Lecture notes: Submersibles

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Some good pictures, not a lot of descriptive text.  Apr 21, 2009, 4:25 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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"The Torpedo fish is an electric ray capable of delivering a stunning shock to its prey and in the eighteenth century an American, David Bushnell, first applied the name to a weapon of his invention. This first torpedo was simply a mine which was attached to the hull of a ship and exploded either by remote control or by a clockwork fuze. The name was also applied to floating mines and even blazing barrels of pitch carried into harbours by the tide. Within this general application of the name the history of the torpedo up to about 1860 is synonymous with the history of the mine. In order to give a continuous account of the torpedo's development we will go back to Roman days and note the use of fireships to destroy enemy fleets. The use of drifting weapons of destruction, powered by the ocean currents, is not so very far removed from destructive weapons powered by other means as in the present understanding of the name “torpedo”. "  Apr 21, 2009, 6:53 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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Photos and drawings and history of De Villeroi's Alligator  Apr 21, 2009, 4:31 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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The inventor of the Alligator  Apr 21, 2009, 4:36 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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Wonderful illustrated cultural and historical heritage site for the city of charleston, has lovely drawings of HUNLEY and DAVID. Computer generated drawings, architectural renderings, illustrations. Great for model builders.  Mar 25, 2009, 2:17 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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A MAJOR TREASURE for the Civil War era amateur historian, Paul Silverstone's work is simply invaluable. Covers the waterfront for virtually every class of boat that ever floated, with reasonably detailed technical specs on armor, engines, speed, armament, and ship's history where it is known. Well illustrated throughout. yes, there is information on Submersible boats, too.  Mar 25, 2009, 1:56 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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Press clipping  Apr 21, 2009, 4:29 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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Great page! Pretty much everything that floated.. or didn't.  Apr 21, 2009, 4:28 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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US Navy Historical Page on the CSS David Semi-Submersible.  Mar 25, 2009, 2:27 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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Historical Naval Ships Visitor's Guide CSS Hunley  Apr 21, 2009, 4:34 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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Midge, a steam torpedo boat of similar design to the David, was built at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1864. Captured by Federal forces when that city fell in February 1865, Midge was later taken to the New York Navy Yard, at Brooklyn, New York. She was exhibited there until sold in May 1877.  Mar 25, 2009, 2:28 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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Friends of the Hunley is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the H.L. Hunley complete her historic journey home. The goals of the Friends of the Hunley are: to recover the remains of the brave men who gave their lives and honor them with the proper burial that they earned; to solve the mystery of that first ever submarine attack in 1864; and to conserve one of the greatest, most sought-after artifacts in the history of naval warfare.  Mar 25, 2009, 2:12 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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Handbook of 19th century naval warfare By Spencer C. Tucker Edition: illustrated Published by Sutton, 2000 Original from the University of Michigan Digitized Jun 6, 2008 ISBN 0750921714, 9780750921718 282 pages  Apr 21, 2009, 7:25 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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Good overall summary  Apr 21, 2009, 4:23 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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Excellent non-technical discussion. Worth a look  Apr 21, 2009, 4:20 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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The topic of this thesis is an American Civil War submersible known as the Intelligent Whale. Construction of the vessel began in 1863, but due to several obstacles it was not completed until 1869. Failing an open water test conducted at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (New York Navy Yard) in 1872, the vessel was removed from the water. It remained at the yard until 1965, when it was moved to the Washington Navy Yard. In 1999 it moved to its current location at the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey in Sea Girt. Relatively unknown by historians, the Intelligent Whale is the oldest existing submersible in the U.S. Navy. On the rare occasions when scholars of submersible history provide information about the Intelligent Whale, it is generally limited and in some cases wrong. This thesis will clarify the historical facts and provide a detailed chronology not found in previous histories. Furthermore, a reconstruction of the submersible on paper using measurements taken directly from the vessel will aid the analysis of its hull design, method of construction and configuration of its internal and external features. To date this has not been done, resulting in a lack of knowledge concerning the operation and construction of the submersible. New information will make it possible to discuss the vessel's relation to other Civil War era submersibles, such as the Louisiana State Museum Vessel and H.L. Hunley, and consequently its role in the U.S. Navy and submersible warfare.  Mar 25, 2009, 2:09 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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Website dedicated to Intelligent Whale submersible.  Mar 25, 2009, 2:06 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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John Holland (inventor of the modern turtle) and his designs  Apr 21, 2009, 4:26 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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NOAA's excellent Hunt for the Wreck of the Alligator page  Apr 21, 2009, 4:33 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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Great timeline pages, some good pictures.  Apr 21, 2009, 4:22 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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DO take the time to visit Orin Palmer's wonderful technically perfect computer models of Civil War ships. They are wonderful drawings. The Hunley is among the ships displayed in this online gallery. WELL WORTH YOUR TIME!  Mar 25, 2009, 2:43 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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The life of Robert Fulton, inventor of the Nautilus.  Apr 21, 2009, 4:37 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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Popular history treatment of the fate of the HUNLEY and efforts to find her.  Apr 21, 2009, 7:22 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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Just a few good texts on the subject of Civil War Submersibles  Mar 25, 2009, 1:49 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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Early 20th century digitized work on Submarine fleets and their missions, with a Great Powers bias. Very interesting reading.  Apr 21, 2009, 7:20 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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Submarine warfare in the Civil War By Mark K. Ragan Edition: illustrated Published by Da Capo Press, 2003 ISBN 0306811979, 9780306811975 336 pages This book, Silverstone, and a few choice websites were the major contributors to the Submersibles lecture. A very thorough narrative of the major milestones of Civil War naval experiments with submersibles, on both sides of the war. I got most of my background on Villeroi and the Alligator from this work.  Apr 21, 2009, 7:17 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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During the spring of 1992, and again in the winter of 1993, seven graduate students from Texas A&M University's Nautical Archaeology Program participated in a project to document the Louisiana State Museum Vessel, an American Civil War-era submersible boat presently residing in the collections of the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans. The project initially focused on providing archaeological documentation of the boat's design and construction characteristics, and on compiling some basic historical documentation regarding its known past. Since the turn of the century, this vessel has been presumed by many to be the New Orleans-built Confederate privateer Pioneer, which was scuttled at the time of the evacuation of New Orleans by Federal forces, and last reported in very close proximity to where the Louisiana State Museum Vessel was found in 1878. This was the assumption made at the time the documentation project was conducted, and based upon the information available at that time, an argument in support of this identification was published in a subsequent article summarizing the project's findings. Additional research has clearly determined that this vessel is not the Pioneer. Recent research also indicates that efforts to design, fabricate, and employ submersible vessels within the Confederate States were more widespread than conventionally believed. Furthermore, it now appears that the level of Confederate government support enjoyed by these efforts was more substantial than has traditionally been presumed.  Mar 25, 2009, 2:03 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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This is the monumental semi-official history of the Civil War by Admiral David Dixon Porter. A very good source of not just submersibles but virtually every engagement of the Union Navy during this time period. Covers the great naval events of the war (including submersible attacks, such as there were). Told in a florid 19th century style without a little bit of bias, it is still invaluable as a first person memoir of the events that unfolded from a strategic perspective. David Porter was certainly in the thick of the action from the earliest point of the war onward, and can be relied upon to get most facts straight.  Apr 27, 2009, 9:05 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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Master's Thesis by LCDR Christopher Sledge, about naval operations in and around Lousiana during the ACW.  Mar 25, 2009, 2:01 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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Links to NOAA  Apr 21, 2009, 4:35 AM Hotspur O'Toole
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Including, of course a section on Confederate Fighting Vessels.  Mar 25, 2009, 2:20 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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Just the links alone make this site worth a visit but it is an excellent treatment of the subject of ironclads and ironclad technology. Not on submersibles, per se, but it talks about mines, and ordinance, and iron plate, and other technical subjects. You won't regret the visit.  Mar 25, 2009, 2:33 PM Hotspur O'Toole
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