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  1. #1
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    Limpet mine damage - Navy guys

    Looking to hear feedback from any folks that have served in the Navy regarding limpet mines.

    These are a somewhat buoyant mine that attach themselves magnetically to a target. Recent photos of attacks on oil tankers show the damage said to be caused by these mines.

    My question is that if the damage was caused by these, why are the holes in the ship several feet above the water line? One would think the damage would be at or below the water line, or 50/50.

    Not sure of the source, but I read that one of the captains of a ship that was hit said it wasn't a mine, and that they saw an object flying in at the ship.

    Thoughts?

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  2. #2
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    I am not a navy guy. But do understand a little bit about explosives.

    If you set a set charge off on say,... a pizza pan, nothing happens. Bang no effect, say it was a common firecracker. Put that same charge of fire-cracker under a cola can and it will lift the can 2 feet in the air. Might even put a dent in the pizza pan.

    Why the difference? Well in case 1 the blast has nothing to go against but air, case 2 blast has an obstruction to hit. In this scenario comparison, the water would act like the pizza pan and the ship would act like the cola can. Therefore the blast would be directed 'upwards'.

    That is just how explosives work. It's not so much a matter of combustion as it is 'containment'.

    Explosives 101, take all of the powder out of a common firecracker and pile it and light it,... there will be no pop. Just a hot flash. No 'containment'.

    I will not suggest interesting experiments, due the the fact that blasting craters in your local creek-bed is probably highly frowned upon these days and times.

    I did read, and was puzzled by the report of 'projectiles'. I have no idea what that was about. Nobody can see a moving bullet. I figure the crew was Japanese and had too much Saki with lunch.
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  3. #3
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    Hey cool I suspect the average sailor was to busy painting the ship battle ship gray to think about limpet mines. LOL. Couldn't resist a little joke there at the expensive of my fellow vets in the Navy.

    Anyhow I think Tool is on to something there. Maybe after losing a lot of oil the ship rose up higher in sea. I think we should blow a few Iranian naval ships out of the water to teach them a lesson.

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  4. #4
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks guys, good points!
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  5. #5
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    Captain pumped out ballast or shifted ballast to other side perhaps?

  6. #6
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    Another theory...the tanker was emptied before the photo was taken?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolwhip View Post
    Looking to hear feedback from any folks that have served in the Navy regarding limpet mines.

    These are a somewhat buoyant mine that attach themselves magnetically to a target. Recent photos of attacks on oil tankers show the damage said to be caused by these mines.

    My question is that if the damage was caused by these, why are the holes in the ship several feet above the water line? One would think the damage would be at or below the water line, or 50/50.

    Not sure of the source, but I read that one of the captains of a ship that was hit said it wasn't a mine, and that they saw an object flying in at the ship.

    Thoughts?

    Yea guys, something awry here. Look at that triangular shaped "likely mine" on the right. It is WELL above the waterline on that ship. Actually in same proximity horizontal with the other hole. I doubt magnetic mines JUMP upwards, LOL.

    Juan may have nailed the answer.

    Obviously photo probably taken much afterward the damage or it would have naphtha pouring out of it.

    Good call Juan.
    "You boys are really making this thing harder than it has to be". Me

    “They can’t do anything about it unless they start shooting people, and presumably they won’t do that.” Protester & confirmed idiot.

    "I am not here to rescue you, I am bringing you along for emergency rations" Quark.

    "This is me, I'm not at home. If you'd like to reach me, leave me alone." Sherl Crow

    I give free estimates [Wild Ass Guesses] over the phone.

  8. #8
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    Wikipedia will tell you that limpet mines are sometimes placed by hand. And it has pictures of them. They're pretty small, so I imagine that some type of "gun" could be made to shoot them. Consider hand grenades and RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades).

    I've been too busy to research this, but with this thread being the first time I've see "limpet" mentioned, it's making more sense now.

    The first thing I thought when I heard "mine, or projectile", I was wondering if they meant "torpedo". Don't laugh. Once upon a time, mines were called torpedoes. Remember, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" Admiral Farragut was talking about mines in Mobile Bay. I was wondering if maybe in some parts of the world they still called them that.
    In honor of RichardL: "Ain't 'None' of us as smart as 'All' of us".

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vin lashon View Post
    Another theory...the tanker was emptied before the photo was taken?
    In spite of what I said, I think this most likely.
    In honor of RichardL: "Ain't 'None' of us as smart as 'All' of us".

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