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  #1  
Old 06-09-2017, 12:57
rovarch rovarch is offline
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Default Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

I am writing a book about WWII convoys. I am having no luck finding a diagram or instructions of how Oropesa gear was rigged on the bow of a merchant ship. I would be most grateful for any pointer to where I can find this information.

I look forward to your replies

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2017, 13:10
medway508 medway508 is offline
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Could you clarify that question please?

Oropesa gear to me is used in mine sweeping and is towed by a warship designed for this purpose.
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  #3  
Old 06-09-2017, 15:14
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

I have a book (Allied Minesweeping in World War 2 by Peter Elliott, published 1979 ISBN 0 85059 350 6) which has a diagram of an Oropesa sweep, but it only shows it as being towed astern of a minesweeper (in Royal and Commonwealth Navies). It shows a Kite wire to the Kite, and a Sweep wire to the Otter, just before the Otter are four cutters in frames, then from the Otter, onto the Float wire to the Float. The sweep is 160 fathoms long from the Kite to the Otter. The index makes no mention of Merchant ship fitting. None of the photos in the book feature Merchant ships.

Jim
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  #4  
Old 06-09-2017, 16:10
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Only thing I've seen on the front of a merchant ship to do with mines is the 'A' frame for the Accoustic hammer. Some ships had extra long booms for anti torpedoe nets, they might have had an attachment evident on the bows. The booms were stowed by the masts like ordinary cargo booms but about twice as long.
Jim
Here is a pic of a ship fitted with both.
image.jpeg
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  #5  
Old 06-09-2017, 22:01
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

You might find this article by our member Rob Hoole of interest. He may even comment on this thread in due course.

Jim
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2017, 10:42
rovarch rovarch is offline
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

I am writing about the SS Gairsoppa, BI cargo ship, I believe she was fitted with mine sweeping gear that was rigged from the bow. I cant find the reference but I believe the following was the case. Right on the top of the stem was an "otter head", the wires port and starboard went down to the otter board (one each side) and wire from otter board to the Orapsea float. Is this true?
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2017, 12:01
rovarch rovarch is offline
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

The more I research the more I am finding that minesweeping was not conducted from the bows of merchant ships. that most likely the remains on the bow of the Gairsoppa was for an acoustic hammer ? Were some merchant ships fitted with this device? I am struggling to find any references that mention minesweeping from merchant cargo vessels.
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2017, 20:22
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

If it has long ears like a Rabit, hops like a Rabit and does other things like a Rabit. In all probability it is a Rabit!. History is written by 'historians' WNSF is only populated by people who love ships and the sea. This is not to say that some Merchant ships were not fitted with Mine sweeping gear in a experimental capacity. However I think they had enough to do to keep station in a convoy, or if sailing independently avoiding Uboats and Condors to even consider mine sweeping, let alone the associated training. So it's a case of take your pick.
Jim
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2017, 10:16
rovarch rovarch is offline
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Here is an image of the bow of the WWII merchant ship. Does the fitting at the top of the stem have anything to do with Oropsea or acoustic hammer gear? Is it a otter cathead?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Gairsoppa Bow.jpg (160.2 KB, 17 views)
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  #10  
Old 11-09-2017, 13:04
Mitch Hinde Mitch Hinde is offline
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Hi All

There is a fairly detailed diagram of this type of sweep in Tim Lewins book "He Who Would Valiant Be" although I can't find any reference to the method of streaming it.

Mitch Hinde
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2017, 09:41
rovarch rovarch is offline
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

This is a section of the plans of the SS War Gazelle and at the bow they have a Cathead Otter and it looks similar to what is on the Gairsoppa. Now maybe it was used or maybe not. How would they rig it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg War Gazelle Otter Cathead copy.jpg (102.8 KB, 15 views)
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  #12  
Old 14-09-2017, 11:00
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by rovarch View Post
I am writing a book about WWII convoys. I am having no luck finding a diagram or instructions of how Oropesa gear was rigged on the bow of a merchant ship. I would be most grateful for any pointer to where I can find this information.

I look forward to your replies

Thanks
Regret I am unable to provide a detailed reply at the moment but I believe you are refering to Paravanes. For starters, see:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paravane_(weapon)
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  #13  
Old 15-09-2017, 14:01
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phill rose phill rose is offline
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Well if nothing else this year I have at least had confirmation of what those 'A' frames were for.
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  #14  
Old 18-09-2017, 13:03
Grosser Kreuzer Grosser Kreuzer is offline
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Gentlemen,

Your attention is drawn to Chapter 4 of Volume 2 of the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship 1932, which is probably as good as it gets on this subject (it includes a drawing of the rig).

GK
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  #15  
Old 18-09-2017, 14:39
rovarch rovarch is offline
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Thanks so much for the reference, just need to find a copy of Chapter 4 of Volume 2 of the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship 1932. If anyone has this online or has chapter 4 they could send me I would be most happy.
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  #16  
Old 18-09-2017, 21:13
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Rob Hoole Rob Hoole is online now
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by rovarch View Post
Thanks so much for the reference, just need to find a copy of Chapter 4 of Volume 2 of the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship 1932. If anyone has this online or has chapter 4 they could send me I would be most happy.
I don't have the 1932 edition of BR 67/2 (Vol II of the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship) but I do have the 1952 edition and I have scanned pages 433 to 440 from Chapter XI (Paravanes and Minesweeping). I doubt the content had changed much.

I also have a copy of The Paravane Adventure by L Cope Cornford (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1919) which describes the development of the paravane for use by warships and merchant ships. Confusingly, the paravane fitted to merchant vessels was called an otter, the same term (originally used by fishermen) used to describe the wooden otter boards and later the metal multi-planes (comprising several vertical angled vanes in a frame) used by minesweepers to divert the ends of oropesa sweeps out to the side. The final image is a plate scanned from this book.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Paravanes (1).jpg (515.1 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes (2).jpg (403.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes (3).jpg (753.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes (4).jpg (466.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes (5).jpg (737.7 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes (6).jpg (535.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes (7).jpg (600.6 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes (8).jpg (682.8 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes (9).jpg (853.5 KB, 14 views)
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Last edited by Rob Hoole : 18-09-2017 at 21:38.
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  #17  
Old 20-09-2017, 12:02
Grosser Kreuzer Grosser Kreuzer is offline
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Gentlemen,

It is unimportant but there appears to have been a slip of Rob Hoole's key-board. The BR number of the 1932 edition of Vol 2 of the Admiralty Seamanship Manual was "68" not "67/2."

The attachments to his post shown the system as it would have been applied to major warships of the era, there were a couple of earlier rigs including one for HMS HOOD; which appears to have been a forerunner of the one Rob kindly posted illustrations of. All are equally fascinating as methods of achieving the same aim.

Rovarch,

The item you seek is freely available on the second-hand book search engines, the cheapest for about 5 excl. p and p. Try abebooks.com. Otherwise try any second-hand book shop. Failing that you may be able to obtain the item via inter-library loan: assuming that you live in the UK and do not wish to buy a copy.

Bye the bye, the rig appears to have been known officially as the "Admiralty Boom" system.

Best Wishes,

GK
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  #18  
Old 20-09-2017, 22:13
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grosser Kreuzer View Post
Gentlemen,

It is unimportant but there appears to have been a slip of Rob Hoole's key-board. The BR number of the 1932 edition of Vol 2 of the Admiralty Seamanship Manual was "68" not "67/2."...

Best Wishes,

GK
Interestingly, the 1952 edition of Vol 2 wasn't BR 68 but was definitely BR 67 (2/51).
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  #19  
Old Yesterday, 13:52
Rob Hoole's Avatar
Rob Hoole Rob Hoole is online now
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Default Re: Oropesa gear on Merchant Ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grosser Kreuzer View Post
Gentlemen,

Your attention is drawn to Chapter 4 of Volume 2 of the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship 1932, which is probably as good as it gets on this subject (it includes a drawing of the rig).

GK
Scanned pages 79 to 101 (GETTING IN AND OUT PARAVANES) from Chapter IV of the 1932 edition of BR 68 (Admiralty Manual of Seamanship Vol II) as recommended by Grosser Kreuzer.

N.B. 'Merchant Vessels' from page 98 (penultimate scan).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Paravanes 01.jpg (886.1 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes 02.jpg (678.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes 03.jpg (1.08 MB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes 04.jpg (629.7 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes 05.jpg (881.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes 06.jpg (984.2 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes 07.jpg (597.9 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes 08.jpg (965.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes 09.jpg (904.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes 10.jpg (736.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes 11.jpg (858.2 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Paravanes 12.jpg (533.4 KB, 1 views)
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