IMPORTANT EVENTS IN OCEAN ENGINEERING
(How Submarines Work)
A submarine is a vessel which has been designed for underwater operations.
It has the capability to operate underneath the surface or on the surface
of the water. This along with it's armament makes it a vital piece to our
nations sea power and sea control.
Evidence of this type of craft goes back into history an estimated 2000 years.
Aristotle has described for us a type of submersible chamber that was used
in the year 332 B.C. These were used by the sailors of Alexander The Great
during the blockade of Tiros in order to put obstacles and some types of
charges of unknown kind.
In china there had also been a report that a primitive submarine was in existence
around 200 B.C. In fact, this submarine was reported to be able to move by
the bottom of the sea.
1578 - The first submarine design was drafted by William Borne but never
got past the drawing stage. Borne's submarine design was based on ballast
tanks which could be filled to submerge and evacuated to surface - these
same principles are in use by today's submarines.
1620 - Cornelis Drebbel, a Dutchman, conceived and built an oared submersible
(the first successful submarine). Cornelis had designed a wooden submersible
vehicle encased in leather. It was able to carry 12 rowers and a total of
20 men. Amazingly enough, the vessel could dive to the depth of 20 meters
and travel 10 km. He conducted several series of trips below the surface
of the Thames River which lasted many hours. This early submarine was the
first to address the problem of oxygen replenishment while submerged. In
constructing his submarine, Drebbel incorporated some of the ideas of William
Bourne, a British mathematician and naval writer who had outlined a practical
submergible vessel in 1578. Drebbel's experimental boat was made of wood
covered by tight-fitting sheets of greased leather. Oars that protruded through
the boat's sides propelled it through the water. The vessel traveled at an
average depth of 4 m (13 ft) during its run from Greenwich to Westminster.
Two tubes, kept above the water by floats, supplied air to the submersed
vessel, which carried a dozen rowers plus several passengers
1653 De Son's Submersible Catamaran
1775 or 1776 designed by David Bushnell an American engineer and student
at Yale. The Turtle was egg-shaped and carried only a one man crew.
It was driven by two hand-cranked screw propellers, one for forward movement
and the other for vertical movement. The Turtle had a complex system of valves,
air vents, and ballast pumps to control submergence, these were made out
of lead and kept the vehicle upright, and it also had a mine with a time
fuse. The mine was supposed to be attached to the bottom of the target ship
with a detachable screw. Piloted by Sgt. Ezra Lee, the Turtle was the
first combat submarine. On 6 September 1776 the Turtle attacked the British
flagship HMS Eagle in New York Harbor. When Lee tried to attach the mine
to the ship, the screw was deflected by the ship's copper sheathing. Lee
had no other choice but to jettison the mine.
NAUTILUS 1798 -
Robert Fulton built the submarine Nautilus which
incorporated two forms of power for propulsion - a sail while on the surface
and a hand-cranked screw while submerged. Robert Fulton used the principles
that were used in developing the Turtle to make the Nautilus. The Nautilus
had a streamlined shape to reduce water resistance and it also had ballast
tanks to raise and lower the craft. It also had diving planes which could
be adjusted to determine the vessels angle of ascent of descent. The vessel
was 21-24.5 ft long and carried a crew of 4. The only armament on board the
Nautilus was an explosive mechanism called a torpedo. Basically, if was a
box of dynamite. Some people have stated that the Nautilus could stay under
sea for 24 hours at a depth of 8 meters while others say it could stay submerged
only up to 6 hours. Fulton also was the first to experiment with
compressed air for the replenishment of oxygen while under the sea. However,
when he tried to get government support money he did not receive any so the
whole project was dropped. (READ: "The History of American Deep Submersible
Operations," by Will Forman, Best Pub. Company.)
MID TO LATE 1800'S
Brandtaucher. (...das erste U-Boot (Brandtaucher) in Kiel gebaut ) by Wilhelm
Bauer (born in Bayrischen Dillingen near Munich, 1822 -1875). After
two successful dives, on February 1, 1851 in its third dive the boat took
in to much water and sank to15 meters to the bottom of Kiel Harbor. After
about 5 hours the Bauer and his two companions were able to escape from the
sunk "Brandtaucher." It was raised in 1887 and restored for posterity.
8.07 meters long, 3 meters wide, and 3.76 meters high
(Drawing). It had a crew of three.
The hull is built of steel and iron plates. It is propelled by two
thread-wheels and energy is tranmitted to the shaft and propeller by a number
of toothed gears. Explosive charges are attached to the outside of the hull
to be applied manually under water to the hull of an enemy ship. It
is the oldest preserved submarine in the world. Currently, can be seen
at the Museum of military history in Dresden. Models can be seen in
the Deutschen Museum, Munich , in the "Shiffahrtsmuseum" in Bremerhaven,
or the Historical Military Museum in Kiel.
1902 U1. Das erste Kriegs U-Boot der Kaiserlichen Marine die
Deutsches Museum, München, Germany (photo). (Later sold to Russia)
1906 U1 (Military)
1855, Seeteufel (Sea Devil) also named "Chimäre" by the
Russians, built in the Leuchtenberg`schen shipyard, St.Petersburg, by
Wilhelm Bauer. It
was designed to go to a depth of 150 feet. It was 16.32 meters long, 3.45
meters wide, 3.92 meters high, and made at least 134 test dives. It
had a four men crew and a similar tread wheel system as on the Brandtaucher.
On October 2, 1856 a valve was left open and the submarine sank.
1877 Drzewiecki No. 3. Reconstruction: The Central Naval Museum, St
1904 The Fulton by John Holland (the prototype for the type 7 design ie.,
type 7-P) was sold to Russia, 1905 Russia purchased license to build 5 submarines
of type 7-P "The Fulton". it is rumored that the five were built.
1929 Narodovolec, Reconstruction: St Petersburg, Russia
Ictíneo - Designed by
Narciso Monturiol, (Monturiol I Estarriol,
Narcís (1819-1885). Reconstruction: Barcelona, Spain.
The Ictineo was launched at Barcelona on the 28 June 1859, and on September
23th, it remained submerged for more then 2 hours - potential customers however,
had not been convinced and Monturiol had to finally move to the recovery
of shipwrecks. Político y científico español.
Inventor del "Ictíneo", uno de los precursores del submarino, con
fines pacíficos (Estudios oceanográficos y pesca de coral).
Fue diputado durante la I República y director de la Fábrica
de moneda y Timbre. Publicó algunos tratados de ciencias naturales
y sobre el socialismo utópico.) View
1, View 2
Peral - Designed by Isaac Peral. The first electric submarine
that fired torpedos. The torpedos had a range of 400 meters @ 24knots.
Paseo del Muelle, Cartagena, Spain.
Javier Bonet, a Florida Tech Alumni, sent
a photo of his Great Grand Dad Candido Bonet, and his two oldest daughters,
Encarna and Lucia, sitting on top of the submarine Peral, build by Isaac
Peral in Cadiz, the picture was taken around 1905.
Durante una estancia en Cadaqués, Monturiol observó las
dificultades que conllevaba la pesca del coral y concibió la idea
de construir un buque submarino, idea que llevó a la práctica
gracias al apoyo económico de sus amigos. El submarino, llamado
Ictíneo, tenía doble casco, estaba dotado de mecanismos para
pescar coral y se movía por tracción humana. Después
de las pruebas realizadas en Barcelona y Alicante, en 1862 el gobierno se
mostró interesado en el proyecto y prometió al inventor los
medios necesarios para la construcción del nuevo buque. Sin embargo,
al ver que tales promesas no se cumplían, Monturiol montó una
compañía con capital obtenido por subscripción popular
y en 1866 construyó su segundo Ictíneo, que se movía
mediante una hélice propulsada por una máquina de vapor. Parece
probable que el invento de Monturiol hubiera podido llegar a buen término
de haber contado con el apoyo económico necesario; sin él,
el proyecto fracasó y el inventor hubo de vender la nave como chatarra
para pagar sus deudas. Este fracaso fue decisivo para Monturiol, que
abandonó sus inventos científicos para dedicarse a la
política, en la que destacó como diputado de la primera
República (1873-74). El marino e inventor Isaac Peral y Caballero
nació en Cartagena en 1851. A los 14 años ingresó en
el Colegio Naval de Cádiz, donde siete años más tarde
obtuvo el grado de alférez tras haber recorrido todos los mares.
Posteriormente, su trabajo le llevó a participar en diversos episodios
de la guerra de Cuba y de Filipinas. En 1885, cuando trabajaba como profesor
de Física y Química en la Escuela de Ampliación de Estudios
de Marina de Cádiz, Isaac Peral ofreció al gobierno su diseño
de un torpedero submarino concebido para la defensa de los puertos. Aparte
del antecedente de Monturiol, la navegación submarina había
sido objeto del interés de numerosos inventores, entre ellos el
norteamericano Fulton, que creó su Nautilus en 1800, pero cuyo proyecto
resultó inoperante y fue abandonado. En el caso del submarino
inventado por Peral, la nave, que alcanzaba una profundidad de 10 metros
y una velocidad de 7,7 nudos en superficie y 3,5 en inmersión, se
botó en 1888. A pesar de que las pruebas realizadas en los dos años
siguientes tuvieron éxito, el Ministerio de Marina optó por
no construir un segundo modelo, cosa que hubiera sido necesaria para perfeccionar
la nave, y el proyecto se abandonó.
USA: CIVIL WAR - UNION
Intelligent Whale 1863
or 1866 . Reconstruction: US Naval Memorial Museum, Navy Yard, Washington,
USA: CIVIL WAR - CONFEDERATE
Pioneer II 1862. Reconstruction: Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans, LA,
CSS, In 1864, the Hunley rammed into the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor,
South Carolina. A torpedo on the Hunley's spar exploded and sank both of
the vessels. This was the first submarine that made a successful attack on
a warship, during the civil war. Reconstruction: Hunley Museum, Charleston,
SC, USA. See the articles:
Operations on the Hunley Recovery By - Steve Wright and Perry Smith;
Hunley Rises Again - With a Little Help from Her Friends, By -Madalyn
Alligator, 1863 was the first submarine purchased by the U.S. Navy, to mine
Confederate harbors. She sank in April. Alligator included two crude air
purifiers, a chemical-based system for producing oxygen and a bellow to force
air through lime.
1853 James Nasmyth's Anti-invasion Floating Mortar
1869 Dr. Lacomme's Boat
1870 the invention of the automobiled torpedo by a fellow named
November 26th 1879, 40ft long, 9ft in diameter and weighing 30 tons, and
fitted with a Lamm steam plant - a system that involved using latent heat
to generate steam to drive the connecting rod cylinder engine. In this way
it could steam for 4 hours. He included his latest inventions in Resurgam
including an air purification plant to extract carbon monoxide out of the
atmosphere, a trim and a patent measuring device for determining the purity
of the air and a system for attaching and discharging Whitehead torpedoes.
In 1886 Greece, a naval country, acquired for the first time a submarine.
It was the Swiss made Nordenfelt which was steam powered and could reach
speeds up to 9 knots. The Nordenfelt was 33 meters in length and displaced
160 tons. There was also a torpedo on board for armament. This submarine
was in service until 1901.
1888 Gymnote - "Le
Gymnote", le premier torpilleur sous-marin de notre flotte, vient de faire,
avec le succès le plus complet, ses derniers essais en rade de Toulon.
L'appareil moteur est une machine électrique du capitaine
Elle a 16 pôles disposés autour d'un anneau mobile de 1 m de
diamètre et muni d'un collecteur avec 4 balais : deux pour la marche
avant, deux pour la marche arrière. Elle tourne à 250 tours
minute et actionne directement l'hélice. Ce moteur pèse
2000 kg et peut fournir une force normale de 60 CV avec un courant normal
de 220 ampères et une différence de potentiel de 200 volts.[...]
Chacun des 564 accumuleurs pèse 17,5 kg soit en tout 9840 kg. Vue
la capacité de 345 CV/h, cela fait un poids de 28,6 kg par cheval
utile emmagasiné. Sa capacité d'énergie permet de soutenir
pendant 6 heures une vitesse de 10 noeuds. Enfin les éléments
sont groupés de 4 façons pour obtenir 4 vitesses différentes.
1885-90 Goubet I Submarine Torpedo Boat (See: Scientific America, Supplement
No. 523, New York, January 9, 1886)
1904 Aigette - First submarine built with a diesel engine for surface propulsion
and electric engine for submerged operations.
1904 Alose - Naiade-class
submarine, Location: Comtex, Marseille, France.
John P. Holland, 1841-1914
1878 Holland I, Paterson Museum, Paterson, NJ, USA.
1881 Fenian Ram (Holland II). Reconstruction: Paterson Museum,
Paterson, NJ, USA.
1885 Holland IV (Zalinski Boat)
1896 Holland V (Plunger)
VI 1900, petroleum engine for surface propulsion and electric engine
for submerged operations. In 1898 J.P. Holland launched his submarine and
it was commissioned the USS Holland. This was the United States Navy's first
submarine. It was 53 feet long and displaced 75 tons. The USS Holland used
a gasoline engine while running on the surface and an electric motor while
submerged. At top surface speed, it could reach a speed of 7 knots.
June 12, 1901, The Fulton, prototype for the type 7 design which include
the American 'A' boats (Plunger, Adder, Moccasin, Porpoise, Shark), British
'Hollands', five 'Japanese A boats', and the Dutch O01.
SIMON LAKE, 1866-1945,
distinguished marine engineer, played a major part in the development of
the submarine as a practical device. "PERHAPS no man in the past century
has had as much to do with the shape of history as Simon Lake. That statement
is intended as a query rather than as a statement of fact. It may be debatable,
but it is also defendable." (from the Forward by Herbert Corey in the
Autobiography Of Simon Lake, 1938 ). He produced The "Argonaut", a 36-foot
submarine that could operate in the open seas on the surface, at any desired
depth, navigate on the ocean floor as an automobile drives on land, and would
allow a diver to exit and enter through an open hatch. The phenomenal success
of the 1898 two thousand mile journey from Norfolk to New York brought a
congratulatory telegram from Jules Verne to Simon
1905, 6 submarines (Holland VI)
1904 Ubåt N:o 1
(Hajen). The first
submarine of the Royal Swedish Navy. Reconstruction: Marinmuseum,
1905 O-1, Dutch Holland class. The Hague [?], The Netherlands.
Designed after "The Fulton", (see above, USA Turn Of The Century)
WW-I AND WW-II ERA
1901 USA: Plunger, Adder, Moccasin, Porpoise, Shark (Holland VI)
1932 Explorer. Reconstruction: Submarine Force Library and Museum, Groton,
1933 Vesikko. Reconstruction: Sotamoseo, Vargön, Finland.
1936 HA14/HA21, Japanese Type A (Mato) midget submarines.
Reconstruction: Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia.
1936 Lembit, Estonian mine-laying submarine. Reconstruction: Maritime Museum,
1938 HA-19, Japanese Type A (Mato) midget submarine.
Reconstruction: Admiral Nimitz State Historical Park, Fredricksburg,
1938 Japanese Type A (Mato) midget submarine. Reconstruction: Submarine
Force Library and Museum, Groton, CT, USA.
1938 Japanese Type A (Mato) midget submarine. Reconstruction: Maritime
Self-Defence Service School, Eta Jima, Japan.
1939 K-21, Russian XIV series. Reconstruction: Severomorsk, Kola bay,
1939 S 56, Russian IXbis series. Reconstruction: Zolotoj Rog, Vladivostok,
German U-boat U-264 equipped with a snorkel mast. This mast which provides
air to the diesel engine allows the submarine to operate the engine at a
shallow depth and recharge the batteries.
German U-791 uses Hydrogen Peroxide as an alternative fuel source.
KAITEN SPECIAL ATTACK SUBMARINE (Japanese suicide submarine)
Type: Deep Submergence Vessel
Length: 59.5 feet
Beam: 11.5 feet
Draft: 18 feet (loaded)
Displacement: 50 tons without gasoline; 150 tons with gasoline
Operating Crew: One crew member and one scientist
Buoyancy Control: Water buoyancy control; compressed air for positive
buoyancy, sea water for negative buoyancy. Gasoline could be pumped out to
Built in 1953, by Swiss professor, scientist and explorer August
Piccard. His son Jacques later worked with him on over 100 test dives, 26 of
which were financed by the U.S. Navy. Trieste was purchased by the
Navy in 1958. In 1960, she made her record-breaking dive. She dove 35,800
feet near the Marianas Islands. Three years later, Trieste located
the remains of the lost submarines USS Thresher and USS Scorpion.
TRIESTE II DSV 1
Length: 78 feet
Beam: 15 feet; 18+ feet at propeller pods
Design Depth: 20,000 feet
Displacement: 85 tons on the surface (empty); 336 tons submerged
Operating Crew: Two crew members and one scientist
Submerged Endurance: 12 hours at 2 knots
Buoyancy Control: Uses fuel-buoyancy control; aviation gasoline for
positive buoyancy and iron shot for negative buoyancy
Navy Submarine Force History
(SSN-571) & Museum
1st nuclear sub (Jan 21, 1954), 1st under north pole (August 3, 1958)
1st Soviet nuclear sub (Aug 9, 1957), 1st Soviet sub under the north
pole (July 17, 1962). The Special Designing Bureau No. 143 in Leningrad (now
St. Petersburg Sea Machine-Building Bureau "Malakhit") designed an experimental
nuclear-powered submarine or project 627, later named "Leninsky Komsomol."
On September 24, 1955, it began being built at plant No. 402, and on July
4, 1958, the Navy started testing it. At that time the plant was already
building a series of submarines for this project.Overall "Sevmashpredpriyatie"
built only 13 project 627 and 627A submarines. The last of them went into
service in the summer of 1964. It was to become the prototype for all 2nd
and 3rd generation submarines. NOVEMBER Class Nuclear powered torpedo
attack submarines (SSN); 8 (or 10) torpedo tubes. Fire on Board
board (This link is in French)).
KURSK recovery -
Los Angeles Class
Submarine - Seawolves 688(i)
A side note that was published in the 2001 November issue of the Scientific
American about their 1901 November issue concerning the 1st nautical periscope:
(NOVEMBER 1901 "THE FIRST NAUTICAL PERISCOPE? - "An Italian engineer, Signor
Triulzi, has devised a special instrument, the 'cleptoscope,' whereby it is
possible for the crew of a submarine boat to ascertain what is progressing on
the surface while submerged. It comprises a tube fitted with crystal prisms.
Experiments were carried out on board the submarine IL Delphino in the presence
of the Italian Minister of the Marine. Photosgraphs of objects on the surface
were successfully obtained." [Editors' note: Simon Lake is usually credited with
the invention of the periscope, in 1902.]) (reference - Scientific America:
2001/1101issue/110150100.html. Stix:2001:NSF.  Gary Stix. News scan:.
Facing. a new menace. Scientific American, 285(5):14, November 2001. CO- ...www.math.utah.edu/pub/tex/bib/sciam2000.ps.gz