Torpedoes on the Shackleton


I was wondering if anyone on this forum had any information of the torpedoes the Shackleton could carry. I found this shcematic in a book,



and I read someplace else that it could carry 3x mk 30, mk 44, mk 46 or Stingrays. These i concluded would fit on the heavy stores. But then i wonder what torpedoes are fitted on the large store, as all the aforementioned torpedoes are 2.4-2.6 meters long.



The diagram is just illustrative. “Large stores” doesn’t necessarily mean torpedoes, just oversized stores.
It could include such things as B57 nuclear depth bombs or large conventional bombs. IIRC the original requirements for Shackleton included carrying Tallboy

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Given the Shackleton was an ASW platform they would have been homing anti-sub torpedoes (Mk30, Sting Ray) and depth charges. These were shorter/smaller than conventional torps and not really useful against surface ships. OTOH It inherited the Lancaster’s long bomb bay so it wouldn’t have been an issue anyway. But Gaijin didn’t feel the need to give it the actual weapons it actually used for… Gaijin reasons.


Yeah okay. I thought it could have been mounts for the earlier Mark XV-XVII torpedoes or something. But if it was supposed to carry the Tallboy that would explain it.

(caution - gut a bit wordy!) Bomb bays frequently use multiple attachment points rated for different loads.

A large store may simply require the use of multiple points, or block others when carried. This could be long items such as a Torpedo, or bulky like an auxiliary fuel tank.

Heavy stores may have limited positions where they can be carried due to structural limitations where different shackles will each have their own rating. As a result they will need to be carried in a particular position to match these or through the use of adapter beams that spread the weight between lower rated points.

Its probably easier to see this in action on the Shackletonas predecessor the Lancaster. There were a lot if variation but in general it went something like this:

Normal - A load of medium sized bombs can be spread uniformly across the bay.

Heavy - A heavy but relatively compact Cookie at 4/8/12000lb was always carried in the central position even though space was available around it. Ant free shackles would often carry smaller bombs or incendiary bundles. The cookie would use a single point for carriage with additional ones with steadying arms to provide stability similar to external pylon mounts.

Large - A Tallboy, although the same weight is physically larger than a triple stacked HC Cookie, as well as the even bigger Grandslam, and required a special beam to provide stability and spread load. Whilst the bomb might use only one shackle on the beam the load itself used several in the bay. It’s also true of oddball stuff like airborne lifeboats where size rather than weight is usually the issue.

And just to complicate matter special stores (eg Nukes, cameras etc) might require extra connectors fitted only in certain places regardless of size or weight.

Although this is about the long, linear bay of the Avro family it’s also equally true for the vertical bays used by the US bombers. A B-17 could carry anything from 100-2000lb bombs internally. The number of smaller types was limited mainly by volume and how many shackles could be occupied simultaneously, whilst the larger ones put much great loads though the structure and maxing out the space wasn’t feasible. Unusual loads such as ferry fuel tanks or cargo containers were frequently more size limited.