Squid anti-submarine mortar on display at the Devonport Naval Base
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Used by||Royal Navy Swedish Navy|
|Designer||Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development|
|Shell||440 lb (200 kg)|
|Calibre||12 in (305 mm)|
|Effective firing range||275 yards (250 m)|
|Filling weight||207 lb (94 kg)|
Squid was a British World War II ship-mounted anti-submarine weapon. It consisted of a three-barrelled mortar which launched depth charges. It replaced the Hedgehog system, and was in turn replaced by the Limbo system.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep waterways, carrying passengers or goods, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research and fishing. Historically, a "ship" was a sailing vessel with at least three square-rigged masts and a full bowsprit. Ships are generally distinguished from boats, based on size, shape, load capacity, and tradition.
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of underwater warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track, and deter, damage, or destroy enemy submarines.
Literally ordered directly from the drawing board in 1942, under the auspices of the Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development, this weapon was rushed into service in May 1943 on board HMS Ambuscade. The first production unit was installed on HMS Hadleigh Castle; it went on to be installed on 70 frigates and corvettes during the Second World War. The first successful use was by HMS Loch Killin on 31 July 1944, when she sank U333 ; the system was credited with sinking 17 submarines in 50 attacks. By 1959, 195 Squid installations had been produced.
HMS Ambuscade was a British Royal Navy destroyer which served in the Second World War. She and her Thornycroft competitor, HMS Amazon, were prototypes designed to exploit advances in construction and machinery since World War I and formed the basis of Royal Navy destroyer evolution up to the Tribal of 1936.
HMS Hadleigh Castle (K355) was a Castle-class corvette of Britain's Royal Navy.
This weapon was a three-barrel 12-inch (305 mm) mortar with the mortars mounted in series but off-bore from each other in order to scatter the projectiles. The barrels were mounted in a frame that could be rotated through 90 degrees for loading. The projectiles weighed 390 pounds (177 kg) with a 207-pound (94 kg) minol charge. On some vessels, the Squid installations were at the stern – the bombs were fired over the length of the ship and dropping into the sea slightly ahead of it. Sink rate was 43.5 ft/s (13.3 m/s) and a clockwork time fuze was used to determine the detonation depth; all three projectiles had to be set to the same depth; this could be continuously updated right up to the moment of launch to take into account the movements of the target. The maximum depth was 900 feet (270 m).
Minol is a military explosive developed by the British Admiralty early in the Second World War to augment supplies of trinitrotoluene (TNT) and RDX, which were then in short supply. The aluminium component in Minol significantly prolongs the explosive pulse, making it ideal for use in underwater naval weapons where munitions with a longer explosive pulse are more destructive than those with high brisance.
In an explosive, pyrotechnic device, or military munition, a fuse is the part of the device that initiates function. In common usage, the word fuse is used indiscriminately. However, when being specific, the term fuse describes a simple pyrotechnic initiating device, like the cord on a firecracker whereas the term fuze is sometimes used when referring to a more sophisticated ignition device incorporating mechanical and/or electronic components, such as a proximity fuze for an M107 artillery shell, magnetic or acoustic fuze on a sea mine, spring-loaded grenade fuze, pencil detonator, or anti-handling device.
The weapons were automatically fired from the sonar range recorder at the proper moment. The pattern formed a triangle about 40 yards (37 m) on a side at a distance of 275 yards (250 m) ahead of the ship. Most Squid installations utilised two sets of mortars. All six bombs were fired in salvo so they formed opposing triangular spreads. The salvos were set to explode 25 feet (10 m) above and below the target, the resulting pressure wave crushing the hull of the submarine. Postwar trials found Squid was nine times more effective than conventional depth charges.
Sonar is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect objects on or under the surface of the water, such as other vessels. Two types of technology share the name "sonar": passive sonar is essentially listening for the sound made by vessels; active sonar is emitting pulses of sounds and listening for echoes. Sonar may be used as a means of acoustic location and of measurement of the echo characteristics of "targets" in the water. Acoustic location in air was used before the introduction of radar. Sonar may also be used in air for robot navigation, and SODAR is used for atmospheric investigations. The term sonar is also used for the equipment used to generate and receive the sound. The acoustic frequencies used in sonar systems vary from very low (infrasonic) to extremely high (ultrasonic). The study of underwater sound is known as underwater acoustics or hydroacoustics.
Despite its proven effectiveness, some officers, notably Captain Kenneth Adams, RCN, opposed fitting Squid to escorts because it meant sacrificing guns, which would make ships unsuitable for fleet actions.
Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The rank is equal to the army rank of colonel.
The Royal Canadian Navy is the naval force of Canada. The RCN is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2017, Canada's navy operates 12 frigates, 4 patrol submarines, 12 coastal defence vessels and 8 unarmed patrol/training vessels, as well as several auxiliary vessels. The Royal Canadian Navy consists of 8,500 Regular Force and 5,100 Primary Reserve sailors, supported by 5,300 civilians. Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and Chief of the Naval Staff.
In April 1977, the Type 61 frigate Salisbury became the last ship to fire Squid in Royal Navy service. Examples of the mortars are on display at the Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower in Gosport, Hampshire and another at Devonport Naval Base. In addition, the system is fitted to HMS Cavalier (D73), which is part of the historic ships collection in the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent.
HMS Salisbury was a Salisbury-class or Type 61 aircraft direction frigate of the British Royal Navy. Completed in the late 1950s, Salisbury served through the 1960s and 1970s, participating in the Beira Patrol, blockading against Rhodesia and the confrontation with Iceland over fishing rights that was known as the Cod Wars. Salisbury became a harbour training ship in 1980, before being sunk as a target in 1985.
Explosion! is the Museum of Naval Firepower situated in the former Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Priddy's Hard, in Gosport, Hampshire, England. It now forms part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
In Swedish service the system soldiered on until 1982 when the Östergötland-class destroyers were decommissioned.
A carronade is a short, smoothbore, cast iron cannon which was used by the Royal Navy and first produced by the Carron Company, an ironworks in Falkirk, Scotland. It was used from the 1770s to the 1850s. Its main function was to serve as a powerful, short-range, anti-ship and anti-crew weapon. Carronades were initially found to be very successful, but they eventually disappeared as naval artillery advanced, with the introduction of rifling and consequent change in the shape of the projectile, exploding shells replacing solid shot, and naval engagements being fought at longer ranges.
A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon. It is intended to destroy a submarine by being dropped into the water nearby and detonating, subjecting the target to a powerful and destructive hydraulic shock. Most depth charges use high explosive charges and a fuze set to detonate the charge, typically at a specific depth. Depth charges can be dropped by ships, patrol aircraft, and helicopters.
The Hedgehog was a forward-throwing anti-submarine weapon that was used during the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War. The device, which was developed by the Royal Navy, fired up to 24 spigot mortars ahead of a ship when attacking a U-boat. It was deployed on convoy escort warships such as destroyers and corvettes to supplement the depth charges.
Naval artillery is artillery mounted on a warship, originally used only for naval warfare, later also for shore bombardment and for anti-aircraft use. The term generally refers to tube-launched projectile-firing weapons and excludes self-propelled projectiles like torpedoes, rockets, and missiles and those simply dropped overboard like depth charges and naval mines.
Limbo, or Anti Submarine Mortar Mark 10, was the final British development of a forward-throwing anti-submarine weapon originally designed during the Second World War. Limbo, a three-barreled mortar similar to the earlier Hedgehog and Squid which it superseded, was developed by the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment in the 1950s. Squid was loaded manually, which was difficult on a pitching deck in heavy seas with no protection from the elements; in contrast Limbo was loaded and fired automatically, with all the crew under cover. It was widely fitted on the quarterdeck of Royal Navy escort ships on a mounting stabilised for pitch and roll from 1955 to the mid–1980s. Australian built versions of the Daring-class destroyer all carried Limbo as did the Australian River-class destroyer escort. Limbo was also widely employed by the Royal Canadian Navy, being incorporated into all destroyer designs from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, including the St. Laurent, Restigouche, Mackenzie, Annapolis and Iroquois classes.
Anti-submarine mortars are artillery pieces deployed on ships for the purpose of sinking submarines by a direct hit with a small explosive charge. They are often larger versions of the mortar used by infantry and fire a projectile in relatively the same manner. They were created during World War II as a development of the depth charge and work on the same principle.
The Rothesay class, or Type 12M frigates were a class of frigates serving with the Royal Navy, South African Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy.
The RBU-6000Smerch-2 is a 213 mm caliber Soviet anti-submarine weapon rocket launcher. It is similar in principle to the Royal Navy Hedgehog system used during the Second World War. The system entered service in 1960-61 and is fitted to a wide range of Russian surface vessels. It consists of a horseshoe shaped arrangement of twelve launch barrels, that are remotely directed by the Burya fire control system. It fires RGB-60 unguided depth charges. The rockets are normally fired in salvos of 1, 2, 4, 8 or 12 rounds. Reloading is automatic, with individual rounds being fed into the launcher by the 60UP loading system from a below deck magazine. Typical magazine capacity is either 72 or 96 rounds per launcher. It can also be used as a shore bombardment system.
The 6"/47 caliber Mark 16 gun was used in the main batteries of several pre-war and World War II US Navy light cruisers. They were primarily mounted in triple turrets and used against surface targets. The 6"/47 caliber Mark 16DP gun was a dual purpose fitting of the Mark 16 for use against aircraft as well as surface ships. It was installed in the post-war Worcester-class light cruisers and the anti-aircraft gunnery training ship Mississippi.
The QF 4 inch Mk XVI gun was the standard British Commonwealth naval anti-aircraft and dual-purpose gun of World War II.
The 3"/23 caliber gun was the standard anti-aircraft gun for United States destroyers through World War I and the 1920s. United States naval gun terminology indicates the gun fired a projectile 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter, and the barrel was 23 calibers long
The BL 7.5-inch howitzer (naval) was a British anti-submarine mortar developed during World War I.
The British QF (quick-firing) 6-pounder 10 cwt gun was a 57 mm twin-mount light coast defence and naval gun from the 1930s to 1950s.
HMS Hever Castle was a Castle-class corvette constructed for the British Royal Navy in the Second World War. Transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy before completion, the ship was renamed HMCS Copper Cliff and saw service as a convoy escort for the remainder of the war. Following the war, the vessel was sold for mercantile use and renamed Ta Lung, operating under a Chinese flag. In 1949, the ship was taken over by the Communist Chinese government, rearmed and renamed Wan Lee.
HMS Guildford Castle was a Castle-class corvette that was ordered for the British Royal Navy during the Second World War. Before completion, the ship was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy and renamed HMCS Hespeler, which used the corvette as a convoy escort for the rest of the war. Following the war, the ship was sold for mercantile use, renamed Chilcotin in 1946, Capri in 1958, Stella Maris in 1960, and Westar in 1965. In 1966, the ship was destroyed by fire while at Sarroch, Sardinia. The hulk was taken to La Spezia, Italy where Westar was broken up.
HMS Norham Castle, initially named Totnes Castle, was a Castle-class corvette constructed for the British Royal Navy during the Second World War. Before completion, the ship was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy, renamed HMCS Humberstone, and served the rest of the war as a convoy escort. Following the war, the corvette was sold for mercantile service, beginning as Taiwei in 1946 and ending as South Ocean in 1954. The ship was broken up in 1959.
HMS Woolvesey Castle, also spelled as Wolvesey Castle, was a Castle-class corvette constructed for the British Royal Navy during the Second World War. Before completion, the ship was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy and was renamed HMCS Huntsville. Huntsville spent the rest of the war as a convoy escort. Following the war, the ship was converted for mercantile use and entered service as SS Wellington Kent in 1947. In 1951, the ship was renamed Belle Isle II. In 1960, Belle Isle II was sunk in a collision.
HMS Tamworth Castle was a Castle-class corvette that was ordered for the British Royal Navy during the Second World War. Before completion, the ship was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy and renamed HMCS Kincardine, which used the corvette as a convoy escort for the rest of the war. Following the war, the ship was sold for mercantile use to French, then Moroccan interests and was renamed Saada in 1947.
HMS Walmer Castle was a Castle-class corvette constructed for the British Royal Navy during the Second World War. Before completion, the ship was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy and renamed HMCS Leaside. The corvette was used as an ocean convoy escort during the war and was sold for mercantile use following it. The ship was purchased for use as a passenger ship and renamed Coquitlam, then in 1950, Glacier Queen. In 1970 Glacier Queen was acquired for use as a floating hotel in Alaska. The ship sank in 1978, was raised and scuttled in Alaskan waters in 1979.
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