From: San Diego (Lives in Indianapolis)
The shock wave propagating through the water near a ship hull acts just like a depth charge does on a submarine's hull. In fact, my understanding (I'm no expert) is that some modern torpedo systems rely totally on shock wave damage to a ships hull, and are designed to detonate immediately under the hull without making any contact at all.
Modern torpedoes circa 1941...that was how the magnetic fuze was supposed to work on the Mark 14 that our subs used in 1941...confidence in that particular technological "wonderment" was probably one of the reasons that the USN spent so little effort making sure that their contact fuze worked too. Thus a double whammy and the 80% dud rate.
I did not know that! I swear, I learn more about the time period from reading these forums than anywhere else.
I also wanted to add that near misses from shells worked the same way, and that sometimes near misses in naval gunnery battles were actually hits. For example, one of the main conjectures about the loss of HMS Hood is that one of Bismark's shells, which missed by 8 feet, actually traveled through the water and penetrated hood beneath her belt armor, was the fatal shell.
If I am not mistaken, Japanese shells were actually designed with this fact in mind; however, a 14, 15, 16 or 18 inch near miss need not actually penetrate the hull to do damage.
Like with bombs, if a shell detonates in close enough proximity to the hull, the explosive shock wave propagating through the water is more than enough to damage the structure of a ship, and depending on where that explosion is placed when it explodes, critical damage is possible.
The torpedo that is reported to have sunk ROKS Cheonan in 2010 was a no contact torpedo designed to detonate under a ship's keel and break it's back.
< Message edited by Revthought -- 4/21/2016 3:09:29 PM >
Playing at war is a far better vocation than making people fight in them.