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Serial 010230


February 17, 1941

From: The Chief of Naval Operations
To: The Commandant, First Naval District Northeast Coast
The Commandant, Third Naval District Northeast Coast
The Commandant, Fourth Naval District East Northeast Coast
The Commandant, Fifth Naval District East Northeast Coast
The Commandant, Sixth Naval District Southeast Coast
The Commandant, Seventh Naval District Florida Coast
The Commandant, Eighth Naval District Southern Coast
The Commandant, Tenth Naval District Carribean Sea
The Commandant, Eleventh Naval District Southwest Coast
The Commandant, Twelfth Naval District North Californian Coast
The Commandant, Thirteenth Naval District Northwest Coast
The Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District Hawaii
The Commandant, Fifteenth Naval District Panama Canal Zone
The Commandant, Sixteenth Naval District Philippine Islands
The Commandant, Naval Station, Guantanamo
Subject:      Anti-torpedo baffles for protection against torpedo plane attacks.

     1.     In previous correspondence the Commandants and Local Joint Planning Committees have been requested, where considered necessary, to submit recommendations concerning the employment of nets and booms in their defenses. In nearly allcases the recommendations received were limited to harbor entrances. One of the reasons for this was that the Department, after previously making studies of many harbors, submitted certain proposals for consideration by the Districts, but did not specifically propose any protection against torpedo plane attacks.

     2.     The Commandants and Local Joint Planning Committees are requested, if they have not already done so, to consider the employment of and to make recommendations concerning anti-torpedo baffles especially for the protection of large and valuable units of the fleet in their respective harbors, and especially at the major fleet bases.




     3.     In considering the use of A/T baffles, the following limitations, among others, may be borne in mind:

(a)   A minimum depth of water of seventy-five feet may be assumed necessary to successfully drop torpedos from planes. About two hundred yards of torpedo run is necessary before the exploding device is armed, but this may be altered.
(b)   There should be ample maneuvering room for vessels approaching and leaving berths.
(c)   Ships should be able to get away on short notice.
(d)   Room must be available inside the baffles for tugs, fuel oil barges and harbor craft to maneuver alongside individual ships.
(e)   Baffles should be clear of cable areas, ferry routes, and channels used by shipping.
(f)   Baffles should be sufficient distance from anchoraged vessels to insure the vessels safety in case a torpedo explodes on striking a baffle.
(g)   High land in the vicinity of an anchorage makes a successful airplane attack from the land side most difficult.
(h)   Vulnerable areas in the baffles should be so placed as to compel attacking planes to come within effective range of anti-aircraft batteries before they can range their torpedos.
(i)   Availability of shore and ship anti-aircraft protection balloon barrages, and aircraft protection.
(j)   Availability of naturaly well protected anchorage within a harbor from torpedo plane attack for a number of large ships. Where a large force such as a fleet is based, the installation of satisfactory baffles will be difficult because of congestion.
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Copy To:  Cinc,Pacific
C.O.Nav.Net Depot, Tiburon
C.O.Nav.Net Depot, Newport

Seattle Archives of NARA, Record Group 181