Military Wiki
Whitehead Mark 5 torpedo
Type Anti-surface ship torpedo[1]
Place of origin  Austria-Hungary
Service history
In service 1910–1922[1]
Used by  United States Navy[2]
Production history
Designer Robert Whitehead
Designed 1901[1]
Manufacturer Torpedofabrik Whitehead & Co.[3]
Naval Torpedo Station[1]
Vickers Limited
Weight 1452 pounds[1]
Length 204 inches (5.18 meters)[1]
Diameter 17.7 inches (45 centimeters)[1]

Effective range 1000-4000 yards[1]
Warhead wet guncotton[1]
Warhead weight 200 pounds[1]
War Nose Mk 5 contact exploder[1]

Engine 4-cylinder reciprocating[1]
Speed 27-40 knots[1]
battleships, torpedo boats and submarines[1]

The Whitehead Mark 5 torpedo was a Whitehead torpedo adopted by the United States Navy for use in an anti-surface ship role in 1910. The Mark 5 was the first torpedo to be manufactured by a foreign company, the Whitehead facility in the United Kingdom,[4] and in 1908, by the Naval Torpedo Station in Newport, Rhode Island. It was also the first torpedo to allow the firing ship to vary its speed and range.[2]


The Mark 5 was a "hot-running" (powered by heated air) torpedo, as opposed to previous Whitehead designs, which were "cold-running". It was similar in performance to the Bliss-Leavitt torpedoes of that era. Around 500 units were produced by the Naval Torpedo Station and Vickers Limited. The Mark 5 had variable speed; at a high speed of 40 knots, it had a range of 1000 yards. A low speed of 27 knots allowed the weapon a range of 4000 yards; at medium speed of 36 knots, its range was 2000 yards. This variable speed was set before loading the torpedo in its tube by adjusting the reducing valve.[2]

The Mark 5 was, however, overshadowed by the increasing efficiency and range of Bliss-Leavitt torpedoes. In 1922, all torpedoes prior to the Bliss-Leavitt Mark 7 torpedo in the US Navy's inventory were condemned in favor of more modern versions.[2]

The Mark 5 was launched from battleships, torpedo boats and submarines.


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