Skip to comments.Experts find new evidence in submarine mystery
Posted on 01/29/2013 7:04:46 AM PST by libstripper
Researchers say they may have the final clues needed to solve the mystery of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, which never resurfaced after it became the first sub in history to sink an enemy warship, taking its eight-man crew to a watery grave.
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Hubby and I saw the Hunley on display. Just looking at that thing I knew those men had certain body parts made of steel.
Rebel Yell ping....
I was there last summer and had the same thought.
It’s striking how “modern” that design looks. Could easily be mistaken for a WW1 vessel, at least from the outside.
I often wonder if a fleet of these would have made a difference in the outcome of the war. It could have caused some expensive losses for the Union if the Confederacy was able to take out large warships at will.
These Men were not suicide bombers. They had a plan to get out alive. It just didn’t work. They knew the risks.
I totally agree. Especially since the skipper and I share the same last name.
I read somewhere about a Union “torpedo boat” attack against the Confederate ironclad Albermarle, secured behind a floating log barrier.
An officer named Cushing took a steam launch armed with one of those spar torpedoes (14 feet long) up the river and attacked. Cushing stood on the bow with the lanyard in his teeth as his left and right hands held reins he pulled to tell the coxwain to go left or right - afraid his voice would carry.
The log barrier was slimy from being in the water and the launch rode over it and got close enough to detonate the bomb. The explosion sank the ironclad as well as the launch.
All were captured except Cushing who stole a skiff and floated back down the river, barely alive. Talk about men who clanked when they walked.
Since then, one vision of a hero I have is a guy standing on the bow of a wooden boat attacking an ironclad in the middle of the night, with a detonating lanyard gripped in his teeth and only 14 feet away from high explosives.
There was a movie chronicling the Hunley a few years back that starred Donald Sutherland” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162897 Not a great movie but a decent depiction of the planning, construction, testing, and execution of this experimental sub.
It had to take tremendous courage to close the lid and submerge in that thing knowing that people died in the test runs.
IIRC it was moved by currents and later hurricanes. The fear was that later hurricanes would possibly beach it.
Wouldn’t the front end show significant damage from the explosion? From the pictures I’ve seen that doesn’t really show up.
The Hunley did not sink immediately. They were able to light a signal lantern to tell people waiting on the shore that the attack had been successful.
The theory is that the sub was damaged enough though that it eventually sank on the return attempt.
While the concussion from the blast was probably quite big, the crew would not have known how bad the damage to the sub was from the inside.
Kind of a metaphor for the whole Southern’’cause’’.
I had heard that H.G. Wells “predicted” atomic weaponry in THE WORLD SET FREE. This was hard to find, but I got a hold of it and read it. He actually did make such a prediction, or extrapolation, from his knowledge of Rutherford’s experiments with radioactivity. The thing is, he got it hilariously wrong. Of course the very essence of a nuclear explosion is its instantaneity, but as he imagined it, it was very slow to develop, even though inexorable.
He describes a deployment where a bombadier takes a large pot or jug and pulls a cork from it WITH HIS TEETH, and tosses it out of his cockpit. After it lands it develops into a sort of volcano. Wells’ description of this development, if taken out of context, is very suggestive of a mushroom cloud, so even as he was wrong, he was right.
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