Period of progress

Types of torpedoes and total production

All important characteristics of torpedo were improved during the 100 years of its production. Between the late 1860s and 1960s, the factory in Rijeka produced more than thirty models, which differed in calibre, length, quantity of explosive, speed and range. Various navies around the world were delivered around twenty thousand torpedoes.

TORPEDO TR 45/a and TORPEDO TR 53Last models from the Rijeka factory –  450 mm and 533 mm calibre

The last models form the Rijeka factory, which were first produced before WWI and developed later, were the 450 mm and 533 mm calibre. The smaller model was 5,7 m long, it had 200 kg of explosive, its speed was 43,7 kn at 2000 m and 27,5 kn at 8000 m. The bigger one was 7,2 m long, it had 260 kg of explosive, its speed was 50 kn at 4000 m and 30 kn at 12000 m.
In the 1930s aerial 450 mm calibre torpedoes were made. Since then, torpedo can be fired from under the sea, at the sea level and from the height of 100 m.

TORPEDO ENGINE TR 45/a, 1950sSlanted 2-cylinder engines

Important progress in the power and speed of the engine happened in 1909 when Whitehead's factory, instead of producing engines with cylinders vertical to the torpedo axis started producing a horizontal slightly slanted engine with two bigger cylinders with greater volume and power. The so-called slanted 2-cylinder engine got its final shape in the 1920s and kept it until the end of production in Rijeka, in 1960s.
Before the WWI a heater was added to the engine – it heated the compressed air, increasing its volume and it produced steam which also increased the volume of the air entering the cylinders and affected the speed and reach of the torpedo.

PETROLEUM TANK FOR TORPEDO  53/IV, 1961Paraffin reservoirs

Until the beginning of the 20th century, cold compressed air was the only fuel for the Whitehead’s torpedo. Afterwards, a heater that heated the air and increased its volume – and torpedo’s speed and range – was added. Even later, steam, heated by the paraffin, was added, further increasing the speed and range.

DEPTH CONTROL DEVICE, 1883Depth regulator

Whitehead's great progress in comparison with Luppis's concept of boat was the immersion of the torpedo. That required a special device, which was long thought of as a miracle, and he called it his “secret”. To protect it from the competition, he refused to patent it.
Its function was to maintain a constant, pre-arranged depth, which was achieved with hydrostatic vessel that directed horizontal rudders. Whitehead’s “secret”, with few additions, remained almost unchanged until 1950s.

TORPEDO DEPTH CONTROL DEVICE 35 cm, 1883TORPEDO DEPTH CONTROL DEVICE 45 cm– type ULAN, 1910-1912TORPEDO DEPTH CONTROL DEVICE 53/IV, 1961

DIRECTION KEEPER WITH SPRING ACTIVATION, 1897-1907Gyroscope

First acceptable device for directing the torpedo with gyroscope was patented in 1894 by Lodovico (Ludwig) Obry from Trieste, a former employee of Whitehead’s. Obry was the first to solve many problems: how to get the gyroscope to start rotating in as little time as possible, how to direct the vertical rudders and maintain the fast rotation of the rotor. Obry immediately offered his gyroscope to Whitehead, but he refused it, explaining that he was close to constructing his own device. However, his son John did not succeed in developing his own model, so on 25 January 1897 he accepted Obry’s. The gyroscope’s spring was winded manually and released at the moment of application, causing rotation and inertion effect. Afterwards, its movement was induced by the same compressed air that fuelled the torpedo engine.

GYROSCOPE DIRECTION KEEPER, after 1925GYROSTABILIZER USED BY AIRCRAFT-LAUNCH, 1936TORPEDO GYROSCOPE DIRECTION KEEPER TR 45 A / B, 1940GYROSCOPE DIRECTION KEEPER TR 53/IV, 1962GYROSCOPE DIRECTION KEEPER TR 53/IV IN A BOX, 1962

IGNITER, beginning of the 20th centuryIgniter

Igniters on the first and a few next torpedoes functioned according to a simple mechanical principle and were situated at the front of the torpedo: when it hit the enemy ship, the igniter ignited automatically.
Because of accidents happening during firing, damaging the torpedo carrier, a more sophisticated igniters were made. Some were not situated on the head and some had reliable fuses which prevented the explosion near the point of firing.

TORPEDO IGNITER TR 53 / IV, 1950sTORPEDO IGNITER 53/IV (CROSS-SECTION), 1950sIGNITER, 1950s

The blow mechanism for the torpedo blowing heads of  53.3 cm, 1924 - Stabilimenti Whitehead, Società di Esercizio Anonima, Rijeka (Museum of Maritime History and History of the Croatian Littoral, Rijeka)Depth indicator

Before the delivery of each torpedo, it underwent test launching, during which its movement was recorded with depth indicator, which had a built-in printer that showed depth oscillations and possible emerging.
The data was written on a roll of paper. It had a clockwork mechanism or blades on the outside of the torpedo that rotated as it moved through water and rolled the paper.
Depth indicator was built in the test heads of torpedoes.

AutografAutografAutograf

Ciljnička spravaCiljnička sprava

Ciljnička sprava s torpednog čamca za lansiranje torpeda 45/b, izrađena je u tvornici Torpedo. Ovom se spravom najprije određuje brzina kretanja torpeda, brzina kretanja cilja i kut gađanja, a onda se oba ciljnika moraju dovesti u istu liniju s ciljem.

Launching tube

LAUNCHING TUBE, 1920-1930Lansirne su se cijevi počele proizvoditi gotovo od samog početka proizvodnje torpeda.   
Prva je cijev ugrađena u prvu torpiljarku na svijetu, bivšu topovnjaču Gemse, s koje su 1867. pred tvornicom torpeda obavljana podvodna probna lansiranja. Za tu je torpiljarku izrađena i cijev za nadvodno lansiranje torpeda većega kalibra.
Nadvodna lansirna cijev s pokretnim postoljem, kojom se pomoću komprimiranog zraka ispaljivalo torpeda promjera 450 mm s lansirne stanice tvornice Torpedo, koristila se u svrhu ispitivanja brzine, dosega i pravilnosti njihova kretanja.

First launching station was built in the 1870s. It was a wooden house on stilts with a wooden bridge. Later it got a high lookout for monitoring the test launches.Launching station

First launching station was built in the 1870s. It was a wooden house on stilts with a wooden bridge. Later it got a high lookout for monitoring the test launches.
New station, built of reinforced concrete, was made in 1930, and in 1934 it was added a “catapult” for aerial torpedoes. Every torpedo was tested before the delivery, in front of the naval commissions from various countries.
The model exhibited here shows the 1930s station, renovated after WWII.

Torpedos

ARAN 7 – ONE CYLINDER DIESEL ENGINE 7-9 HP AND  WINCH - Engine factory Torpedo, Rijeka, 1950s (City Museum of Rijeka)TORPEDO TR-53/IV - Engine factory Torpedo, Rijeka, 1961 (Faculty of Maritime Studies, Rijeka)TORPEDO TR 53-VA - Manufactured in the USSR, 1970s (City Museum of Rijeka)TORPEDO AIR CONTAINER G7a - Manufactured in Germany, around 1940 (City Museum of Rijeka)TORPEDO AIR CONTAINER G7a - Manufactured in Germany, around 1940 (City Museum of Rijeka)ABOVE-WATER TORPEDO LAUNCHING TUBE - Manufactured in the USSR, 1960s (City Museum of Rijeka)TORPEDO TR 53/VA WITHOUT WARHEAD - Manufactured in the USSR, 1960s (City Museum of Rijeka)PART OF TORPEDO CONTAINER TR 53/VA - Manufactured in the USSR, 1960s (City Museum of Rijeka)PART OF TORPEDO CONTAINER TR 53/VA - Manufactured in the USSR, 1960s (City Museum of Rijeka)REMAINS OF TORPEDO - Recovered from the sea near Beli, Cres, 2010 - Manufactured in England or Italy, 1940s (City Museum of Rijeka)ANCHOR OF PONTOON FOR TEST LAUNCHING OF TORPEDO (City Museum of Rijeka)
Muzej grada Rijeke
Muzejski trg 1/1, Rijeka, Croatia phone +385 51 336-711, info@muzej-rijeka.hr, www.muzej-rijeka.hr