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A History of Submarines

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posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 06:13 PM

Italian submarine class. This class of sixteen medium subs was laid down in 1940-41 and completed in 1941-42.

Three were sunk by British subs, four by allied surface forces and one by aircraft. The Volframio was scuttled by the Italians at La Spezia in September 1942, refloated by the Germans and sunk again by allied bombing in 1944.

The Bronzo was captured by the British minesweepers Boston, Cromarty, Poole and Seaham off Syracuse on 12 July 1943. Renamed P 714 she was transferred to the French Navy as the Narval and scrapped in 1948. The Platino was scrapped in 1948 and the Nichelio became the Russian Z 14 in 1949. The Giada was converted to an electricity generating hulk to comply with the peace treaty, and renamed PV 2. But when Italy joined NATO she was rebuilt as a training submarine, and served until 1966.

Differences in the following appear to allow for wartime differences within the class.

Displacement: 701-714/860-871t (surf/sub); length: 60.8m (199'5 3/4"); oa beam:6.44m (21'1 1/2");draught: 4.78m (15'8"); Machinery: 2 shaft diesels 1400-1500shp=15kn (surfaced), electric motors, 800shp=6.7kn (sub); Armament: 1 x 100mm (3.9inch), 1-2 x 20mm AA, 2-4 x 13.2mm AA, 6 x 21in TT (stern tubes omitted in Argento, Bronzo and Volframio) Crew:45-50.

posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 06:38 PM

US submarine class. Adder was the first of a class of seven US submarines launched between July 1901 and January 1903. They were improved versions of the prototype "Holland" (SS1) which had been purchased in 1900.

The design was drawn up by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut, but the boats were built by the Crescent Company (Adder, Plunger, Moccasin, Porpoise and Shark) and the Union Iron Works (Grampus and Pike). The Adder was the first to commission, on 12 January 1903, and the last two, Porpoise and Shark, commissioned in September 1903. All except the Plunger were transferred to the Philippines as deck cargo about the colliers Caesar and Hector.

On 17 November 1911 all US submarines were given numbers instead of names, and as the "Holland" had been stricken, the Adder Class became the "A"Class. In 1920 the USN adopted a standard hull numbering system, and this was made retrospective to include units that no longer existed. The A Class thus became SS 2-8. A 5 was sunk at Cavite (Philippines) on 15 April 1917 after an explosion, and on 24 July of the same year A 7 lost her entire crew in an engine room explosion. The six surviving boats were stricken on 16 January, 1922 (A 1 had been stricken in February, 1913) and all were sunk as targets.

Displacement: 107/123t (surf/sub); length: 19.42m (63'9") oa beam:3.65m (12') draught: 3.19m (10'6"); Machinery: single shaft petrol engine, 160bhp=8kn (surf), electric motor, 150eph=7knots; Armament: 1 x 18in TT with 3 rounds; Crew: 7.

Love the photo of the Adder undergoing trials in 1903. There are two narrow ventilation funnels about 5-6' tall forward, and one thick braced one about 7" tall at the stern. Three crewmen sitting on the chair high conning tower, one in a dark sea coat and one wearing a tropical pith helmet (think the hunter in "Jumanji"). In the background is a two masted steam sloop with a clipper bow and white painted hulls.

2004 hi tech might be great, but give me 1903 adventure anyday.

posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 08:02 PM

italian sub class. The "Adua" Class of 600t subs were designed by General Curio Bernardis, and were developed from the earlier "Argonauta", "Sirena" and "Perla" Classes. Seventeen units were laid down in 1936-37 and completed in 1936-38, in addition to another three built for Brazil in 1937.

In 1940-41 Gondar and Scire were fitted as transports for "human torpedoes" or "Maiale" (pigs), with the 100mm gun removed and three cylinders welded to the deck casing. All but one of the class were lost in WW2.

Displacement:680-698/848-866t (surf/sub) length: 60.18m (197'5") oa beam: 6.45m(21'2") draught: 4.69 - 4.75m (15'6" - 15'9") Machinery: 2 shaft diesels, 1200bhp-14kn (sub) electric motors, 800ehp=7 1/2kn (sub)
Armament: 1 x 100mm (3.9-in) gun, 2-4 x 13.2mm (.51cal) guns, 6 x 21-in (53-cm) TT with 12 rounds. Crew:46.

Sorry for a short one today, behind schedule, gotta run.


posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 08:53 PM

Remember, this is from a 1970s publications, at a time when the next sub was just coming into service. For those interested I did a web search under "Agosta Class Submarine" and came up with 824 listings. Most of the first three pages found all the information I wanted to know. There is much on thier service with Pakistan. The original ships are now known as the Agosta 70s to differentiate them from a new development, the Agosta 90s, which are under construction for Pakistan. The same French yards are now producing Scorpiene Class submarines for the world market.


French submarine class. In 1970 the Marine Nationale (French Navy) announced the building of a new class of four high speed conventionally powered subs. Although they were claimed to be of the most advanced design, details published at the time indicated nothing out of the ordinary about them. They were presumably intended to maintain a continuity of design and were a logical improvement over the Daphne class of 1958-70.
(looking at the Agosta 90 and Scorpiene Classes photos on the net you can see the family lineage continues - CA)

As desscribed in W&W at the time, there were only supposed to be four tubes in the original class, and no stern tubes (with then new guided torpedoes and later SLASMs, there would probably have been no need) but 20 rounds were listed as carried. The were presumed to be homing torpedoes of the L5 type, which were (are?) a 55-cm (21.7-in) weapon with a passive/active homing head. Two sonar sets were carried, an active DUUA 1 set with transducers forward and aft, and a passive DSUV set with 36 hydrophones.

The class included four units: Agosta begun in 1972 and completed in the Northern spring of 1976, and the Beveziers, Ouessant and La Praya. The names commemorate French submarines of the pre Second World War era, and all four were built by DCAN of Cherbourg (then a naval it still?-CA). At the time further construction was earmarked for Spain and South Africa.

displacement: 1200t standard (std) 1450/1725 surf/sub, length: 67.6m (222') beam:6.8m (22') draught: 5.4m (18') Machinery: single shaft diesel electric, 3600bhp=12kn surfaced. electric motor, 4600 hp= 20kn submerged. Armament: 4x 55-cm (21.7-in) TT with 20 rounds. Endurance: 560km (350 miles) at 3 /12kn dived, 14500km (9000 miles) at 9kn (snorting) Crew:50

Check out the Nasog site listing for the specs of the class (no.5 on the list of my search hits). leave out the " " when typing in the search title.

Current notes on the net show the class to have undergone a refit (like many subs of the time) so they now have Exocet SSMs in the load out and a new sensor fit. The notes also indicated the French boats were also in service, as well as units with Pakistan.


posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 09:16 PM
A much older series of girls now...


French submarine class. These two submarines were the first in the world to be driven by diesel motors. At the time the German press adopted a most superior tone about thier design, hinting that the French were forced to turn to them due to France's lack of technical know how, but Germany waited eight years before ordering thier first diesel engined U-boats. The deisels were produced by MAN of Augsburg.

A further 11 boats were ordered at the same time on 13 May 1902, but cancelled that September. Thier names would have been Eider, Macreuse, Grebe, Cygne, Marabout, Heron (Toulon Dockyard), Pluvier, Pingouin, Pelican, Plongeon and Vanneau (Cherbourg Dockyard). The designer was Maxime Laubeuf, and the design was a development of his Narval and Sirene types.

The Aigrette (Q 38 -I beleive that Q 38 and the like are French construction numbers, they are given in several class references of various warships to date from the 1900s to 1970s-CA) was launched 23 January 1904 and completed in 1905, while Cicogne (Q 39) was launched on 11 November 1904 and completed in 1908. The Aigrette was based at Cherbourg from 1914-18 for local defence, and was experimentally fitted with net cutters. Cicogne was sent to Brindisi (Italy) for local defence in 1916 and remained there until the Armistice. Both boats were removed from the effective lists in November 1919 and scrapped.

Displacement: 178/253t (surf/sub) length: 35.85m (117'7") oa beam:4.05m (13' 3") draught: 2.63m (8'8") Machinery: single shaft diesel, 150bhp=9.25kn (surfaced) electric motor, 130 hp=6.2kn submerged.
Armament: 2 x Drzewiecki drop collars for 45-cm (17.7-in) torpedoes and two external cradles. Endurance: 2400km (1300 miles) at 8kn surfaced; 120km (65 miles) at 3.8kn submerged. Crew:14.

I wondered when I read this if the axing of a further 11 of the class was simply a sign of the pace of development or political. I mean if one of your key geopolitical opponents started crowing about how much help you required from them in those days, who'd want to bet the decision was taken for political reasons not to build more of the class.


[edit on 28-11-2004 by craigandrew]

posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 03:15 PM
Missed one.

AG 11

Russian submarine class. In 1916 the Imperial Russian Navy purchased 11 submarines from the American Electric Boat Company. They were very similar to the USN's "H" Class, and were known to the Russians as the "AG" or "Amerikanski Golland" (American Holland) type. Five were allocated to the Baltic (AG 11-16) and six to the Black Sea Fleet (AG 21-26). A further six were not delivered because of the Russian Revolution and were purchased by the USN as H 4-9 in 1918.

The AG 14 was sunk in July 1917, probably by a mine off Libau. Four, AG 11-13 (AG 13 was renumbered AG 16) and AG 15 were scuttled in April 1918 to prevent them from falling into German hands. AG 22 was one of General Wrangle's fleet which chose exile at Bizerta in 1920 rather than life under the new regime, and she was scrapped in the 1930's.
AG 23-26 became the Soviet A1-4; AG 21 fell into British hands in 1919, was scuttled by them, raised in 1928 and became the Soviet A 5. A number of the more "political" names were also borne at various times:

A 1 ex-No.12, ex-Shakter, ex-Trotsky
A 2 ex-No.13, ex-Kommunist
A 3 ex-No.14, ex-Marxist
A 4 ex-No.15, ex-Politrobotnik ( l loved this one. does it translate "political robot" do you think?-CA)
A 5 ex-No.16, ex-Metallist

All five served in the Second World War.
A 1 was lost in mid 1942 near Sevastopol. A 2 was apparently non-operational by 1943-44 and was scrapped in 1946. A 3 was sunk on 4 November 1943 off Tendra Island in the Black Sea by a German escort and A 4 was lost in 1942 or 1943. A 5 survived the war.


posted on Jan, 2 2005 @ 02:08 PM
I have a pretty intresting profile of a sub .


Argonaut was bulit by Simon Lake at his own expense as a salvage vessel for inshore waters. A 30 HP gasoline engine drove the single screw, and the engine could be connected to the twin front wheels for movement along the sea bed: a third wheel aft steered the craft. There was an air chamber forward so the divers could enter and leave. The vessel was rebuilt in 1899 and once made a trip of 1725 nm on the surface. Successful trials led to a number of export numbers, but by that time Lake had lost the initiative to John Holland in the eyes of the US Navy.

here is it's specs
country usa
date of launch 1897
crew 5
length 36 ft beam 9 ft
engine gasoline
speed surfaced 5 knots speed submerged 5 knots

posted on Jan, 3 2005 @ 05:44 AM

Originally posted by Kenshin

The Oscar class submarines are the fastest, deepest-diving and just possibly the most expensive submarine in the world. Known as the 'The Golden Whale' to Soviet sailors, the Oscar's are thought to achieve their very high speed by using an automated liquid-metal cooled reactor of advanced design

I'm Just looking at the info about the Oscar, and im pretty sure its the most expensive/advanced submarine in the world!

I would just like to point out the US had a liquid sodium cooled reactor on SSN 575 in the 1950s. The technology in itself was good for its efficiency but causes many other engineering problems that must be accounted for. In the US Naval nuclear propulsion field, safety is the main consideration. I believe pressurized water is inherently safer, so that was their decision.

Diving depth and speed are somewhat mutually exclusive. For the boat to go deeper it must have a thicker and therefore heavier hull which makes it slower. I have read Russia is particularly good with metallurgy and is the only country to successfully field titanium hulled boats. One of their old models, NATO designation Alpha ? Jane's reported to go down to 3000 feet. But as long as a torpedo can go really deep I don't think there is much tactical advantage for the boat to go so far down. Bathythermic layers are closer to the surface.

I'm pretty certain that Oscar II class subs are much better than the old Victor
IIIs and Delta IVs, but I doubt they could be considered state of the art. Probably about equal tech to an improved Los Angeles class. But it depends on what you are considering, just speed and diving depth or things like sonar and fire control electronics capabilities and quieting technology. For the total picture I think the new Virginia and Seawolf are probably the best out. But what do I know, I've never been on a Russian sub before.

Originally posted by optimus fett
but am i right in thinking that the most powerful people in the world and the most highly vetted for their jobs are nuclear sub commanders?

I would tend to agree. The only thing I can think of that would come close is an astronaut. Only the creme de la creme ever get command of a nuclear sub. Just to be a junior officer you have to be very dedicated and studious. Working on a submarine is very stressful. In the US Navy, all submarine officers attend nuclear power school and subsequent training. >95% have engineering degrees going in as JOs. Although just about any bachelor degree will get you into the program, nuclear power school separates the men from the boys. The flunk outs go to the surface fleet.

After they finish their first sea tour, The most qualified get engineer department head tours, 2nd stringers become navigators, the easiest dept head tour is probably weapons officer. If you make it past your dept head tour without messing up and have high enough evaluations, an executive officer tour is next and finally, after all that, you attend PCO (perspective CO school) and about half of those guys don't make the cut. Just to get invited you have to be pretty studly. At this point you have about 15-20 years into your career. Even the ones that do graduate PCO school are not guaranteed an afloat command. Ability, leadership and personality all come into play. The burn out rate is pretty high.

All of the submarine officers I've ever known were extremely intelligent and hard working. The professional standards are stratospheric. I can't think of a tighter vetting process. I have a tremendous amount of admiration for a nuclear sub CO of any country. They have more responsibility than the CEO of any business yet make a relatively paltry amount of money (Around 100K a year) for what they do.

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 08:08 PM
Here is the history and specs of the USS Albacore.
The USS Albacore was a high-speed experimental submarine, conventionally powered but of radical design, with a new hull form that made her faster and more manoeuvrable than any other conventional sub. Offically described as a hydrodynamic test vehicle, she was highly streamlined; her hull was whaleshaped, without a flat topped deck, and here conning tower resembled a dish's dorsal fin. Albacore underwent several conversions during her test career. In 1959 she was fitted with an improved sonar system, an enlarged dorsal rudder, and dive brakes on the after sail section; in 1961 she received contra-rotating electrical motors, with two propellers contra-rotating about the same axis; and in 1962 was fitted with a high capacity long-endurance Silver zinc battery.

country USA
launch date august 1 1953
crew 52
displacment surface 1500 tons submerged 1850 tons
length 204 ft beam 8ft 5in height 15 ft 7in
powerplant two diesels, one electric motor
speed surfaced 25 knots submerged 33 knots

posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 12:10 PM
i know this has been over a year , but are there any new info / updates? this is a VERY good thread

posted on Jan, 2 2006 @ 09:31 PM
A couple of years ago I picked up a book on submarines at Barns and Noble. It covered subs going back to the early days unto today. It was quite extensive. The surprising thing to me was the number of boats that had been built since the early days by many nations. It was a real eye opener.
Some of the Simon Lake boats were built here in the early days of Newport News Shipbuilding. They are listed in their hull number index. It was surprise to me to see that in those days someone thought of putting wheels on the bottom of the boats.
Great thread.. Thanks,

posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 04:19 AM
Hey, when you're the first in your field who can tell you you're wrong?

I guess it's a bit like those old pictures of what they thought the "future" would look like after the Wright Brothers' adventures at Kittyhawk. I get a kick out of depictions of people flying around with personal "backpack" planes, cops arresting crims, both in their own planes...and every aircraft bat-like or open-topped and made of canvas stretched over wood.

I guess there are relatively strict limits to creativity when you have no experience.

It's logical isn't it, to assume that a submarine would be best "driving" across the bottom like a car or cart? Surely it would be safer and easier to control?

I love trying to imagine their thought processes. Trying to find the logic behind the decisions the inventors made.

posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 08:51 AM
The cool inventions I Like are the auto that converts into a airplane , the inflatable airplane and then the autobile which converts into a amphibian.
I have not yet seen a submarine automobile. LOL LOL that would be a intresting adaptation but probably very little practical use.


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