German G7e torpedo
Imperial War Museum, London, UK catalogue no. MUN 3847
German submarine U-69 sank S.S. Caribou with a G7e/T2 torpedo. These weapons were 7.2 metres long and 53.3 centimetres in diameter. They weighed 1603 kilograms, which included a warhead of 280 kilograms. They had a speed of 30 knots (56 kilometres per hour) and a range of 5 kilometres. They were powered by an electric motor and batteries, which had to be recharged every few days.
The German U-boats experienced chronic problems with the torpedoes’ detonators (which sometimes failed to explode) and the depth-control mechanism (the torpedoes occasionally ran deeper than intended and passed under their target). For example, several days after sinking S.S. Caribou, U-69 attacked another ship SS Rose Castle when it was sailing from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Bell Island, Newfoundland. The torpedo fired by U-69 hit Rose Castle in the bow but failed to explode because of a faulty detonator. However, the crew of Rose Castle were not as lucky on November 2, 1942 when they were attacked by another German U-boat and sunk off Bell Island.