The Champion Submarine-Killing Submarine of World War Two


Virtual Tour

Tour Main

Exterior - Aft


Exterior Tour (Aft Section)



The rudder imparted lateral control whereas the bow and stern planes imparted vertical control. We'll look at each of these separately.  The rudder works by acting against the water flow as the ship moves through the water.  On the Batfish, only the upper part of the rudder is visible.  On the right center of the photo you can see the propeller shaft support.  See the Photo of the USS DRUM below under "Stern Dive Planes" for a better view of a rudder.


Stern Tubes:

The Batfish was equipped with four stern torpedo tubes.  The outer doors are gone, and the four tubes are easily visible.

Stern Dive Planes:

The bow and stern planes control vertical motion through the water. These are horizontal rudders, attached in pairs to either side of the hull, at bow and stern.  Angling these planes up or down causes the boat to rise or sink. The boat itself is normally kept as close as practical to neutral buoyancy, which is the point at which it will neither rise nor sink.  In practice, the stern planes are normally used to control the angle of the boat in the water, while the bow planes are used to make it rise or sink.  Stern dive planes on the Batfish are not visible (they would be below ground level) and were more than likely removed.  The photo of the USS DRUM shows the dive planes and the rudder.



Backward and forward motion was controlled by the submarine's screws (propellers).  Marine propellers are called "screws" because this is how they function. Turning the propeller has the effect of screwing it through the water.  The propellers on the Batfish have been removed.  This photo of the USS COD shows the relationship between rudder, dive planes and propellers.