The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series)
The Twilight Zone is an American anthology television series created and presented by Rod Serling, which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1959 to 1964. Each episode presents a stand-alone story in which characters find themselves dealing with disturbing or unusual events, an experience described as entering "the Twilight Zone," ending with a surprise ending and a moral. Although predominantly science-fiction, the show's paranormal and Kafkaesque events leaned the show towards fantasy and horror; the phrase “twilight zone,” inspired by the series, is used to describe surreal experiences. The series featured both established stars and younger actors who would become much better known later. Serling served as executive head writer, he was the show's host and narrator, delivering monologues at the beginning and end of each episode. Serling's opening and closing narrations summarize the episode's events encapsulating how and why the main character had entered the Twilight Zone. In 1997, the episodes "To Serve Man" and "It's a Good Life" were ranked at 11 and 31 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.
Serling himself stated that his favorite episodes of the series were "The Invaders" and "Time Enough at Last". In 2016, the series was ranked No. 7 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest shows of all time. In 2002, The Twilight Zone was ranked No. 26 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked it as the third best-written TV series and TV Guide ranked it as the fourth greatest drama and the fifth greatest show of all time. By the late 1950s, Rod Serling was a prominent name in American television, his successful television plays included Patterns and Requiem for a Heavyweight, but constant changes and edits made by the networks and sponsors frustrated Serling. In Requiem for a Heavyweight, the line "Got a match?" had to be struck because the sponsor sold lighters. But according to comments in his 1957 anthology Patterns, Serling had been trying to delve into material more controversial than his works of the early 1950s; this led to Noon on Doomsday for the United States Steel Hour in 1956, a commentary by Serling on the defensiveness and total lack of repentance he saw in the Mississippi town where the murder of Emmett Till took place.
His original script paralleled the Till case was moved out of the South and the victim changed to a Jewish pawnbroker, watered down to just a foreigner in an unnamed town. Despite bad reviews, activists sent numerous wires protesting the production. Serling thought that a science-fictional setting, with robots and other supernatural occurrences, would give him more freedom and less interference in expressing controversial ideas than more realistic settings. "The Time Element" was Serling's 1957 pilot pitch for his show, a time travel adventure about a man who travels back to Honolulu in 1941 and unsuccessfully tries to warn everyone about the impending attack on Pearl Harbor. The script, was rejected and shelved for a year until Bert Granet discovered and produced it as an episode of Desilu Playhouse in 1958; the show was a great success and enabled Serling to begin production on his anthology series, The Twilight Zone. Serling's editorial sense of ironic fate in the writing done for the series was identified as significant to its success by the BFI Film Classics library which stated that for Serling "the cruel indifference and implacability of fate and the irony of poetic justice" were recurrent themes in his plots.
There is a fifth dimension, beyond that, known to man. It is a dimension as timeless as infinity, it is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination, it is an area. The Twilight Zone premiered the night of October 1959, to rave reviews. "Twilight Zone is about the only show on the air that I look forward to seeing. It's the one series that I will let interfere with other plans", said Terry Turner for the Chicago Daily News. Others agreed. Daily Variety ranked it with "the best, accomplished in half-hour filmed television" and the New York Herald Tribune found the show to be "certainly the best and most original anthology series of the year"; as the show proved popular to television's critics, it struggled to find a receptive audience of television viewers. CBS was banking on a rating of at least 21 or 22; the series' future was jeopardized when its third episode, "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" earned a 16.3 rating.
Still, the show attracted a large enough audience to survive a brief hiatus in November, after which it surpassed its competition on ABC and NBC and convinced its sponsors to stay on until the end of the season. With one exception, the first season featured scripts written only by Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont or Richard Matheson; these three were responsible for 127 of the 156 episodes in the series. Additionally, with one exception, Serling never appeared on camera during any first-season episode (as he woul
CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network, a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles. CBS is sometimes referred to as the Eye Network, in reference to the company's iconic symbol, in use since 1951, it has been called the "Tiffany Network", alluding to the perceived high quality of CBS programming during the tenure of William S. Paley, it can refer to some of CBS's first demonstrations of color television, which were held in a former Tiffany & Co. building in New York City in 1950. The network has its origins in United Independent Broadcasters Inc. a collection of 16 radio stations, purchased by Paley in 1928 and renamed the Columbia Broadcasting System. Under Paley's guidance, CBS would first become one of the largest radio networks in the United States, one of the Big Three American broadcast television networks.
In 1974, CBS dropped its former full name and became known as CBS, Inc. The Westinghouse Electric Corporation acquired the network in 1995, renamed its corporate entity to the current CBS Broadcasting, Inc. in 1997, adopted the name of the company it had acquired to become CBS Corporation. In 2000, CBS came under the control of Viacom, formed as a spin-off of CBS in 1971. In late 2005, Viacom split itself into two separate companies and re-established CBS Corporation – through the spin-off of its broadcast television and select cable television and non-broadcasting assets – with the CBS television network at its core. CBS Corporation is controlled by Sumner Redstone through National Amusements, which controls the current Viacom. CBS operated the CBS Radio network until 2017, when it merged its radio division with Entercom. Prior to CBS Radio provided news and features content for its portfolio owned-and-operated radio stations in large and mid-sized markets, affiliated radio stations in various other markets.
While CBS Corporation owns a 72% stake in Entercom, it no longer owns or operates any radio stations directly, though CBS still provides radio news broadcasts to its radio affiliates and the new owners of its former radio stations. The television network has more than 240 owned-and-operated and affiliated television stations throughout the United States; the company ranked 197th on the 2018 Fortune 500 of the largest United States corporations by revenue. The origins of CBS date back to January 27, 1927, with the creation of the "United Independent Broadcasters" network in Chicago by New York City talent-agent Arthur Judson; the fledgling network soon needed additional investors though, the Columbia Phonograph Company, manufacturers of Columbia Records, rescued it in April 1927. Columbia Phonographic went on the air on September 18, 1927, with a presentation by the Howard L. Barlow Orchestra from flagship station WOR in Newark, New Jersey, fifteen affiliates. Operational costs were steep the payments to AT&T for use of its land lines, by the end of 1927, Columbia Phonograph wanted out.
In early 1928 Judson sold the network to brothers Isaac and Leon Levy, owners of the network's Philadelphia affiliate WCAU, their partner Jerome Louchheim. None of the three were interested in assuming day-to-day management of the network, so they installed wealthy 26-year-old William S. Paley, son of a Philadelphia cigar family and in-law of the Levys, as president. With the record company out of the picture, Paley streamlined the corporate name to "Columbia Broadcasting System", he believed in the power of radio advertising since his family's "La Palina" cigars had doubled their sales after young William convinced his elders to advertise on radio. By September 1928, Paley bought out the Louchhheim share of CBS and became its majority owner with 51% of the business. During Louchheim's brief regime, Columbia paid $410,000 to A. H. Grebe's Atlantic Broadcasting Company for a small Brooklyn station, WABC, which would become the network's flagship station. WABC was upgraded, the signal relocated to 860 kHz.
The physical plant was relocated – to Steinway Hall on West 57th Street in Manhattan, where much of CBS's programming would originate. By the turn of 1929, the network could boast to sponsors of having 47 affiliates. Paley moved right away to put his network on a firmer financial footing. In the fall of 1928, he entered into talks with Adolph Zukor of Paramount Pictures, who planned to move into radio in response to RCA's forays into motion pictures with the advent of talkies; the deal came to fruition in September 1929: Paramount acquired 49% of CBS in return for a block of its stock worth $3.8 million at the time. The agreement specified that Paramount would buy that same stock back by March 1, 1932 for a flat $5 million, provided CBS had earned $2 million during 1931 and 1932. For a brief time there was talk that the network might be renamed "Paramount Radio", but it only lasted a month – the 1929 stock market crash sent all stock value tumbling, it galvanized Paley and his troops, who "had no alternative but to turn the network around and earn the $2,000,000 in two years....
This is the atmosphere in which the CBS of today was born." The near-bankrupt movie studio sold its CBS shares back to CBS in 1932. In the first year of Paley's wa
Guadalcanal is the principal island in Guadalcanal Province of the nation of Solomon Islands, located in the south-western Pacific, northeast of Australia. The island is covered in dense tropical rainforest and has a mountainous interior. Guadalcanal's discovery by westerners was under the Spanish expedition of Álvaro de Mendaña in 1568; the name comes from the village of Guadalcanal, in the province of Seville, in Andalusia, birthplace of Pedro de Ortega Valencia, a member of Mendaña's expedition. During 1942–43, it was the scene of the Guadalcanal Campaign and saw bitter fighting between Japanese and US troops; the Americans were victorious. At the end of World War II, Honiara, on the north coast of Guadalcanal, became the new capital of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. A Spanish expedition from Peru under the command of Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira discovered the island in the year 1568. Mendaña's subordinate, Pedro de Ortega Valencia, named the island after his home town Guadalcanal in Andalusia, Spain.
The name comes from the Arabic Wādī l-Khānāt, which means "Valley of the Stalls" or "River of Stalls", referring to the refreshment stalls which were set up there during Muslim rule in Andalusia. In the years that followed the discovery, the island was variously referred to as Guadarcana, Guarcana and Guadalcanar, which reflected different pronunciations of its name in Andalusian Spanish. European settlers and missionaries began to arrive in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the year 1893, the British Solomon Islands Protectorate was proclaimed which included the island of Guadalcanal. In 1932, the British confirmed the name Guadalcanal in line with the town in Spain. In the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Japanese drove the Americans out of the Philippines, the British out of British Malaya, the Dutch out of the East Indies; the Japanese began to expand into the Western Pacific, occupying many islands in an attempt to build a defensive ring around their conquests and threaten the lines of communication from the United States to Australia and New Zealand.
The Japanese reached Guadalcanal in May 1942. When an American reconnaissance mission spotted construction of a Japanese airfield at Lunga Point on the north coast of Guadalcanal, the situation became critical; this new Japanese airfield represented a threat to Australia itself, so the United States as a matter of urgency, despite not being adequately prepared, conducted its first amphibious landing of the war. The initial landings of US Marines on 7 August 1942 secured the airfield without too much difficulty, but holding the airfield for the next six months was one of the most hotly contested campaigns in the entire war for the control of ground and skies. Guadalcanal became a major turning point in the war. After six months of fighting, the Japanese ceased contesting the control of the island, they evacuated the island at Cape Esperance on the north west coast in February 1943. After landing on the island, the US Navy Seabees began finishing the airfield begun by the Japanese, it was named Henderson Field after a Marine aviator killed in combat during the Battle of Midway.
Aircraft operating from Henderson Field during the campaign were a hodgepodge of Marine, Army and allied aircraft that became known as the Cactus Air Force. They defended the airfield and threatened any Japanese ships that ventured into the vicinity during daylight hours. However, at night, Japanese naval forces were able to shell the airfield and deliver troops with supplies, retiring before daylight; the Japanese used fast ships to make these runs, this became known as the Tokyo Express. So many ships from both sides were sunk in the many engagements in and around the Solomon Island chain that the nearby waters were referred to as Ironbottom Sound; the Battle of Cape Esperance was fought on 11 October 1942 off the northwest coast of Guadalcanal. In the battle, United States Navy ships intercepted and defeated a Japanese formation of ships on their way down'the Slot' to reinforce and resupply troops on the island, but suffered losses as well; the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in November marked the turning point in which Allied Naval forces took on the experienced Japanese surface forces at night and forced them to withdraw after sharp action.
Some Japanese viewpoints consider these engagements, the improving Allied surface capability to challenge their surface ships at night, to be just as significant as the Battle of Midway in turning the tide against them. After six months of hard combat in and around Guadalcanal and dealing with jungle diseases that took a heavy toll of troops on both sides, Allied forces managed to halt the Japanese advance and dissuade them from contesting the control of the island by driving the last of the Japanese troops into the sea on 15 January 1943. American authorities declared Guadalcanal secure on 9 February 1943. Two US Navy ships have been named for the battle: USS Guadalcanal, a World War II escort carrier. USS Guadalcanal, an amphibious assault ship. To date, the only Coast Guardsman recipient of the Medal of Honor is Signalman 1st Class Douglas Albert Munro, awarded posthumously for his extraordinary heroism on 27 September 1942 at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal. Munro provided a shield and covering fire, helped evacuate 500 besieged Marines from a beach at Point Cruz.
During the Battle for Guadalcanal, the Medal of Honor was awarded to John Basilone who died on Iwo Jima. After the Second World War, the capital of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate was moved to Honiara on Guadalcanal from its previous location
USS Edson is a Forrest Sherman-class destroyer of the United States Navy, built by Bath Iron Works in Maine in 1958. Her home port was Long Beach and she served in the Western Pacific/Far East, operating in the Taiwan Strait and off the coast of Vietnam, her exceptionally meritorious service in 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin was recognized with the first of three Navy Unit Commendations. During the following years she was shelled by North Vietnamese land forces, received friendly fire from the US Air Force. Following an onboard fire in 1974, Edson returned to the West Pacific and was commended for her roles in the evacuation of Phnom Penh and Saigon, she was decommissioned in 1988, but the following year became a museum ship at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York. Returning to Navy lay-up in 2004, it was agreed in 2012 that she should again become a museum ship, at Bay City, Michigan. A National Historic Landmark, she is one of only two surviving Forest Sherman-class destroyers. USS Edson was named for Major General Merritt "Red Mike" Edson USMC, awarded the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross and Silver Star for other actions in World War II.
Edson was laid down on 3 December 1956 by Bath Iron Works Corporationry 1958, sponsored by Mrs. M. A. Edson, widow of General Edson. Edson called at Ciudad Trujillo and Caribbean ports while conducting shakedown training en route to Callao, where she lay from 18–21 February 1959 delivering supplies for the U. S. Embassy in Lima, Peru, she reached Naval Station Long Beach, her home port, on 2 March, through the remainder of the year perfected her readiness with exercises along the west coast. On 5 January 1960, she sailed from Long Beach for her first deployment in the Far East, during which she patrolled in the Taiwan Straits and took part in amphibious operations off Okinawa, exercises of various types off Japan. On 29 April, she rescued three aviators from USS Ranger, whose A-3D aircraft crash landed in the ocean. Edson returned to Long Beach on 31 May for an overhaul. Edson spent the remainder of 1960 conducting training off San Diego. In June 1961 Edson, together with the other ships of DESDIV 231, sailed to Portland, Oregon, to represent the U.
S. Navy at the annual Rose Festival. On 11 August 1961, Edson sailed from Long Beach harbor to start her second WESTPAC deployment, she spent three months in operations with the attack carriers USS Ranger and USS Ticonderoga and spent the month of December patrolling the straits between Taiwan and the mainland of Communist China. On Friday, 13 March 1964, Edson departed for her third WESTPAC deployment. After the transit, Edson began duties with the Taiwan Patrol Force, CTF 72; the end of May and the months of June and July 1964 were filled with carrier operations, Gunfire Support Training in the Philippines, operation LICTAS, a joint SEATO operation off the coast of the Philippines. August found Edson in the Gulf of Tonkin on special operations, it was here she was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service in support of operations in the Gulf of Tonkin during the period 2–5 August 1964. On her fifth deployment in 1967, she received a hit from a North Vietnamese shore battery while providing a naval gunfire support mission.
Edson served as plane guard for aircraft carriers on Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf, participated in Sea Dragon operations, patrolled on search and rescue duties, carried out Naval Gunfire Support missions during the Vietnam War. On 17 June 1968 she took friendly fire from the US Air Force, along with several other U. S. and Australian ships. On 12 December 1974, Edson suffered a fire in the after fireroom while training with USS Coral Sea; the fire was caused by the ignition of oil, spraying from a rupture in a lube oil gauge line. The area was secured and fire extinguished with no personnel casualties. In January 1975, after repairs in Hawaii, Edson continued on to WESTPAC and in April she participated in Operation Eagle Pull and Operation Frequent Wind, earning two Meritorious Unit Commendations. Edson was decommissioned on 15 December 1988, towed to the Philadelphia Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility for storage. At the time of her decommissioning, she was the last all-gun destroyer in the United States Navy.
Edson served as a museum ship at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City from 30 June 1989 to 14 June 2004 when it was replaced by a Concorde airliner. The ship was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1990. In 2004 the ship was towed to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where hull repairs were completed, towed back to the Philadelphia Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility for storage; the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum at Bay City and the Wisconsin Naval Ship Association at Sheboygan, both submitted applications to the Naval Sea Systems Command to relocate Edson and reinstate her as a museum ship in their respective locations. The Bay City proposal was successful; the Navy declared USS Edson seaworthy on 17 July 2012 and it was cleared to begin its journey to Michigan on 18 July with arrival at the museum site on 7 August 2012. After a year at a temporary mooring at Wirt Stone docks, she was floated up the Saginaw river to her permanent mooring site, on Tuesday, 7 May 2013 at 15:01 hours, USS Edson arrived at her permanent mooring site in Bangor Township, Michigan, at 43°36′50″N 83°52′8″W.
List of United States Navy destroyers List of National Historic Landmarks in
"Dog tag" is an informal but common term for a specific type of identification tag worn by military personnel. The tags' primary use is for the identification of wounded soldiers, they indicate religious preference as well. Dog tags are fabricated from a corrosion-resistant metal, they contain two copies of the information, either in the form of a single tag that can be broken in half, or as two identical tags on the same chain. This purposeful duplication allows one tag, or half-tag, to be collected from a soldier's dead body for notification, while the duplicate remains with the corpse if the conditions of battle prevent it from being recovered; the term arose and became popular because of the tags' resemblance to animal registration tags, the dehumanizing connotations of war. The earliest mention of an identification tag for soldiers comes in Polyaenus where the Spartans wrote their names on sticks tied to their left wrists. A type of dog tag, was given to the Roman legionnaire at the moment of enrollment.
The legionnaire "signaculum" was a lead disk with a leather string, worn around the neck, with the name of the recruit and the indication of the legion of which the recruit was part. This procedure, together with enrolment in the list of recruits, was made at the beginning of a four-month probatory period; the recruit got the military status only after the oath of allegiance, at the end of "probatio", meaning that from a legal point of view the "signaculum" was given to a subject, no longer a civilian, but not yet in the military. In more recent times, dog tags were provided to Chinese soldiers as early as the mid-19th century. During the Taiping revolt, both the Imperialists and those Taiping rebels wearing a uniform wore a wooden dog tag at the belt, bearing the soldier's name, birthplace and date of enlistment. During the American Civil War from 1861–1865, some soldiers pinned paper notes with their name and home address to the backs of their coats. Other soldiers stenciled identification on their knapsacks or scratched it in the soft lead backing of their army belt buckle.
Manufacturers of identification badges began advertising in periodicals. Their pins were shaped to suggest a branch of service, engraved with the soldier's name and unit. Machine-stamped tags were made of brass or lead with a hole and had an eagle or shield, such phrases as "War for the Union" or "Liberty and Equality"; the other side had the soldier's name and unit, sometimes a list of battles in which he had participated. On a volunteer basis Prussian soldiers had decided to wear identification tags in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. However, many rejected dog tags as a bad omen for their lives. So until eight months after the Battle of Königgrätz, with 8,900 Prussian casualties, only 429 of them could be identified. With the formation of the North German Confederation in 1867 Prussian military regulations became binding for the militaries of all North German member states. With the Prussian Instruktion über das Sanitätswesen der Armee im Felde issued on 29 April 1869 the identification tags were obligatorily to be handed out to each soldier before marching afield.
The Prussian Army issued identification tags for its troops at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. They were nicknamed Hundemarken and compared to a similar identification system instituted by the dog licence fee, adding tags to collars of those dogs whose owners paid the fee, in the Prussian capital city of Berlin at around the same time period; the British Army introduced identity discs in place of identity cards in 1907, in the form of aluminium discs made at regimental depots using machines similar to those common at fun fairs, the details being pressed into the thin metal one letter at a time. Army Order 287 of September 1916 required the British Army provide all soldiers with two official tags, both made of vulcanised asbestos fibre carrying identical details, again impressed one character at a time; the first tag, an octagonal green disc, was attached to a long cord around the neck. The second tag, a circular red disc, was threaded on a 6-inch cord suspended from the first tag.
The first tag was intended to remain on the body for future identification, while the second tag could be taken to record the death. British and Empire/Commonwealth forces were issued identical identification discs of basic pattern during the Great War, Second World War and Korea, though official identity discs were supplemented by private-purchase items such as identity bracelets favoured by sailors who rightly believed the official discs were unlikely to survive long immersion in water; the U. S. Army first authorized identification tags in War Department General Order No. 204, dated December 20, 1906, which prescribes the Kennedy identification tag: An aluminum identification tag, the size of a silver half dollar and of suitable thickness, stamped with the name, company, regiment, or corps of the wearer, will be worn by each officer and enlisted man of the Army whenever the field kit is worn, the tag to be suspended from the neck, underneath the clothing, by a cord or t
Simon Oakland was an American actor of stage and television. During his career, Oakland performed on television, appearing in over 130 series and made-for-television movies between 1951 and 1983. Oakland was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, the son of Jacob Weiss and Ethel Oaklander, his father was a builder. While he claimed in media interviews to have been born in 1922, Social Security and vital records indicate he was born Simon Weiss in 1915, he began his performing arts career as a musician. Oakland began his acting career in the late 1940s, he enjoyed a series of Broadway hits, including Light Up the Sky, The Shrike and Inherit the Wind, theater was one of his lasting passions. He was a concert violinist until the 1940s. In 1955 Oakland made his film debut, though uncredited, as an Indiana state trooper in The Desperate Hours, he next appeared in two films released in 1958: as the character Mavrayek in The Brothers Karamazov and in the role of Edward Montgomery in I Want to Live!
The character Montgomery was a real-life journalist, who had reported on the California murder trial and 1955 execution of Barbara Graham, played by Susan Hayward in the film. Oakland's portrayal of the journalist as a "tough, but compassionate" personality resulted in the actor's being typecast in his subsequent roles in both films and on television. Simon Oakland's notable performance in I Want to Live! led to his playing a long series of tough-guy types in positions of authority, most notably in Psycho, in which he plays the psychiatrist who explains Norman Bates's multiple personality disorder. He appeared in West Side Story, The Sand Pebbles, Bullitt, he made two guest appearances on both times as the murder victim. He appeared in the syndicated crime drama, starring Beverly Garland. Oakland appeared once each on the CBS western and the Culhane and in another syndicated crime drama series, Sheriff of Cochise, starring John Bromfield. Oakland played the regular role of General Thomas Moore on NBC's Baa Baa Black Sheep, starring Robert Conrad.
He appeared in two episodes of the original The Twilight Zone TV series. In 1974 and 1975, he was a series regular on Kolchak: The Night Stalker, playing newspaper editor Tony Vincenzo. Oakland was the familiar voice-over for the tag line "When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be There Overnight" heard at the end of each television commercial for the long-running Federal Express advertising campaign, created by the New York advertising agency Ally & Gargano, he played the role of a Sony dealer for an ad campaign of ten national radio commercials and directed by Peter Hoffman, for the New York office of the global advertising agency McCann-Erickson when they had the Sony account. Oakland was married to Lois Lorraine Porta; the couple had Barbara. Simon Oakland continued working up to the year of his death, his last credited acting appearance was in the episode "Living and Presumed Dead" on the CBS television series Tucker's Witch. That episode aired just three months before Oakland died of colon cancer in Cathedral City, California, on August 29, 1983, a day after the actor's 68th birthday.
Simon Oakland on IMDb Simon Oakland at the Internet Broadway Database Simon Oakland at the Internet Off-Broadway Database Simon Oakland at Find a Grave
A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon. It is intended to destroy a submarine by being dropped into the water nearby and detonating, subjecting the target to a powerful and destructive hydraulic shock. Most depth charges use high explosive charges and a fuze set to detonate the charge at a specific depth. Depth charges can be dropped by ships, patrol aircraft, helicopters. Depth charges were developed during World War I, were one of the first effective methods of attacking a submarine underwater, they were used in World War I and World War II. They remained part of the anti-submarine arsenals of many navies during the Cold War. Depth charges have now been replaced by anti-submarine homing torpedoes. A depth charge fitted with a nuclear warhead is known as a "nuclear depth bomb"; these were designed to be dropped from a patrol plane or deployed by an anti-submarine missile from a surface ship, or another submarine, located a safe distance away. All nuclear anti-submarine weapons were withdrawn from service by the United States, the United Kingdom, France and China in or around 1990.
They were replaced by conventional weapons whose accuracy and range had improved as ASW technology improved. The first attempt to fire charges against submerged targets was with aircraft bombs attached to lanyards which triggered them. A similar idea was a 16 lb guncotton charge in a lanyarded can. Two of these lashed together became known as the "depth charge Type A". Problems with the lanyards tangling and failing to function led to the development of a chemical pellet trigger as the "Type B"; these were effective at a distance of around 20 ft. A 1913 Royal Navy Torpedo School report described a device intended for countermining, a "dropping mine". At Admiral John Jellicoe's request, the standard Mark II mine was fitted with a hydrostatic pistol preset for 45 ft firing, to be launched from a stern platform. Weighing 1,150 lb, effective at 100 ft, the "cruiser mine" was a potential hazard to the dropping ship; the design work was carried out by Herbert Taylor at the RN Torpedo and Mine School, HMS Vernon.
The first effective depth charge, the Type D, became available in January 1916. It was a barrel-like casing containing a high explosive. There were two sizes—Type D, with a 300 lb charge for fast ships, Type D* with a 120 lb charge for ships too slow to leave the danger area before the more powerful charge detonated. A hydrostatic pistol actuated by water pressure at a pre-selected depth detonated the charge. Initial depth settings were 40 or 80 ft; because production could not keep up with demand, anti-submarine vessels carried only two depth charges, to be released from a chute at the stern of the ship. The first success was the sinking of U-68 off Kerry, Ireland, on 22 March 1916, by the Q-ship Farnborough. Germany became aware of the depth charge following unsuccessful attacks on U-67 on 15 April 1916, U-69 on 20 April 1916; the only other submarines sunk by depth charge during 1916 were UC-19 and UB-29. Numbers of depth charges carried per ship increased to four in June 1917, to six in August, 30-50 by 1918.
The weight of charges and racks caused ship instability unless heavy guns and torpedo tubes were removed to compensate. Improved pistols allowed greater depth settings in 50-foot increments, from 50 to 200 ft. Slower ships could safely use the Type D at below 100 ft and at 10 kn or more, so the ineffective Type D* was withdrawn. Monthly use of depth charges increased from 100 to 300 per month during 1917 to an average of 1745 per month during the last six months of World War I; the Type D could be detonated as deep as 300 ft by that date. By the war's end, 74,441 depth charges had been issued by the RN, 16,451 fired, scoring 38 kills in all, aiding in 140 more; the United States requested full working drawings of the device in March 1917. Having received them, Commander Fullinwider of the U. S. Bureau of Naval Ordnance and U. S. Navy engineer Minkler made some modifications and patented it in the U. S, it has been argued. The Royal Navy Type D depth charge was designated the "Mark VII" in 1939. Initial sinking speed was 7 ft/s with a terminal velocity of 9.9 ft/s at a depth of 250 ft if rolled off the stern, or upon water contact from a depth charge thrower.
Cast iron weights of 150 lb were attached to the Mark VII at the end of 1940 to increase sinking velocity to 16.8 ft/s. New hydrostatic pistols increased the maximum detonation depth to 900 ft; the Mark VII's 290 lb amatol charge was estimated to be capable of splitting a 7⁄8 inch submarine pressure hull at a distance of 20 ft, forcing the submarine to surface at twice that. The change of explosive to Torpex at the end of 1942 was estimated to increase those distances to 26 and 52 ft; the British Mark X depth charge weighed 3,000 pounds and was launched from 21-inch torpedo tubes of older destroyers to achieve a sinking velocity of 21 ft/s. The launching ship needed to clear the area at 11 knots to avoid damage, the charge was used. Only 32 were fired, they were known to be troublesome; the teardrop-shaped United States Mark 9 depth charge entered service in the spring of 1943. The charge was 200 lb of Torpex with a sinking speed of 14.4 ft/s and depth settings of up to 600 ft. Versions increased depth to 1,000 ft and sinking