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Thread: OT: What Is That Hole At Nose of Some WWII Subs?

  1. #1
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    Default OT: What Is That Hole At Nose of Some WWII Subs?

    Definitely OT, but it is somewhat mechanical. With the collective knowledge present, I will bet someone here knows the answer to this.

    Many of the WWII era submarines (US Gato class) had a rather prominent, round opening at their very nose. It is at the tip of the bow and just below the deck. It appears to have rounded edges as if it is intended as some kind of water intake.

    The second photo here shows this opening very well:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Gato_(SS-212)

    I don't think that all subs of that era have this feature and modern ones do not have it. I don't think it is a torpedo tube because it is a single opening, high, and centered while these subs usually had six torpedo tubes, three on each side and they were much lower and further back. I have looked, but can not find any explanation of the purpose of this opening. Could it possibly be to allow water to enter the space between the inner and outer hulls more quickly when diving? Directional sonar? Or what?

    Can anyone throw the light of knowledge on this? I am curious.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  2. #2
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    It's a hawse pipe where her forward lines pass through.

    OOPS! "OT".
    Len

  3. #3
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    +1, I’ve seen a 6” hawser towing line through the hole to the “capstan?” Mushroom thingy on the deck.
    Mark

  4. #4
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    Hawse pipe,
    Beat me to it.
    Bill
    I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

  5. #5
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    Run a line(large rope) through there to tow it. Another interesting thing is that much of what you see is stuff hung on the outside of the hull. The main hull - and on some there were 2, is a cylinder with rounded ends. ANd the control room was a smaller cylinder with rounded ends stuck on top of the main hull.

  6. #6
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    a cylinder with rounded ends
    the only shape that works well for high pressure gas containment. the shape of propane, SCUBA, LNG and even Freon tanks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AD5MB View Post
    the only shape that works well for high pressure gas containment. the shape of propane, SCUBA, LNG and even Freon tanks.
    But in this case it's for pressure resistance. Fleet subs had a max working pressure rating of around 600psi, 300 ft. I was sub nerd as a kid, loved Capt. Edward Beach's book Submarine!

  8. #8
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    Well, when you know the proper name, the web search is easy. Thanks for all the answers: now I can sleep easily. And I am well aware of the dual hulls of subs of that era.

    Why is an OT an OOPS? I did properly label it, right up front.



    Quote Originally Posted by QSIMDO View Post
    It's a hawse pipe where her forward lines pass through.

    OOPS! "OT".
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  9. #9
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    The Hawse pipe makes sense,

    it did make me think of something on a ship though - do any subs have a means of "dropping anchor"?

    if not then why not? they are like ships too and could be used when floating - and could also be used to hold a position underwater no?

  10. #10
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    300 feet depth is 148psi

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