Whitehead Mark 1B torpedo

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Whitehead Mark 1B torpedo
Whitehead torpedo General Profile, The Whitehead Torpedo U.S.N.1898.jpg
Whitehead torpedo mechanism, published 1891
Type Anti-surface ship torpedo[1]
Place of origin Austria-Hungary
Service history
In service 1894–1922[1]
Used by  United States Navy[2]
Production history
Designer Robert Whitehead
Designed 1892[1]
Manufacturer Torpedofabrik Whitehead & Co.[3]
E. W. Bliss Company
Weight 1160 pounds[1]
Length 197 inches (5.0 meters)[1]
Diameter 17.7 inches (45 centimeters)[1]

Effective firing range 800 yards[1]
Warhead wet guncotton[1]
Warhead weight 220 pounds[1]
War Nose Mk 1 contact exploder[1]

Engine 3-cylinder reciprocating
Speed 27.5 knots[1]
depth control, gyroscope[1]
battleships and torpedo boats[1]

The Whitehead Mark 1B torpedo,[4] designated as a Torpedo Type B,[5] was a variant of the Whitehead Mark 1 torpedo adopted by the United States Navy for use in an anti-surface ship role after the E. W. Bliss Company of Brooklyn, New York secured manufacturing rights in 1892.[2] The primary differences between the Mark 1 and the Mark 1B were that the Mark 1B was longer, carried a heavier guncotton charge in the warhead and included an improved guidance system.[6]


The Mark 1B was ordinarily assembled into three sections: the warhead, the air flask and the after-body. The warhead carried the explosive charge of wet guncotton. The Mark 1B was a "cold-running" torpedo.[1] The three-cylinder reciprocating engine ran on cold, compressed air which was stored in the air flask at 1350 pounds per square inch. The after-body carried the engine and the tail, which contained the propellers.[6]

The Mark 1B guidance component included the Pendulum-and-hydrostat control device which was called the "Whitehead Secret" and, for the last forty units of the production, the Obry steering gyro for azimuth control. This device reduced the maximum deviation right or left of the target from 24 to 8 yards.[7]

The Mark 1B was launched from battleships and torpedo boats.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Torpedo History: Whitehead Torpedo Mk1". Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Artifact Spotlight: Whitehead torpedo" (PDF). Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Chronology: Torpedo in Word and Picture". Retrieved 2013-06-08. 
  4. ^ Silverstone, Paul (2006). The New Navy, 1883-1922. Taylor & Francis Group. pp. xxiii. ISBN 0-415-97871-8. 
  5. ^ "United States of America, Torpedoes Pre-World War II". Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  6. ^ a b The Whitehead Torpedo:. Bureau of Ordnance, United States Navy. 1898. 
  7. ^ "United States of America Torpedoes Pre-World War II". Retrieved 24 June 2013.