17.02.

The first submarine sinking of a warship (1864)

The first submarine sinking of a warship (1864)

On February 17, 1864, the first submarine sinking of a warship was carried out. It was the penultimate year of the American Civil War, with the USS Housatonic ship in the harbor of Charleston being sunk by the southern submarine Hunley.

This submarine was approximately 12 meters long and was manually propelled. Specifically, it contained eight members of the Confederate Army (South), who manually rotated the propeller-related shaft. At the top of the bow of the submarine was an explosive charge attached to a rod about seven meters long. The submarine slammed into the hull of the aforementioned northerly ship, so that an explosive charge rammed into it (it had some kind of spikes). Then the submarine should move away from the ship at a sufficient distance and activate the explosive by wire.

The explosion really pierced the hull of the USS Housatonic and it sank in just minutes. However, the submarine did not seem to be able to move sufficiently away from the ship before the explosion as it never returned to its port. It is possible that a charge explosion knocked her crew unconscious, eventually leading to the sinking and death of all eight crew members. Despite this loss, the mission was successfully completed as the USS Housatonic, 62 meters long and with a displacement of more than 1000 tons, was sunk.

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