History of Navy Submarine Force Starts With the “Turtle”


WELCOME TO ALL HANDS UPDATE, I’M PETTY OFFICER
TONY ROSA. THE MODERN-DAY SUBMARINE FORCE WITH ITS STATE-OF-THE-ART
BOATS AND HIGHLY TRAINED SAILORS OWES ITS EXISTENCE, AT LEAST IN PART TO A HOMEMADE
WOODEN CRAFT BUILT IN THE 1770S. CONNECTICUT INVENTOR DAVID BUSHNELL CREATED
THE EGG-SHAPED DESIGN CALLED THE TURTLE . THE TURTLE’S OPERATOR WORKED THE HAND CRANK
THAT PROPELLED THE VESSEL, AND THE HAND PUMP THAT SUBMERGED AND SURFACED THE CRAFT. A YEAR INTO THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, BUSHNELL
WROTE TO GEORGE WASHINGTON TO ASK IF THE TURTLE COULD BE OF SOME USE IN DEFENDING NEW YORK
CITY’S HARBOR. ALTHOUGH THE TURTLE DIDN’T WORK AS WELL AS
PLANNED, BUSHNELL PLANTED THE SEED THAT A SUBMERSIBLE COULD BE A VIABLE INSTRUMENT OF
WAR. MORE THAN 100 YEARS AFTER THE TURTLE, THE
U.S. SUBMARINE FORCE WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1900. AND, ONLY 50 YEARS AFTER THAT, THE NAVY LAUNCHED
ITS FIRST NUCLEAR POWERED SUBMARINE, USS NAUTILUS. TODAY’S SUBMARINE FLEET PLAYS A VITAL ROLE
IN THE NAVY’S GLOBAL PRESENCE AND NUCLEAR DETERRENCE.

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