Child of depths and fear

After the German U-1914 submarine sank three British cruisers in 9 the year, naval battles from the linear began to turn into vertical: deadly shells flew from depth to surface and from surface to depth.

Like the plane — with the advent of the bombers, the boundary between the front and the rear was somewhat worn out — submarines negated this difference at sea.


... An unbearable melancholy and horror gripped the captain, who suddenly saw a black-eyed rounded cabin emerge and grow from the water, resembling a spartal body without tentacles.

True, in those times - at the beginning of the century - the submarines treated their victims with a certain knighthood: a signal was given in front of a torpedo volley: The crew and passengers leave the vessel. " The captain along with the ship's documents were taken to the submarine.

As the war on the sea deepened, the submariners began to sink ships without emerging, from under the periscope. And then hundreds of anxious eyes looked out from the height of the Mars grounds and from the baskets of balloons: would a long-necked head with a huge cyclopean eye come up from under the waves? Behind her, like a cobra's hood, a white breaker swelled. It was better to meet in the desert with a cobra than in the open sea with a periscope.
I leaf through the diary of Hashhagen, the commander of one of the first German submarines of the beginning of the century.
“... At first glance, a submarine seems to be something hostile and fantastic ... The structure of the aircraft is understandable. He has wings like a bird. Well, what about a submarine? She floats on the surface in exactly the same way as another ship. And, however, it disappears without a trace under water in less than a minute ... Not a single wreck has surfaced by itself. The submarine goes into the abyss in the same way as the sinking ship. However, she herself returns from the “other world”, having been on the other side of the visible world, as ghosts and werewolves do. It pops up on its own, and there is something mystical about it ... ”



Child of depths and fear"Hidden ship" Efim Nikonov. Tested in the presence of Peter I. 1724 year

No one knows where and when the first submarine appeared. If you believe Aristotle (and there is no reason to trust him), then Alexander the Great descended into the water in a (supposedly) glass barrel with a completely combat goal - to explore boom fields before entering the port of Tire.

It can be considered the first submariners of those forty Zaporozhye Cossacks that crept up to the Turkish ship in a submarine sheathed with ox-hides, and took it to the boarding.

We can assume that the deep-sea voyage began with the diving of the Dutchman Cornelius van Drebbel’s underwater galley in 1620, and the first commander of the submarine was the English king James I, son of Maria Stewart.

We can assume that the warships of the depths went from the "hidden vessel" Efim Nikonov, whose project was approved by Peter the Great. And he did not just approve, but he himself experienced in one of the Sestroretsk park lakes. Now on the site of those tests set the bust of the king-submariner, a chapel and a memorial stone.

One thing is certain: the submarine was born as weapon revenge - secret and merciless. Whenever alien squadrons approached the shores of a country with a weak fleet, patriotic enthusiasts urged their admirals to crush the enemy from under the water: projects of underwater tara-men, mines and even missile carriers were put forward one after the other.

Submarine ship "Turtle" by American designer David Büschnel (Bushnell). 1776 year

That was the case in 1776, when the North Americans waged an unequal war with the "mistress of the seas" - Britain for their independence. Construction of a single submarine "Turtle" was financed by George Washington himself. How many hopes have been associated with this clumsy egg-shaped aggregate of boiled boards and copper sheets ...


So it was a quarter of a century later, when Napoleon Bonaparte, who had just come to power, was not averse to striking a powerful British fleet from under the water. The future emperor released the necessary sums to the American inventor Robert Fulton, and riveting hammers began to sound in Paris. But ... the only thing that Fulton brilliantly managed then was to come up with a name - almost generic, passing from century to century, from generation to generation of submarines - "Nautilus".

So it was on the eve of the Crimean War, when Ivan Fedorovich Aleksandrovsky, the owner of the best photograph in St. Petersburg, being in England for his studio, saw a formidable fleet preparing for an attack on Russia at the raid. “Inspired by the patriotic desire to help the Russian fleet,” the historian testifies, “Alexander began to design the submarine.” In 1866, it was built and launched. For the first time, the movement of the submarine was given not by the muscular strength of the crew (like that of Schilder), but by a mechanical engine that worked on compressed air. Alas, it only lasted only three miles (about 6 kilometers), and the speed left much to be desired - only one and a half nodes. And yet it was already the exact prototype of a submarine with a single engine. Ivan Alexandrov was ahead of his time for a good half century.

The submarine "Nautil-2" by the French designer Robert Fulton. 1801 year

In all these attempts to equip David in the battle with Goliath with miraculous weapons, to invent some kind of sea-sword, the natural human fear of the inhabitants of the bottomless depths was exploited, rather than the actual fighting qualities of the underwater fighter. However, sometimes fear saved the situation.


In 1857, the Danes, who were blocking the German city of Kiel from the sea, hurriedly took the ships, barely left the harbor on its cetacean 37-ton “Sea line” Corporal Bauer.

In 1904, the Japanese fleet, aware of the presence of Russian submarines in Vladivostok, did not venture to approach the city.

To attack the English frigate "Eagle", the American submarine "Turtle" had to get close to the side of the enemy ship, after which Sergeant Lee, united in all faces, began to drill a hole in the bottom for hanging mines. The world's first underwater attack brought ridiculous results - a blast wave blew off powdered wigs from the heads of British officers. But Fortune, as you know, is changeable, and after a few years, in 1943, the British themselves were forced to resort to this antediluvian tactics when attacking the fascist battleship Tirpitz with dwarf submarines of type “X”. The driver of the X-6 ultra-small submarine, Lieutenant Cameron, "approached the battleship so much that he began to rub against his armor, dropped the explosive charges ...". And the "Tirpitz" failed until the end of hostilities.

... But let us return briefly to Napoleon. Disillusioned with Fulton’s submarine, which was increasingly on the surface and under sail, he with a sarcastic smile put the highest resolution: “To stop further experiments with the submarine of American citizen Fulton. Do not let go of money. Could the emperor then have assumed that the compatriot of the inventor, a certain smuggler Johnson, would undertake to rescue him from Saint Helena with the help of a ... submarine, and only Bonaparte’s death would prevent this audacious adventurer.

By the way, Adolf Hitler, who tried in many ways to imitate the "great Corsican", hoped to escape from the burning Reich on a submarine, whose crew, like the ship itself, was declared dead in 1943 for special secrecy.

The idea of ​​a submarine is extremely simple. She - let the pun is - lies on the surface. Undermining is the most ancient way to take a besieged fortress. Here the submarine is exactly that “quiet glanders”, built in the thickness of the sea, the path of which to the bottom of the ship is continued by a self-propelled mine - a torpedo.

"The first submarines did not leave the field of experience and did not have practical use mainly because the engine that could set the boat in motion while it was under water was not invented at that time," the Vokrug Sveta magazine rightly stated 1914 year. - Steam machines for this purpose were absolutely no good. Therefore, the idea arose to put on the submarines engines of two kinds: one to bring the boat above the water, and the second - under the water. "

That's just for this we needed three great inventions: an internal combustion engine, an electric motor and a battery. Oil and electricity allowed a man to confidently invade hydrocosm.

It is hard to believe, but the first electric motor started working even during Pushkin’s life: in 1834, the Russian scientist Boris Jacobi designed and put into operation the first electric motor in the world. Its power did not exceed one horsepower. But it was a breakthrough in technology, similar to the invention of the sail, the mill wing and the steam engine. By the way, the first to pay attention to a curiosity rotated by invisible force, the sailors. And already after 5 years along the Neva River against the current (!) The boat went without sails and oars. Its electric motor rotated the propeller, powered by a galvanic battery consisting of 320 elements. Both the accumulator and the electric motor were presented to the submariners by him — the Petersburg inventor Jacobi. The first one who not only thought of putting batteries and an electric motor on a submarine, but also did it was Jacobi’s countryman Stepan Karlovich Drzhevetsky. It happened in 1884 year. It was the world's first submarine with an electric motor. The idea was picked up by the British. A year later, a submarine-electric ship built according to the project of Campbell and Ash passed along the Thames.

And yet Stepan Dzhevetsky ... The son of a Volyn landowner entered into history, and not agriculture. He gave dozens of years to the invention of the submarine, and quite a lot, I must say, succeeded in that.

By the way, it would be fair to decorate the coat of arms of the Russian submarine fleet with orchids, and here's why. In 1879, as the patriarch of the Russian shipbuilding remembers Academician A.N. Krylov, “Alexander III was reported on the Dzhevetskogo boat. He wished to see her. It was ordered to bring the boat to Gatchina and drop it into Silver Lake, which is distinguished by the transparency of the water, and the day of the show of the boat to the Tsar was appointed. Dzhevetsky for several days furrowed the lake, studying the royal pier and how to attach to it more agile. Knowing that Alexander III was inseparable from Tsarina Maria Feodorovna, Dzhevetsky ordered a bouquet of the most magnificent orchids — the Tsarina's favorite flowers. It is a day of testing. The king and the queen got into the boat, where they went to the middle of the lake, and Dzhevetsky, taking advantage of the transparency of the water, maneuvered near this boat, sometimes passing under it. Finally, the boat approached the pier, the king and queen came out ... Dzhevetsky easily got up, opened the neck, went to the pier, knelt and gave the queen a magnificent bouquet of orchids, saying: "This is a tribute of Neptune to Your Majesty." The tsarina was delighted, the tsar was very pleased, thanked Dzhevetskogo and ordered the duty officer-adjutant general to tell about these experiments to the military minister P.S. To Vanovsky, so that he would attend to the possible hasty construction of 50 boats ... ”Perhaps this was the first victory of the Russian submarine fleet.

Strangely enough, the sailors built the first aircraft (Captain I rank A. Mozhaisky) and the first car (in Russia - fleet officer E. Yakovlev). But to invent a submarine was taken ... peasants and monks, smugglers and political prisoners, gunners and photographers, serious engineers and illiterate adventurers. And only at the beginning of the 20th century, professionals: the shipbuilding engineer and seaman miner - Ivan Grigorievich Bubnov and Mikhail Nikolayevich Beklemishev took up the task. The first, 28 in total, he had just brilliantly graduated from the Naval Academy, and the second, barely in 40, he had seen a good deal, commanding gunboats for coastal defense. Here talent and experience, audacity and calculation came together. The work was carried out in the strictest confidence. It was even forbidden to use the words “submarine” in documents and correspondence. The submarine ship was first called the 113 Destroyer. Then the number was replaced by the name "Dolphin". Before starting to work, Beklemishev, a little-known teacher of the Kronstadt mine classes, visited the USA, England, Germany and Italy, where the submarines were built at a frantic pace, with an eye to their neighbors (they would not be overtaken!). Beklemishev managed to be present during one of the dives of the boat of the famous American inventor Simon Holland. Any designer, before you sit down at work, examines everything that was done by his predecessors. That is what Bubnov and Beklemishev did: they summarized the information obtained by Beklemishev and developed their own original project, the basic principles of which were followed by Russian shipbuilders for fifteen years. If we compare two proportionate boats - the Russian “Dolphin” and the American “Fulton” (the Dutch company), the comparison will obviously not be in favor of overseas designers.

Dolphin plunged 20 meters deeper into Fulton (50 and 30 meters), walked over the water faster by one and a half knots, was armed more powerful times (two torpedo tubes instead of one). The only thing he conceded to “Fulton” was in the range of the surface voyage: 2 miles against 243. Immediately after the "Dolphin" Bubnov and Beklemishev developed a draft of a new boat with a large displacement - in 500 tons. The lead ship was given the name "Killer Whale". Skat, Burbot, Mackrel followed her ... The Russian submarine fleet did not originate in a quiet backwater — the whirlpool of the Russo-Japanese war was drawing in newborn ships directly from the stocks. Fluid, dangerous for their crews rather than for the enemy, these diving ships boldly left for the sea and occupied combat positions there.

“... Early in the morning,” wrote the commander of the submarine Kasatka, Lieutenant Mikhail Teder, in his diary, “I saw several haze on the horizon, why I immediately began to raise the anchor. Soon, the silhouettes of the six destroyers, who were heading straight for me, were clearly outlined. Assuming that they were enemy destroyers, I wanted to start a dive in order to take the attack in a submerged position, but ... I remembered the order of the authorities - not to dive. The point is this. My bosses, sending me to the sea and, of course, knowing very well what experience I had of scuba diving, having passed his most insignificant course and being afraid to take responsibility for the death of my crew and the disaster with a boat, decided to get out of a difficult situation and gave me just in case the prescription is, of course, verbal, during this “combat campaign” - not to dive ...

It was impossible not to bow before each of the teams of our squad. What drove him here, on submarines, into this crucible of danger, where every minute could cost him his life, where each lay a lot of duties and hard work, while on a large ship of the line he could almost get rid of them. The officer could still count on any kind of “well-being”, because the sailor could not expect anything like that, meanwhile how much disinterested service was visible in his every step on the boat, how much ideological fulfillment of his duty, alien to any egoistic goals. ”

As a matter of fact, these were semi-experimental samples, which did not really go through any factory or field tests, with under-trained teams, with inexperienced officers. But even in this form, the family of steel dolphins inspired serious fears to the Japanese fleet. The ships of the Mikado did not dare approach Vladivostok with its desperate submarines.

By the year 1900, there was not yet a military submarine in the world’s navy. But in the next three years, all the leading maritime powers began to build these ships at a frantic pace. The first submarines in the composition of its fleet were introduced by the Americans. It was a submarine built by engineer Holland from Peterston. The first version of his underwater vehicle was in many ways similar to the Dzhevetsky submarine. Only the ninth project of the stubborn designer was adopted by the US military and the first submarine “Holland” were enlisted in the Navy as warships. It happened in 1900 year. Therefore, it was the Americans who first celebrated the 100 anniversary of their submarine fleet. Although we could celebrate a similar anniversary twenty years earlier. After all, it was in the 80-s of the XIX century in Russia was built the most massive series of Dzhevetskogo submarines - 50 units. A whole flotilla! But the thing is that they were not enrolled in the fleet combat force, but subordinated to the Engineering Department as floating torpedo batteries to protect the coastal fortresses from the sea.

So, the man descended into the submarine and went on it to attack long before the birth of the book "Nautilus" Captain Nemo, and Jules Verne himself. Since then, over a hundred years ago, the original “Turtles” have stretched, acquiring the swift outlines of pike bodies.

Fifty years passed, and the submarines grew in size, made out into forms: they became kurguzo-rounded, like leeches that contracted from satiety. In this form - in the form of atomic "wandering" submarine launch sites - they are now dangerous not only for ocean shipping, but also for large cities of any, the most extensive continent. They are called so - "city-killers" - "killers of cities." It was then that they remembered the submarines with skinny pike bodies - they remembered diesel-electric submarines. They are certainly inferior to nuclear-powered ships in speed, but they are almost silent under water and on electric motors, which means they are much more sensitive. And the "killers of cities" - steel "dragons", "scorpions", "stingrays" and "sharks" - began to be cautious in their native element ...
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