Skip to comments.Mystery of the secret Confederate submarine Hunley is SOLVED (TR)
Posted on 07/19/2018 8:51:46 AM PDT by DFG
The first submarine to down an enemy ship was sunk itself after its crew failed to release an emergency weight to help it resurface.
Crew aboard the Confederate vessel HL Hunley did not disconnect the 1,000lb keel blocks to help it rapidly resurface, resulting in the sub being trapped underwater and the men dying from lack of oxygen.
Scientists who removed the corrosion, silt and shells from the boat found the levers all locked in their regular position, solving a mystery dating back to 1864.
The blocks would typically keep the sub upright, but also could be released with three levers. That would allow it to surface rapidly, archaeologist Michael Scafuri, who has worked on the submarine for 18 years, said.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
From what I’ve read they were all unconscious as a result of concussion from the blast.
Ive always been fascinated by the ironclads and other advanced technologies used during the Civil War.
What is reported here doesn't actually solve the mystery. People in such a situation would not chose to leave the levers locked. They did so because they could not do otherwise.
They were already dead, so it didn't matter to them if the keel weight dropped or not.
I will have to search way back in my posting history to find that exchange. Perhaps the Freeper who told me what happened will see this thread and get involved in this discussion.
Built not 15 miles from where I presently sit, it was built on Water Street in Mobile, Alabama.
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.
Did they die from the concussion of the blast, as someone in here suggested? Or perhaps knocked unconscious?
I have heard the wave from the explosion could have swamped her. Given the bodies were found at their posts and not piled up around the hatch I am inclined to believe they died from the concussion or lost consciousness from lack of oxygen while waiting for the tide to turn so they could return home with the tide. Nice museum and the cemetery is close by with big blood sucking mosquitoes
Americans: world leaders in technology since 1776. I mean, what have the Japanese ever invented? They improve and perfect, but invent? Not so much. At least the Germans invented the modern rocket and jet.
My point is not to disparage the capable Japanese but to underscore the massive creativity inherent in American optimism and the “can do” spirit. Americans have been turning dreams into physical reality since day one, medical technology is leaping ahead so fast, we are approaching Star Trek levels of tissue repair without invasive surgery.
On it goes. I would love to see the level of technology 100 years from now.
Hey FRiend, ping for you here! I recall you were involved in some way with Hunley research? (IIRC)
Those are our state bird. ;-)
IN the FWIW department.....after the war the plans for the Hunley were offered to the Brits which Po-poed them. They then went to Germany, who showed interest and bought the plans.
Whether those plans gave anything valuable to the Germans is debatable, but it is to note the the German U-Boat Survivors Association donated $1 million to the conservation/burials of the Sub/Crew
Contradictory information is stated. I guess they don’t bother to proofread much.
Years ago we rented a beach house on Sullivan Island. Sitting on the porch at night we could see a red buoy light slowly blinking offshore, far across the dark water, near where the Hunley was found. Later, I went to see the submarine, and there was a cutaway full sized model there. The bench for the crew was slanted downward and slightly above the 9:00 o’clock position in the rounded hull. This forced their hands downward on the cranks which came out almost to the edge of the bench with little room for their legs. Of course, the cranks were offset from one another to provide a continuous power stroke, but this made it almost impossible for the crew to extricate themselves once in place. If anything went wrong, there was no quick way out, except to die.
In support of that line of thought - In most unexpected/unplanned situation, even those with life or death consequences, the average person will spend the first second or two denying the event is taking place. Only after that will they think about the actions they should be taking, then followed by taking some form of action. That is why student pilots are drilled by their instructors so intensely on the subject of losing power on takeoff. At that very vulnerable point in a flight, there is close to zero time for thinking or reflection. The actions have to be both quick and correct, and I doubt that the Hunley crew had ever practiced an emergency surfacing drill. Becoming partially disabled by either the shock of the torpedo explosion, by the reversal of the control surfaces (since they were trying to back away from the Union ship), and/or any sticking release levers would have undone them.
Yes, that is my understanding. The freeper who explained this to me actually worked on the Hunley project. We all originally thought their "torpedo" was equipped with barbs to jam into the wood of the ship being attacked, and that after attaching it to the ship, they were to reverse and unwind a long rope that would then pull the firing trigger on the explosive charge.
The reality, as borne out in photographs is that the torpedo charge was actually bolted solidly to the 20' long iron spar on the front of the Hunley. It was designed to fire on impact.
They were 20 feet away from the blast when it went off. They were killed from the shock instantly.
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