The Submarine

Underwater Killers

John Holland's Submarine

John Phillip Holland was born in Liscannor, County Clare, Ireland in 1841. He moved to the U.S. in 1873 and got a job at an engineering firm. He soon returned to teaching at St. John’s Catholic School in New Jersey. In 1875 he submitted his first sub designs to the U.S. Navy and was denied. Holland continued experimenting with new designs and on May 17, 1897 launched a privately owned sub that would later be known as the USS Holland. The ship was purchased by the U.S. Navy on April 11, 1900, and after rigorous testing was commissioned on October 12, 1900. The sub was completely designed by Holland and was his sixth remake of the design, he called it the Holland VI. The Holland VI was 54 feet long and 10 feet in diameter. It was very slow only managing about 10 mph on the surface and about 6 mph while submerged. To generate this power it had a 45 horsepower gasoline engine that operated while surfaced, when the sub submerged it would switch over to battery power. The batteries were charged by the gasoline engine. The sub had weapons much like the subs of the mid 20th century. It had an 18 inch torpedo tube and one 8 and a half inch dynamite gun.

USS Holland to today's subs

Shown above is the USS Holland, it was the first real, operational submarine. In the early 1900's the submarine was new technology, but by 1910 it was ready for war. At first submarines were not used as war ships but more as cargo ship destroyers. They could stay below the water and take out vital supply ships needed by the enemy. By the late 20th century submarines were powered by nuclear plants on board the ship and could launch sea to surface missile from underwater. Today submarines not only take down warships from under the water but they also threaten cities hundreds of miles inland with their nuclear missile capabilities.

How it works- Submarines