Submarines of Monturiol and Peral
The submarine “Iktaneo №1”, although a replica, but looks very cool.
But the question is, are they known in stories technology examples, when the same submarines, ahead of their time, would create real people, and not romantic heroes in the pages of books? Yes, it turns out, such examples are known, and just about two such submarines today and our story goes.
“Fish No. 1” and “Fish No. 2”
First of all, we note that before Columbus discovered America, Spain was one of the most developed and prosperous states in Europe. Moreover, it was famous for sheep breeding, for its wine, and for the glorified Toledo blades. But, sitting on the “golden needle” in the form of a flowing stream of precious metals from Mexico, it “lost” its entire economy, and why this happened is understandable. Why produce something yourself, when you can buy the same thing for gold anywhere else? Spain's fleet after the defeat of Armada from year to year became weaker and weaker, and by the middle of the 19 century it weakened so much that it could not withstand France or even England of course. And as it happens very often, a man appeared in Spain who decided to compensate for the number of ships with a completely new quality and build ... a submarine who could not be afraid of either the French or the British fleets! His name was Narciso Monturiol, and here he was in 1858, and managed to build the first Spanish submarine "El Iktino" ("Fish") in Spain. Its length was over 7 m, and the displacement of about 8 tons. In the port of Barcelona, she made more than fifty dives, sometimes sinking more than 20 m. At the same time, she avoided significant accidents, which was a great achievement in itself! True, weapon it was too primitive: in the nose ... a drill to make holes in the hulls of enemy ships! However, Monturiol wanted to put on his "Fish" and a gun that could shoot under water directly into the hull of an enemy ship. But the impoverished Spanish state did not find the money for the boat, and the money given by the sponsors quickly ran out.
Then he decided to build "Iktino №2", and not only managed to build it, but also to experience. He managed to load it on 30 m, and believed that the hull would withstand greater depth, but still chose not to test it in practice.
New items ahead of time ...
Surprisingly, the mechanical drive of the submarine was very interesting and original, if not in embodiment, then at least in concept. The boat had a single engine for underwater travel and surface travel, that is, the “motor”, which Helmut Walter, an engineer, was working on in Germany during the Second World War! The installation consisted of two steam engines, one of which released smoke into the atmosphere through a pipe, while the second used steam in a closed loop to move under water. At Ihtinine No. XXUMX, there was also a device for updating the air inside the boat - a container with a solution of caustic soda that absorbed carbon dioxide and a balloon filled with oxygen. The lighting system was also very original: a special lamp had to burn hydrogen in oxygen, which made it possible to produce a bright flame, although such a lamp was explosive. But stocks of these gases were not stored inside the case, but in metal tanks outside. Surprisingly, the 1.5-year tests of this boat, as in the first case, were surprisingly smooth. Perhaps Monturiol was just lucky, or maybe he turned out to be a qualified engineer, “no worse than Captain Nemo.”
However, this submarine is in service with the Spanish fleet they didn’t accept, but they gave it to creditors for debts. Well, in 1867, in order to get at least something back, they took it apart for scrap. So this original example of advanced technical thought, born in a dying empire, and disappeared. But already in our time in Spain there were enthusiasts who, according to the surviving drawings, built two copies of the second Ichtineo at once! And now both of these submarines can be seen at home, one in Barcelona on the embankment, not far from the Maritime Museum, and the second in the exposition of the Museum of Industry.
Test submarine Peral in 1888 year.
The first Spanish torpedo ...
The second original Spanish submarine was launched in the city of Cadiz, and it was, surprisingly not sound - the first torpedo submarine in the world! Its constructor was Isaac Peral-i-Caballero, who was born in Cartagena in 1851 in the family of a regular military. After graduating from the Naval School, he was promoted to officer, fought in Cuba and the Philippines, and was awarded medals for his bravery, and in 1884, he offered the “Project of a torpedo submarine”, which was built and launched in September 1888.
But now the submarine Peral "bathes" in the fountain. Well, it was necessary to come up with this? There is a memorial plate on the site of the torpedo tube fairing. The nasal screw of depth is clearly visible, by rotating which the boat was trimmed.
Its displacement was 85 tons submerged, although more than a third of this mass was occupied by a large battery, consisting of more than 600 (!) 50-kilogram acid lead lead cans. And the battery could only be charged at the base, and it took more than a day for this! Two electric motors on 30 HP each rotated his own screw, which gave a speed of 7,5 nodes on the surface of the water and only a 3,5 node at a depth. However, the main drawback of the submarine was not associated with low speed, but with the fact that its cruising range was only 40 miles.
Feed with two vertical rudders and two bronze horizontal propellers. The third screw is similar in purpose to the screw on the nose.
And again, inside the submarine Peral concealed a lot of very promising technical innovations. Let's start with the weapons: for the first time the submarine received a torpedo tube located inside the boat. And it was the Peral boat that turned out to be the first submarine vessel that for the first time in history made a torpedo shot from under the water in a warship, even if at maneuvers. 7 June 1890 of the year 350-mm torpedo of the German firm Schwarzkopf from a distance in 2 cable landed on the cruiser Colon anchored. A few days later, she was able to hit the same target on the go! Spanish submariners also belong to the championship in a successful torpedo attack in the dark of the night. “Peral” imperceptibly got close to this “ill-fated” cruiser almost imperceptibly, although its “conditional opponent” was aware of a possible attack and was actively shining around it with searchlights, and fired a torpedo at its side!
"Very advanced instrumentation"
This was largely due to the "instrumentation" of the submarine. First of all, it should be noted that its creator also invented an original periscope, which could project the image onto a flat horizontal screen, and this made it possible for the commander to assess the course angle of the target, the distance to it from the submarine, and, accordingly, determine the advance time when fired. It was a kind of analogue of the modern combat information post, although, of course, in a very primitive version. And on his boat, as well as on the legendary "Nautilus" of Captain Nemo, electricity reigned everywhere. The speed was determined by the electric lag, and again the room of the ship was illuminated with electricity, on which as many as six light bulbs were burning, although there were only seven crew members!
The designer provided for two additional electric motors for the 5 hp, which rotated two vertical propellers located at the bow and stern, which made it possible to automatically adjust the depth of the submarine submersion according to data from the hydrostat. That is, she also had quite modern thrusters that improved her performance!
The torpedo tube was placed on a boat in the bow and was covered by a special drop-down fairing. Ammunition consisted of three torpedoes, which was at that time a very solid stock.
This photo gives an idea of the size of this vessel, and it can be seen that it is not at all small.
But ... "there is no prophet in his own country." Marine Department of the boat refused to Peral, although she successfully passed all the proper tests. At the end of 1890, the port of Cadiz was disarmed and left ... to rust until 1929, when it was towed to Cartagena. Although, why this is so, it is clear: the “toy” of poor Spain was simply not affordable. But its creator was very offended, went into politics, and, becoming a member of parliament, quarreled with everyone who was involved in the country's maritime policy. It is clear that the “technique” here has completely ceased to matter, but the clash of ambitions remains. In 1895, Peral went to Berlin to undergo progressive cancer, but because of an unsuccessful treatment, he developed meningitis, from which he eventually died.
Coin for memory
But then his submarine was restored and placed in front of the building of the submarine base in the port of Cartagena, then moved closer to the sea on the square, and since 1992, it flaunts already on the main promenade of this city - Alfonso XII Boulevard. And by the 125 anniversary of the launch of the Peral boat, the Royal Spanish Mint even issued a special silver coin. On the obverse of the coin, the portrait of the King of Spain Juan Carlos I, the text “JUAN CARLOS I REY DE ESPANA” and the year of issue - “2013” are struck.
The portrait of Isaac Peral is struck on the reverse, and below, against the background of a stylized image of sea waves, a submarine bearing his name is placed. The value of the coin is "10 EURO". To the right of the portrait is placed the name of the inventor “ISAAC PERAL” in two lines, and to the left also the sign of the Spanish Royal Mint - the letter “M” under the crown.
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