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National Archives #80-G-284708.
Cropped by author.
||22.4" by 13'5"
56.9cm by 4.089m
|Range||6300 yards (5760m) at 33.5 knots
|Warhead||600 lbs Torpex
262 kg Torpex
|Propulsion||Alcohol-air two-stage impulse turbine|
||17,000 during the war
The Mark 13 was the standard aircraft torpedo throughout the war. It was developed in 1936 and entered service two years later. Compared with the aircraft torpedoes of other powers, such as the Japanese Type 91, the Mark 13 was short, fat, slow, and long-ranged. It was also initially highly unreliable, requiring a drop at 50 feet (15m) at 110 knots and still often malfunctioning.
Modifications to the air tails and the addition of nose drag rings
allowed high speed drops from 1000 feet (300m) by February 1944 and
from 2400 feet (730m) and 410 knots by the end of the war. The nose drag
ring slowed the fall of the torpedo, while the air tail prevented the
torpedo from oscillating as it fell, which could cause the torpedo to
hit the water at an unfavorable angle, damaging the torpedo or causing
it to roll and be thrown off course. These modifications reduced the range to 4000 yards, which mattered little in typical tactical settings.
The Mark 13 began to replace the Mark
8 on PT boats in
early 1944. Since the Mark 13 could be launched by simply rolling it
over the side of the boat, the boats were able to replace their heavy
torpedo tubes with enhanced machine gun and cannon armament.
Wildenberg and Polmar (2010)
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