Submarine: Who Invented the First Submarine and When?

What is a Submarine? Who Invented the First Submarine and When?

Let’s start with the short answer. The first person to produce a real submarine by turning the submarine design into practice was the Dutch inventor Cornelius Drebbel, who worked in the palace of King James I of England in the early 1600s. Now we can get into the details.

Submarines, which are deployed to provide security in wars and under submarines, are used today with their state-of-the-art technology. These vehicles, whose wall thickness has been reinforced so that they can descend to the desired depth, find their direction with the help of compass.

The historical development of submarines, which have nuclear, atmospheric, static and dynamic types, also consists of many stages. It is known that they first appeared in the 9th century with their imposing images. However, since there is no clear information, there are several different dates for their invention.

It is known that Konrad Kyeser designed a submarine vehicle in 1465 and Leonardo Da Vinci in the 1500s. But it is generally accepted that the first submarine was invented by the Dutch-born Cornelius Van Drebbel in the 1600s.

What is a Submarine?

Ships developed for use in wars are called submarines. The common feature of these vehicles is that they can move smoothly in the submarine just as they can move on the sea surface.

Submarine vehicles, which are designed by intertwining two boats, must move continuously in order to be able to stay at the desired depth. There are special air tanks in the inner hull where the crew stays. Since it is not possible for the sailors to follow the route under the submarine, they proceed with the help of a compass.

Today, many types of submarine vehicles have been produced using advanced technologies in this field. Nuclear, atmospheric, static and dynamic submarines are among some types of submarines.


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Who Invented the First Submarine and When?

Although the submarine was first developed in 1578, it took its place in history as the first submarine was never operated. An analogy to the first submarine, invented by the mathematician William Bourne, was invented by Cornelius Van Drebbel about 40 years later.

Among the first submarines to be invented, the submarine called the American Turtle was used in the American Revolutionary War in 1776. However, the first submarine used in the war failed to sink its target.

The first submarine in the history of the submarine that succeeded in sinking its target was the war submarine named Hunley. However, although he managed to sink the ship of the other side, he also sank with his crew. In addition to the submarine vehicles developed in the past, the first modern and technological submarine developed recently was developed by a Dutch inventor.

How Was the Submarine Invented?

A submarine very similar to William Bourne’s design was invented by Cornelius Van Drebbel in the 1600s. Tried for the first time on the Thames, this submarine has a wooden keel and is covered with leather. On the sides, there are 12 oars extending out of the waterproof leather coating.

The Drebbel-designed submarine remained under 5 meters of water for 2 hours and was said to be supported by the oxygen production method. Despite the successful conclusion of the experiment, he could not get the approval of the British Admiralty.

The vehicles, which were originally designed to explore the bottom of the sea, later gained importance in the military field. English priest John Wilkins mentioned the strategic importance of submarines in his book Mathematical Magick published in 1648.

History of Submarine

Another example of the first submarine models was built in the early 18th century by Ibrahim Effendi, the chief architect of the shipyard. This crocodile-looking vehicle is adapted from a boat. Sandal left the shipyard and dived in front of Aynalikavak on the 13th day of the circumcision festivities organized for the princes of Sultan Ahmed III.

Under the water, he came to the surface in front of the Otag-i Humayun. Five people with rice trays on their heads came down from the crocodile mouth and presented them to the sultan. This information is included in the work called Surname.

In accordance with the purpose of being used in war, the first use of submarines took place in 1776. The tool used in war was produced by David Bushnell in 1775 under the name of American Turtle. This submarine made of wood also has manual steering. Hunley, the first submarine to sink the enemy ship in the following periods, was designed because it could not be successful in the war.

An engineer named Robert Fulton designed a submarine called Nautilus for the French in 1800. The desired results could not be obtained in the trials and could not be put into service. The first submarine of the French inspired the author Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in the following years.

Bushnell's Turtle

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In 1837, Jose Rodriguez, who was in charge of the Ecuadorian navy, designed a submarine called the Hipopotamo. The Hippopotamo, which was the best model among those built up to that date, was successful in all its trials. It has been lost in the dusty pages of history due to the lack of resources from Ecuador.

In 1851, the Bavarian soldier Wilhelm Bauer designed a submarine named Brandtaucher. This vehicle, traveling with a treadmill, sank in Kiel Harbor in its first attempt. The 3 crew members were saved by the equalization of the cabin pressure by the water accumulating inside. This submarine, which was found during dredging in 1887, is exhibited in the Dresden museum.

With the Industrial Revolution, mechanical systems began to be used in submarines. The first vehicle designed in this way was the Plongeur, which was launched in 1863. Working with compressed air, this submarine needed 12.41 bar compressed air to move.

The first vehicle made with an internal combustion engine and independent of air is the Ictineo 2 designed by Narcis Monturiol. This vehicle, which was launched in Barcelona in 1864, worked with human power at first. It was developed later and the internal combustion system was adapted to this vehicle in 1867.

In 1879, Peru built a submarine called the Toro during the Pacific War. But because Chile won the war, it was divided so that it would not fall into the hands of the enemy. The first mass-produced submarine is a human-powered design made by Stefan Drzewiecki. 50 units of this vehicle were produced for Russia. Drzewiecki invented the first electrically powered submarine in 1884.

In the 19th century, George Garret, together with Thorsten Nordenfeit, produced the Nordenfeit series of steam engine submarines. The first production of the series was purchased by Greece and the Ottoman and Russian governments also placed an order.

After these designs, the inventor of the modern and more functional submarines is a person named J.P Holland. In the model he developed in the 1900s; parts such as depth adjuster rudder, cylindrical body, airless power supplies are included.

Holland’s design was given to the US Navy, and then the submarine was patented and marketed to countries such as Japan, Russia, the Netherlands and the UK.

History of the Submarine

Although the history of submarines dates back to ancient times, they are vehicles that contain highly advanced technologies today. At this point, the first submarine studies date back to the 1500s.

The submarine, which was unearthed by a mathematician inventor in 1578, was never tried in any subject and was recorded as the first submarine. For this reason, it is accepted that the first submarine was invented in 1620 by Drebbel of German origin.

In the 18th century, the one-man submarine, called the Turtle, was used during the civil war that America faced. The submarine named Nautilus, which performed the most successful dives in submarine history, was developed by Robert Fulton.



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