Project Tentacle

PMN1

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
844
Reaction score
353
This has popped up on WarshipProjects and I was wondering if anyone had heard of it.

Apparently from “ADM 116/4882” which is staff notes covering Project Habbukuk and Tentacle.

In addition there is a memo dated 10th November 1943 from “J.S.M. Washington” addressed to “W.C.C. London”.

It notes that :-

“....... flying test on steel pontoon type 1800 ft long on November 6th highly successful. …

….. 16 Hellcats, 9 Avengers and 9 Dauntless landed in 20 minutes without practice …

…… 33 planes took off in under 14 minutes …

… Outboard motors at 2 diagonal corners successful in keeping platform head to a changing wind which increased to 10 knots. Anchor cable was brought to centre of contraption. …

… Strip rigid and free from tendency to wave motion under load. Has withstood waves up to 4 foot high with 45 m.p.h. wind for three days. …

…. All U.S. and British observers very pleased with results. …

…. It seems doubtful however if even with the best boat drill it could be assembled in much under two days, and this makes its tactical use questionable.”

The last comment reads “11. We have encountered obstacles and obstinacy in the way of HABBUKUKS made out of cement.”

It is also noted that films were taken of the test.
 

Firefly 2

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
461
Reaction score
11
Habbukuk... Wasn't that the name of the enourmous Aircraft carrier planned by the Brits , made of pykrete?

Found something on Wiki:

Project Habakkuk
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Project Habakkuk (actually misspelled as Habbakuk — see below) was a plan by the British in World War II to construct an aircraft carrier out of ice, for use against German U-boats in the mid-Atlantic, which was out of range of land-based planes.

The Habakkuk, as proposed to Winston Churchill by Lord Mountbatten and Geoffrey Pyke in December 1942, was to be approximately 2,000 feet long and 300 feet wide, with a deck-to-keel depth of 200 feet, and walls 40 feet thick.[1] It was to have a draft of 150 feet, and a displacement of 2,000,000 tons or more, to be constructed in Canada from 280,000 blocks of ice.[2] (For comparison, an Essex-class carrier displaced 35,000 tons.) The building material was later changed to a mixture of ice and wood pulp known as Pykrete after Pyke, who proposed the Habakkuk project — the material was invented by others. The ship's deep draft would have kept it out of most harbours. Inside the vessel a refrigeration plant would maintain the structure against melting. The ship would have extremely limited manoeuvrability, but was expected to be capable of up to 10 knots (18 km/h) using 26 electric drive motors mounted in separate external nacelles (normal, internal ship engines would have generated too much heat for an ice craft).[citation needed] Its armaments would have included 40 dual-barrelled 4.5" DP (dual-purpose) turrets and numerous light anti-aircraft guns, and it would have housed an airstrip and up to 150 twin-engined bombers or fighters.[citation needed]
A block of Pykrete
A block of Pykrete

The Habakkuk was imagined to be virtually unsinkable as it would have effectively been a streamlined iceberg or floating island kept afloat by the buoyancy of its construction materials, and to be highly resilient to damage by virtue of its sheer bulk.

At the Quebec Conference of 1943 Lord Mountbatten brought a block of Pykrete along to demonstrate its potential to the bevy of admirals and generals who had come along with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Mountbatten entered the project meeting with two blocks and placed them on the ground. One was a normal ice block and the other was Pykrete. He then drew his service pistol and shot at the first block. It shattered and splintered. Next, he fired at the Pykrete to give an idea of the resistance of that kind of ice to projectiles. The bullet ricochetted off the block, grazing the trouser leg of Admiral Ernest King and ending up in the wall. The Admiral was impressed by Mountbatten's unorthodox demonstration.

It was projected to take $70 million and 8,000 people working for eight months to construct it,[citation needed] an expenditure which the British were unwilling to make at the time on such an experimental craft. Experiments on ice and pykrete as construction materials were carried out at Lake Louise, Alberta, and a small prototype was constructed at Patricia Lake, Alberta, measuring only 60 feet by 30 feet (18 by 9 m), weighing in at 1,000 tons and kept frozen by a one-horsepower motor.[2] Work on the project continued through 1943, but major doubts as to feasibility had surfaced by October, and abandonment was recommended in January 1944, by when the Atlantic Gap had already been closed by long-ranged land-based aircraft. The use of ice had actually been falling out of favour before that, with other ideas for "floating islands" being considered, such as welding Liberty Ships or Landing craft together (Project TENTACLE).[3] The ice Habakkuk itself was never begun.

The ship appears in alternate history fiction; for instance, it appears as a boss unit in Naval Ops: Warship Gunner,[4] Naval Ops: Commander and Warship Gunner 2.[5]
 

smurf

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
549
Reaction score
48
At the Quebec Conference of 1943 Lord Mountbatten brought a block of Pykrete along to demonstrate its potential to the bevy of admirals and generals who had come along with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Mountbatten entered the project meeting with two blocks and placed them on the ground. One was a normal ice block and the other was Pykrete. He then drew his service pistol and shot at the first block. It shattered and splintered. Next, he fired at the Pykrete to give an idea of the resistance of that kind of ice to projectiles. The bullet ricochetted off the block, grazing the trouser leg of Admiral Ernest King and ending up in the wall. The Admiral was impressed by Mountbatten's unorthodox demonstration.
I bet he was!

Unfortunately, though this incident is believed to have happened, it wasn't then and it was a pair of 'ordinary' officers, not Mountbatten, nor King. It's a good story though, but one that has grown in the telling.
 

Firefly 2

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
461
Reaction score
11
Don't know about that story...
But the pykrete carrier has been bugging me a lot. If pykrete was so wonderfull, why was nothing done with it?
 

Archibald

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
6,102
Reaction score
4,522
Awesome project... :eek: :
Is this an april fool ?

Do you know what picrate (and piquette) mean in french ? wine! Too much wine ? ;D

Pikrete of the Caribean ? (had they send their Habakkuk near Cuba)
 

Archibald

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
6,102
Reaction score
4,522
Abnd don't forget Sponge bob friend, Carlo Tentacle... ::)
 

Madoc

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Dec 14, 2006
Messages
119
Reaction score
11
Archibald,

Nope, it's no April Fool's joke. Pykrete is quite real. It's named after the man who invented it: Geoffrey Pyke and he really did propose that "iceberg aircraft carrier" during WWII.

Madoc

Archibald said:
Awesome project... :eek: :
Is this an april fool ?

Do you know what picrate (and piquette) mean in french ? wine! Too much wine ? ;D

Pikrete of the Caribean ? (had they send their Habakkuk near Cuba)
 

KnightTemplar

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Jun 23, 2007
Messages
22
Reaction score
2
Website
www.military-power.net
Back during the second world war, the Royal Navy started a project to research the possibility of building a huge unsinkable floating airbase.
Known as Project Habakkuk, it is the brainchild of Loius Mountbatten and Geoffrey Pike. it was to be made out of a substance called Pykrete.
Pykrete, created by and named for Geoffrey Pike, is a mixture of ice and (usually) sawdust. The original mixture was for 86 percent ice to 14 percent wood pulp.
Pykrete is remarkably durable. Where ice would shatter like glass upon the impact of a projectile (such as a .303 Win) Pykrete would barely sustain a scratch. This would lead to the idea of an industractable floating airstrip.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pykrete

Though the project was started and the construction of experimental vessels was commenced, the general public was unwilling to back such a strange and unusual project, which was beginning to become more and more costly at that time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Habakkuk

The remains of the initial small scale experimental vessels can still be found to this day; at the bottom of Patricia Lake, in Jasper, Alberta, Canada.
http://www.combinedops.com/Pykrete.htm
 
W

Wingknut

Guest
Not much extra factual data that you can't get from the sites above, but a few interesting images and size-comparisons for 'Habakkuk' carriers can be found at:
http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2007/12/giant-iceberg-aircraft-carrier.html
(Although some of the images are well and truly "What if?", you do get a photograph of Geoffrey Pyke himself thrown in.)
 

Firefly 2

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
461
Reaction score
11
The man looks so english I could swear I smell the fish chips....

Kidding!

I love this project to bits, especially because the fact that in all its lunacy it almost got somewhere.
 

Kugelblitz

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
May 25, 2008
Messages
31
Reaction score
11
“....... flying test on steel pontoon type 1800 ft long on November 6th highly successful. …

Wonder whether this should be read as: a steel pontoon 1800ft long or: a type 1 steel pontoon 800ft long?

It sounds like a proof of concept trial of laying a steel deck over a number of boats/barges and retain some tug-less control of the contraption.

Hope more will show up on this.
 

Similar threads

Top