In the last issue we talked about some experiments with the construction of submarines made by the British Admiralty during the First world war. It should be noted, is not the most extreme and interesting. Now it is the turn for the most curious products of the “enlightened sailors”. Of course, experimental submarines periodically appeared in most major Maritime powers. But, perhaps, only Britain allowed itself to carry out such impressive “experiments” on a large scale. Despite the obvious dubiousness of many ideas, they did not check on individual units, and immediately launched into a series of, sometimes very significant. As a result, the Royal Navy received the whole batch of submarines with which the admirals just didn’t know what to do. Cost this approach a fair amount of money, but while the Empire could afford such a luxury.
As we have noted, the English admirals, on the one hand, was not against to get “under your hand” submarines, able to operate in combat formations of the fleet. What a wonderful opportunity to weaken the enemy in any stage of the battle squadrons of battleships, which is considered the crown of the Maritime strategy. But, on the other hand, they simply did not believe that it is possible to create submarines that can support the same speed, and then the main forces, that is not less than 20 knots. And designers and constantly inspired them to deeds of the indefatigable John Fisher believed that to build such a miracle is possible – would be forces and means.
The head of the shipbuilding Department of the Admiralty, sir Eustace Tennyson d Ankort, having such a task, he immediately remembered about the experiments with steam turbines for submarines, in particular, the victim fiasco “Swordfish”. Neither this experience nor the same failures of the French with their steam boats did not stop the chief Builder of the Navy. He even managed to convince Fischer, who was categorically opposed to “steam pipe” on submarines. Both significant in marine circles person fell on the lords of the Admiralty, and green way for future monsters was open. In the summer of 1915 the first order by speed “secret cruiser” was, of course, a clear leader in the field of underwater shipbuilding firm Vickers. And the boats (build to their expected in large numbers – at least two dozen) acquired a good name: so in time the appeared in time sequence the letter “K”.
Great for those times (longer than 100 m) casing was required primarily to accommodate the potent powerplant. Despite all the measures taken to ensure the flooding (double case, eight watertight bulkheads), “monster” is pretty flimsy. After all, the outside was necessary to bring the holes for chimneys, vent steam, numerous valves… In the end, the immersion depth was quite small, less than 50 m. the Highest volume was occupied by steam boilers; to get from the bow to the stern, or Vice versa, through the compartment with them, located in the middle of the body in its widest part, had to sneak through the narrow passage, which remained on the starboard side. A decent supply of liquid fuel (boilers heated, of course, oil) while its expenditure was compensated by filling in the corresponding small surge many the ballast tanks. But in the main tank when diving the water was pumped, as they say, “whistling”: at a rate of 200 tons per minute.
The submarine “K-3” soon after the commissioning
“Fleet” submarine “K-3” (Britain, 1917)
Based on hovery in Portsmouth. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 1885/2565 t Dimensions: length – 103,02 m, a width of 8.08 m, maximum draught of 4.88 m. the immersion Depth up to 50 m Engines: 2 steam turbines with a capacity of 10 500 HP, diesel engine capacity of 800 HP and two electric motors with a power of 1400 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 24/9,5 ties. (design). Armament – ten 450-mm torpedo tubes: four in the nose, four – tra-versnik, two in the superstructure (18 torpedoes), two 102-mm guns, one 76-mm anti-aircraft gun, a machine gun. In 1917 – 1918 removed one 102-mm gun and torpedo tubes in the superstructure. The crew of 58 people. In 1916 – 1918 built seventeen units with numbers from 1 to 17 and 22 (the former “K-13”, raised and renamed). Order “K-18 – To-21” canceled shortly after the start of construction. Improved project was planned to build six units, numbered from 23 to 28, but really completed only “To 26” in 1923 She had a displacement of 2140/2770 t, length – 107,13 m, a maximum width of 8.53 m. draught – 5,12 m and a slightly lower speed. Armament: six 533-mm torpedo tubes in the nose (8 torpedoes), and four 450-mm traversing (8 torpedoes), three 102-mm guns and two machine guns. “K-1”, “4”, “K-5” and “K-17” lost in the clashes. “K-13” sank in 1917 during the tests, raised and commissioned as the “K-22”. Others excluded from the list and sold for scrapping in 1921 – 1926.
The British submarine “K-2” with upgraded raised nose “Swan neck”
“K-26” – streamline design submarines of the type “K”
Artillery submarine “M-1” (England, 1918)
It was built by the firm Vickers in barrow. Type of construction – the double-hulled, with external ballast tanks. Displacement underwater/surface – 1600/1950 t Dimensions: length – 90,14 m, width of 7.47 m, maximum draught of 4.80 m. the immersion Depth up to 60 m. Engines: two diesel engines with a power of 2400 HP and two electric motors with a capacity of 1600 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 15,5/9,5 bonds. (design), 14/8 bonds. (the real one). Armament: four 450 mm torpedo tubes in the nose (8 torpedoes), one 305-mm gun, one 76mm anti-aircraft gun, a machine gun. The crew – 68 persons. In 1918 – 1920 built three units, numbered from 1 to 3. An order for “M-4” cancelled shortly after the start of construction. “M-1” was lost in collision in late 1925, “M-2” is converted into a boat-Gidroaviasalon in 1928, “M-3” in the same year, reconstructed in the underwater minelayer
Submarine “M-2”, with a 12-inch gun
The most interesting difference of the project was, of course, the power plant. For surface speed meant two turbine installations, moreover, had the gear – a rarity in those days. Each serviced your boiler most modern design, with slim tubes. To somehow eliminate the truly immense heat in the operation of this “mA-tinerii”, the boilers and all steam pipes were carefully wrapped with insulation. But still, too long work at full speed (and speed in this case reached more than impressive 24 knots, almost as much as it is more modern cruisers of the “town”!) heavy toll on the “thermal atmosphere” inside the compartments.
Therefore, economic progress was supposed to use one 8-cylinder, 800-horsepower diesel, which was intended also to charge the batteries. Finally, the latter provided the energy for the electric motors driving the boat in a submerged position with the more or less standard speed, about nine knots.
Even from this brief overview shows how difficult was the power plant, consisting of engines of three different types. But these “tricks” were not limited to: special electric motors when submerged is lowered inside the flue pipe and closed their hatches. A couple of electric motors powered the bilge pumps. But the ventilation shafts were closed with the use of hydraulics; it also was used for raising and lowering a solid 10-metre periscopes and retractable telescopic masts, which served for placement of radio antennas. Had hydraulic drive and horizontal drive. In the end, all these things were so “advanced” that demanded for the services of a very qualified team, composed of six dozen people involved in the campaign “in full”.
It should now go to the weapons, not less numerous and varied. Start with the fact that the boat type “K” was a dozen torpedo tubes. Moreover, if the units of the first series they were all on 450-millimeter, then the second series settled pipes of two calibers in the nose of the new 533-mm and 450-mm side rotary, mainly for reasons of limited valuable space in the Central part of the body. However, the attempt to place in the add-in rotary coaxial torpedo tubes generally have failed. He was too close to the surface of the sea: aim and, in General, to use it was almost impossible.
Torpedoes supplemented by “artillery” of a pair of 102-mm rapid-fire guns, the same used on the destroyers, one 76-mm anti-aircraft guns and machine guns. Again, on the second series of the number of chetyrehluchevoy brought to four; doubled the number of machine guns. On one of the boats, “17”, 102-the graph paper were replaced by 140-mm long-barreled guns, getting a real submarine (however, this experience is not repeated). However, the most curious was the appearance on most units after the entry in operation is the absolutely exotic for submarine weapons – mortars for depth charges! In General, the British tried to create a real hybrid of a submarine and a surface ship. It remains to determine how successful.
Let’s start with the fundamental for submarines of the moment of immersion and emersion. However, for “To” this process hardly deserves the epithet “moment”. Before plunging would extinguish the boilers and bring the personnel of the boiler Department, to blow off steam, to clean the pipe and the mast, close to the numerous hatches and access doors… In General, the team had a difficult task. As before the commander, who just before the dive passed very extensive deck, carefully studying each cover: even through a small slit, say, stuck in the hatch of a tool or piece of canvas the boat can quickly be filled with “unnecessary” water and go to the bottom. At the rate it allocated 5 minutes: time for which the team had a long time to train. But on the early records, crowned with a three and a half minutes, achieved “K-8”. Still, even this time, dip the end of the war it was impossible to count any acceptable.
Even more interesting was the process of ascent. Of course, everything happened in reverse order: the extension pipe, the opening of the air pipes… But steam is much easier than to bring it up to working pressure. Even for highly advanced boiler, it took a long 20 minutes. And the boat that was already on the surface, but still could not develop a decent move, because to hope she had only a single diesel. It is clear that the super-submarine was in this state in a fair amount of helplessness. Not all was well with seaworthiness: in spite of the strongly turned-up nose, deck and superstructure badly flooded even at small excitement and at speeds over 12 knots bow section just went under water. In the end, bow-102-graph paper could be fired only at a very low speed and with a perfectly calm sea. If his condition has deteriorated though a few were having problems not only with weapons. Unhappy team members, located in the boiler Department in the terrible heat, had to wear a heavy Cape to hide from the streams flowing through the vent pipe. And strong waves threatened to drop more through the chimneys and extinguish the furnace. In addition, the boat was quite rough, both from side to side, and in the diametrical plane.
And in the service of this expensive product suffered a crushing fiasco. And in the very first attempt to use a type “K” on purpose: for action with the Grand Fleet. To some relief for the British, all this happened on maneuvers, though in time of war. Scary to think what could have sparked such an experiment in actual combat conditions. In fact, he turned the so-called “Battle of may island”: the British have always had a sarcastic humor even in tragic situations.
On the last night of the first month of the last year of the great war Admiral Beatty took over the Grand fleet from Jellicoe, and led him into the sea in all its glory. From Scapa Flow had to go battle fleet consists of 26 battleships with a huge “entourage”, and Rosita high forces, including battle cruisers and two fleet-type submarines. After the meeting connections in the North sea it was planned to hold joint maneuvers.
The commander of fleet forces Vice-Admiral Evan-Thomas chose an amazing Stroy: groups of battle cruisers and battleships of the “Queen Elizabeth” alternated “linear” submarines of the type “K”. Each flotilla was led by a leader or a light cruiser. In General, the column stretched for almost 30 miles! And besides, the sea fog descended. It would be a miracle if this event ended well. But the event exceeded the most pessimistic expectations.
Winter evening at half past six in itself was already quite dark, “but still insidious addition became a foggy haze. Exacerbating the situation, passing the island of may, a high-speed connection increased speed to 20 knots. And here his course crossed a couple of trawlers, initiating a real “falling chain of dominos”. Marching ahead of the 13th fleet of the boats of the “K” was forced to reduce speed and turn to evade a collision. And then on to “K-14” has a jammed wheel. The submarine had rolled down, and rammed her suddenly emerged out of the fog marching the last “K-22”. Submarines got into it and froze on the spot, but the rest of the ships continued to move on a great course, had no idea. Although “K-22” radioed about the incident.
A quarter of an hour on the scene arrived more serious players battle cruiser. The first three in the ranks successfully passed a helpless grappled the boat. But one of the first representatives of the class, “Inflexible” crashed right into the “K-22”, cutting off her 10 m of the nose. The boat sank front and slowly began to sink. Meanwhile, the leader of the flotilla at last deciphered the telegram, and the unfortunate commander of the 13th fleet have not found anything better how to turn on a course back to the Isle of may all your ships, including a huge submarine. Naturally, the fleet quickly ran into battle cruiser. Excellent training British sailors allowed to avoid collisions, while, for example, “K-12” had to do a real slalom, turning sharply five times in less than four minutes. But even skill didn’t help, when the fog appeared as their “sisters” of the 12th flotilla, led by leader light cruiser “Fearless”.
The cruiser nearly chopped “To 17” apart. The submarine quickly sank, though still managed to save her a great part of the team. But the chain of troubles continued: “K-3” managed to “slow down”, and behind her in the Wake of the “K-4” – no. She had urgently to stop his sorrow. Followed the opposite course 12th and 13th fleet collided and mixed. Trying to Dodge the blow from the “K-12”, “K-6” described circulation and rammed the innocent “K-4”. And so “successfully” that the victim sank almost instantly, taking with them the entire crew. The British emerging and disappearing in the fog ships even thought that her death was the result of falling German torpedoes. And the following in the “gut” behind the fast battleship and accompanying destroyers did not even think to slow down going through the area of the clashes, cutting blades of their propellers in the water sailors.
The outcome of the “Battle of may island” became a real “decimation” boat type “K”, “K-17” and “K-4” was on the bottom, and four boats of the same type received various injuries, including very serious. Died and 270 members of their teams. What is not a real battle… with their own stupidity? The Admiralty and the command of the Grand Fleet made every effort to save your epic fail in secret; a story surfaced only after the war. Moreover, this “battle” is no exception for type “K”. Just at the bottom, we found six submarines, by the way of death of any one of them the Germans are innocent. The quintessence was the loss of the “K-15”, which sank not just anywhere, but at the wall in the main base of the fleet in Portsmouth. They refused to automatic: hydraulic pressure control valves of flooding fell limp they just opened and the boat quickly went under water right at the pier. Thus ended the Saga of the “boats for the Navy”, which cost Britain a lot of money: only the construction of a series according to the original project cost of six million pounds – the cost of the three most modern battleships of the “Queen Elizabeth”! And on modernization and repair were spent a lot of money. So, instead of providing a new important component of the British fleet were in a natural and strong “flight”.
Submarine-aircraft carrier “M-2” (England, 1920, rebuilt in 1928)
It was built by the firm Vickers in barrow, reconstructed on hovery in Chatham. Design type -double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 1450/1950 t Dimensions: length – 90,14 m, width of 7.47 m, maximum draught of 4.80 m. the immersion Depth up to 50 m. Engines: as in “M-1”. Speed overwater/underwater – 14/6,5 ties. Armament: four 450 mm torpedo tubes in the nose (10 torpedoes), one 76-mm gun, two machine guns, one aircraft company Parnall “pet”, a catapult. The crew of 55 people. Rebuilt in 1928, Died in January 1932, during the maneuvers with the whole crew. Repeated attempts to rise failed. Lost during one of the attempts, found only in 1999.
Submarine frontier “M-3” (Britain, 1920, rebuilt in 1928)
Was built by firm “Armstrong-Whitworth”, rebuilt for hovery in Chatham. Design type -double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 1450/1950 t Dimensions: length – 90,14 m, width of 7.47 m, maximum draught of 4.80 m. the immersion Depth up to 50 m. Engines: as in “M-1”. Speed overwater/underwater – 15/9,5 ties. Armament: four 450 mm torpedo tubes in the nose (8 torpedoes), four machine guns, 100 min Crew of 67 people. It was rebuilt in 1927 – 1928, put in reserve after testing in 1928 scrapped in 1932
Submarine “M-3”, equipped with a 12-inch gun
And not in the only. Lord Fisher remained an inexhaustible source of original ideas. As we can see, sometimes useful, but often frankly insane. Even the “naval” of the submarine-cruiser type “To” pale before others filarowski project – submarine-a dreadnought. No more, no less! The idea expressed by Admiral a pioneer in the late summer of 1915, was an attempt to arm submarine guns of large caliber, capable of producing much more heavy “suitcases” than torpedoes, the stock of which is always internally constrained and that the British in the depths of the soul still not fully trusted. However, immediately the question arose: how would feel, for example, 12-inch, tiny and also narrow platform? The answer could hardly be positive. However, authorities rarely argue. And the Committee on the development of the submarine fleet, as they say, “accepted for execution”, although none of its members even imagine, and then how to use a created “monster”? Confused were admirals. But the Admiralty, this has not stopped. The project went into business.
The only thing the creators of “submarine dreadnought” was able to understand immediately is the impossibility of using it in a real battle with surface ships. Here everything was against submarines: insignificant height, violent motion on the short waves, the impossibility of any decent adjustments with a low deckhouse, where it is impossible to place the meter with a reasonable base… the List goes on and on. The important thing is that almost all of these problems were at the time, unfixable. And the most intractable had to survive under the counter enemy fire, and completely of any caliber. Quick-firing guns could shoot dozens of rounds in a time when the underwater monster gives single shot from your super cannon. And almost any hit, even from three-inch plank, could be enough to put a submarine on the bottom.
However, the decision was already made. Therefore, already on the drawing Board “dreadnought” was transformed into “monitor”. This class of ships, basically new and appeared during the war, had a few vague challenges, chief among them the shelling of the coast by heavy guns. Here, in principle, suddenly pop up the “big gun” looked exotic though, but at least not so ridiculous.
Actually, that’s why I changed the original version of “artillery”. My original plan was to install a pair of powerful 190-mm guns designed for the latest and most large cruisers “Vindictive”, and neither more nor less, and in the armored tower or dungeon! But instead pretty delusional version of the submarine type “M” (here, the designation by the order of the alphabet successfully matched with a future purpose) was even more “cool” weapons: one quite combat 12-inch. And a very honorable origin: the same trunks stood on the linear ships of multiple classes. Let by that time, and obsolete (although the last of them, “king Edward VII” at the beginning of the war was part of the fighting squadron). It is clear that the installation is fundamentally different from that for surface ships. The gun itself is fully immersed in water, so that it had liberally lubricated before each dive. However, wet the inside of the barrel is absolutely not suitable for any quick opening of fire. So at the end of the barrel had a special cover to be closed when an electric power is not surprising, since manually doing this would be unlikely. But shooting it was possible to open literally seconds after the appearance of the surface. Anyway, in theory.
Suggests a gun, of course, in a very narrow range of angles by 15 degrees on each side, otherwise the recoil could just capsize the boat! But in the vertical plane “u” twelve-inch could compete with their “colleagues” on the armadillos. Theoretically, she could send shells weighing 386 kg at a distance of 10 miles. But only theoretically: in reality to see exactly where the shell hit, with low boats that could be perhaps half that distance. And expect the hits – only a distance of a direct shot, as no management system, in fact, there was. For the shot of the blue had to pdfsplit so that its dvenadtsatiminutke “emerged” out of the water. The tip was made through the periscope of the boat the wheelhouse, followed by the command “fire!”, muzzle closed remotely and in less than a minute, the submarine was scuttled.
In General, the whole composition looked like at that time (and decades) are simply fantastic. After all, the barrel weight was 50 tons, and with mechanisms, including hydraulics, rotating and raising this “monster” – 120; nearly 30 tons weighed the ammunition, which included four dozen 305-mm “pigs” weighing 400 kg each. But these weapons are not exhaustive: behind the cabin had 76-mm anti-aircraft gun in a retractable installation. For combat aircraft was intended for another and hand gun. There were torpedo tubes: four tubes in the forward bulkhead. The first unit of the series carried the standard for the British in the First world 450-mm torpedoes, and the future – a new, more powerful 533-mm. All this wealth was treated unusually numerous for such submarines, in General, quite modest in size, the crew – almost 70 people.
It is clear that t-like taking care of the artillery on the “mechanics” all stood out as a residual. In the end, “underwater monitor” was only a monitor diving: at full speed under water he was able to hold only about one and a half hours, despite the almost 140 tons of batteries. However, diesels, and batteries, taken from “normal” boats, type “L” are allowed to develop a decent surface speed, 15 knots. However, armed from head to toe, “emka” had one crucial drawback: to finish it was only a year and a half after I finished the shots of the “great war”. The construction of the latest “emka” # 4 had time to interrupt, and the remaining three went in the same order, but almost immediately after the war went to the reserve. The Admiralty thought long and hard what to do with this weird “rich.” As they say, nowhere to apply, and dispose of it.
Fate intervened. Head “M-1” was lost with all hands already in 1925, rammed in the native channel of the Swedish vessel “Vidar”. It couldn’t find until almost the end of the XX century; only in 1999 the underwater monitor found during underwater operations. In the same year, when “M-1” went to the bottom, her “sister number 2 began to rebuild in an even more exotic option – an underwater aircraft carrier. Installation with a monstrous 12-inch removed, in its place hoisted the hangar, and in the bow-mounted catapult to launch a seaplane. Restructuring which took three years, was the cause of death: in 1932, the waves swept the open hangar doors, and … from the left one “M-3”. But now, the only underwater monitor also has ceased to be such. It was rebuilt to minelayer, which could take as much as a hundred (!) min: almost a record for a submarine. That, however, does not impact positively on the fate of the last member of the “family of monsters”: he was sent to be scrapped shortly after the death of “M-2”. Thus ended the story of uber weird creature types “K” and “M”, which cost a lot of money, but not brought any real benefit and, in General, not even just the finder application.
But it is worth noting that the experiments of the English in the field of underwater shipbuilding, fortunately, was not limited to “genius beyond madness”. Going on about the Fisher and other “innovators” in respect of the buildings of the strange “monsters” as types “K” and “M”, the Admiralty still thought about a more rational specialized projects. Exhausting struggle against the German “U-boats” demanded great effort and the involvement of all classes of combat vessels. No exception and submarines. In principle, hunting on their own kind looked quite attractive. Submarine-hunter was able to stay long under the water surface in areas frequented by the Germans, watching through the periscope for the enemy “little sisters” who were forced to pop up for the detection and prosecution of his “game” – commercial vessels. And at this moment the enemy’s boat she turned into a helpless target: even the smallest torpedo caught in any part of the body, was enough to send a “sister” of the enemy to the bottom.
The main downside to this event was too low speed “hunter”. Any boat under water was developed by a few knots less than on the surface. Accordingly, to reach the desired attack position could be perhaps that when a large fortune. In most cases remained helplessly watch through the periscope as a “sitting duck” proudly removed for a distance torpedo shot.
The recipe suggests as it itself: it was necessary to create a submarine that has great underwater speed. From it required neither large nor particularly powerful torpedo armament, nor artillery, nor extremely long range or some special surface characteristics. But required powerful motors and a very capacious battery.
The submarine “R-3” (Britain, 1918)
Based on hovery in Chatham. Type of construction – single -. Displacement underwater/ surface – 420/500 t Dimensions: length – 49,68 m, a width of 4.80 m, maximum draught of 3.52 m. the immersion Depth up to 60 m. Engines: diesel engine power 480 HP and two electric motors with a power of 1200 HP Speed overwater/underwater – 9,5/15 uz. Armament: six 450 mm torpedo tubes in the nose (12 torpedoes). The crew – 22 persons. Ordered 12 pieces of numbers from 1 to 12; the construction of the “R-5” and “R-6”, stopped at an early stage, and the rest was put into operation at the end of 1918 — beginning of 1919, All except the “R-4” and “R-10”, sold for scrapping in early 1923 “R-10” he served until 1929, “R-4” – up to 1934
“Little hunter” for enemy submarines – the British submarine “R-4” used, even in the years of the Second world war
The work on creating and building such an “underwater hunter” Admiralty comply with heightened security and decided, if possible, not to involve private firms, limiting the state’s shipyards. The main requirement, in addition to underwater characteristics was the speed of the development: it was 1917, the Germans in unrestricted submarine war have committed atrocities in all the seas. Therefore, the laying of the first units took place even before the project was ready. However, with the shape of the case was all clear; “Sakovich” represented only a mechanical “filling”.
Without further ADO, the English engineers took a set of batteries from a not too successful boats “J”, by installing them in small boats of a new type “R”. To achieve unprecedented high speeds under water, about 15 knots, used two powerful motor. Anticipating the most modern projects, they only rotated the shaft with a large screw: designers already understand that this scheme is optimal for reduction of noise “hunter”. But with the “charging the batteries” out of trouble. The complete neglect of surface characteristics has led to the fact that pilot diesel was too low. Although he could disperse a 400-ton boat to a sufficient speed, while moving on the surface and the charging energy for the latter is not enough. Even if it allocated about half capacity, to fully charge the battery required the whole day. At this time, the boat is a hunter she was left completely helpless: artillery weapons on it was missing, and seakeeping and maneuverability on the surface left much to be desired. But what can be done: propulsion system, and so “ate” more than one third of displacement.
Another drawback, this time a completely objective and yet insurmountable, was the lack of any special means of detecting the enemy is already in a submerged position. Had to rely only on the periscope with its small field of view and is constantly flooded by waves optics. It’s time to “listener” on the boats had not yet arrived. But if the enemy still appeared within firing range, to escape unharmed he would have been very difficult. Nose submarines had six torpedo tubes, though not the biggest for the end of the war caliber, only 450 mm. provided, However, that is volley firing, which nose has a special surge tanks quickly zapolnyatsya water when fired. Otherwise, a small boat could just stand up “stake”, nose up.
You may notice that the type “R” actually had many of the characteristics and the distinctiveness of subsequent submarine “hunter-killer”, until today, which makes undoubted honor of its creators. But at the same time a boat is a hunters and a number of issues related to their characteristics. The most significant and surprising was the disgusting handling under water at high speed. It would seem that when a body surrounded by water, is not so important the speed with which the movement takes place, 10 or 15 knots. But this jump proved decisive: the boats with great difficulty obeyed the rudders, both vertical and horizontal. The designers proved that not to blame: it took many years of studying fluid dynamics, new materials and design, while the engineer did not submit to these and much higher speeds. And the project itself “R”, of course was outstanding and far ahead of his time. The main reason for their failure was the end of the war. “Hunters” so, in essence, failed to try. Only one “R” managed to produce its brutal shestistolpny volley for real “German.” And… missed.
In the end, out of the dozen ordered “hunters” a couple was able to cancel in the early stages of construction. The rest of the pieces from this little “underwater masterpiece” was prepared for a very short life. Commissioned in late 1918 or early next year, they have served little offensively. In 1923, “little huntress” went to a breaker, except for the “R-4” left “divorce”, to experiments another 11 years. It is often used in various anti-submarine exercises, believing that if their ships will be able to detect and attack such a “bystrokhod” in time of war to cope with the speed in the underwater position of the enemy.
Concluding the story of the “eccentricities”, it should be noted that for all that Britain did not forget about more “ordinary” submarines. After the “workhorses of the war”, type “E”, they managed to create quite the “right” project is quite large, ocean-going boats “L”, which we still tell. By the end of the war, the British well understood and the importance of submarines for setting the min. For good reason: because of more than 10 thousand min, exposed by the Germans around the British Isles, the vast majority was a product of the underwater craft. Stealth performances almost anywhere, including the neighborhood of enemy bases and the ways out of them, outweigh any considerations against, starting with the fact that the point at which the mines fall overboard, it is hardly possible to determine with great precision.
To create the underwater mintage choose all of the same type “E”. In the spring of 1915, a few units of “E-24” “E-41”, which was on the stocks, decided to finish as such. And he did it very quickly (given the substantial amount of alterations): both came into operation at the beginning of 1916. With submarines removed and so is practically useless traversie apparatus, placing on the sides of the hull for the top ten cells for one min each. Unlike the Germans, who mined the mines were inclined and were inside the pressure hull, “breaking” its output ports, British mines were located almost vertically and were in a lightweight package that looked, for the most part, preferred. A problem was quite a significant change in buoyancy: with the release of mines boat was eased to 30 T. However, this was dealt with by changing the system for filling tanks.
After the first pair, a similar restructuring was subjected to another four units, numbers 34, 45,46 and 51.
They made two or three dozen dangerous “travel” in German Bay. It is believed that their mines killed two German “U-bot”, “UB-61” and “U-75”. But the expense of losses were equal: from the Crusades never returned “E-24 and E-34”. Both obviously died in the mines, but it is unknown (and remain unknown) – on their own or on enemy: the Bay was literally Packed with deadly weapons.
Similar alterations undergone six units of a new type “L”. But they were less happy: the number taken was less than min, 14 – 16 pieces, and, in General, in the war they take part don’t have time: the two first came into operation just a month before her graduation. About supermensch “M-3” we have already mentioned: remade much later, he was initially inspired great hope. But with such an ambitious project had a lot of trouble. The tests continued for two years; divers had to get used to the peculiarities of this unusual submarine. After all, hundreds of mines were placed on the rails in the extensive superstructure of the middle of the body. To dive, the boat had to give the trim on the nose and go against the waves, as if “scooping” the water in this storage. (In total there were placed about 600 tons!)
Then the boat turned around sideways to the waves and gradually went under the surface of the water. It is not surprising that with such tricks, the dive took a lot of time: more than 10 minutes in bad weather. In addition, the large superstructure made “M-3” is practically uncontrollable when driving on the surface even when a little excitement. All of this led her to a natural end: torment with the commissioning ended immediately “retired” to the reserves, and then the surrender to be scrapped.
All in all, the British underwater craft had put in the years of the “great war” more than 2.5 thousand min, significantly less than their German “colleagues” and quite a bit compared to surface ships, left 50 times more deadly “gifts”! However, most importantly, the British, despite the fact that using only “rework”, able to “adapt” to a new type of productions and to feel confident in its prospects. And already in 1930-ies was followed by the creation of specialized types of boats are designed specifically for such tasks. In General, almost all pilot projects during the First world war is beneficial for Britain, so they deserve not only mention but also a sympathetic attitude, unless you consider a less expensive price.
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