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[Editor’s Note: Dr. Milford retired from Battelle Memorial Institute in 1989 as Vice President for Special Projects. He was on active duty in 1945-46 as an ET2 and held a commission in the Organized Reserve after the war. He is a life member of the Naval Submarine League.]

The double asterisks (**) indicate publications considered to be particularly important or useful.


Anderson, Frank J. Submarines, Diving and the Underwater World, Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 238 pp ., 1975. A well known bibliography containing 1500 entries of which 41 deal specifically with torpedoes. Twenty-four of the Anderson torpedo citations are also contained in this bibliography, where they are marked “[And.XX]”; XX being the number of the Anderson entry.

Bryce, Barbara Ann, An Annotated Literature Survey of Submarines. Torpedoes. Anti-Submarine Warfare. Undersea Weapon Systems, and Oceanography: 1941 to January 1962, Autonetics Report EM-11-62-102, 9 March 1962. This report was available from ASTIA as AD 273 660. Bibliography contains 485 entries. Section IV B of the bibliography is entitled Torpedoes, but many of the entries concern ballistic missiles. Twenty-three entries deal specifically with torpedoes: nine technical reports (eight classified) and fourteen articles in trade magazines.

Ellis, William A., Torpedoes: A List of Reference Material in the New York public Library, Bulletin NYPL, Vo. 21, 1917, pp. 657-726.

Low, A. Lani and James F. Muche U.S. Submarines: A Bibliography, San Marino CA: Fathom Eight Publications, 1986. One hundred twenty-three entries, many of which also appear in this bibliography, deal specifically with torpedoes. Of the 123 citations, 24 are from USNI Proceedings and 27 from Scientific American. As noted below in the Greiner citation, all 31 papers from the Greiner volume are individually listed. Coverage is largely limited to US publications. As a result, both Bethell’s and Kirby’s important papers are not included.


“Homing Torpedo”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 77, No. 8, pp. 901- 902, (1951).

“Japan: Types of Torpedoes”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 49, p. 863, (1923). Professional Notes section. Describes a 21″ torpedo “now used in the Japanese Navy”. Almost certainly Sixth Year Type. Also describes an air dropped torpedo in less detail.

“Japanese Torpedoes”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 58, p. 931, (1931). Professional Notes Section. Comments on torpedo “along entirely new lines” described in Japan Advertiser. This might have been a reference to oxygen torpedoes. Very brief entry.

“Navy Develops Proximity Fuze for Torpedoes”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 73, No. 2, p. 222, (1947).

“Torpedo Tests in Reservoir”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 74, No. 3, pp. 375-376, (1948)

“Torpedo Improvement Revealed”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 73, No. 1, p. 99, (1947)

“Wakeless Torpedoes”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 71, No. 11, p. 1376, (1945)

Ainsworth, Walden L., “The Japanese Long Lance Torpedoes”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 84, No. 6, pp. 106-107, (1958).

Andrews, Frank A., “Torpedoes Our Wonder Weapon (We Wonder If They’ll Work)”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 105, No. 3, pp. 94-97′ (1979).

Armstrong, B.E., “Torpedoes and Torpedo Vessels”, Royal Navy Handbook, Bell and Co., 287 pp., (1896) [And.32]; also 1901 second edition.

Barber, Francis Morgan, “The Progress of Torpedo Warfare”, United Service, Vol. 3, pp. 278 ff., (1880).

**Bethell, P., “The Development of the Torpedo”, Engineering
(London): seven parts as follows:

Part I: Vol. 159, pp. 403-405 and 442-443 (1945)
Part II: Vol. 160, pp. 4-5 and 442-443 (1945)
Part III: Vol. 160, pp. 301-303 (1945)
Part IV: Vol. 160, pp. 341-344 and 365-367 (1945)
Part V: Vol. 160, pp. 529-531 (1945)
Part VI: Vol. 161, pp. 73-74 and 121-123 (1946)
Part VII: Vol. 161, pp. 169-170 and 242-244 (1946)

This was the first significant review of torpedo development to be published after WWII, and one of only three or four such reviews to have been published. Very useful and occasionally quite entertaining, e.g., someone’s false teeth fell into the first pour of torpex.

Boston, A.H., “Homing Torpedoes”, Journal of the Royal Navy Scientific Service (JRNSS) Vol. 2, p. 184, (1947).

Brooks, John D. and Thomas D. Lang, “Simplified Methods for Estimating Torpedo Drag”, in Grenier, L., ed., Underwater Missile Propulsion, pp. 117-146.

Browne, K.F., “A Short-Time Rated 100 H.P. Electric Motor of Unusual Design”, Journal of the Royal Navy Scientific Service, Vol. 1, No. 7, pp. 243-4, (September 1946). A light, inexpensive, easily produced motor for the first Royal Navy electric torpedoes.

Bucknell, J. T., “Submarine Mines and Torpedoes”, Engineering, London, (1889).

Bullen, John, “The Japanese ‘Long Lance’ Torpedo and its Place in Naval History”, Imperial War Museum Review, No. 3, pp. 69-80 (October 1988).

**Campbell, John, Naval Weapons of World War Two, London: Conway, 1985. This is the first place to look for technical data about torpedoes used in WWII or any other naval weapon used in WWII for that matter. Campbell has short, but accurate and useful, discussions of torpedoes used by Great Britain, the USA, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and the USSR.

Chandler, Lloyd H., “The Automobile Torpedo and Its Uses”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 26, pp. 47-71, (March 1900).

__________ยท “Torpedo Operations in Naval Warfare”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 26, pp. 417-440, (1900).

__________. “Automobile Torpedoes: Their Use and Probable Effectiveness”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 29, pp. 883-915, (1903).

Clark, Norman B., “Gyroscopic Torpedoes”, Proceedines USNI, Vol. 14, p. 606, (1888).

Coupe, Alan, “The Royal Navy and the Whitehead Torpedo” in Bryan Ranft, ed. Technical Change and British Naval Policy 1860-1939, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1977 pp. 23-36, notes pp. 151-53.

Craighill, William Edward, Foreign Systems of Torpedoes as Compared with Our Own, Willets Point, NY: Battalion Press, US Engineer School, 1888, [And.270].

Craven, Francis S., “Accurate Measurement of Torpedo Ranges”, Proceeding USNI, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 1225-1236, (1916).

Dommett, W.E., Submarine Vessels, Including Mines, Torpedoes, Guns, Steering, Propelling and Navigating Apparatus and with notes on Submarine Offensive and Defensive Tactics and exploits in the Present War, London: Whitaker, 1915, 106 pp.

Domville-Fife, Charles W., Submarines of the World’s Navies, London: Francis Griffith, 1910, [And.328].

__________. Submarines, Mines and Torpedoes in the War, London, New York: Hodder and Stoughten, 192 pp., 1914 [And.327].

__________. Submarine Warfare of To-Day, London: Seely Service, 303 pp., 1920 [And.326].

Evans, T.X., “Creep, or Latitude Error, In Torpedo Fire”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 62, No. 11, pp. 1593-1596, (1936).

Fletcher, Frank F.,.. The Problem of Torpedo Discharge”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 21, pp. 339-348, (1895).

**Friedman, Norman, US Naval Weapons, London: Conway, 1983. Part m, Chapter 4, pp. 115-122 and Appendix III-3, pp. 267-269 deal with US torpedoes. The appendix is a useful tabulation of US torpedoes.

Frost, Holloway H., .. Night Torpedo Operations”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 43, pp. 1671-1700, (1917).

Gathmann, Emil, “Torpedo Safety Devices”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 26, pp. 629-635, 1900.

**Gray, Edwyn, The Devil’s Device: Robert Whitehead and the History of the Torpedo (Revised Edition), Annapolis: USNI Press, 1991. A biography of Robert Whitehead which contains an enormous amount of material about the history of automobile torpedoes. Technical material contains some errors and torpedo listings are incomplete, but very useful.

Greiner, Leonard, ed., Underwater Missile Propulsion, Arlington, VA: Compass Publications, 1967 [Edited volume containing 31 papers totalling 502 pp. All 31 papers are listed individually in Low and Muche bibliography].

Hall, Cyril, Modern Weapons of War. by Land. Sea and Air, London: Blackie, 192 pp., 1915 [And.558].

Hawkins, Maxwell, Torpedoes Away Sir: Our Submarine Navy in the Pacific, New York: Holt 268 pp., 1946 [And.584].

Hughes, Warren, .. “The Shape of Tomorrow’s Torpedo”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 75, No. 10, pp. 1145-1149, (1949).

Itani, Jiro, Hans Lengerer and Tomoko Rehm-Takahara, “Japanese Oxygen Torpedoes and Fire Control Systems” in Warship 1991 pp. 121-131, London: Conway Maritime Press, 1991

Jane, F.T., The Torpedos in Peace and War, W. Thacker and Co., 163 pp., 1898 [And.677].

Jaques, W.H., “Naval Torpedo Warfare” in Report of the [Senate] Select Committee on Ordnance and War Ships, Washington: GPO, pp. 148-191, 1886. Includes papers by Barber and by Very.

**Kirby, Geoffrey J., .. A History of the Torpedo”, Journal of the Royal Navy Scientific Service, Vol. 27, pp. 30-42, 1972; Vol. 27, pp. 43-55, 1972; review written about 25 years after Bethell’s. Covers some of the same material in slightly different ways and presents unclassified material about post WWII torpedoes. Many references to Royal Navy reports.

Knapp, Harry S., “Results of Some Special Researches at the Torpedo Station”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 19, pp. 249-266, (1893).

Kurak, Steve, “The U.S. Navy”s Torpedo Inventory”, Proceedings USNI. Vol. 92, No. 9, pp. 144-147, (1966). Operational torpedoes as of 1966. Includes Mk 14, but indicates it was then obsolete.

Lumley, R., “Japanese Torpedoes”, Warship International, No. 1, pp. 101-102, (1973). “Ask and Answer” section. WWII only. Not complete and not accurate. Primary question seems to have been what torpedoes sank the REPULSE and PRINCE OF WALES? Lumley’s name does not appear with letter, but may appear elsewhere.

Lusar, R., German Secret Weapons of the Second World War, N. Spearman and Co., 1960 (Second Edition)

Maxwell, F.A., “Torpedo Propulsion Systems”, J. American Rocket Society, Vol. 19, pp. 166-184, (December 1949).

McCandless, Bruce, “The Howell Automobile Torpedo”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 92, No. 10, pp. 17+176, (1966).

Ordnance (Magazine), “The Navy’s Torpedoes”, p. 516, March/April 1966.

Reisinger, William W., “Torpedoes”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 483-538, (1888).

Robinson, Eugene, “The Evolution of the Torpedo”, United Service, New Series 11, (1894).

Rowland, B. and W .B. Boyd, U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance in World War II, Washington: GPO, 1953

Royce, Donald, “Boresighting Submarine Torpedo Tubes”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 46, No. 6, pp. 873-889, (1920).

Siefert, E.M., “The Evolution of the Torpedo”, Ordnance, Vol. 39, pp. 720-724, (Mar/Apr 1955).

Sleeman, C., Torpedoes and Torpedo Warfare, Portsmouth: Griffin and Co., 309 pp., 1880 [And.1141] [Also 1889 edition]. A classic.

Stockard, J.M., The Origin and Evolution of the Torpedo, Colliers Encyclopedia, 1948

Stotherd, Richard Hugh, Notes on Torpedoes, Offensive and Defensive, Washington: GPO, 318 pp., 1872 [And.1190].

**Sueter, M.F., The Evolution of the Submarine Boat, Mine and Torpedo from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Time, Griffen and Co., 1907/1908, pp. 384. Another classic by a Royal Navy officer.

Sypher, J.H., “Notes on the Obry Device for Torpedoes”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 23, pp. 655-661, (1897). An early, readable account of the use of a gyroscope to control the course of a torpedo.

Thaxton, David R., “Damn the Torpedoes”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 109, No. 9, pp. 113-115, (1983).

**US Navy, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, NavPers 10798 A, Vols. 1 and 2, Washington, GPO, 1958. Chapter 12 (vol. 2) “Torpedoes” and Chapter 27 (Vol. 2) “Torpedo Fire Control”. This is one of a series of texts that started in 1861, sometimes published by the GPO and sometimes by commercial publishers. The twelve or so versions through 1939 did not mention fire control or torpedoes since these items were classified. The 1950 version was classified Restricted and covered both. The 1958 version consisted of three volumes of which the third was classified Confidential. The two chapters on “Torpedoes” and “Torpedo Fire Control” in the unclassified volumes provide a great deal of information about US Navy torpedo practice through Mks 23 and 24. From around 1964 on, the amount of material on torpedoes in Naval Ordnance and Gunnery diminished, presumably to make room for other material.

US Navy, Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Ordnance Activities: World War. 1917-1918, Washington: GPO 1920. Chapter IX “Torpedoes”, pp. 163-174.

Welch, A.M., “21 Inch German Electric Torpedoes”, Journal of the Royal Navy Scientific Service, Vol. 2, p. 37, (1947).

Williamson, William P ., “Some Notes on Torpedo Gyroscopes and Their Adjustment in Service Use”, Proceedings USNI, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 157-170, (1916).

Wood, R.D., “Some Thoughts for an Underwater Weapon System of the Future”, Journal of the Royal Navy Scientific Service, Vol. 22, p. 11, 1967


Beloshitskiy, V.P. and Y.M. Baguisky, Underwater Weapons, Military Publishing House, Moscow: 1960

Burchard, Henri Pierre Gabriel, Torpilles et Tomillieurs des Nation Etrangeres (Bibliotbeque du Marin), Paris: Berger-Lavrault, 1889, pp. 222 [And.158].

Carrero, Guillermo, El Submarino Torpedero en et Atague, Madrid: Escelicer, 1941, pp. 104 [And.l95].

Daudenart, L.G., LaGuerre Sous-Marins et les Tomilles?, Brussels: Muquart, 1872, pp. 93 [And.286].

Labeuf, M. and Stroh, H., Sous-Marins. Torpmes et Mines, Balliere et Filles, 1923, pp. 810 [And. 755].

Lebedskoi, G.M., Torpeda i Mina, Moskow: 1949, pp. 102, [And. 761].

Noalhat, H., Torpilles et Projectiles Automobiles, Paris: BergerLeverault et Cie., 1908, pp. 432 (1905) [And.921].

**Oyabi Shizuo, Kaigun Suiraishi [Torpedoes of the Imperial Japanese Navy], Tokyo: 1979 (in Japanese). A massive volume dealing with all aspects of torpedoes and torpedo warfare. As is common with Japanese publications of this genre, there is a maddening total absence of source citations, significant gaps in coverage and surprisingly poor illustrations. In spite of these criticisms, this is one of the two most important publications dealing with Japanese torpedoes.

Perlia, Zigmund Naumovich, Udar Pod Vodoi, Moscow: 1945

**Roessler, Eberhard, Die Torpedoes der Deutschen U-Boote, Herford, Koeblers Verlagsgesselschaft mbH, 1984 (in German). Best and most comprehensive treatment of German torpedoes. Coverage is general from around 1880 to 1914, but focuses on submarine launched torpedoes from WWI on. An extremely important reference.

Ruge, Friedrich, Torpedo- und Minenkrieg, Munich and Berlin: Lehman, 1940, pp. 67 [And.1080].

Stroh, Henri, Mines et Torpilles, Paris: Armand Colin, 1924, pp. 183, [And.l192].

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