Saturday, September 04, 2010

ANSWERS: Submarine Mystery Questions of the Week - 8/27/2010

The answer to Submarine Mystery Questions of the Week - 8/27/2010 follows each question below.
1) - Who (name and rank required) first issued an order to recruit only volunteer submarine crew members, and to whom was such an order first given? ANS: C.S.A. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard issued permission for Lieutenants George E. Dixon and William A. Alexander to recruit volunteers for the submarine Hunley from the crew of CSS Indian Chief.
2) - Approximately when was this order given? ANS: Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard issued his recruiting order during November of 1863.
3) - What circumstances surrounded the issuance of said order? ANS:
On August 29, as Hunley was being towed with a full crew of 9 men on board, Lt. Payne accidentally kicked the diving plane to the down position. Hunley dived rapidly with both hatches open. Payne and 2 others survived, but 6, including five sailors from the CSS Chicora who could not escape, and Charles Hasker possibly from the CSS Palmetto State, who was snagged in the (14" x 15¾") forward hatch, sank to the bottom and drowned. The Confederate Navy salvaged the vessel and returned her to service.
On the morning of October 15th, Horace L. Hunley insisted on commanding the submarine for demonstration and training dive under CSS Indian Chief. After several successful dives, the submarine again went beneath Indian Chief, but air bubbles marked a final, downward glide from which the Hunley failed to surface. Including Hunley, a full crew of 8 men perished. Although the hatches had been successfully unbolted to enable escape, water pressure kept the hatches closed; Hunley and his first officer asphyxiated in the conning towers as the rest of the crew drowned. Again, the Confederate Navy salvaged the vessel and returned her to service.
Although sailors from CSS Indian Chief had witnessed the fatal sinking of the H.L. Hunley just one month earlier, volunteers for her replacement crew stepped forward.
4) - What was the fate of those first recruited under said order? ANS: On the night of February 17, 1864, the H.L. Hunley rammed her explosive torpedo 8 feet below USS Housatonic 's waterline to sink her in the first successful naval attack of its kind. Unfortunately, the final crew of 8 (Lt. George E. Dixon, Arnold Becker, Cpl J. F. Carlsen, Frank Collins, Lumpkin Miller, James A. Wicks, and Joseph Ridgaway) perished.
5) - Are military submarines safe except in times of war? ANS: No, on the contrary (see the next question) even U.S. submarines, considered among the safest and best crewed of the world's navies, have not been without accidents in peactime.
6) - What year was USS Scorpion (SSN-589) lost with all hands, and was it lost during a time of peace or war? ANS: The Scorpion one of the only 2 nuclear submarines the U.S. Navy has ever lost (both with all hands) was lost in 1968, [2]. Neither loss occurred during a time of war.
7) - Has there yet been a definitive identification of the causative event(s) triggering Scorpion's loss, or an official determination of cause published by the U.S. Navy? ANS: Not yet.
8) - What year was the most recent submarine tragedy involving dozens of deaths? ANS: On August 12, 2000, the Russian Navy's K-141 Kursk nuclear-powered submarine was lost with all hands in the Barents Sea.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



At 05 September, 2010 12:12, Blogger Cookie..... said...

Finally! An answer to who/when that order was given. My fingers are sore from researching that querry. Although I really enjoy solving difficult questions and problems, you have outdone yourself the last few quiz's. Even though I (and I suspect others) are frustrated with our failures, keep em come'n mate. ;-)

At 05 September, 2010 20:21, Blogger Vigilis said...

Cookie, don't feel badly. First asked myself about who/when that order was given about 5 years ago.
After several overnight sessions of single-handed research, came up with zilch. This seemed very, very strange for a rather obvious inquiry.

Two weeks ago, however, I found the answer when not looking for it. Figured readers might do better than I had, as the answer appears in several more sites today.

The saga of submarine mystery question continues.


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