"From the American entry into World War II until September 1943, U.S. submarines experienced an abnormally high number of torpedo failures. These failures resulted from three defects in the primary torpedo of the day, the Mark 14, which had a tendency to run deeper than the set depth, to detonate prematurely, and to experience the failure of the contact exploder when hitting a target at the textbook ninety-degree angle." Iron Men and Tin Fish is the first book that deals exclusively with the torpedo problem, building its case out of original research from the archives of the Bureau of Ordnance and records from the British Admiralty at the National Archives of the United Kingdom. These sources are complemented by correspondence and interviews with men who actually participated in the events, including the Chief of Naval Operations.
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