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Who Really Invented Submarines?

Dive into the fascinating story of submarine invention: who really deserves the credit?

Who Really Invented Submarines?

Who Invented Submarines

Submarines have been a fascination for mankind since time immemorial. With the evolution of technology, submarines have come a long way from being simple wooden vessels to advanced vessels capable of stealth operations. In this article, we will delve into the history of submarines and explore the inventors of these underwater vessels.

The First Recorded Submarine

The credit for the first-ever recorded submarine goes to Cornelius Drebbel, who built a wooden vessel that could hold a dozen rowers and stay submerged for a few hours. Drebbel built his submarine in England in the 1620s and used it as a sightseeing vessel for King James I. The vessel was built by applying the principles of buoyancy. Drebbel attached a watertight compartment to the bottom of the boat and filled it with water to submerge the boat. This was facilitated by the air pumped into the vessel in a tricky mechanism. While Drebbel's design was groundbreaking, it wasn't used for military purposes. However, it paved the way for future developments in the field of submarines, and today, he's regarded as the founder of the submarine technology.

The Turtle Submarine

In 1775, David Bushnell built the Turtle submarine during the American Revolution. This vessel had a hand-cranked propeller and could submerge for 30 minutes. It was propulsion through the water was by means of hand-driven screws. The development of this underwater vehicle was a significant breakthrough in the military history of submarines.The Turtle submarine was primarily used to attack British warships stationed in the New York Harbor. Though the attempt wasn't successful, it was a notable effort in the development of submarines. Bushnell's innovation was so ahead of its time that it took some more time for the military to realize its potential.

The Submarine Revolution in the 19th Century

The 19th century saw a surge in the invention of submarines. Robert Fulton built a submarine vessel name the Nautilus in 1800, and it was propelled on the surface by sails but could dive and resurface by controlling the ballast tanks. Fulton's submarines contributed significantly to underwater advancements. Following him, Narcis Monturiol's Ictineo I in 1859 was steam-powered and was the first submarine capable of self-propulsion. John Holland built his first submarine, The Holland, in 1875. It was a self-propelled torpedo-attack vessel that could submerge to depths of 75 feet. Isaac Peral built his prototype submarine, Peral Submarine in 1888, which used electric power instead of steam and made significant contributions to the development of submarines.The submarines in the 19th century improved in power, speed, reliability, and endurance. The advancement in military technologies resulted in significant developments in submarine technology. As submarines became increasingly effective as military weapons, numerous countries began to invest in research and development. In conclusion, submarines were the offspring of great brains from medieval scientists to modern inventors. From the first submarine a record of human history to the Navy's latest marvels, submarines have continued to evolve and change the course of the naval war. Innovative technological advancements have helped establish submarines as one of the most potent weapons in warfare.

Who Invented Submarines?

A submarine is a watercraft that has the ability to operate underwater. It is built to navigate underwater, and it can also be used as a weapon or for exploring the depths of the ocean. Submarines have come a long way since their inception. So, who actually invented submarines? The history of the submarine has a long and fascinating evolution.

The Early Days of Submarines

The first recorded design of a submarine was created in 1578 by William Bourne, an English mathematician. His design was similar to a diving bell, which was a device that was used to explore the depths of the ocean. However, Bourne’s design never actually navigated beneath the water.

The first submerged vessel was created in the late 17th century by Cornelius Drebbel, a Dutch inventor. It was a wooden submarine that was powered by oars and operated by a team of rowers. Drebbel’s vessel successfully navigated the Thames River for over three hours before it had to surface for air.

The Contributions of David Bushnell

The first modern submarine was created in 1775 by David Bushnell, an American inventor. His submarine, called the Turtle, was operated by one person and was powered by hand-cranked propellers. The Turtle successfully submerged and approached British ships during the American Revolutionary War, but it never managed to sink any of them.

Bushnell continued to refine his design, and he created a mine that could be attached to enemy ships. The mine would explode, causing significant damage to the ship. This innovation marked the beginning of submarine warfare.

The Resistance to Submarines in Navies

Navies were initially skeptical of submarines due to their limited range and power. However, with the invention of torpedoes, submarines began to be considered as effective weapons. The torpedo was a self-propelled explosive device that could be launched from a submarine and guided to its target.

The World Wars and Submarines

Submarines proved their worth during both World War I and World War II. German U-boats sank thousands of Allied ships, while American submarines helped win the Pacific theater. Submarines continued to be used in the Cold War and beyond.

The Modern Submarine

Modern submarines are nuclear-powered and can stay submerged for months. They are used for various purposes, including surveillance, intelligence-gathering, and strategic deterrence. With advanced technology and innovative designs, submarines have come a long way since their inception, and they continue to be an important part of the world’s naval arsenal.

Although the exact origins of the submarine continue to be debated, it is clear that the evolution of this innovative technology has had a significant impact on naval warfare and exploration. From the early designs of William Bourne and Cornelius Drebbel to the modern nuclear-powered submarines of today, the history of the submarine is a fascinating one.

The Impact of Submarines on Society

The Military and Political Impact

Submarines have been a significant factor in military and political dynamics since their introduction. They have become a vital resource for stealthy attacks and defense strategies in conflicts throughout history.

One of the earliest examples of submarine use in war was during the American Civil War. The Confederate States of America developed a submarine called the H.L. Hunley, which they used to attack and sink the USS Housatonic, making it the first successful submarine attack in history. This attack paved the way for the use of submarines in war, and they have continued to play a significant role in military strategy ever since.

During World War I, Germany's U-boats (submarines) were used to block trade routes and sink enemy ships. This led to the Allies developing countermeasures and creating convoys, which were heavily guarded groups of merchant ships that traveled together for protection. The invention of sonar technology and depth charges also helped to counteract the threat of enemy submarines.

Submarines played a crucial role in World War II as well. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was carried out by submarines, and later in the war, the United States used submarines to blockade Japanese shipping lanes, which was a significant factor in Japan's defeat.

The Economic Impact

Submarines have had a profound economic impact as well, beyond their military use. They have been instrumental in deep-sea exploration, oil drilling, and underwater research. Additionally, they have enabled trade by protecting shipping lanes and even smuggling contraband.

In deep-sea exploration, submarines have provided a means for humans to visit some of the earth's most extreme environments. The Trieste, a research submersible, was able to visit the deepest part of the ocean, the Challenger Deep, in 1960. Submarines have also been used in oil drilling. Subsea drilling platforms are often serviced by remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), which are essentially small, unmanned submarines.

The protection of shipping lanes is a critical function of submarines. They can remain hidden underwater, allowing them to detect enemy ships or submarines and prevent them from attacking civilian or military ships. Submarines have also been used to smuggle contraband, such as weapons or drugs, which has had a negative economic impact.

The Scientific and Cultural Impact

The use of submarines has allowed for significant discoveries in marine biology, geology, and oceanography. Submarines have enabled scientists to explore the depths of the ocean and study marine life that was previously unknown.

Submarine technology has also influenced popular culture, appearing in literature, movies, and video games. Classics like Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and movies like The Hunt for Red October have helped to create an enduring fascination with submarines and their role in society.

In conclusion, submarines have had a significant impact on society in a variety of ways. Their military and political use has influenced conflicts and shaped the course of history. Submarines have also had an economic impact, enabling deep-sea exploration, oil drilling, and trade. Finally, submarines have provided a means for scientific discoveries and influenced popular culture.

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