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CSS Hunley, 150 years.


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#1 newsartist

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 10:53 PM

It was 150 years ago today that a submarine first sank an enemy ship.

 

The CSS Hunley, sank a much larger Union warship, ...but sank itself with all hands.

 

A team formed by fiction author Clive Cussler, found it and it was subsequently raised.  Conservation is now entering a final phase.

 

http://www.foxnews.c...tcmp=latestnews



#2 Dewtey

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 07:30 AM

I'd say the submarine has come a long way, both commercially and militarily


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#3 vog

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 11:02 AM

Died at their posts when the charge detonated.  They didn't lack for bravery, that's for sure.

 

The shape of the Hunley does seem as well suited as it could be to survive a close detonation of it's armament, but with no shock attenuation in it's iron construction, the effects inside would have been catastrophic, even with out a hull breach.


And now it's a food thread, except when it's an Ypsilanti Mystery Pooper thread . . .

 


#4 SJQ

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 01:00 PM

My understanding was (IIRC; from a National Geographic article some years ago) that the ballast tank was NOT sealed - it was open to the interior of the sub, and could spill as a result of the shock wave.  Even if the flood valve was closed, preventing more water from entering, that much water loose inside the sub would do rude things to the C of G. 

 

Allowing that the water moving internally did not directly kill the crew, the sub could have been rendered uncontrollable in attitude, with the hatchway submerged.


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#5 vog

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 01:07 PM

And with the crew unconscious from the blast, no damage control would have occurred (if the problem could have even been dealt with at all).  Many submariners have died to advance the art of submarine design and construction.


And now it's a food thread, except when it's an Ypsilanti Mystery Pooper thread . . .

 


#6 newsartist

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 04:30 PM

A few years ago, a group from the Hunley preservation team gave a presentation at one of our events up here.

 

Their opinion, that those of us working with Black Powder agree with, was that the crew was killed instantly by the blast.



#7 silylene

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 01:18 PM

Great article here on the preservation and study of the CSS Hunley  LINK

 

Very beautiful workmanship!  Just showing a couple of photos, the article has many more which expand on clicking.

 

 Hunley%2B6.jpg

 

Hunley%2B7.jpg


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#8 Anvel

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 01:31 PM

I wonder if that propeller was cast or forged. My guess is that it was cast, and experiments with wooden analogs helped them get the shape about right. Note the twisting of each blade. Interesting. Too thick at the root, but materials of the time might have limited them somewhat.



#9 newsartist

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 02:08 PM

Great find SIlylene!  Thanks!

 

Compare the actual to Conrad Wise Chapman's painting done on the Charleston dock.  For years historians thought Chapman made up some of the details, ...until they were found!  :)

 

Caution in Googling for that painting, as an inferior 1900-something sketch seems to have been done from the original.  The original oil is in color!

 

Again. I can't find a good link in a rush, but I have a 'connection' to the Hunley fund-raising effort.

 

An artist with a heavy Polish accent approached us at the Hammonasset Beach reenactment, and asked us to pose, for a painting about Hunley.  It sounded phoney to us, but we'll pose for any photographers.

 

He was demanding, and took LOTS of pictures. Then a frustrated Dave Clark blurted out:  "I'm handling the Spring Line?"

 

Marek Sarba, the artist and a former merchant seaman, lit up when he realized that we knew the lingo. Then we pantomined the whole casting off routine, to his concise, and commanding seaman's orders..

 

Months later, we got an invitation from the Governor of Connecticut to attend the public unveiling of the finished painting!  No BS story after all!

 

Except for General Beauregard, done from historic photos, everyone in the painting is a recognizable portrait of a member of my (then) reenacting group; CoF of the 12th GA Volunteer Infantry.

 

I am sketching from the back row nearest to the big wheel.

 

 

http://www.sarba.com/pages/c_s_s1.html


Edited by newsartist, 19 January 2015 - 02:10 PM.

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#10 newsartist

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 03:03 PM

I wonder if that propeller was cast or forged....

It is my impression, (take it with a grain of salt, I know not where it came from,) is that Hunley's  prop was curved steel(?) plate attached to a hub.



#11 silylene

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 04:04 PM

I thought that the engineering design and ironwork were rather exquisite for the era.



#12 Dewtey

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 04:14 PM

Hell, just making the propeller shaft waterproof was quite an engineering feat!


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#13 silylene

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 04:17 PM

You know, a visit to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center  (Clemson U, Charlestown SC) on a Tues, Wed or Thursday when the tank is drained would be very interesting.  This, and their other projects sound fascinating.

 

Warren Lasch Conservation Center website.

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#14 SJQ

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 04:19 PM

A crew of 8, in a very small tube.  How long did it take to the crew to exit the vessel in normal circumstances? 

 

I didn't know that the best part of three separate crews had been lost on this one ship.  Gotta wonder what the subsequent crews thought about the fate of the first.....


Flying is merely the second greatest thrill ever....   .....landing is the first!

 

Stinson's Law: Just because you can see a part, it doesn't mean you can get at it.


#15 newsartist

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 05:42 PM

  How long did it take to the crew to exit the vessel in normal circumstances? 

 

Probably the best part of ten minutes.

 

They had to get out in order, then the crank turned to the one place for the next person....

 

I've sat in the mock-up and my frame is too large to turn the crank without a radical bellyectomy.



#16 SJQ

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 05:49 PM

So an emergency evacuation was completely out of the question.  Even allowing for the "innocence" (for lack of a better term) of procedural standards and requirements in those days, they had to be aware of how long it took to get out of that ship, and how long they could hold their breath..... 

 

The crew would have to be young to be lithe and agile, just to get aboard, so they probably had a (fatal) dose of young person's "invincible, invulnerable, and immortal" as well as an OD of H2O.  How else do you explain people getting into a glorified section of sewer pipe and sailing cranking off to war?


Edited by SJQ, 19 January 2015 - 05:51 PM.

Flying is merely the second greatest thrill ever....   .....landing is the first!

 

Stinson's Law: Just because you can see a part, it doesn't mean you can get at it.


#17 newsartist

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 06:32 PM

That probably sounded safer than lining up in a field with thousands of Blue Suits supported by hundreds of cannons, shooting at you, .


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#18 SJQ

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 08:00 PM

True, that......  Plus you were quartered somewhat closer to civilization than sleeping in a field.  Still - I have spent enough time in a (comparatively) modern submarine that there's no way I'd willingly go to sea in it, never mind to war....


Flying is merely the second greatest thrill ever....   .....landing is the first!

 

Stinson's Law: Just because you can see a part, it doesn't mean you can get at it.


#19 newsartist

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 08:17 PM

Agreed there!

 

But on the 'surprising quality'; remember that this isn't very different from a boiler.  They had plenty of practice making trains that were pretty clean quality-wise.



#20 owlhoot

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 07:48 AM

New information on the Hunley crew. They did not die by drowning. They died in the shock wave from being too close to an explosion.

 

http://www.westernjo...tent=2017-08-24

 

 

When the wreck was raised from the sea in 2000, the ship appeared intact, with only one broken window and a single hole in one conning tower.

Adding to the mystery, the remains of its eight-man crew were still at their stations. There appeared to be no evidence that the crew attempted to escape the ship.

 

Archaeologists and conservationists initially believed the submarine crew drowned or suffocated, but neither explanation indicates why the crew made no apparent attempt to escape the sinking ship.

 

According to a study published Wednesday by Duke University biomechanist Rachel Lance and other researchers, the crew was killed instantly by a deadly shockwave triggered by the explosion of their own barrel bomb, which was less than 20 feet away when it struck the USS Housatonic.

 

“The pressure wave from the explosion was transmitted into the submarine. It was sufficiently large that the crew were killed,” Lance said.

 

They rigged up a scale model of the submarine and set off a small charge to determine the effects it would have on the crew and the results showed it would have been catastrophic.

 

 

Lance said the likelihood of fatal lung trauma due to the force of the explosion traveling through the soft tissues of the crew members’ bodies was calculated to be at least 85 percent.

 

“This is the characteristic trauma of blast victims, they call it ‘blast lung’,” Lance said.

 

“You have an instant fatality that leaves no marks on the skeletal remains,” she added.

 

Lance said the crew members of the H.L. Hunley were subjected to a “worst-case scenario” in the accidental blast: 60 milliseconds or more of trauma, far more than the typical 10 milliseconds of trauma caused by a blast shockwave traveling through the air.

 

“When you mix these speeds together in a frothy combination like the human lungs, or hot chocolate, it combines and it ends up making the energy go slower than it would in either one,” Lance said.

 

“That creates kind of a worst case scenario for the lungs.”

 

Given the positions of the crew and the evidence that none of them seems to have made an attempt to escape, the conclusion that they were all killed instantly is hard to escape. They may have indeed solved the mystery.


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#21 SJQ

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 08:12 AM

I think if I had to make the choice, I'd take the shockwave over the drowning.  I can visualize drowning; an immediate cessation of life is far more abstract, and I suspect brain tissue would be similarly pureed by the shock wave.  When it occurred, you'd never know it. 

 

Regardless of all the other considerations around the war, that crew had courage.  To try a brand new way of warfare, in an alien environment?  Yes, those men had courage.  In abundance.


Flying is merely the second greatest thrill ever....   .....landing is the first!

 

Stinson's Law: Just because you can see a part, it doesn't mean you can get at it.


#22 newsartist

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 02:51 PM

A few years ago, a group from the Hunley preservation team gave a presentation at one of our events up here.

 

Their opinion, that those of us working with Black Powder agree with, was that the crew was killed instantly by the blast.

Yup.

 

Just added weight to military thoughts from years ago.



#23 Bill Slugg

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 06:15 PM

Was this a suicide mission or did they simply underestimate the power of the explosion?



#24 owlhoot

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 08:54 PM

I don't think they understood underwater concussive effects.


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#25 rubicondsrv

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 09:44 PM

there had been earlier successes with similar explosives used by semi submersible craft without similar problems.   everything about hunley was risky, but it seems like the torpedo may have been considered one of the less risky parts.  hunley had already killed two prior crews by that point in accidents.   







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