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A History of Submarines

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posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 04:37 AM
But how many times did Lord Haw-Haw claim it was sunk before it actually was?

Nazis and their evil U-boats...

Not nearly the same as our brave, honourable, fearless submariners...

posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 05:06 AM
Had me going there for a second Howl.

The submariners of all the navies were brave men, as were the merchantmen and the warships they went up against.

Not much respect for the handful who machine gunned survivors in the water though. Created the evil Nazi submariner stereotype for the rest.

One of those lousy G7a or G7e torpedos was fired at Ark Royal in 39 or 40. First life gone.

A German Bf109 pilot was written up and awarded for another "successful" sinking. the poor bastard never said he sunk her, in fact by the time he found out Gobbels had made him a poster boy his protests fell on deaf ears. Then when the Ark showed up again, he copped the but of jokes and even I recall he committed suicide mid war because of it.

The Ark was torpedoed off the Spanish coast in 1941, after providing cover for a convoy. An attempt was made to get her to Gibraltar but failed.

The Ark Royals loss was accredited by an inquiry to "the worse case of damage control it had been the Admiralty's misfortune to investigate". One lousy hit and seven hours to sink. What the hell were they doing?

Ever hear about the Japanese Midget sub raid on Sydney in 1942?

A force of three or four large submarines carried three midget subs and a recce plane to a point off Sydney. They penetrated the harbour, but one got caught in the Boom nets, and was fired upon by naval harbour patrols...Naval Auxilary Patrol actually. Converted pleasure yatchs manned by Navy and nicknamed the "Nappies" NAP. The crew of this sub blew themselves up in the net.

A second midget sub was lost in the harbour.

The third was never found but was beleived to have escaped back out to the open sea. Either of these two mini submarines fired a torpedo at the cruiser USS Chicago but it missed passing under the keel of the converted harbour ferry Kuttabul, acting as a barracks. Nineteen sleeping RAN ratings were killed in thier sleep when the torpedo detonated against the stone pier she was moored against, sinking her.

It became known as the Battle of Sydney, as several warships in the harbour joined in the shooting at where the Nappies were pointing thier search lights.

The Japanese floatplane had reconned the Harbour and other parts of Sydney before the raid without detection (suitable fighters and radar were yet to be delivered) and over the next few days, at least one mother submarine surfaced and shelled the suburbs on two occassions without loss of life....I remember seeing a photo attributing the worst damage as being a hole blown in the asphalt of the street.

Two of the midgets were subsequently raised (a composite of the two is on display at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra) and thier crews were accorded a naval memorial service by the RAN with full honors. They were cremated according to Shinto tradition, and thier ashes returned with with a Japanese diplomat being repatriated to Japan on a neutral diplomatic courier ship....apparently this early in the pacific war someone wanted to keep the lines of communications open.


[edit on 9-11-2004 by craigandrew]

posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 05:23 AM
Ever hear about the Japanese Midget sub raid on Sydney in 1942?
I use to live in Perth. The raid didnt do alot of physical damage however it was another reminder that the Japs were on our door step.
The Japs used there Mini Subs against the RN in Sri Lanka cant remember the name of the habour. For memory they sank a tanker and damaged a battleship and one of mini subs ran aground and its crew were killed by a search party.

posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 05:36 AM
The Ark Royals loss was accredited by an inquiry to "the worse case of damage control it had been the Admiralty's misfortune to investigate". One lousy hit and seven hours to sink. What the hell were they doing?

The Japs lost a carrier for the same reasons they converted the hull of one of there super battleships (ie Yamato.) into a carrier (anybody remember the ships name?)
The carrier was attackted by an american Sub and only took one torpedo hit.
With a battleships hull the ship should shaken off the damage.
The torpedo hit had damaged the fuel tanks causeing fumes to leak.
Some wise guy thought that he could get rid of the fumes by turning on exhust fans of course this spread the fumes through out the ship.
It only took one spark and the carrier was lost with all hands.

posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 07:37 AM
The Port in Ceylon/Sri Lanka is Trimcolee (sic)

The carrier (Yamoto's sister) was the Shinano

The USS Lexington was lost at Coral Sea the same way. Got her damage under control and steaming again, when bam! aviation fuel fumes from ruptured lines ignited......Ever see the mushroom cloud shot of one of the main explosions? I noticed they used the film in a movie recently, colourised and used it to depict a USN CVN carrier blowing up.

Actually, hidden in all that smoke, the bow was very modernish.

Well got to go. My wife wants me to sleep for a change.


posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 06:31 PM
This is a bit out of sync and obscure but I thought any Canadian posters reading this thread would appreciate/lament the sense of De ja Vu and irony in it.

Canadian submarine class. In July 1914 the Seattle Construction and Dry Dock company was completing two submarines for Chile.
They were to be named Antofagasta and Iquique and were of an improved Electric Boat company Holland design, basically similar to a contemporary Carp class in the USN. The two submarines differed in size and armament; the Antofagasta was 2.3m (7 feet 6 inches) longer, but had two torpedo tubes fewer, although this may have been because she was not fully fitted out.

They had been ordered in 1911 from the Electric Boat co., which had subcontracted them to the Seattle outfit. The original price had been US$818,000 for the pair, of which Chile had paid US$714,000. The Chilean government was slightly in arears on thier payments because thier inspecting officers had complained that the two boats were overweight and could not meet the specified endurance. Thus relations were strained between the builders and thier customers, and the offer of an extra US$332,000 tempted the builders. The Chileans objected strongly to losing thier submarines, but as they were behind in thier payments they had no legal grounds for complaint. (bet they'd be tied up in court today..CA)

The Prime Minister of British Columbia, Sir Richard McBride, knew the two submarines were ready and started secret negotiations to buy them from the builders for US$575,000 each (115,000 pounds at 1914 prices). The idea was that British Columbia would have an immediate defence against any aggressor ( I suppose the German Asiatic Squadron was still a threat at that stage of the Pacific Coast - CA) while at the same time making a contribution to the new Royal Canadian Navy. The deal was so secret that when the two boats arrived at Esquimalt on 5 August 1914 the local defences had not been alerted, with the result they were mistaken for hostile craft.

Sir Richard McBride bought the two submarines with provincial funds on 5 August 1914, and as the Dominion Government did not sanction the purchase for another two days, British Columbia is the only province of Canada to have had it's own warships. The senior naval officer at Esquimalt bestowed the names Paterson and McBride on the submarines after the President of the building company and the buyer, but this was not approved. Instead, as they were both around the size of the RN's C Class boats, they were numbered CC.1 and CC.2

The submarines had been delivered without torpedoes, but the Chilean Navy used the RN pattern 18 inch (46-cm) Whitehead torpedoes, so eight rounds were obtained from the cruiser HMCS Niobe at Halifax.
With virtually no personnel experienced in operating submarines, Esquimalt dockyard had to train two scratch crews by taking both submarines apart in dry dock. On 8 September 1914 the old sloop HMS Shearwater was commissioned as thier depot ship and by November CC.1 was ready for trials.
For nearly three years the two boats remained at Esquimalt, engaged in cruising and training, but in June 1917 they were ordered to proceed to Halifax. With the Shearwater they passed through the Panama Canal in August, stopping at Balboa for running repairs. The three vessels did not dock at Halifax until 14 October, as the two submarines were not up to a voyage of more than 11,265km (7,000 miles). Thier engines were in very poor condition, and the original plan to send them across the Atlantic had to be abandoned. In 1920 both were stricken, and in 1925 they were sold for scrapping.

Displacement: 313/521 tons (surfaced/submerged) Length (CC.1) 44m (144 feet) oa; (CC.2) 48m (157 feet 6 inches), Beam (CC.1) 4.3m (14 feet);
(CC.2) 4.57m (15 feet), Draught (CC.1) 3.5m (11 feet 6 inches);(CC.2) 3.35m (11 feet). Machinery: 2 shaft diesels, 600bhp = 13knots/ electric motor, 260shp = 10 knots (surfaced/submerged). Armament: (CC.1) 5x 18inch TT (4 bow, 1 stern, five torpedoes carried); (CC.2) 3x18in TT (2 bow, 1 stern, 6 torpedoes carried). Crew: 17.


posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 07:17 PM
Thought I'd better get this ASDIC/Sonar piece off like Ive been promising.

Its from the 1970's Purnell's "Illustrated Encyclopedia of Modern Weapons and Warfare" with a couple of notes drawn from EB.

When my wife helps me get this web page set up I'll be scanning a couple of images showing what the old clunkers looked like

This is old museum piece tech, true...but it helps to know where your kit like the gear fitting out the "Virginias" came from.


Submarine detection apparatus. The problem of detecting submarines underwater was tackled by French and british scientists early in the First World War, when the U-boat threat became apparent. The use of ultrasonic waves for locating objects had been proposed as early as 1912 (EB entry suggests it was first suggested after the 1912 Titanic disaster, as a possible means of allowing liners and merchantmen to get early detection of the submerged mass of icebergs in colder waters - CA) but it was not until March 1915 that French scientists Chilowski and Langevin began work. The British Board of Inventions and Research took up the idea in August 1916 and assigned Dr. R.W. Boyle to the project. he quickly established that the most promising line of development was to develop the piezo-electric properties of quartz, and in fact Professor Langevin had already used a quartz plate as a receiver with some success. Approximate bearings were obtained from a submarine lying on the sea bed at a depth of 25-27 fathoms (46-49m) at a distance of 122-213m (400-700 yards).

The findings were passed onto the Anti Submarine Detection Investigation Committee, which initiated production of a prototype in June 1917. The device was known as Asdic, from the initials of the parent committee (there is some dispute of this claim -CA), and the first set went to sea in the armoured cruiser HMS Antrim in 1920. At the same time the "stone frigate" (RN slang for shore establishment? - CA) HMS Osprey was opened at Portland to train anti submarine personnel, and the patrol vessels P.31, P.38, P.40 and P.59 were given Asdic to form a training flotilla. the production model was officially passed for issue in July 1922, and in 1927 the Underwater Detection Establishment was founded at Portland (UK).

posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 07:34 PM
The cloak of secrecy surrounding Asdic meant that it came low on the list of priorities for money in the Royal Navy. The United States showed little interest in carrying on research, being content to leave matters in the hands of private industry, while the original leaders, the French, seem to have given up completely. The US QB Sonar set did not come into service until 1931, where as four (Royal Navy) "V&W" Class destroyers of the 6th Destroyer Flotilla were in service in 1923, and future destroyers were to be fitted with the device.

The initial use of Asdic was seen as a means of protecting the fleet from submarine attack, and so tactics emphasised the protection of fast warships rather than slow merchant ships. This led to a certain amount of over confidence in the ability to cope with the U-Boat, but after 1937 contingency plans were drawn up to arm 100 trawlers with Asdic sets.

In 1939 the RN had five asdic types in service in surface warships:

Type 123, the simplest type, used in trawlers.
Type 124, used in destroyers, but obsolescent.
Type 128, a replacement for 124 used by all escorts except trawlers and small craft.
Type 132, used in major warships (battleships and cruisers)
Type 135, used in small craft such as motor launches ( I am guessing they are referring to MLs and HDMLs used for coastal and harbour defence work).

I am trying to break this down into manageable bite sized pieces so please bear with me.

posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 07:55 PM
Asdic and the US Sonar were basically similar, with three parts: an oscillator or transducer which projected through the ships keel, a transmitter and a receiver. When the oscillator was connected to the transmitter it emitted a "ping" of about 15.25kc/second which was converted to audible sound. Alternatively, if connected to the receiver the oscillator acted as a hydrophone, which detected sounds such as cavitating propellers. These two functions are now described as Active and Passive Sonar respectively, and it should be noted that the detection range in the passive mode is considerably greater than in the active mode. Asdic could not be used with any reliability above 18 knots, and above 24 knots the dome had to be retracted to avoid damage.

Under normal WW2 conditions the operation was as follows:
transmissions would be made every three seconds, starting at 80 degrees on one side of the ship and moving in 5 degree steps round to 5 degrees on the opposite quarter. Although the beam could detect a submarine at ranges up to 2280 metres (2500 yards) it might well miss a submarine passing down on the opposite side, and so a "swept" range of only 1370 metres (1500 yards) was all that could be assumed. If a contact was made the Asdic operator had to classify it as a "sub'or "non-sub", depending on the size of the echo and the Doppler effect ( a sonic effect that indicated the echo was moving). The newest sets available in 1939 had a range recorder which converted the echoes into a continuous trace of paper (the "pre historic" version of todays screen display and playback I suppose
- CA). Its main use was to indicate the moment at which the depth charges were to be dropped, but it also helped considerably in classifying the contact.

Anyone need coffee yet?

posted on Nov, 9 2004 @ 08:24 PM
The US Navy's Sonar set became available in 1940 when the first Lend-Lease destroyers arrived, but it was also installed in the destroyer escorts delivered in 1942. Known as the Type 141 in RN service,it proved inferior to the Type 128, mainly because of the poor design of the spherical dome, which limited the speed at which it could be used. An improved type of Asdic, Type 143 was produced in 1943. It's main virtue was that it could be operated from a cabinet on the bridge, giving the escort's commander much closer control over the search. Type 144Q, introduced a year later, had nothing in common as it was a depth finding set. A narrow beam was transmitted downwards to measure the angle of depression of a contact, and it was designed to offset the loss of contact which occurred when the ship passed over the U-Boat. It's main use was to provide firing data for the new "Squid" triple barrelled ahead firing mortar. It was replaced by the Type 147, which was linked automatically to the Type 144 Search set and could pass firing data directly to the "Squid".

From 1926 British submarines were also fitted with Asdic for target acquisition, and in 1944 a submarine achieved the first submerged Asdic controlled sinking of a U-Boat. The sets designed for submarines included Type 116, Type 118, Type 120A, Type 138, Type 129 and Type 129AR.

The term Asdic lapsed after 1948, when the formation of NATO, with it's common signal book and growing use of standard terms, forced the Royal Navy to adopt the US Navy's term Sonar

Whewww! I'm going to give it a few days break before doing Sonar but I will leave you with a definition to Piezo electric, mentioned early in the peice. It is from EB's entry on sonar......which I might type in 2025!

Piezoelectric Piezoelectric transducers use crystals that change in dimension according to the applied electric field. If the field is alternating, the cystals vibrate and radiate an acoustic wave. Conversely, if the crystals are acted on by acoustic waves, they generate an electric field. Piezoelectric materials used include quartz, ammonium dihydrogen phosphate, tourmaline, and lithium sulfate (sorry guys....apart from quartz I don't know either!)

posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 02:38 AM

I've heard lots of different views on the Russian Oscar class submarine as being the most advanced and expensive submarine in the world, is this true, can you shed some light on this confusing topic ?

posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 02:51 AM
Most advanced, I don't know.
But I would suggest that most expensive at the moment might be Collins Class. Cost outlay per unit is astronomical at the moment, esp. given how few were ordered.
But what new weapons system was ever cheap?

posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 03:23 AM

The Oscar class submarines are the fastest, deepest-diving and just possibly the most expensive submarine in the world. Known as the 'The Golden Whale' to Soviet sailors, the Oscar's are thought to achieve their very high speed by using an automated liquid-metal cooled reactor of advanced design

I'm Just looking at the info about the Oscar, and im pretty sure its the most expensive/advanced submarine in the world!

posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 04:09 AM
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but it never occured to the poms that Asdic couldnt detect a Ubout on the surface.
When a Ubout was detected using Asdic didnt the attacking vessel lose contact with the Ubout when it was closeing in on the contact to lanuch a depth charge attack?

posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 09:17 PM

Picked up this link from a website called Global Security

Backstep from here to find more info on others...follow the prompts

Project 949 Granit / Oscar I
Project 949A Antey / Oscar II

949 (Oscar-I) 949A (Oscar-II)

Displacement (tons): 12,500 surfaced
15,500 - 22,500 submerged 13,400 - 14,700 surfaced
16,400 - 24,000 submerged

Speed (kts): 32 knots dived
16 kts surfaced 32 knots dived
16 kts surfaced

Dimensions (m): 143.0 meters long
18.2 meters beam (20.1 with stabilizers)
9.0 meters draft 154.0 meters long
18.2 meters beam
9.0 meters draft

Propulsion 2 VM-5 190 MWt pressurized-water nuclear reactors (OK-650b)
2 steam turbines - 90,000 shp
Propulsion 2 4-bladed propellers 2 7-bladed propellers

Endurance: 50 days

Diving depth: 300-600 meters [by various estimates]

Crew : 94 total

Armament: 24 - SS-N-19 / P-700 Granit
24 - torpedoes/tube-launched weapons
4 - 533 mm tubes - SS-N-15 Starfish / 82-P missiles or torpedoes
4 - 650 mm tubes - SS-N-16 Stallion / 85-P missiles or torpedoes

Electronics Radar
Snoop Pair or Snoop Half Surface Search
Rim Hat intercept array
Shark Gill (MGK-503) hull mounted
Shark Rib flank array
Mouse Roar MG-519 Hull mounted
Pelamida towed array
2 periscopes

I have looked at about half a dozen sites, but none put a price tag on the Oscars. Mind you there are hundreds that have links to the Oscar. One must have it, at least a good guess.

I looked under "cost of Oscar class SSGN" on my search.

No doubt they are expensive boats and put a terrible pressure on the Russian budget when built, but I doubt they are the most expensive craft built. In Soviet/Russian service based on the value of the economy then and now, Typhoons must have been the most expensive boats.

The Los Angeles, Ohios, Seawolf and Virginias must be the most expensive submarines on the planet, if you adjust thier replacement values to today's prices.

As to most advanced, possibly in her day for what she did. Actually as an SSGN she would probably have been unique when developed (the Oscar Is)........the USN was only just putting Tomahawk in thier SSNs, and they have only just begun converting some of the Ohio SSBNs into the worlds biggest and most advanced SSGNs with 150 odd Tac-Toms.

He he he......just thought..........worked in insurance 13 years and we used a book called a "Glasses Guide" listed all makes and models of cars on the Australian register and gives a best middle and worst price value of the cars, the books get replaced quarterly (?)...we used them for establishing insurance values

Anyway, I wonder if there is such a thing for the worlds military equipments!!!

I am sorry I cant find anything more solid and less subjective than my opinion for you. I will keep an eye out. Let us know if you find out.


[edit on 10-11-2004 by craigandrew]

[edit on 10-11-2004 by craigandrew]

posted on Nov, 10 2004 @ 10:41 PM
Arrrrgh.....Expert11 & Howlrunner......has some comments for you guys about Asdics surface performance and Collins boats...........but the computer tripped out as I posted....the buggers gone!

I'll post it again tomorrow when I can face typing some more!!

posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 07:51 PM
Sorry to disappear so long.

Here is the start of the Sonar section.


Underwater sensor derived from the original Asdic of 1920. The pooling of Anti Submarine efforts in 1917-1918 resulted in the passing of British secrets to the USN, and so the QB sonar set which came into service in 1931 followed along the same lines as the British Asdic. However the USN did not give priority to ASW in the 1930s and development lagged behind the British, particularly in the design of the dome.

After the entry of the US into WW2 this attitude changed rapidly, and after the war a great effort was out into finding an answer to the growing Soviet submarine fleet. Great emphasis was placed on big passive sonars for long range detection in hunter killer submarines and on bow sonars for surface escorts, but towed arrays and variable depth sets were developed as well. The variable depth sonar (VDS) can be streamed at a pre selected depth to get beneath a thermal gradient (differing layer of cooler/warmer water) which reflects transmissions from a hull mounted sonar, while a towed array (TAS) has the advantage of "listening" well clear of hull and propeller noise.

The US has used the following systems;

BQQ-2: made by Rayhteon and introduced in 1960. It was an active/passive set used in nuclear submarines such as the Tullibee and the Permit Class. It contained a BQR-7 conformal hydrophone array.
BQQ-5: an improved version of BQQ-2 made by IBM and mounted in the Los Angeles Class nuclear submarines (coming into service in the 1970s and early 80s).
BQQ-6: a passive version of the BBQ-5 used in the Ohio Class SSBNs (as they were coming into service in 1979).
BQR-15: Towed passive array with BQR-23 processor, fitted in the old Lafayette Class SSBNs.
BQR-19: Short ranged, rapid scanning set introduced in 1970 for SSBNs.
BQR-21: Digital multibeam steering (DIMUS), designed by Honeywell for SSBNs for passive detection (as at 1979)
BQS-4: an active/passive system introduced in 1955 for diesel elctric submarines and older nuclear boats. It contained a BQR-2B passive array and was made by a outfit called EDO
BQS-8, -14, and -20: sets for navigating under ice and detecting mines, fitted in later nuclear submarines of the 1960s. Made by outfits called EDO and Hazeltine and introduced in 1960.
BQS-11, -12 and -13: replaced BQS-6 as a spherical array in the bow dome of BQS-2 and -5. Introduced in 1960 and manufactured by Raytheon.
BQG-4: a fire control system known as Passive Underwater Fire control (PUFFS) and introduced in 1963 in the GUPPY submarines and Permit Class.
WAA: at the time of publication (1979) Wide Apeture Array, under development for the hunter killers of the USN in the post 1980 period, with three widely separated arrays on either side of the hull.
SQQ-23: passive/active integration retrofit, a modified SQS-23 introduced in 1972 for modernised (now scrapped) Charles F Adams Class DDGs.
SQS-23: made bt Sangamo and introduced in 1958 for Forrest Sherman Class DDs, and also fitted into attack carriers and cruisers of the period.
SQS-26: existed in various modifications of other systems for use in a variety of surface craft.
SQS-35: variable depth set, used in Knox Class ASW Frigates.
SQS-53: a version of the SQS-26CX digitally interfaced with the Mk.116 underwater fire control system. Used in the USN nuclear cruisers and Spruance Class DDs.
SQS-56: Improved digital version of SQS-23 used in Perry Class ASW Frigates.
SQQ-14: minehunting sonar.
SQS-14: was designed to replace SQQ-14 by 1985. It had side scan and other features considered advanced at the begining of the 1980s.
SQR-17: accoustics processor for LAMPS ASW Helecopters.
SQR-18: Tactical Towed Aray Sonar (TAC-TAS) for passive long ranged detection, used in the former Knox Class ASW Frigates.
SQR-19: and improved TACTAS used in the Spruance, Perry and other classes.

There is some background on what the Brits and other nations were doing with sonar in this period, but a relative absence on the soviet work. I think this refects the cold war security in place at them time, before the Russians became as commercial as the rest of us. I think the PRC is still noted for this to a degree, from comments I've noted on some other threads.

Anyway, I will post more later.

posted on Nov, 15 2004 @ 08:10 PM
I always wondered what was meant by atmospheres when they were talking about depths and thier effects on divers and submarines.

I got my answer on of all things, a travel show. They were looking at a coral studies project in the Florida Keys that allows research accredited divers to stay on a permament underwater habitat to work, without having to go through recompression later. As my nephew says..."very kewllll"

For my fellow dummies I thought I'd share.

For every 10m of depth underwater the atmospheric pressure increases by 1 atmosphere.

Sitting here with the breeze in my face I am at standard. 10m down in a divers suit I have twice that pressure on my body (one atmosphere). 100m down in a submarine, that pressure is ten times normal (ten atmosphere). A thousand metres down we are talking 100 times normal (100 atmosphere). Not a place to stroll about.

Cheers, until next time.

Some might have noted. I am taking a break from a lot of the other threads. At the moment it seems a healthier option.

posted on Nov, 16 2004 @ 04:56 AM
From memory the biggest problem with Asdic was actually with the depth charges, or ,more accurately, the launchers.

A ship had to pass over the submarine, thus losing Asdic contact, which projected forward, so the rear-mounted depth-charge launchers could be fired. This gave seriously ballsy Kapitenen the chance to turn and sprint in short bursts. Not that a submerged U-boat could sprint, exactly.

The problem was solved with the development of the bow-mounted anti-submarine mortars which fired charges in a set pattern and allowed contact to be maintained.

When I was a kid just about the scariest thing I ever saw, after Alien, was Das Boot. The scene where they are being bombarded and one of the men cracks...nasty.

posted on Nov, 16 2004 @ 05:11 AM
The problem was solved with the development of the bow-mounted anti-submarine mortars which fired charges in a set pattern and allowed contact to be maintained.
If my memory is correct
the name of the weapon you refer to was Hedgehog?

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