus, the mass of the water on the other side will resist any push on a give vector... 

I imagine those factors are also involved in why torped ships get their bow snapped off or their keels broken (plus, the rigidness/strength of the ships frames, etc), but...

Do you think it's possible,like, was it ever reported, that a ship could be turned by a torp exploding close enough without breaking it in two?

 

Just an odd Monday morning question.

Torpedoes can and do effect the course of a ship, even large ones. The explosive force of the detonation doesn't just effect the ship but also displaces the water around it.

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In WoWS such force of a torpedo isn't really rendered.  However, it definitely can alter the course of a ship (given the ship isn't obliterated completely by the torpedo).

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3 minutes ago, SeaborneSumo said:

Not a mathematician or expert by any stretch,,, but a torpedo is highly unlikely to change the course of a ship when you take in all the factors.

How much energy does it take to move a ship 'forward' via the path of least resistance?  Nimitz Class CV - 190 MW engines  Spruance DD - 60 MW engines.

How much energy in a typical torpedo?  For sake of argument, lets say 1000lbs of TNT - which equals 1.89 Mega Jouels of energy - or approximately 527 Kwh

There are thousands of variables at play.  Mass of ship, angle at which torpedo strikes the hull, speed of ship at time of impact, point of impact (fwd or aft) etc.

So just for sake of argument lets look at HOW much energy a torpedo could place against a ship at any one point at the moment of impact and see how that compares to how much energy it takes to move the ship normally.

First - when a torpedo detonates it will encounter the following:  1. Loss of energy due to absorption by the ship's structure. (think crumple zone of a car.  2. Loss of energy not directed into the vector point of the torpedo.  3. Resistance of the ship to movement due to size and water.

For sake of argument I'm throwing these out there.

1. Loss of energy due absorption by the ship - 20% (the mass of the ships bulkheads, equipment )

2. Loss of energy to surrounding non vector environment - 20% (this is probably low, but whatever)

3. Loss of energy due to ships resistance to movement - 40% (note, when calculating power requirements for a ship to move forward via the path of least resistance of a hydrodynamic hull is generally 20%.  Since trying to do this 90 degrees perpendicular to this vector I'm doubling this value.)

So based on these very rudimentary values, assumptions and probably math errors on my part, what is the amount of energy 'left' from the torpedo detonation to move the ship off course.  ~20% of energy released from the warhead.  ~100kw of energy

~100Kw of energy - or 0.05% of a Nimitz CV power plant  and 0.175% of a Spruance power plant.    Is this enough to force a ship, going thru the water to SLIDE sideways through the water a tiny bit altering the direction? 

Personal opinion:

- Slow moving ship - no way

- Fast ship struck at the bow - CV - no.  DD - slight chance

- Fast ship struck astern or amidship - no way (the entire ship acts as a rudder with the bow being the major force to overcome.  )

Again, my opinion,,, probably major errors along the way.  Very simplistic.

 

I'm fine with simplistic -and you managed to give, even with really rough numbers, me an idea of how small an effect it would likely be.  Personally, I think you would lose more energy to factor #2, the no vector environment.  Assuming the explosion expands in a sphere, it seems to me at least half the energy is "going away from" the hull.  There might be some reflected back from the water, but I'm honestly just guessing that bit.

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Conservation of momentum/energy says yes, but the ship's direction is going to be more affected by the damage than the force of impact or explosion.

Edited by Flashtirade

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i would say yes to the OP's comment, as when the torp detonates the ships goes down, so that is your change in direction

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Another point to ponder is this.  When the rudders of a ship are turned,,, for a CV it will take a hundred yards or more before the ship actually begins to turn.  For the DDs and subs I was I was on, 50 to 100 yards.   And these devices were 'designed' to turn the ship as quickly as possible.   Edit: Depending on ships speed of course.   Above examples would like flank speed.

I really have a hard time believing the small amount of energy from a torpedo detonation, which lasts less than a second, would change a ships direction. 

Edited by SeaborneSumo

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53 minutes ago, Lert said:

Newton's laws of mechanics say yes, it is after all an outside force acting on an object that is - on the Y axis at least - at rest. The rest is a function of the ship's structural integrity post impact, the explosive force of the torpedo, the location of impact and the mass of the ship.

If a Perry-class Frigate eats one of those 650mm carrier-killer torps, it's probably going to change course radically, since it'll probably break her in half, literally.

 

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In theory, a torpedo would alter the course of a ship.  How much is the question.  To take it to basic physics, any force applied will cause some deflection or redirection.  Now, is the force enough to cause a noticeable redirection?  The explosion is short duration, so the change in direction would have to alter the orientation of the ship itself because of the slow speed of the ship.  Does a torpedo explosion have enough energy to physically move a ship in the water.  The force is applied so quickly that the ship structure actually breaks.  This would allow some of the energy to be deflected away from the rotation of the entire vessel.  The explosion would be moving away from the center of a sphere, pushing into the hull at an angle perpendicular to the hull at 90 degrees, but also pushing at various angles forward and back, as well as up and down.  I also think of the explosion as a knife edge.  The explosion is a relatively small area, so it is designed to cut through at the point of contact rather than spread the energy out over a large area.  This allows a smaller amount of impulse energy to do much greater damage at the point of impact.  If the point of impact is sufficiently small, it doesn't take much to break through.  A larger area takes considerably more energy, because the contact area of a sphere is 12.566 times the square of the radius.  This means that doubling the distance across the explosion zone will require 50.3 times more energy to equal the same impact value at any single point.  The ramifications of this means that it is possible to exhibit a tremendous amount of energy at any small area of the hull of a ship upon a detonation without having sufficient energy to noticeably affect the trajectory of a ship.

 

Edited by Murcc

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Simply launching the torpedo, and having it spotted SHOULD change the ship's direction (by the targeted OP). If not, then the ship will change direction in a different way. lol

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And sometimes, it will not only change the receiving ship's direction, it'll also change the color of the operator firing it.

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