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"US PT-Boats in the Pacific" Topic


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Return to the US PT-Boats in the Pacific Poll



65 hits since 14 Sep 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Sep 2017 4:05 a.m. PST

I think the romantic visions of plucky little wooden boats zipping in through storms of fire to torpedo Japanese cruisers is nothing more than that: a romantic vision with little basis in reality. Their usefulness against enemy warships is limited, but they certainly had uses in less dramatic roles. One does wonder if the American PTs had been armed with a weapon like the Japanese Long Lance torpedo if they might have racked up a much more impressive tally.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2017 7:31 a.m. PST

When pitted against transports and supplier vessels in close in waters of some of the island chains they were effective. They were able to disrupt supply operations in several areas. Going against larger vessels of the IJN however, was not their cup of tea.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Sep 2017 8:09 a.m. PST

As above, when you apply a tool to an appropriate task, it is useful. When you try to eat soup with a chainsaw, you don't really see its utility.

The real question is "How important were the mission outcomes for the use of PT Boats with respect to the cost?"

lloydthegamer Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2017 10:34 a.m. PST

My guess is that he saw some PTs disengaging after launching their torpedoes. Standard practice was to sneak up at low speed, launch, get the heck out of dodge as fast as possible, meanwhile laying smoke. The admiral's observation sounds much like PTs beating a retreat after an attack.

They were excellent barge busters and all around bad guys in the South Pacific where they helped cut supply lines.

rmaker14 Sep 2017 10:54 a.m. PST

Also useful for slipping in raiding parties (and extracting them in a hurry).

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2017 2:33 p.m. PST

I suspect very useful for the tasks they were designed for – such as disrupting the logistics chain

dragon614 Sep 2017 10:14 p.m. PST

One does wonder if the American PTs had been armed with a weapon like the Japanese Long Lance torpedo if they might have racked up a much more impressive tally

One does wonder if American destroyers, subs, and aircraft had had torpedoes that worked before the middle of 1943.

The early PTs had torpedoes that had all the flaws of the destroyer and submarine torpedoes. Then they used aircraft torpedoes that were slow and ran deep with fuses that failed if the impact was at a 90 degree angle.

Then being insulted by the torpedo ordnance bureau as cowards and incompetents.

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