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Water borne missile A-3 Campbell

Grey Havoc

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5,000, 10,000 or 50,000 pound warhead, depending on which of the three available hulls were used. That would certainly have ruined someones day.
 

Jemiba

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Grey Havoc said:
That would certainly have ruined someones day.

Principally yes, in reality the idea of the "waterborne missiles" seems to have been not really succesful,
no matter of the guiding system (electronically or human).
Most succesful were the Japanese Shin'yo boats, which could sink 11 enemy vessels, while 1950 boats
were built (but not all used). AFAIK, the German and Italian counterparts ("Linse", about 1200 built and
M.T.M/M.T.R., about 110 built), never sank a ship.
 

Sea Skimmer

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The Italians EMBs sank the heavy cruiser York at anchor at Crete in the first attack they ever made. The German Linse likely sank a destroyer and a trawler off Normandy though this took place in conjunction with an attack by conventional motor torpedo boats so its hard to confirm. Shinyo were specifically the Japanese naval EMBs, the Army had its own Maru-in. In all cases, the first attack or few attacks were generally successful, and aggressive allied air and naval patrols then inflicted heavy losses on all further attempts or thwarted them completely. In the case of Italy, who by far had the least sucidal design with an actual raft for the pilot to use, the second attack attempt, against Malta, was totally wiped out by shore batteries and strafing fighters then sank the launch ship. The British though were impressed enough to design a similar vessel built in small numbers. German and losses were made worse by several nasty accidental explosions with the craft tightly packed in caves or canal locks preparing for launch.
The Germans did do work on both radio controlled and wire guided Linse, none appears to have been used in combat, though a wire guided EMB had been used in WW1. All WW2 radio command systems were easily jammed and unreliable so its doubtful the US boats would have ever worked well, certainly the RAZON and TARZON bombs were failure prone. The US had a whole slew of TV guided aircraft weapons that worked even worse since the TV picture reception was so bad on top of the bad control link. With a motor boat moving in 2D maybe this would have been a less crippling problem. Maybe. On the other hand the TV camera and transmitter are being shaken by bouncing over waves and whatever the engine is doing as opposed to gliding somewhat smoothly through the air.
In any event I really don't see how the EMB is supposed to get past an alert coastal defense, and like the film itself says the more valuable the prize the more alert the enemy.
 

Jemiba

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Sea Skimmer said:
In any event I really don't see how the EMB is supposed to get past an alert coastal defense, and like the film itself says the more valuable the prize the more alert the enemy.

Absolutely agree to that!
About the sinking of HMS York, there are different claims in different sources, but you're right, all of them state the cruiser as
at least severely damaged by EMBs.
Actually, the British way may have been more succesful, as there were strong efforts to camouflage those boats, so maybe
chances of getting through the outer defences may have been better, at least for attacks against lower value targets in the
norwegian fords.
 

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The Luftwaffe tried to claim they sank HMS York, zero proof exists for this and the British are clear that they ran her aground as she went down. No reason you'd expect a smaller cruiser to remain afloat after taking the equivalent of two 330kg torpedo warheads. Luftwaffe propaganda on sinking claims could get pretty pathetic.

The British boat was supposed to air dropped, with the pilot inside, which was at least a better way of delivering it to the target area but changes little on the chances it being blown up as soon as it starts the engine. Might have been the inspiration for this American project.
 

Grey Havoc

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With regards as to the Linse explosive motorboat (some nice footage of Italian MT motorboats as well):
 

Grey Havoc

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What kind of targets would have required a 50,000 lb warhead?

Primarily port facilities such as drydocks and canal locks I would say, but things like super battleships and sea forts (such as the Maunsell Forts) would have also definitely been on the list of potential targets.
 

DWG

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The British though were impressed enough to design a similar vessel built in small numbers.
The Boom Patrol Boat, so called because it was used by the Royal Marine Boom Patrol Detachment, which was the cover identity for Blondie Hasler's maritime special forces unit (c.f. Operation Frankton/the Cockleshell Heroes). There's a good background on the development and planned utilisation in A. Cecil Hampshire's 'The Secret Navies', including pictures and a small drawing. The BPB was a Vosper design that was to be 18' x 5' with a 2' draught, weigh 3,500lbs and carry a 500lb charge with impact, hydrostatic and time fuses selectable by the operator. Lagonda engines were specified, but so was compatibility with the Ford Mercury (and the drawing shows a Grey Fireball). Speed was to be 30kts. There were two cockpits, one at the midpoint designed to cushion the operator on landing and a second at the rear using the same detachable paddleboard/backboard the Italian boats used.

Air-dropping a manned BPB was successfully demonstrated on 10th June 1944 and by then they had 16 boats and operators ready, with 8 boats then transferred to RAF Woodhall Spa for Operation Skylark, in which 617 Sqn would drop 6 boats off Bergen for an attack on the U-Boat pens and depot ships under cover of a 100 bomber raid. Unfortunately the weather never cooperated and the Operation was called off in December, with the Director of the Anti U-Boat Division considering it better to hold it in reserve for use against the Type XXI.

A demonstration drop of 4 boats was made in January 1945, but the BPB never saw operational use.

(Also covered in the BPD section is the Sleeping Beauty Motor Submersible Canoe, Operation Frankton and BPD's operations in the Med, other sections cover the various agent ferry services and 30 AU).
 

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