Military Review

Attention, turtle!


According to the currently accepted version of the naval stories, on the night of 6 on 7 September of 1776, the world's first submarine attack of a surface combat ship took place. Courageous submariner, Sergeant of the rebel army in Washington, Ezra Lee, in a small single submarine called "Turtle" (Turtle), developed and built by Connecticut teacher David Bashnellom, attacked the British 64-cannon battleship "Eagle" in New York Bay.
Coming close to the bottom of the battleship, Lee began to drill it with a hand gimlet to fix a blasting charge with a clockwork, but the copper plating of the bottom did not allow it. While Lee was engaged in drilling, the British sailors noticed him and lowered the boat to see what kind of strange thing loomed at the side. Not wanting to be in captivity, Ezra took off running, but the boat was going faster and almost overtook him when he, to divert attention, unhooked a subversive charge with a cocked timer. A few seconds later a powerful explosion was heard in front of the boat, which frightened the British so much that they immediately turned back.
A month later, the Americans decided to repeat the attack, but the British sank the rowing barge, on which the "Turtle" was transported to the area of ​​attack. After that, Bashnell, who had lived 48 for years, for some reason completely forgot about the submarines and no longer tried to build them.

This story, replicated in hundreds of books, articles and Internet sites, is perceived by many as something obvious and well-known. However, if you think about it a little, it raises a lot of questions. First, the earliest descriptions and images of the "Turtle" appeared only in the second half of the XIX century, that is, approximately 100 years after it was supposedly built and sent into battle. Moreover, these images and descriptions are so contradictory that it becomes immediately clear - they made them clearly "from the bald." In some of the figures, the Turtle is driven by oars, in others by screws of various shapes, while in some cases the screw is rotated by pedals and in others by a manual collar. Also the shape of the hull, steering wheel, etc. varies widely.
No descriptions, drawings or drawings of the submarine, made by Bashnell or his contemporaries, do not exist. Also, there are no documents of the XVIII century with references to its construction. This alone would be enough to doubt the veracity of the story of the first American submarine, but there is another weighty counter-argument. Attack "Needle" and the events following it with a pursuit and explosion are not reflected in any way in the documentation of this battleship and other ships of the English squadron. Judging by their logbooks, neither 7 of September, nor in the previous and next days and nights anything like this happened in the New York Bay.
All this has led the modern English maritime historian Richard Compton-Hall to conclude that Bashnell's Turtle is just one of the many historical hoaxes that the nineteenth century was rich in. Thus, it must be delivered at one time with the Artamonov bicycle, the Blinov steam tractor, and the clerk Kryakutny's balloon.

Modern replicas of the submarine Bashnella stand in many American museums, but among their authors there is still no consensus on how this legendary device should have looked.

One of the earliest drawings "Turtle", in which she is depicted with oars.

And this is a slightly later drawing, already with screws. Please note that the author dressed Ezra Lee in a suit that came into use only in the middle of the XIX century.

Two more later versions, already the twentieth century, the left one is clearly based on the top figure, and the right one is completely incomprehensible on what. Its author, for some reason, dated "Tortoise" 1777 year.

Finally, modern computer fantasy, which, in my opinion, looks the most attractive.
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  1. Fox
    Fox 20 September 2015 06: 49 New
    it's like the americans on the moon ...
    1. stas52
      stas52 20 September 2015 07: 37 New
      That's right, MYTH Turtle, after all, Ukrainian scientists have already "proved" laughing that the first underwater attack was carried out by Cossacks on an underwater boat. lol
    2. BMP-2
      BMP-2 20 September 2015 10: 55 New
      Quote: Fox
      it's like the americans on the moon ...

      For three hundred years nothing has changed ...
  2. Lexa-149
    Lexa-149 20 September 2015 07: 16 New
    Dreamers! laughing
    Here with the screw it still somehow fits into consciousness, but how can you row oars UNDER WATER ?! They, it turns out, will row in both directions !!!
  3. Lexa-149
    Lexa-149 20 September 2015 07: 23 New
    And here that issued tyrnet concerning "Blinov's tractor".паровой-трактор-федора-блинова/
  4. Yarik
    Yarik 20 September 2015 07: 57 New
    Lexa-149 RU Today, 07:16 AM New
    Dreamers! laughing
    Here with the screw it still somehow fits into consciousness, but how can you row oars UNDER WATER ?! They, it turns out, will row in both directions !!!

    If you only turn the blade along the axis when moving the oars forward, but it hurts so hard to distort wassat
    1. Lexa-149
      Lexa-149 20 September 2015 13: 50 New
      Absolutely in the hole!)))))
  5. dudinets
    dudinets 20 September 2015 10: 58 New
    It seems to me that the water is too dense and the muscular strength of a person is not enough to move such an aggregate in it. from the "flying, waving hands" area.
  6. parusnik
    parusnik 20 September 2015 11: 19 New
    "steam tractor Blinova" The sad conclusion from the history of the inventor of the first Russian tractor was made by the Volgar newspaper in 1896 in a report from an industrial exhibition where Blinov’s self-propelled gun was demonstrated: “The trouble is that the Russian inventors are Russians. We don’t have confidence in our own creative forces and abilities, we don’t want to support even an undeniably useful business, and it’s not surprising if Russian inventions fall into the hands of the British, Americans and French. ” Efim Prokopyevich Nikonov was the author of the first Russian submarine, The Hidden Vessel, which was built by the modern researcher, shipbuilding engineer E. E. Kolosov, who believes that Nikonov’s ship was a prototype of the modern submarine and that Nikonov himself, despite to failure, in action proved the possibility of scuba diving: in the summer of 1721, Yefim on his "model ship" nevertheless made two successful dives and ascent on the Neva."Artamonov’s bike""the scribble Grunt's balloon"..Artomonov’s bicycle, a legend, but she has a grain .. the truth is not connected with the bicycle .. A ball of Kryakutny hoax. 19th century ...
  7. Michael - 235
    Michael - 235 20 September 2015 20: 53 New
    A supply of air suitable for breathing in an egg-shaped structure with a total height of 1,8 m and a diameter of 1,3 m allowed the submariner to rotate the screw hard for no more than one hour. The entire described attack scenario should have taken time (descent from the barge-approach-drilling-departure ), calculated by an interval of at least 7-10 hours. The reality of the described action is negligible.
  8. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 21 September 2015 16: 20 New
    I think the story is fictional. In fictional
    usually a slender plot and heroic and ending, and here: complete failure,
    a series of failures. Why invent it? - only to dishonor yourself ...
  9. Olezhek
    Olezhek 21 September 2015 21: 15 New
    Coming close to the bottom of the battleship, Lee began to drill it with a hand gimlet to fix the subversive charge with a clockwork, but the copper plating of the bottom did not allow it

    Strange as it sounds, but you need to build a model and try to swim on it ..
    Maybe that was .. but maybe not ..

    In short to the destroyers of legends ..