In submarine, Davis says to Torpedo Room chief:

DAVIS: The screws are fading. I think they're leaving, sir.

Room chief: Take us to periscope depth. Enemy destroyer's headed back to her fleet.

What does "screws" mean here? I found this line in Midway 2019

1 Answer 1


Some wider context would help, but in Navy terminology, the propellor on a submarine is called the "screw". They are somewhat different from the propellor on a ship.

As your quote talks about periscope depth and enemies leaving, I would guess they are talking about submarines, and "the screws are fading" likely means that the enemy submarines are disappearing from view into the depths of the ocean.

  • Guessing here as well, but I would have thought it was the sounds of the screws fading on sonar, rather than from view.
    – Sean Reid
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 14:20
  • The speakers are in a submarine. ('Torpedo room chief', 'take us up', 'periscope depth'). What is fading is the sound of the screws of a destroyer (a surface vessel) which is 'heading back to her fleet'. Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 16:50

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