U-boat deck guns - I need your help

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oldhoweboy
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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by oldhoweboy » 19 Aug 2015 15:18

Hi
Is it confirmed that the sights were NOT stored in "tower" but below???
Rgds
Nobby
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butterfly
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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by butterfly » 22 Aug 2015 22:48

oldhoweboy wrote:Hi
Is it confirmed that the sights were NOT stored in "tower" but below???
Rgds
Nobby
First of all thank you to Eisenfaust for your posts, some nice photos, and reference to Sterns book.

Nobby, exactly the question that I would like confirmed.

Vladalex has stated that these sights were stored in a locker (possibly two? which are located at the front of the conning tower).
This is the perfect location for them as they would need to be easy access for mounting to the deck gun. However so far no-one else has come forward to confirm or deny this. These lockers are clearly for something and must be named as such on plans etc. What I would like to know also about these lockers is were they waterproof/airtight and if indeed the sights were stored, how were they stored? (fixed on a quick release bracket similar to the gun/ in boxes? how?)
supporting this is the fact that there were easy access, ready use lockers for the ammunition stored on deck - no point having ammunition if you cant aim the gun!!
also each sight weighs 12 kg

Eisenfaust quotes Sterns book in saying that the sights were stored inside the boat; well I guess this could be taken literally to mean with the crew or not so, meaning within the boat; IE inside a locker?
However if they were inside the boat, which given Vladalex's post, now seems less likely, then there must have been a place to store them, close enough to the hatches for easy access, that being the case, given the confines of a U-boat it ought to be easy to find the location.
Against this idea is the fact that the sights weigh 12kg!! and are fairly bulky items considering ladders, hatches etc. Also if stored inside, how quick could they be brought to the gun?


I now know the sight is pressure proof to a depth of around 140 meters (15 atmospheres) so they could remain on the gun during a dive. However as is clearly noted they were removed due to the risk of damage by depth charge attack. This being the case, what protection does the locker offer to the sights? When considering this question, a thought sprang to mind about another optic - the periscope. What protection was afforded them during depth charge attack? (I presume they were retracted within the housing, but was this housing left open??) - would depth charges crack glass in optics or were they designed small and strong enough to withstand such things (I am of course talking about reasonably close attacks not direct hits, but ones which the U-boat would survive, but close enough to worry even the hardened U-boat crew)


Perhaps the deck gun is an overlooked feature of the U-boat, focus being more on the Torpedoes, however in the early years of the war the guns appear to have been a very efficient weapon in the U-boats armoury. Of course little used after 1942 and mostly removed by 1943 they became redundant. Hopefully in the coming days/weeks/months some of the questions may be answered.

many thanks for your replies guys

kind regards Kev

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Åkerberg
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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by Åkerberg » 25 Aug 2015 11:40

Near the gun at the deck, there was a water tight container for ammo, maybe there was one for the sight ...

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Eisenfaust
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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by Eisenfaust » 25 Aug 2015 13:16

For what it's worth, the question at hand requires in my opinion blueprints of type VII and IX towers with practically everything labelled. I have some books with blueprints but they don't say what every hatch of the tower is for.

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vladalex
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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by vladalex » 25 Aug 2015 14:13

Sighting device was extremely simple designed and extremely rugged-builded. Let's imagine that 12 kg of cast steel protect, actually 3 lenses and a optical prism, that does not exceed 500 grams. This was this sighting device. And this device was enable to resist at 140 m of watter colon. Storage box from tower was blind (similar in structure to a safe) and was placed near gyrocompass room, infinitely more sensitive tool than this climb sighting, slightly evolved after WWI. For long-term immersion, the device is stored, normally inside the boat. My opinion is that, if this sighting device were in danger in his armored- box because of depth charge, the submarine in general, were in a more critical situation and not needed this device or the deck-gun, only ... fresh air. The stories from Stern's book have no enough technical relevance (for me of course), only one emotional and well understood purely subjective ...
Regards,
Vladalex

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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by butterfly » 25 Aug 2015 22:05

vladalex wrote:Sighting device was extremely simple designed and extremely rugged-builded. Let's imagine that 12 kg of cast steel protect, actually 3 lenses and a optical prism, that does not exceed 500 grams. This was this sighting device. And this device was enable to resist at 140 m of watter colon. Storage box from tower was blind (similar in structure to a safe) and was placed near gyrocompass room, infinitely more sensitive tool than this climb sighting, slightly evolved after WWI. For long-term immersion, the device is stored, normally inside the boat. My opinion is that, if this sighting device were in danger in his armored- box because of depth charge, the submarine in general, were in a more critical situation and not needed this device or the deck-gun, only ... fresh air. The stories from Stern's book have no enough technical relevance (for me of course), only one emotional and well understood purely subjective ...
Regards,
Vladalex
first of all many thanks to all who have replied to the thread, many things appear to be written about the U-boats, but it seems that so far the storage lockers are for the most part - overlooked. When you look at the conning tower there are quite a few of these lockers, all must have had its individual use. If anyone turns up a photograph showing the door open to one of these lockers it would be interesting to see.

Vladalex, you make a very good point regarding the construction of the sight itself, it certainly is a rugged piece of equipment and your comparison to the gyrocompass is certainly a good one. You will have to excuse my ignorance when it comes to the layout of U-boats its all new to me, but I am learning new things every day, so it is all good!!
I did re-read the passage in Sterns book and in it he says that the sights were removed to prevent them from'being knocked loose' during a depth charge attack - so this is maybe my mistake, in that it may not be damage to the sight, so much as loosing the sight.
Having said that, I dont always believe everything I read, I prefer to see official documents, or extracts from handbooks about such things. I would guess the main source for information regarding the sight would rest with the handbook on the 8,8 or 10,5cm Uboat or associated mounts. I am not sure if these manuals exist?

It makes perfect sense to me to have the gunsight storage lockers located at the front, either side of the conning tower. I believe not far in front on these, again either side of the deck were located the 'ready use' ammunition storage lockers. This being the case, everything was to hand to get the gun into operation in the shortest possible time.

regards Kev

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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by Eisenfaust » 26 Aug 2015 12:47

So who can name these type VII hatches?

Picture source: Vom Original zum Modell, Uboottyp VII C [Fritz Köhl, Axel Niestle]
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vladalex
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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by vladalex » 26 Aug 2015 19:44

Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help
Postby: vladalex » 11 Aug 2015, 14:33

...
Source : Przemysław Federowicz, U-booty typu VII - Geneza, opis konstrukcji, budowa, Tarnowskie Góry 2006, pag.25-26, and general dwgs.

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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by Åkerberg » 27 Aug 2015 09:55

Air and water...

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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by butterfly » 28 Aug 2015 22:04

Eisenfaust wrote:So who can name these type VII hatches?

Picture source: Vom Original zum Modell, Uboottyp VII C [Fritz Köhl, Axel Niestle]
Hi Eisenfaust,

If you look at the film footage in the link below it shows what I believe are the upper front hatches of the conning tower in the open position - these appear to be ammunition chutes, for the supply of ammunition which is stored inside the U-boat. The rounds would appear to be 10,5 cm due to the case length and it looks hard work man-handling inside! Note the rounds are passed through base first.

https://youtu.be/JyCL6c0Sb_g

I have yet to find a photo of other lockers in the open position, but I will keep looking!!!

regards Kev

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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by Åkerberg » 31 Aug 2015 11:00

Hatches to pass the ammution from the conning tower (coming from the ammo store inside the uboot) to the deck...

Image
Image

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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by butterfly » 07 Sep 2015 19:54

Åkerberg wrote:Hatches to pass the ammution from the conning tower (coming from the ammo store inside the uboot) to the deck...

Image
Image

Great photos showing the ammunition chute.

maybe someone has images showing more details on the various conning tower lockers?

regards Kev

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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by butterfly » 03 Nov 2015 00:00

This short film footage shows what appears to be an 8.8cm deck gun in use (judging by the length of the case on the round)

http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675 ... al-to-fire

regards Kev

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vladalex
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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by vladalex » 03 Nov 2015 11:28

It's a 10,5 cm S.K. C/32U in 10,5 cm M.P.L. C/36

regards Vladalex

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Re: U-boat deck guns.......... I need your help

Post by butterfly » 03 Nov 2015 19:40

vladalex wrote:It's a 10,5 cm S.K. C/32U in 10,5 cm M.P.L. C/36

regards Vladalex
Ok thanks Vladalex, I was going on the footage of the rounds for the guns but the angle may be deceptive, the one in the critical past film footage appeared to have a shorter case compared to the previous link I gave. ( I didnt really study the deck cannon themselves.........of course the ammunition may not correspond to the film of he deck gun in use, it could have been added in production)
perhaps my question ought to have been .....is it an 8.8cm round shown in the film?

regards Kev

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