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The sign accompanying the torpedo. It reads


Torpedoes

Torpedoes have been used in naval warfare since the mid-1800s. The first effective torpedo, the "Whitehead" torpedo, was invented in the 1860s and used well into the 20th century. The torpedo's effectiveness as a naval weapon was proven during World War I when German U-boats devastated British merchant shipping.

The torpedo located below is a Mark 27 "Cutie" homing torpedo, a type used during World War II. Powered by electricity, the torpedo found its target by homing in on the sound of a ship's propellers. Once the enemy ship's propellers had been destroyed by a Mark 27, the crippled ship could be sunk using standard Mark 14 torpedoes.

Mark 14s were the most common type of torpedo used by American submarines during World War II. The U.S. Navy used them to sink almost 4,000,000 tons of enemy shipping during the war. Mark 14s measured 22 feet long and weighed over a ton. Powered by a steam turbine that burned grain alcohol, they traveled at a speed of about fifty miles per hour.

The torpedoes on board USS Cobia are Mark 14s which have been demilitarized, as has the Mark 27 Cutie torpedo below. The term "demilitarized" means that the warhead's explosives have been removed and the torpedo can no longer serve its purpose as a weapon.


 
Mark 27 Torpedo at USS Cobia
Time picture taken Sat Sep 27 09:59:14 2008
Location picture taken Museum Galleries
Wisconsin Maritime Museum
Manitowoc, Wisconsin
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