Improbable maybe but it did happen. Dick O'Kane was nearly killed by his own fish and many other boats that "disappeared" are thought to have been hit by their own straight runners (who didn't run straight).
That indicates malfunction then. I would still assume that even so the ratio was very low....so still not impossible, but improbable.
The Tang (Dick O'Kane's boat) and the Tullibee were both sunk from a circular torpedo run. The Taotog and the Whale both had torpedo malfunctions causing a circular run, but both boats were able to "go deep" to escape.
Yes, I'm not saying it couldn't happen. I say improbable because of the fact that you cite 4 instances of circular runs out of how many thousands of torpedoes fired?
I say improbable because there is such a low chance of it happening. It can happen, and it if happens to you it is 100% bad, but in the overall picture you can reliably fire a straight running torpedo 99%+ of the time and it will run straight...or at least not in a complete circle.
Agreed...it was not a common occurance. However, it happen enough that the Sub Captains were aware of the possibilities of it happening and were concerned about it. As mentioned before, it was suspected that more subs were lost because of circular runs then those mentioned, but there wasn't any proof.
In the case of the Tang, they were running on the surface, in the middle of a night action. They were in shallow water (180 feet I believe) and the torpedo was the last torpedo they had. They had previously damaged a tanker and were finishing it off using their last 2 torpedos so that they could go home. If they hadn't been in shallow water....in sight of shore, it is doubtful that the crew that escaped the Tang would have been picked up by the Japanese. In which case, it would have never been know what sunk the Tang.
In the case of the Tullibee, there was 1 survivor that was thrown from the bridge by the explosion. He was picked up by the Japanese and was able confirm how the Tullibee sunk.
< Message edited by Charbroiled -- 7/22/2009 4:40:21 PM >
"When I said I would run, I meant 'away' ". - Orange