Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

150 Years Ago

Today marks the 150th anniversary of CSS Hunley's sinking of USS Housatonic, the first successful submarine attack in history. Hunley was lost with all hands shortly after the attack, but her raised hull is providing a trove of information to historians. Here's a drawing of the boat from the Navy History webpage:

Speaking of anniversaries, the Navy Cyberspace blog, one of the older milblogs, celebrated their 10th blogiversary yesterday. If you haven't visited in a while, your should stop by and see what Tom's been up to over there.


Anonymous Cupojoe said...

I encourage a visit to the Hunley in Charleston. While not spacious, it's quite a bit bigger than depicted in this drawing.

2/17/2014 8:07 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Touring this boat is a humbling experience. Modern day complaints of submarine life are nothing compared to what brave submariners of the past experienced. It’s amazing how far our country has come and how fucking great we have it.

2/17/2014 8:41 AM

Blogger John Byron said...

Any historical review of HUNLEY should start here:

Captain Chuck 'Black Bart' Bartholomew USN wrote this when he was the Navy's head diver ... not long before he died tragically on a pleasure dive with the CO of Navy Diving School at Panama City. I played a lot of handball with Chuck and he was the real deal. RIP.

2/17/2014 10:24 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Submarine historians will also not want to miss "Raising The Hunley" by Hicks and Kropf who sifted through rare documents to include firsthand accounts of a the Hunley's story. Submariners will appreciate the hazards described more than most readers. Hunley was practically a submersible ballast tank.

Hunley's crew were volunteers, a sub tradition due to become an trademark of the elite U.S. Submarine Force owing to the foresight of one man back in November 1863.

Interestingly, half of the eight men in Hunleys's final crew were foreign-born volunteers.

2/17/2014 12:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you visit Charleston, for one thing, include a Sunday - that's the only day the Hunley is open for tours (ironically, given the South). Also, pay a visit to Breach Inlet between Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms. This is where the Hunley set out from; there's a dock on private property on the protected side of the inlet, which is likely close to the very spot Hunley docked. While you're there, check out the current through the inlet, considering that the tidal exchange has to empty out the vast expense of sea marsh through a few narrow inlets. It demonstrates a big part of the challenge faced by the Hunley crew, considering that they had to use the outgoing tide to sortie for the attack, then wait until the tide turned so their hand-cranking wouldn't be fruitless against the outgoing tide.

2/17/2014 10:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have family in Charleston and I believe every bit of what Anon 10:04 just said. The tide turned against them in conjunction with being knocked out by a huge salvo of enemy fire while submerged. They had no way to maneuver or defend themselves, they were too close to target. That crew taught us with their lives that speed, maneuverability and tactical awareness is the essence of survivability.

Who says we can't learn a thing or two from history?

2/17/2014 11:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the Hunley sank because the sailors were cheating on their Training Exams.

2/18/2014 2:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes that happened too. However that was before they went ashore to burn down city hall in Charleston and then take turns "going around the world" with the Mayor's wife. No wonder they drowned, the crew was tired as hell from their "early morning exercises" with the wife and felt fatigued while getting underway.

2/18/2014 8:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Technically, it's not the CSS Hunley as the Hunley was never commissioned in the Confederate Navy. As a friend of the Hunley (got the ball cap and all) it's the H. L. Hunley and that's how they refer to her at the conservation site.

2/19/2014 7:19 AM


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