View Full Version : Hedgehogs!

07-08-2010, 02:10 PM
The other night I snuck up upon a convoy and managed to sink a Large Merchant and a Liberty Cargo. In the process, I managed to put a T2 into a C3. It promptly shrugged and went about its business, as usual, so I put a second T3 into it. This slowed it down a bit. It ended up crossing the T of a destroyer that had just attempted a DC run on me. Big mistake, as the DD took that moment to fire a brace of hedgehogs in my general direction (he missed by a wide margin). This guy's sonar operator must have been deaf, and his lookouts blind. He managed to get half the brace onto the C3, causing catastrophic flooding. Two torps from me and he finished her off himself with the hedgehogs. Having lost two ships to me, and sunk a third himself, I think this guy is going to have some explaining to do when he gets into port.

07-09-2010, 02:59 AM
On what date did that happen? It is quite strange. Usually those hedgehog projectiles land on your sub , explode and you are fishfood. You are very very lucky.

07-09-2010, 01:55 PM
This was on or about June 1944. It helped that the wind and consequently waves were up. I've noticed that heavy wave action degrades escorts' sonar, as it should. That's probably why he had such a hard time tracking me. I'd already taken one round of hedgehogs to the after torpedo compartment but managed to get out from under the depth charges. In the heavy wave weather like that, I stay at periscope depth, so while the damage may have been fatal at a deeper depth, it was controllable right under the surface.

07-10-2010, 11:33 AM
I use GWX 3.0 but I have never been so lucky. My last career ended in January 1945 when a hedgehog salvo of two DDs landed on the forward deck of my IXD2 in periscope depth and rough seas. What type of sub did you command?

07-11-2010, 08:02 PM
I too use GWX 3.0, among about 15 other mods. I was driving a VIIC in the Med. Not too surprised you got hit driving a IXD2. Those things are barn doors for sonar. Did you manage to surface and get your crew off or did she sink straight away?

07-12-2010, 12:21 AM
No , all hands lost! I was attacking a task force and I had my sights on a Nelson BB. I didn't even heard them coming! Just before we sunk for the last time we unloaded our fore tubes at the Nelson of a range 700m. She went down as well. At least we had company!

07-12-2010, 04:10 PM
I lost my boat to the Hedgehogs because I was in the external view watching them drop around my boat instead of working at the repair stations.

It just looked really neat watching them settle around....then we all died. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

08-10-2010, 12:02 PM
I just managed to escape a hedgehog attack which took out 2 of my bow tubes and caused extensive damages (51% hull intergrity)
Place : grid ED 98 outside the Port of Spain
Boat : U 508 IXC/40
Attacker : River class DE
Date: 10 February 1944
Escaped and used snorkel in shallow water
A screenshot after I escaped safely (fresh air at last)

08-10-2010, 03:02 PM
Judging from the visible damage you are quite lucky. Your boat looks like a burnt kitchen match.

Nice to get back to port.

08-10-2010, 03:46 PM
In real life, hedgehog attacks were invariably fatal. That much explosive hitting the boat was too much for a U-boat's hull.

Von Harris: Lucky escape. Nice screenshots. You're getting better; you should click outside the screen area to finally get rid of the mouse pointer.

08-11-2010, 01:36 AM
Correct, they were impact pistoled projectiles and they did not have any depth limitations. They exploded on contact with any solid object or the bottom.
As for the screenshots , thank you.

08-11-2010, 05:24 AM
After I posted last night, I fired up the game again to test how to eliminate the mouse pointer for nice screenshots. You don't have to click outside the screen, simply left click inside the game area, obviously not over any active area such as game controls.

Two patrols ago, I brought home my VIIB in similar shape. I got rammed by a freighter as I was infiltrating a convoy at periscope depth. I got too fixated on my target and realized almost too late that I was in the path of a freighter in the outermost column. It was about a hundred metres away when I realized a collision was imminent, so I pressed the "D" key [dive] to go deeper and thus was only scraped. As well, I got rammed in pitch dark in the North Sea by a British freighter that I did not see until he hit me. The first collision did about 9% damage to my hull and damaged my scopes, but they were repaired. The second collision knocked me down to 51.9%, but we survived, repairs were made in base and we did two more patrols before my career was retired by SH3 Commander.

08-11-2010, 05:40 AM
About Hedgehogs, they were, as you stated, a contact type weapon. Thus, they only exploded when they hit a U-boat. I'm not sure if they exploded when they hit the seafloor; I do not know for certain, but it would seem logical to think that they would sink into the silty bottom without detonating, unless they stuck a hard outcrop of rock. In any event, even if they exploded upon hitting the seafloor, the crew of the escort would know from the time it took for the detonation to occur that the rounds had hit the seafloor.

The main advantages of the Hedgehog system were they were a forward firing weapon and that they only exploded upon contact with a U-boat's hull. If the escort heard an explosion, they knew they had hit their target. No explosion, no kill. Hedeghog hits were just about 100% fatal; in fact, I've never read of an account where a U-boat survived a Hedgehog hit. I would think the only way to survive one would be if it were close to the surface and could quickly surface and abandon ship. Being a forward firing weapon, it also did not suffer to the same extent as conventional depth charges did from the escort losing contact with the U-boat as it got closer to a deep running target. The ASDIC beam was like a flashlight beam, reaching forward and downwards in a cone shape. A deep U-boat could be under the cone as the escort ran in, thus giving it some time to make evasive maneuvers. As such, dropping depth charges was as much guess work as it was skill. Due to the limitations of ASDIC, Hedgehog attacks were four times as successful as conventional depth charges. The only depth charge method that came closer to Hedgehog was "Squid." This was a forward firing depth charge, similar to the K-gun depth charge thrower mounted on the sides of escorts, which allows the escort to throw them out some distance to the side, thus creating a rectangular pattern of charges, increasing their odds of bracketing a U-boat. Squid could throw a regular depth charge up to 250 yards ahead of an escort, thus allowing them to fire it [and Hedgehog] while still having the U-boat in the ASDIC beam and thus make for greater accuracy.

Unfortunately, the game does not realistically simulate the historical depth charge sink rates, nor the disruption of seawater from their detonations. There are a handful of mods which remedy the sink rates, but nothing can be done about making the performance of ASDIC more historical. A depth charge detonation creates a cloud of gas bubbles, which take up to fifteen minutes to dissipate. During this time, ASDIC is useless in the vicinity of the explosion, which gave the U-boat more time to evade. The gas bubbles acted on their own like the decoys we use in the game, reflecting ASDIC beams and making noise in the passive sonar receivers, thus making it near impossible to hear the U-boat. In the game, escorts can get a lock on you again within mere seconds. Because this is hard coded in the game's software, there is nothing a modder can do about it. If you "cheat" when you play, consider it an offset against the not-quite-so-true simulation of ASDIC.

08-13-2010, 06:23 AM
I like to watch escorts through the search scope as they hunt me. I know it is terribly unrealistic, but it adds a "movie" element which adds to the fun.

Normally I have my sonar guy follow the closest escort. I keep the search scope trained on that bearing. I can see when the depth charges are coming and have been fairly successful at getting out of the way.

However, late in my last career, I stumbled upon a task force and I was too eager for a Nelson, that I got picked up quickly by an escort. I went deep and they made a few DC runs on me. Then, as an escort came close, I ordered All Stop so I didn't give myself away. I watched as the escort stopped, just at the edge of my visual range. I wondered why he just sat there. Then the hedgehogs came. I made the realization right before my sub imploded.

Not realistic, but fun!

08-13-2010, 12:13 PM
Kaleun1961: A very well stated document about hedgehogs. I didn't know about the "Squid".
As for the game , I was not that lucky later in my patrol. I made a rather foolish attack on a convoy , I saw a Ceramic-type ocean liner. My torps failed all but one. She kept going. I didn't.