The Mission of the Institute is to provide an independent forum for those who dare to read, think, speak, and write in order to advance the professional, literary, and scientific understanding of sea power and other issues critical to national defense.
An Illustrated History of American Submarine Development
1776 The Turtle
David Bushnell's Turtle was the first undersea craft to actually attempt an attack on an enemy warship—the raison d'être for submarines. During a 1776 mission in New York Harbor, an attempt by the Turtle's pilot to drill into the keel of HMS Eagle to attach a powder charge was foiled by the warship's copper-sheathed hull. The gunpowder charge exploded harmlessly. In the War of 1812, Bushnell built another submersible that attacked HMS Ramillies at anchor off New London, Connecticut. This attempt also failed, although the craft's operator successfully bored a hole in the ship's copper sheathing. To maneuver the one-man submersible horizontally or vertically, her pilot used hand-cranked propellers. A lever controlled the submarine's rudder.
This content is only accessible by current subscribers. Please subscribe to view the full content.
Not a Subscriber yet? Learn more about the exclusive benefits you'll recieve!
Norman Polmar is an internationally known analyst, consultant, and award-winning author specializing in the naval, aviation, and intelligence areas. He has participated in or directed major studies in these areas for the U.S. Department of Defense and Navy, and served as a consultant to U.S. and foreign commercial firms and government agencies. He has been an advisor or consultant on naval issues to three U.S. Secretaries of the Navy and two Chiefs of Naval Operations, as well as to three U.S. Senators and a Speaker of the House of Representatives. He has 50 published books to his credit, including eight previous editions of Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet and four editions of Guide to the Soviet Navy as well as U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, Ship Killer, and Project Azorian. Mr. Polmar is a columnist for Proceedings and Naval History magazines. He is a resident of Alexandria, VA.
More by this Author
SUBMARINES OF THE RUSSIAN AND SOVIET NAVIES, 1718-1990
The first book to comprehensively describe Russian and Soviet submarine development and operations... Read More
CHRONOLOGY OF THE COLD WAR AT SEA, 1945 - 1991
From the very beginning the U.S. Navy played a central role in what turned out to be a forty-five-... Read More
THE NAVAL INSTITUTE GUIDE TO SHIPS AND AIRCRAFT OF THE U.S. FLEET, 18TH EDITION
Packed with authoritative information, up-to-date photographs, line drawings, maps, and useful... Read More
"In describing an effort similar in ambition to that of the moon landing, this book is a... Read More
Back to the Future
Sidebar: A Friendly Enemy
Sidebar: The "Nickel Boat" Keeps Going, and Going . . .... Read More
Improving the Breed
In the wake of the war-built Essex-class ships were three aircraft carriers that served as... Read More
Deep Secrets Revealed
Two enduring mysteries from the 1960s came closer to being solved in the past year with the... Read More
Terrorism Strikes the U.S. Navy
A terrorist bomb ripped open the Aegis destroyer USS Cole (DDG-67) while the warship was mooring... Read More
Events and Conferences
Naval Submarine League, Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, 7920 Jones Branch Dr., McLean, VA Read More
"Angle of Attack" Premieres
Interviewees include Naval Institute Press authors Admiral James L. Holloway, USN (Ret.), Vice... Read More
2:45pm, Surface Navy Association's "2012 National Symposium," Hyatt Regency Hotel,... Read More
1:20pm (Presentation on Azorian) & 4:20pm, (presentation on the Thresher), "2012 Int... Read More