Accession Number:



How the Success of the CSS Hunley Inspired the Development of the United States Naval Submarine Force

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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The entire nation took notice the moment the news broke of the CSS Hunleys historic sinking of the slope of war Housatonic. More to the point, the hearts and minds of inventors and engineers the world over were captured, and an era of development and innovation had begun. The evening of February 17, 1864, shaped the naval policies and government viewpoints regarding submarine warfare over the course of the next three decades. Extraordinary individuals such as Simon Lake, John Holland, and Thorsten Nordenfeldt were inspired by the events of the American Civil War and developed some of the most technologically advanced machines of the time. These innovators, along with many others, sought to motivate the naval powers of the time to implement this new and unique form of warfare. However, misguided engineers and tragic accidents led to skepticism and delays to innovation. Undaunted, these engineers continued to gain momentum and notoriety for their designs, resulting in the United States Naval Department commissioning the nations first submarine, the USS Holland.

Subject Categories:

  • Submarine Engineering
  • Undersea and Antisubmarine Warfare
  • Humanities and History

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