Whitehead Mark 3 torpedo

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Whitehead Mark 3 torpedo
Mark III Whitehead Torpedo fired from East Dock, Goat Island, Newport Torpedo Station, Rhode Island, 1894..jpg
Mark 3 Whitehead torpedo fired from East Dock, Goat Island, Newport Torpedo Station, Rhode Island, 1894
Type Anti-surface ship torpedo[1]
Place of origin Austria-Hungary
Service history
In service 1898–1922[1]
Used by  United States Navy[2]
Production history
Designer Robert Whitehead
Designed 1893[1]
Manufacturer Torpedofabrik Whitehead & Co.[3]
E. W. Bliss Company
Weight 845 pounds[1]
Length 140 inches (3.55 meters)[1]
Diameter 17.7 inches (45 centimeters)[1]

Effective firing range 800 yards[1]
Warhead wet guncotton[1]
Warhead weight 118 pounds[1]
War Nose Mk 1 contact exploder[1]

Engine 3-cylinder[1]
Speed 26.5 knots[1]
battleships and torpedo boats

The Whitehead Mark 3 torpedo was a Whitehead 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 difference between the Mark 3 and the previous versions of the 3.55-meter Whiteheads was the inclusion of the Obry steering gyro for azimuth control. This device reduced the maximum deviation right or left of the target from 24 to 8 yards.[4] About 100 Mark 3s were purchased from the E. W. Bliss Company; in 1913, these were redesignated Torpedo Type A.[5] These were withdrawn from service use in 1922 when all torpedoes designed before the Bliss-Leavitt Mark 7 torpedo were condemned.[1]


Obry gyroscopic gear installed in the Mark 3; the gyroscope itself is labelled F, G and H

The Mark 3 was ordinarily assembled into three sections: the warhead, the air flask and the after-body. The warhead's charge of wet guncotton weighed 118 pounds. The Mark 3 was what was known as a "cold-running" torpedo.[1] The three-cylinder engine ran on cold, compressed air which was stored in the air flask. The after-body carried the engine and the tail, which contained the propellers.[6]

The Mark 3 was launched from battleships and torpedo boats.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "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. ^ "United States of America Torpedoes Pre-World War II". Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Silverstone, Paul (2006). The New Navy, 1883-1922. Taylor & Francis Group. pp. xxiii. ISBN 0-415-97871-8. 
  6. ^ The Whitehead Torpedo:. Bureau of Ordnance, United States Navy. 1898.