The Turtle

The Turtle was the first combat submersible vessel made in the USA. She was designed by Dvid Bushnell (an American combat engineer and inventor) in 1775. She was a single man operated vehicle with warfare to destroy enemy’s ships from underwater. Sergent Ezra Lee piloted the Turtle.

She changed the naval warfare and led to the development of submarines. Her purpose was to detonate underwater explosives during the American War of Independence in order to lift the British naval blockade in 1775.

Her dimensions were possibly 10 feet (3 m) long, 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and 3 feet (0.9 m) wide. She was named turtle because its shape resembled as much as a turtle. She had two tar covered wooden shelves reinforced with steel bands. A bilge tank for water input and output was arranged at the bottom to dive up and down.  Her propulsion was by the use of a crank that worked a propeller located on the front.

Turtle’s invention made an important milestone in submarine technology despite its shortcomings. Her fate is unknown after the British took New York. She is believed to have been destroyed to prevent her capture by the enemy.

Presented by

Giants on the Waters

Leave a Reply