A history of US submarines from the Revolution to today | Latest News
Submarines rank as the most intriguing military craft. Most people have been in airplanes and on boats, but very few of us have traveled inside a submarine gliding through the ocean depths.
The idea of traveling underwater has captured imaginations for a long time. In the 16th century, both Leonardo da Vinci and British mathematician William Bourne separately sketched out plans for submersible vessels, and Dutch inventor Cornelius Drebbel modified a rowboat to move underwater in the 17th century.
Since becoming a fixture in military defense, submarine fleets, nicknamed the “Silent Service,” have played extraordinary roles in wartime. In World War II especially, submarines were instrumental in quelling Japanese forces, disrupting supplies for Japan’s military economy, and rescuing hundreds of U.S. airmen stranded in the Pacific Ocean.