Episode 2.2: First Blood

Play episode

Any arguments against the procurement of submersibles ended on February 17, 1864, when Confederate lieutenant Dixon and his crew of eight men in the submersible CSS H.L. Hunley sank the US warship USS Housatonic, outside of Charleston, South Carolina.

Interestingly, though, the H.L. Hunley was by far not the only submersible that made waves at the time. In Europe, and in fact elsewhere in the rebel lands of the Confederacy and in the United States, inventors engaged in a flurry of activity and innovation, profoundly speeding up the development stages of the modern submarine,

But it was the sound of the explosion of the H.L. Hunley’s spar torpedo and subsequent sinking of the USS Housatonic that reverberated in the halls of admiralties everywhere. The future would no longer be how how most men wearing navy blue had imagined it.

So much happened in such a short period of time that this episode roughly covers the twenty years between 1850 and 1870.

Join the discussion

More from this show