• English
  • हिन्दी
  • বাংলা
  • తెలుగు
  • தமிழ்
  • ಕನ್ನಡ
  • मराठी
  • മലയാളം
  • ଓଡିଆ
  • ગુજરાતી
  • ਪੰਜਾਬੀ
  • অসমীয়া
  • اردو

Invention of submarines- The rise of the marine age

The concept of the submarines is not new, they have been in use since 415 BC. But the journey from first ancient submarine to modern luxury personal submarines and military nuclear-based submarines is awesome. 

Someone truly said..”Necessity is the mother of invention”. The invention of submarines is no exception. The roots of the invention of submarines can be found during the siege of Syracuse (415 - 413 BC). The military troop divers cleared obstructions using primitive kind of submarines. The answer to the questions “Who invented submarine first?” is… the scientists of the Athenian military. The history of submarines is as old as 2,432 years [Now it is 2017].

80 years later, In 332 BC, Alexander the Great used primitive submersible in the form of a diving bell. The great mathematician of all time, Archimedes (287-212 BC) gave his famous “Archimedes' principle” and explained buoyancy in a scientific manner. His principle was very well used to design and construct water vehicles which can float on the surface but not for submarines [though the principle used to drive submarine is same].

Whatever submarines used before 1578 were kind of primitive type and their success was very limited. In the year 1578, the Englishman William Bourne developed the first working model of modern submarines. His submarine was consist of leather bags with manual adjustments to fill-in and fill-out the water inside and outside of the bags. This was the basic principle which is used even today to submerge the submarine and bring it back to the surface. His model was able to completely submerged in the water, rowed beneath and stay underwater until oxygen lasts inside the wooden and waterproofed submarine. The basic requirements of staying underwater were eliminated in the year 1605 when Magnus Pegelius built and demonstrated the first submersible to be actually built in modern times.

In 1720, Russia built the first modern military submarine in the ruling of Tsar Peter the Great. That submarine was equipped with “fire tubes” which can be thrown to the surface of the water in order to blast the enemy ships. All credit goes to its designer Yefim Nikonov (a carpenter).

The name of first American military submarine was “Turtle” which was launched in 1776. It was a single person, hand-powered submarine. It was fully capable of doing all required operation and movements with the ability to carry out attacks. Later, many countries designed and built similar submarines.

The first powerful submarine which was independent of oxygen, as well as combustion power, was “Ictineo II”. The credit goes to Narcis Monturiol; the year 1864. This submarine was 14 meters long, with a capacity for 2 crew members and ability to dive up to 30 meters and stay underwater for 2 hours. The pressure, buoyancy, movements, and inner air all were in complete control.

After that, a new era of powerful and robust submarines started. Later, the use of submarines was not limited to the military. The use of submarines become so wide that people categorize them into two categorize -- the military submarines and the personal submarines. The personal submarines are those submarines which can be owned by any person as his private property. There are several usages of personal submarines, such as exploration, filming, recreational, research, spy, tourism etc. These private submersibles are wide in their capabilities and features. Many private companies are now manufacturing these personal submarines as a new industry is already set up now. Hence, there are several private submarines are available for sale (including luxury submarines) today.

Before wrapping the article, let me answer few frequently asked questions-

Que: Where was submarine invented?

Ans: As said above, the very first submarines footprints were found in Athens, the capital city of Greece. But the first modern submarine was invented by Englishman William Bourne in England.

Que: Who invented the submarine periscope?

Ans: In 1854 Hippolyte Marié-Davy invented the first naval periscope, consisting of a vertical tube with two small mirrors fixed at each end at 45°. Simon Lake used periscopes in his submarines in 1902. Sir Howard Grubb perfected the device in World War I

Que: Who found submarine? Who built a submarine? Who made submarine? When was submarine made?

Ans: The first fully functional modern type submarine was first built by the Englishman William Bourne in the year 1578.

Que: Who invented submarine sonar?

Ans: The French physicist Paul Langévin invented first submarine sonar in the year 1915.

Que: The submarine is used for what?

As said above, submarines are used for various purposes like military warfare, spy, personal leisure or recreation, tourism, exploration, expedition, scientific research, filming documentaries, etc.

This is a YourStory community post, written by one of our readers.The images and content in this post belong to their respective owners. If you feel that any content posted here is a violation of your copyright, please write to us at mystory@yourstory.com and we will take it down. There has been no commercial exchange by YourStory for the publication of this article.