Breaking Dutch Tradition Will Command Worldwide Attention
According to many authorities, the first navigable submarine for which reliable evidence actually exists, is the one constructed in 1620 by Dutchman Cornelius Jacobszoon Drebbel. Drebbel's was the first navigable submarine. His final model had 6 oars and carried up to 16 passengers. It was demonstrated for King James I and witnessed by several thousand Londoners, in three hours of submerged travel at depths up to 15 feet. Like modern submariners Drebbel appreciated good ale and operated an ale house in London until his death in 1633.
Today the Netherlands has announced its Royal Navy is prepared to open the Submarine Service to women. Labour representative MP Eijsink spent a week on Dutch submarine HMS Dolfijn in a trial last year and concluded that women on submarines was a bad idea: "It will lead to tensions, and that could endanger safety," she said. Nevertheless, Defence State Secretary Kees van der Knaap is expected to break the long tradition, today.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands has a fertility rate of 1.66 births per woman with a sex ratio of 102 women per 100 men. Moreover, the Netherlands is major European producer of ecstasy, illicit amphetamines, and other synthetic drugs; important gateway for cocaine, heroin, and hashish entering Europe; major source of US-bound ecstasy; large financial sector vulnerable to money laundering, according to the CIA's World Factbook.
The Dutch experience will certainly be the most interesting mixed-sex, submarine experiment to date. It will certainly command the attention of responsible governments worldwide.