Friday, March 14, 2008

Curious Snippets from Submarine History

It may be difficult for us to believe, but this 1913, submarine feat may still be a record of sorts:

In 1913, five C Boats (Octopus, Stingray, Tarpon, Bonita, and Snapper), under the command of a Lieutenant (junior grade), successfully completed the longest cruise made up to that time by United States submarines operating under their own power. The C boats completed a 700 mile passage between Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Cristobal, Panama Canal Zone, without serious engineering mishap. So unusual and risky was the voyage, that the C Boats were accompanied by several surface ships, including Ozark, which was acting as submarine tender. - Hat Tip: Trisha Carden .

How could this vintage feat of primitive submarines still represent a record in 2008?

Please, correct me, if I am mistaken, but I doubt a longer submarine cruise has been completed since 1913, with fewer crew (per boat: 1 officer; 14 enlisted) and a more junior CO (Ltjg).

By the way, things were so primitive in those days, that this was considered innovative technology: the C Boats were the first US submarines to be fitted with an underwater bell used to signal and communicate with other craft and ships. source .


MEXICO CITY, Nov. 13, 1916 -- Great Britain has sent an explanation to Mexico denying authorship of a note sent here signed by Secretary Lansing, who gave warning that expected arrival of German submarines in the Gulf of Mexico would be regarded as unfriendly if the submarines were to use Mexican waters. - source NYT.


In January 1917, in anticipation of resuming unrestricted submarine warfare the following month, the Foreign Secretary of the German Empire, Arthur Zimmermann, telegrammed Germany's ambassador to Mexico. The telegram instructed Eckardt to propose a military alliance with Mexico against the United States. Eckardt was instructed to offer Mexico territories lost in the Mexican-American War, specificallyTexas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

The Zimmermann Telegram was intercepted and decoded by British cryptographers. Revelation of its contents caused the American public's outrage, contributing to declaration of war against Germany on April 6th.


US Navy to Shock Test Seawolf Submarine
The US Department of the Navy, persuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, announced its selection of the area of the Atlantic Ocean offshore of Mayport Naval Station, Jacksonville, Florida for SEAWOLF submarine shock testing. Testing offshore of Mayport will be conducted between 1 May and 30 September, 2000 to minimize the risk to sea turtles which may be more abundant in the Mayport area during April. Two areas were evaluated with respect to operational criteria and environmental impacts. Both were determined to meet all of the Navy's operational requirements. In choosing the Mayport area, the Navy determined that while most environmental impacts of shock testing would be similar at both locations, the risk of mortality and injury to marine mammals is about five to seven times lower at Mayport. This Record of Decision leaves the selection of a single primary and two secondary test sites within the Mayport test area to be made based on aerial surveys of marine mammals and turtles done three weeks prior to the shock test. Source: US Federal Register: 21 January, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 13)

Seawolf is designed to be a quiet, fast, heavily armed, shock resistant, survivable submarine, according to .



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