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depth charge


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A weapon designed during the First World War (1914–18) for use against submerged submarines. It comprised a canister filled with explosive and fitted with a hydrostatically controlled pistol which detonated the explosive at a pre-selected depth. Modern developments include a nuclear explosive to widen the lethal area of explosion, and the introduction of an active homing device which draws it close to the target before it explodes.

Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Maritime History.


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