In this article we have discussed torpedo advantages and disadvantages, the concept of the TDZ, the aiming problem and the optimum firing position for a straight running torpedo attack. All of the concepts discussed apply, regardless if the launch platform is a destroyer, a PT boat, a submarine, etc. The following are some rules of thumb to use when conducting straight running torpedo attacks:
- Know your torpedo capabilities, especially their maximum run times at different speed settings.
- Make sure you are in the TDZ before you even think of firing. If you use the F12 Torpedo for nothing else, at least use the run time indicator to ensure you are in the TDZ.
- Get in as close as possible to reduce the target’s ability to evade. If you are using the F12 Torpedo Director in manual, use the highest speed setting that will still allow the torpedo to reach the target.
- Don’t get in so close that the torpedo doesn’t arm! In general shoot from 750 yards or more.
- Shoot from forward of the target’s beam — you want the torpedo to cross the target’s line of motion at as near a right angle as possible. In general you will find, for a moderate speed moving target, that you need to be 20 – 40° forward of the target’s beam for a good crossing angle (TA+AOB).
- If at all possible, shoot when the TA pointer is pointing to the target ship’s beam.
- Shoot only the number of torpedoes warranted by the target. The F12 Torpedo Director allows you to fire less than full salvoes if desired.