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deck gun on subs question


Trigger Mike

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That's it.

Lots of grease and a muzzle plug.

Here is a photo of a R-boat and its 5"/50 deck gun.

7-crew2.jpg

 

Submarines were fitted with special deck mounts but the guns were from other surface ships.

Destroyers and escorts of WWI vintage.

The 4"/50 was said to be the most accurate but was limited in elevation because of the longer breech and barrel past the pivot on the pedestal mount.

USS Pampanito SS-383 deck gun. From a Clemson class destroyers. (1918-22)

sub8.jpg

 

Similar gun on the USS Little D-79 a Wickes class destroyer. (1918)

4inch_50caliber_USS_Little_zps08a76ff5.j

 

The Wickes preceded the Clemson class destroyers.

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After discovering that deck guns designed for surface combatants were not very reliable after being submerged, engineers designed purpose built deck guns for submarines. They used corrosion resistant steel and designed them to be sealed up when not in use. This combined with the strategic use of sacrificial anodes and a good preventative maintenance schedule kept them operational.

 

Oh and don't forget lots and lots of grease

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Here is a shipyard photo showing modifications.

 

To answer the ammo question.

Ammo was brought up from inside the main hull and past through hatches in the conning tower.

In the photo you can see two hatches and the main gun mount foundation.

The gun has been removed.

Also the machine gun is not installed in it's mount but you can see the shields.

Both ammo and the machine guns were passed through these round hatches.

The conning tower was mostly free flooding and used to protect masts and the access hatch.

On one side of the conning tower at deck level there is a door way for personnel to get to the deck.

The photo is of the Snook SS-279, 1944.

 

ss-279.jpg

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Regrease almost daily?

As most early diesel boats had to surface regularly to recharge their batteries there would have been time for gun maintenance almost every night. Imagine being a gunner on a sub that got to smell fresh air almost every night while servicing the deck gun. He would have been the envy of most of the rest of the crew as they seldom got the opportunity to go above deck while at sea.

 

Found this describing the 5"/25 deck gun that was installed on most US submarines. While the Mk 17 was purpose built to be a "Wet Mount" many of the 5"/25 guns removed from surface ships for use on submarines were upgraded with corrosion resistant barrels once they were available. This would have resulted in many different configurations being installed on subs.

 

5"/25 (12.7 cm) Marks 10, 11, 13 and 17

 

 

The Mark 17 was a "wet mount" version for submarines and was unusual in that it did not require breech or muzzle plugs. This was because it used a special liner resistant to corrosion from sea water and could thus be submerged and flooded without harm to the gun. The Mark 17 Mod 0 used a tube of higher strength steel than that used for earlier Marks and had a shrunk forged copper-nickel alloy liner. The Mark 17 Mod 1 was a bored out Mark 13 Mod 0 fitted with a tapered copper-nickel alloy liner. Both Mods of the Mark 17 had chrome-plated bores and lacked the pneumatic rammers used on other Marks. This was acceptable as the Mark 40 mounting used on submarines was an SP type with a maximum elevation of 40 degrees.

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Was there a hatch nearby for the gun crew and ammo?

As a matter of fact....a right handy one! The deck gun was mounted aft of the conning tower. The thinking was no skipper who wasn't full-goose crazy would use the deck gun to attack (and would want it on the front) so they put it aft envisioning it being used to discourage pursuit. In fact, a number of WWII skippers used their deck gun to sink shipping and attack shore installations.

 

The access hatch was the messroom hatch which is the first compartment aft of the control room. The magazine just happens to be located under this compartment adjacent to the food storage on the lower deck. (Betcha didn't know WWII Gato class subs had a basement, LOL) :D

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As a matter of fact....a right handy one! The deck gun was mounted aft of the conning tower. The thinking was no skipper who wasn't full-goose crazy would use the deck gun to attack (and would want it on the front) so they put it aft envisioning it being used to discourage pursuit. In fact, a number of WWII skippers used their deck gun to sink shipping and attack shore installations.

 

The access hatch was the messroom hatch which is the first compartment aft of the control room. The magazine just happens to be located under this compartment adjacent to the food storage on the lower deck. (Betcha didn't know WWII Gato class subs had a basement, LOL) :D

If I remember correctly the deck gun was usually used to attack targets that couldn't shoot back, like freighters, thus saving the torpedoes for for other targets, so they could just park and lob shells.

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Subs actually spent more time on the surface than submerged. They submerged only to attack or avoid attack.

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Towards the end of WWII, ALL deck guns were removed from our Fleet Submarines. Only heavy machine guns were retained for dealing with small craft, not worth the expenditure of a torpedo. An M-2 would ..... and still will ...... take a Sampan apart in just seconds.

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I have lots of information on submarines.

I build Full functional RC submarines.

I administer a model sub building forum.

www.subpirates.com

I have a web site that lists museums with subs and sub stuff.

http://www.cliffhangershideout.com/subpirates/SP.html

I was Navy, SSBN out Charleston,SC.

 

These two boats are in my living room.

Back is a Skipjack class boat in 1/72 scale.

The front boat is a George Washington in 1/144 scale.

 

 

boats2.jpg

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I am currently building a 1903 B-boat.

Here is the completed conning tower.

b-con035.jpg

 

I am working on the hull plug which will be used to make molds.

The hull plug is built and I am doing the final shaping.

Scale is 1/24 which made what is shown 40" long without the bow and propeller.

b-hull46.jpg

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My dad was on the Skate when it surfaced at the North Pole in 1959. He finished his Navy career on the Simon Boliver, a Polaris submarine. It is hard to believe the Bolivar was decommissioned and scrapped over twenty years ago. Seems like only yesterday it was being built.

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