The sign accompanying the torpedo. It reads
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
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.