This is the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, which was the first sub to sink an enemy ship in combat. The ship did so in 1864, but failed to return to port. Eggheads are trying to find out why.
Scientists at Clemson University’s Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston are set to publish their findings today on why the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship perished along with its target in the waters off South Carolina in 1864.
Speculation around the loss of the revolutionary submarine centers on the very explosives it planted on the Union blockade ship USS Housatonic.
There’s more below the fold . . .
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From a metal spar on its bow, the Hunley planted a 135-pound torpedo in the hull of the ship, which burned and sank.
Before the collision, a lookout on the Housatonic spotted a bizarre vessel approaching just below the surface— with only its coning tower visible—and sounded the alarm. The Housatonic’s cannons couldn’t be lowered enough to fire at the strange craft, so crewmen used rifles and pistols, but these were not effective.
Some historians say that the submarine showed a mission-accomplished lantern signal from its hatch to troops back on shore before it disappeared.
Soon after the signal had been fired, the sub sank about 4 miles off Charleston, where the Hunley remained for 136 years.
Fascinating. You can read the rest at the link.