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Where are the experts on LIBERTY (EC-2) ships?

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  #26  
Old 26th February 2020, 13:59
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ehhmmm,

since this was about nets, a hair net could have done the job?
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  #27  
Old 26th February 2020, 15:32
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Dear Alan,

I believe most, if not all, Liberties came with the open fly bridge / compass. At least that is what the ship yard pictures show.
The "cabins" were added later at different points in time and differed widely, maybe self made using dunnage? or whatever available or provided by the managers. They may look similar in size and height, if the existing railing around the compass was used to fix the panels.

But that is only my guess!
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  #28  
Old 26th February 2020, 16:04
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Originally Posted by FSG631 View Post
Dear Alan,

I believe most, if not all, Liberties came with the open fly bridge / compass. At least that is what the ship yard pictures show.
The "cabins" were added later at different points in time and differed widely, maybe self made using dunnage? or whatever available or provided by the managers. They may look similar in size and height, if the existing railing around the compass was used to fix the panels.

But that is only my guess!
I think that is right because each picture shows a different solution. The one I knew was a crude affair but functional (again!). Not particularly nice to look at, but more or less adequate. Garden shed type of structure. As a side note, it was possible for the helmsman to steer the ship, ring the telegraph, and pull the steam whistle cord when needed, and I did this on a few occasions arriving or leaving port or transiting the Panama canal. Great fun if you were 18 years old!
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  #29  
Old 26th February 2020, 17:58
Wallace Slough Wallace Slough is offline  
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I piloted the Jeremiah O'Brien on many occasions and she was a totally unaltered Liberty. We'd normally conn the ship from the Flying Bridge as the visibility was so poor from the wheelhouse. On rare occasions we'd retreat to the wheelhouse in inclement weather, but rarely. I can see why so many Liberty ships post war in commercial service had the small doghouse built on the Flying Bridge due to the poor visibility from the existing wheelhouse. I'm sure the wheelhouse would have been a great place to be during wartime as it offered some limited protection versus the totally open Flying Bridge.
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  #30  
Old 26th February 2020, 18:25
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Wallace,

...many war time pictures show the make shift protection as well. I guess Merchant Crews and with commerially managed ships on BB Charter did not follow guidelines strictly, if there were any in this respect, anyway!

My favourite place on my more modern ships was always the bridge wing, lee side! But, mainly we were trading the south pacific during summer or caribbian anyway!

In WNA or on a run to Archangelsk or Murmansk, it might have been different!
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  #31  
Old 26th February 2020, 18:53
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Not a Liberty, but same installation!
https://media.iwm.org.uk/ciim5/18/81...at=Photographs
IWM (A 17352)
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  #32  
Old 27th February 2020, 13:16
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Lars

I have tried to reply to your private message without success. Please email me at [email protected]
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  #33  
Old 27th February 2020, 13:36
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On it's way in a sec.!
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  #34  
Old 27th February 2020, 23:35
noelmavisk noelmavisk is offline  
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First ship I sailed on was the RMS Balantia, originally called the ss Samfaithful. Royal Mail Lines had 4 of these Sam-boats/ Liberty ships, the Berbice, Barranca, Beresina, and the Balantia. I believe they were purchased from the government at war end.
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Originally Posted by Foca View Post
https://ww2.eagle.org/content/dam/ea...fleet-2019.pdf
Last Liberty I sailed on was Samiday..ex Harrison Scholar....Konstantis Yemelos(Greek) as supercargo 1968

Have a look at this might be of some interest to you
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  #35  
Old 27th February 2020, 23:55
Victor J. Croasdale Victor J. Croasdale is offline  
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Originally Posted by FSG631 View Post
Hi guys!

(sorry, I was absent for quite a while!)

I am currently building a 96th scale model of the wartime Liberty ship FORT ORANGE.

Having been in love with these ugly ducklings since decades, with books and plans flying about all around me, and the nowadays typical internet research, I have run into some queries, with so far could not even be solved by the Crews of the JOHN W. BROWN, JEREMIAH O'BRIEN or HELLAS LIBERTY (Ex. ARTHUR M. HUDDELL).

It concerns the layout of the masts on various types of the EC-2 Liberties and the installation of additional derricks / booms for the deployment of anti torpedo nets...with possibly removing the bullwark partially and moving the rafts, installing additional frame structures on deck for the net and the layout of the entire set up.

Maybe someone can help and guide me on this!

Cheers!
Here's a website
https://wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?140630
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  #36  
Old 28th February 2020, 00:37
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Post Liberty Ships

I have found a document that covers the use of anti-torpedo nets. I have read in that document there No additionally equipment needed. REF: page 21

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/...v3400_0491.pdf
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  #37  
Old 28th February 2020, 00:45
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Post Liberty Ships

Here is a picture of the netting in use.


The_Royal_Navy_during_the_Second_World_War_A17353.jpg
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  #38  
Old 28th February 2020, 01:53
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Originally Posted by noelmavisk View Post
first ship i sailed on was the rms balantia, originally called the ss samfaithful. Royal mail lines had 4 of these sam-boats/ liberty ships, the berbice, barranca, beresina, and the balantia. I believe they were purchased from the government at war end.
Balantia 2.jpg
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  #39  
Old 28th February 2020, 02:59
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I was invited aboard a liberty ship in Apia harbour in 1958.
I had met the ships second mate on shore when we were loading bananas for NZ and his ship was anchored while negotiating to carry a load of copra to the USA .
It seemed to be a very schooner rigged tramp outfit but very tidy below in its triple expansion steam engine room .
One thing that struck me was the all steel fit out , bunks , doors , drawers desks all steel and not a bit of Mahogany in sight .
It made the little post war built Navua feel quite luxurious on my return.

Bob
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  #40  
Old 28th February 2020, 05:44
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"... many war time pictures show the make shift protection as well. I guess Merchant Crews ... did not follow guidelines strictly ..."

I am a volunteer crewman aboard restored Liberty ship SS JOHN W BROWN and an occasional helmsman. Old-timers on the ship told of wooden enclosures being constructed around monkey island on the flying bridge by the carpenter to afford some minimal protection from weather and sea. As necessary, an enclosure might extend a few additional feet back to the forward surface of the funnel, thereby capturing some small amount of heat. But supposedly when the ship reached port somebody in authority would demand that the structure be removed so as to correspond to standard appearance. I acknowledge my information is hearsay and 2nd/3rd/nth-hand so hardly reliable.
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  #41  
Old 28th February 2020, 08:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davesdream View Post
I have found a document that covers the use of anti-torpedo nets. I have read in that document there No additionally equipment needed. REF: page 21

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/...v3400_0491.pdf
A great site! Many thanks for the link which will take a bit of studying as it's full of interesting info for Liberty Ship buffs!
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  #42  
Old 28th February 2020, 08:47
holland25 holland25 is online now  
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I sailed on the Speaker ex SAMBALT,Lilian Moller. The furniture in my cabin was wood including desk,wardrobe and drawers. The bunk was a wider than usual and I had two portholes,one facing aft and one to port. I think I had what was probably the Chief R/Os cabin in its wartime configuration.It was quite comfortable and compared well with other ships I sailed on.
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  #43  
Old 28th February 2020, 09:53
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Thanks guys!

...keep it coming!

Davesdream, thanks for the interesting site you mentioned, which I was unaware of.

However, both pictures, the one from behind as well as the one in the PDF from above DO NOT SHOW A LIBERTY ship using the nets.

If I am not mistaken, it is a Britisch ship in 1940 whhile the Admiralty carried out trials of the gear...
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  #44  
Old 28th February 2020, 10:20
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Effectiveness of torpedo nets

Can anyone point to a site giving stats re the effectiveness of the nets deployed on Libertys? I read somewhere that there were 20 recorded incidents of nets being hit. Did they prevent damage, or were they useless? Would be nice to know.
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  #45  
Old 28th February 2020, 14:07
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Dear Alan and All!

Documentation does exist in archives. Unfortunately, I have not been able to view it personally (yet). In the meantime, some comments and quotes from books and other sources is all I have.

A fact is, that the concept of net defence for ships was abandoned around 1916, that is for sailing (as in moving!) ships. Such net and boom defences were, however, still used later and in WWII for protection of harbours and other areas / installations or anchorages. This was the "heavy" type of WWi.

A fact remains, the nets were installed and re-introduced post 1940 on sailing ships. This, at first glance, seems odd. The drawbacks were known:

- rate of efectiveness
- reduction of speed (about 17%) plus increas in consumption
- cumbersome deployment, especially for untrained crews
- only 60 - 75 % of the hull protected (not at bow / stern)
- hampering manouverability
- danger of entanglement in propeller
- loss in carrying capacity in tons and deck space
- no protection against new torpedo techniques like magnatic or acustical fuses
- danger of shipwrecked crew in getting stuck in it, when ship goes down

But, nearly 700 merchant ships got equipped with the nets in WWII, even if expensive. And this happened 25 years after they were abandoned during the first world war. The USN never really bothered, the RN dumped them in 1915 and the German Imperial Navy after the battle of Jutland in 1916, with a German Commander damning them entirely after the battle.

The consensus was, the negative aspects had more bearing than any benefit in using them.

The WWII nets (streamed by ships), however, seemed to follow a slightly different approach vs. the WWI designs. Whereas the WWI nets were designed to not let the "fish" pass through the net and make the torpedo detonate at the net prematurely, the WWII (leight) version tried to catch the torpedo, i.e. have it's fins and props entangle in the net and stop them thereby reaching the hull and explode. The idea was not to have them explode at all...
This may have been the result of torpedoes having been fitted with net cutters for the WWI version, which made them cut / blast their way through the heavy nets of that period. A 60' distance of the net from the hull was designed, so that in case of a detonation at the net the ship got the concussion (and subsequent damage) but no breached hull plating.

It might have been a desperate attempt. Consider the situation in 1940! However, the Admiralty did conduct tests in 1940 involving the SS ARANDORA STAR. The following from Wikipedia:

"Torpedo nets were revived in the Second World War. In January 1940 the UK Admiralty had the ocean liner Arandora Star fitted out with steel booms at Avonmouth and then ordered her to Portsmouth where she spent three months testing nets of various mesh sizes in the English Channel. The net successfully caught all the torpedoes fired at them and reduced the ship's speed by only 1 knot (1.9 km/h), but in March 1940 the nets were removed. In July the unprotected Arandora Star was sunk by a torpedo, killing 805 people"

So, without checking it, I would guess that technically, it worked!

I think, that the tanker EMPIRE RAYNOLDS was the first ship equipped with it, but I am not sure...

So, in principle, the gear was a British invention and design. The trials in 1940 pre-date the Liberties. However, the idea carried over. I belive the first EC-2 ships (as well as Forts) had the equipment installed.

The Americans carried out their own tests in 1942/43, probably based on the then existing British design.
(I think further up in this thread you will find my post in that respect).

This led to a field trial, having 590 vessels so equipped.

The initial assessment report is held in US archives, but again, I have not seen it myself. Only partial quotes are at hand right now. Unfortunately I do not know how many ships were involved over what period of time and in which geographical area. But even so, some information can be retrieved. But as you know, anything may be proven by stats. (1944/45 Office of Scientific Research and Development and the United States Navy)

It is interesting that the initial assessment in 1942 gives figures of torpedo types used by the enemy. I honestly have no clue, how they could have known. It states that the Kriegsmarine used about 60 % G7e and 40% G7a types in attacks. Out of these 85% of the G7e types and 20% of the G7a types could be intercepted by the net. That would give a "protection factor" of 59%, or, considering only 75 % of the hull being covered by the nets, 44%. This percentage being based on ships ATTACKED, not the entire group of ships at sea, some of which unmolested by this U-Boat peril!

It was after the initial assessment, that (against opposition!) these 590 vessels got equipped in order to have a better data base for further asessment.

Considering that in the winter of 1942 the Battle of the Atlantic was in favour of the U-Boots, with ship building not having reached it's peak and Convoys loosing ships left, right and centre, the prospect of saving 44% of the transport capacity is worthwhile considering.

So, the accountants looked at it.

- The gear was expensive
- ships (turn around and in convoy!) was slowed down
- fuel consumption increased
- cargo capacity reduced
- cost and labour in maintaining the gear

Would the nets pay for themselves?

It seems, any considerations as far as saving lives are not included in this assessment. It was about cost and tonmiles. Money rules the world!

If the below figures are distorted because of new types of torpedoes in use, their effect remains unclear.

25 ships were part of the basis for the below:

"12 ships, nets not in use at time of attack: 9 Sunk, 3 Damaged, 0 Undamaged
10 ships, nets in use: 4 Sunk, 3 Damaged, 3 Undamaged
3 ships, use of nets unknown: 3 Sunk, 0 Damaged, 0 Undamaged

Totals: 16 Sunk, 6 Damaged, 3 undamaged

If the 10 ships with nets streamed had not had their nets in use, we should expect 7 1/2 to have been sunk and 2 1/2 damaged. The nets had thus saved the equivalent of 3 1/2 ships and cargoes. But a total of 590 ships had been fitted with nets at an initial cost equal to about twice that of 3 1/2 ships and cargo, not to mention costs of maintenance, etc. Thus the program had not paid for itself, and the report of the findings recommended that no further ships be equipped with nets."

Still searching for more info!
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Last edited by FSG631; 28th February 2020 at 17:54..
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  #46  
Old 28th February 2020, 16:49
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net worth

That's brilliant, Lars. So much info.

However, my gut feeling is that looking back 75 years after the end of it all, the provision of nets was an expensive failure in that it had little or no value re the ships torpedoed. There was value, hard to quantify, in boosting moral, and of course the final verdict was then only to be judged in the future - where we are now. Nets were only one of the desperate measures, passive and offensive, that the powers to be resorted to in a perfectly understandable effort to reduce losses. How much effort went into it all!
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  #47  
Old 28th February 2020, 18:52
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Originally Posted by Roger Griffiths View Post
Hello Ian,
FORT ORANGE was a Liberty Ship. Ordered as TOBIAS LEAR completed as FORT ORANGE.
https://plimsoll.southampton.gov.uk/...43/43b1131.pdf

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Roger
I sailed on Forts. I've heard them called, but not often, Canadian Liberties. In any case, they were completely different in looks, the Forts being flush deck three islanders and the Liberties, or Samboats, had everything amidships.
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  #48  
Old 28th February 2020, 19:00
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I was invited aboard a liberty ship in Apia harbour in 1958.
I had met the ships second mate on shore when we were loading bananas for NZ and his ship was anchored while negotiating to carry a load of copra to the USA .
It seemed to be a very schooner rigged tramp outfit but very tidy below in its triple expansion steam engine room .
One thing that struck me was the all steel fit out , bunks , doors , drawers desks all steel and not a bit of Mahogany in sight .
It made the little post war built Navua feel quite luxurious on my return.

Bob
Yes, that was another difference between the Forts and Liberties. The former had wooden furniture in all the cabins and bridge and boat becks were wood.
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  #49  
Old 29th February 2020, 05:12
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This US Government picture is on the Texas Liberty Reef PDF

Attached
Liberty-Ship-Anti-Torpedo-Nets.jpg (75.1 KB)
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File Type: jpg Liberty-Ship-Anti-Torpedo-Nets.jpg (75.1 KB, 8 views)
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  #50  
Old 29th February 2020, 06:47
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Great anti torpedo nets.

The photo was taken from a Nazi bomber!
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