It has been my hope in writing for the REVIEW to seed the community with ideas of possible use and to incite more contributions from younger people closer to the real action. I think there has been a fine increase in such contributions and hope the trend will continue. As I use up my ideas of relevance I hope to be replaced thoroughly.
There is much remaining for the LEAGUE to cover and to do. Much credit is due you people at the top for what you have accomplished.
THE MK 18 TORPEDO
I was doing some research in Westinghouse torpedo history since this is our 50th year in Defense work, and found a couple of things of interest.
Westinghouse started on MK 18s in early ‘JI2 and delivered the first copies of the MK 18 in July. Production quantities came off the line in early 1 43 going to 400/month by December 1944, along with 50 or more HK 28 1 s/month.
A single torpedo was paid for by check to the U.S. Treasury in the amount of $6,3301
The letter from the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance is but one of many which he sent to “exhort the troops.” I found two MK 18’s I bad fired in one of his letters of 1945.
“To: The Men and Women of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company Westinghouse torpedoes have scored again. In recent action in the Pacific, Mark 18 torpedoes Nos. 5.4036, 54199 and 54188 bit and sank a 5,700 ton Jap freighter; torpedo No. 53557 sank a 1,000 ton cargo vessel; torpedoes Nos. 52282 and 54108 bit and set afire a 5,000 ton freighter; and Nos. 53950 and 53959 hit and damaged a 5,500 ton freighter.
Thus do Mark 1B’s continue to play their important part in the all-out effort to destroy Japanese shipping in the Pacific . . . RADM G. F. Hussey, Jr., USN.”
A HEALTHY EXCHANGE OF VIEWS
As a naval historian in Vietnam, I too often observed the stretching of history, the dressing up of what happened, in order to enhance one’s own personal record or, parochially, one’s service.
We were losing the war in subtle ways. In 1970 and 1971 you wouldn’t know it from the sitreps. The dream war floated on those dispatches. Reality was elsewhere.
My conclusion is that critical analysis — that may appear negative in suggesting ways things are less than perfect — is necessary to win. Service enhancement may not be the only “good;” defending one’s country may be a “better.”
The style of the SUBMARINE REVIEW is a case in point; a healthy exchange of views is stimulating, hence readable, especially in controversy, and creates the kinds of reconsiderations necessary to keep the questions open. Readiness before some big war has got to be a higher priority than skin burns accrued in a heated debate. Let’s argue it out, but do it in the REVIEW. The case is easily made for relevant dialogue — in the open for all.
In an age when we don’t hold all the cards against the “enemy,” open discussion has got to continue to be one of our long suits. Let’s not disarm ourselves by dousing the fires of controversy.
Keep writing the hot-headed letters to the Editor. That is a most patriotic way to help submarines and your country.