World War II Submarine Warfare and the United States Essay

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In the thirty-eight years of the United States Naval Submarine Service no United States submarine had ever sunk an enemy vessel. With the ignition of the Second World War the poorly equipped and poorly trained Silent Service, nicknamed for the limited access of the media to the actions and achievements of the submarines, would be thrust into the position American submariners had longed for. The attack on Pearl Harbor left the United States Navy with few options for retribution. The three remaining aircraft carriers were to be “the last line of defense.” Commander Stuart S. Murray made the precarious situation clear to his skippers, captains, upon sending them on their first war patrol. He stressed the importance of smart sailing by…show more content…
They were plagued by design flaws; the subs vibrated excessively creating a dangerous amount of noise and the controls were unnecessarily complicated. Japan had numerous advantages over the United States at the beginning of the war. Japan’s submarines were not only slightly faster and larger, they were also better outfitted with exceptional optical gear and look outs, excellent torpedoes, and adequate underwater listening gear. They did not, however, have radar. American skipper, Tyrrell Jacobs of the Sargo, who had served at the Bureau of Ordnance, was one of the first to realize the Mark 14 torpedo was disastrously flawed. The Mark 14 was believed to be, by everyone except the sailors who used them, the greatest torpedo of its time. Unfortunately, this was not true. The torpedo’s definciency haunted the Silent Service for years before its failures were addressed. The torpedo was found to run deeper, in most cases more than ten feet, than its intended depth, fail to detonate, or to detonate too early. In the early years of the war there were also crippling torpedo shortages. The subs also had insufficient engines. The HOR engine’s gear-wheel teeth constantly broke causing vibrations that would knock out the motor. At this point in history America had little experience in submarine warfare. This left the submariners insufficiently trained and

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