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How a lot smoke did warships produce in World Warfare II?

This can be a query I’ve all the time puzzled about, and wasn’t positive the place to ask or who to ask it to so I am going to ask it right here. Did warships in World Warfare II produce numerous smoke? Did it rely on how a lot stress they had been placing on their engines when rising pace as an example? Would it not solely produce thick, seen smoke if the engine was broken or operating inefficiently for no matter motive? I would prefer to know simply out of curiosity since I’ve seen movies and pictures the place in a single occasion a ship is pluming out smoke out of its smokestacks, and in others they run completely clear.

Comments ( 9 )

  1. You’re likely seeing pictures of destroyers laying smoke screens.

  2. It depends on the fuel burned. WW2 was a time where new and old technologies were used side by side, so the newer ships mostly used diesel engines while the (post) WW1 dreadnoughts, cruisers and destroyers had steam turbines as their engines which were fueled with coal – or sometimes – oil, resulting in a higher smoke output.

    Damaged diesel engines and ships running full ahead also had a higher output, but the ones you mentioned are the ones with the older steam engines. You may have some pictures of the ships you told us?

  3. Large warships were powered by steam turbines with coal or oil fired steam boilers. Up to about the time of WW1 and just afterward they were mostly coal fired and burned much dirtier. After about 1920 most wealthier nations switched to oil-fired ships, which burned a lot cleaner than coal.

    I can’t say for sure unless you can give some photo examples, but I suspect the dirtier looking ships you’re thinking of in some pictures were older WW1-era coal-fired ships and the cleaner ones are WW2-era oil-fired ones.

  4. Warships generally had smoke makers on board. These where good ship against ship. It actually makes the ship appear to disappear. This is pre radar. But it doesn’t work vertically. So making smoke with airplane coming against you just gives away your position sooner.

  5. Battle tanks also do put out a lot of smoke its surprising

  6. It varied. Ships running fast often produced less smoke since they would heat up the boilers to the point where fuel was incinerated. At slower speeds the boilers were cooler and so produced a lot more smoke. But then again there was the fuel issue. Fuel from one port could be dirtier than from another. Ships had groups of “firemen” who were tasked with caring for the boilers. On longer trips the fire-boxes got dirty so that they smoked badly even at high speed. You’ve probably seen pictures of stricken battleships where most of the rising smoke is coming from the stacks. That’s simply the cooling fireboxes smouldering instead of burning. So. it all comes down to the state of the fireboxes as to how much visible smoke was produced.

  7. They burned oil, not coal. A lot less smoke than WW1, when ships burned coal.

  8. The Iowa class battleships have a adjuster for how much oil you want to eject into the boiler if you put too much it’s gonna come out like coal fired dreadnoughts of ww1 if you put to little it’s going to come out white so I’m guessing if you want to make a smoke screen just open the oil valve all the way

  9. Dad was on a New Mexico class BB, steam turbines driving shafts. He never mentioned excessive smoke and his general quarters station was high in the aft fire control tower, so he’d have surely noticed.

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