Report - - Arrochar Torpedo testing range, Loch Long - May 2011 | canute | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Arrochar Torpedo testing range, Loch Long - May 2011


28DL Full Member
The Torpedo testing range on Loch Long has been covered well before on 28DL. Sad to see how trashed it’s become over recent years.

It was used between 1912 and 1986 - the first torpedo factory opened at Greenock in 1910 and they needed somewhere to test them. The range was busiest during WW2 – in 1944 over 12,000 torpedoes were tested, the peak being 62 in one day.

Good site on its history by a former CO

Some details on its operation from http://www.secretscotland.org.uk/index.php/Secrets/LochLongTorpedoRange

Test firing was carried out from submarines, from torpedo tubes built beneath the pier of the test facility, or from a modified vessel, similar to a Clyde Puffer, equipped with two underwater torpedo tubes fitted beneath the bow. A line of floating targets was moored in the loch, in line with the pier, forming a series of observation platforms. Torpedoes under test were intended to run under these targets, rather than strike them, to check that they were running straight and true. Testing is said to have included wire-guided torpedoes which spooled out a control wire as they ran, but locals tell of regular misses, and of test subjects occasionally leaving the water. It is clear that some test samples were lost or abandoned, as the rusting remains of a battery powered torpedo lay on the shore south of Ardgarten for many years.

Torpedoes under test were constructed without warheads, and designed to float to the surface on completion of their test run. Recovery is said to have been by an ex-RAF rescue craft, the Fulmar, which had a low freeboard (the distance from the waterline to the upper deck level, measured at the lowest point where water can enter) which made the operation easier. During the period 1945-1946, several launches designated TRV (Torpedo Recovery Vessel) were moored in the vicinity of the pier.

Testing ended after an explosion at another range, involving the same torpedo type then being evaluated at Loch Long, but was not the sole reason for the range's closure. The range, together with its surroundings, was best suited to straight-running, shallow depth torpedoes, and the increasing use of more advanced designs, capable of running deeper, and using wire guidance to home in on a target, meant it was no longer able to test the latest designs, and was closed
Interesting fact for a pub quiz – in 1915 an urban explorer name of Augusto Alfredo Roggen (as in “you broke my heart Fredoâ€￾) was executed at the Tower of London for taking photos here






... those roof trusses look familiar



Control room