Empire Digital Torpedo Level
The Empire Digital Torpedo Level (EDLT) is a system of torpedoes designed and manufactured by the United States Navy. They are used primarily against submarines, but they have been deployed in other roles as well. EDLTs were first introduced into service during World War II when the U.S.
submarine force was reduced due to loss of personnel and equipment. Today, EDLTs continue to serve the nation’s submarine fleet as a last resort defense against enemy subs.
EDLTs are launched from submarines using a combination of electric propulsion and steam turbines. They are equipped with sonar which allows them to detect their targets even underwater at depths greater than 1,000 feet. The torpedoes themselves weigh approximately 5 tons each and have a range of up to 50 miles before needing refueling or refitting.
Once launched, EDLTs travel at speeds of 25 knots and reach a maximum speed of 35 knots while traveling through water.
EDLTs are armed with two types of torpedoes: the standard depth charge warhead and the proximity mine warhead. Depth charges are explosive devices that explode upon impact with submerged objects such as buoys or cables. Mines are small explosives that detonate upon contact with another object such as a ship or submarine.
EDLTs can also be launched from surface vessels and patrol boats. In these cases, they are piloted to within a half-mile of their target before they launch the torpedo.
The torpedoes are guided by sonar, which is in turn guided by a human operator. The human operator must maintain continuous visual contact with his weapon until it reaches the target. Once the torpedo is launched, it can no longer be detonated or recalled.
The first EDLTs were developed in the U.S. during World War II to help battle German U-boats.
The “frogmen” units of the U.S. Navy were given the responsibility of using these torpedoes in a defensive role against German submarines which were sinking American ships at a rapid pace throughout the war.
At this time the U.S. Navy was grossly unprepared to fight a two-front war against both Germany and Japan.
This lack of preparation showed when the Japanese launched a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. It also showed in the U.S. Navy’s effort against German U-boats. During the first three years of the war, they managed to lose more ships than they did during the entire Revolutionary War.
The U.S. Navy’s “Frogmen”
This is the group of men who used EDLTs during World War II. During this time, they were placed under the direction of the U.S.
Navy’s SeaBees to support their amphibious invasions in the Pacific Theater of Operations. These men were all volunteers, and at any given time they numbered between 300 to 500. They were organized into groups that varied in size from 30 men to 100 men each.
The 300 to 500 men were broken down into two groups: one group was responsible for clearing mines, while the other group served as their protection. Each group was further divided into three platoons of 100 men each. The first platoon (which carried the heaviest gear) would land on the beach five minutes ahead of the second platoon (which served as the first platoon’s protection).
The second platoon would then wait 40 minutes before the third platoon came ashore.
As the war dragged on and the Allies began to turn the tide of battle in their favor, the U.S. Navy began experimenting with different ways to use these “frogmen.” Many of these experiments were carried out by a group of men who came to be known as “Darby’s Raiders,” after their leader, Lieutenant Commander John D.
One experiment involved equipping the men with EDLTs and having them swim under the harbors’ anti-submarine nets in an attempt to sink anchored enemy ships. On several occasions, the men succeeded in doing just that.
On another occasion, one platoon of frogmen was dropped off on a small island inside an enemy harbor at night to blow up a small patrol boat that was making rounds near the coastline. They succeeded in their mission, and returned to their flotilla undetected.
After the war had progressed and the U.S. Navy had suffered its first major defeat at the hands of the Japanese with the sinking of the carrier U.S.S.
Lexington in 1942, the U.S. Navy realized that it needed more men to fight the war on the sea. The “Frogmen” were chosen for this mission because of their special skills in swimming and diving. These skills allowed them to salvage items from sunken ships and blow up enemy ships using EDLTs. These men were organized into two groups: One for the Pacific Theater of War and one for the Atlantic. Each group numbered around 300 men.
The plan for the first major offensive against the Japanese in the Pacific was to recapture control of the Philippines, which had been lost to the Japanese in 1942. This U.S.
invasion of the Philippines was costly, and one part of it involved sending a group of Navy Seals (the new name for U.S. Navy Frogmen) to scale Corregidor Island at night and place underwater explosives on the large Japanese ships berthed there. The only problem was a Japanese patrol boat spotted them when they were almost done with their mission. They managed to sink one of the two Japanese ships, but all of the men were either killed or captured. The captured men were later tortured and beheaded by the Japanese.
The other group of Navy Seals were sent in to destroy underwater mines the Japanese had placed outside the entrance to Manila harbor. During their mission they were spotted by two Japanese patrol boats at night, which began firing at them.
Sources & references used in this article: