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Naval Submarine history of Gosport

William Bourne Dennis Papin Horace Hunley

But first, a brief History Lesson:

The first published prescription for a submarine came from the pen of WILLIAM BOURNE, an English innkeeper and scientific dilettante. Bourne first offered a lucid description of why a ship floats by displacing its weight of water -- and then described a mechanism by which:

"It is possible to make a Ship or Boate that may goe under the water unto the bottome, and so to come up again at your pleasure. [If] Any magnitude of body that is in the water . . . having alwaies but one weight, may be made bigger or lesser, then it Shall swimme when you would, and sinke when you list . . . ."

In other words, decrease the volume to make the boat heavier than the weight of the water it displaces, and it will sink. Make it lighter, by increasing the volume, and it will rise. He wrote of watertight joints of leather, and a screw mechanism to wind the volume-changing "thing" in and out. Bourne was describing a principle, not a plan for a submarine, and offered no illustration.
Dutchman CORNELIUS DREBBEL, hired in 1603 as "court inventor" for James I of England, built what seems to have been the first working submarine. According to accounts, some of which may have been written by people who actually saw the submarine, it was a decked-over rowboat, propelled by twelve oarsmen, which made a submerged journey down the Thames River at a depth of about fifteen feet.
French priest MARIN MERSENNE theorized that a submarine should be made of copper, cylindrical in shape to better withstand pressure and with pointed ends both for streamlining and to permit reversing course without having to turn around.
You can read much more by visiting this website

  Our story starts in 1874, when an Irish emigrant John Holland submitted a submarine design to the Secretary of the Navy.

Holland was to play a significant part in the English development of submarines, and by 1904, five British Hollands were assigned to defend Portsmouth and managed to "torpedo" four warships.

On a more sombre note: "A-1" first of a brand-new British designed class of improved Hollands was run over by an unwitting passenger ship, and sank with the loss of all hands. "A-1" was salvaged and put back in service. This craft is now pride of place in the Submarine Museum.
In 1900, Britain was the only major maritime power not to have at least an embryo submarine flotilla but, despite vehement condemnation of the submarine as a means of waging war, those determined to find out what all the fuss was about prevailed in the argument. Holland I was launched in 1901 and the RN's Submarine Service was born.
HMS Dolphin, Fort Blockhouse Submarine School

The humble beginnings of the school appear to go back to 1905, when rudimentary submarine training started in a group of three huts at Fort Blockhouse. The Admiralty acquired Fort Blockhouse from the Army in 1904 and it became the home for a submarine flotilla from that date. The establishment name Dolphin came from the 929 ton composite screwed sloop HMS Dolphin that was berthed at Fort Blockhouse from 1906; this name lives on at Raleigh in Dolphin Block and the trainee submariner division, Dolphin Squadron. The Royal Naval Submarine School slowly evolved, becoming part of a independent submarine command, HMS Dolphin, in 1912. Training moved on apace following the success of the German World War 1 U Boat, which demonstrated the devastating power of a trained, co-ordinated submarine force




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The name Gosport is said to have come either from God's Port or Gorse Port.
Gosport USA is in Indiana as well as New Hampshire
Gosport's Model Sailing Yacht Lake is one of only 2 in the UK for International events.

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