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The Submarine Portal

Japanese Submarine Oyashio SS590.JPEG

A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has only limited underwater capability. The term submarine most commonly refers to large crewed autonomous vessels; however, historically or more casually, submarine can also refer to medium sized or smaller vessels (midget submarines, wet subs), remotely operated vehicles or robots. The word submarine was originally an adjective meaning "under the sea", and so consequently other uses such as "submarine engineering" or "submarine cable" may not actually refer to submarines at all. Submarine was shortened from the term "submarine boat", and is often further shortened to "sub".

Submarines are referred to as "boats" rather than as "ships", regardless of their size. The English term U-boat for a German submarine comes from the German word for submarine, U-Boot, itself an abbreviation for Unterseeboot ("undersea boat").

Submarine history goes back far before the 19th century, in the form of some experimental boats, submarine design began to gear up during the 19th century. Submarines were first widely used in World War I, and feature in many large navies. Uses in submarine warfare range from attacking enemy ships or submarines, aircraft carrier protection, blockade running, ballistic missile submarines as part of a nuclear strike force, reconnaissance, conventional land attack (for example using a cruise missile), and covert insertion of special forces. Civilian uses for submarines include marine science, salvage, exploration and facility inspection/maintenance. Submarines can also be specialized to a function such as search and rescue, or undersea cable repair. Submarines are also used in tourism and for academic research.

Submarines have one of the largest ranges of capabilities in any vessel, ranging from small autonomous examples to one or two-person vessels operating for a few hours, to vessels which can remain submerged for 6 months such as the Russian Typhoon class. Submarines can work at greater depths than are survivable or practical for human divers. Modern deep diving submarines are derived from the bathyscaphe, which in turn was an evolution of the diving bell.

Most large submarines comprise a cylindrical body with hemispherical (and/or conical) ends and a vertical structure, usually located amidships, which houses communications and sensing devices as well as periscopes. In modern submarines this structure is the "sail" in American usage, and "fin" in European usage. A "conning tower" was a feature of earlier designs: a separate pressure hull above the main body of the boat that allowed the use of shorter periscopes. There is a propeller (or pump jet) at the rear and various hydrodynamic control fins as well as ballast tanks. Smaller, deep diving and specialty submarines may deviate significantly from this traditional layout.

Selected article

USS Simon Bolivar (SSBN-641) was a nuclear powered Benjamin Franklin class fleet ballistic missile submarine of the United States Navy.

Simon Bolivar's keel was laid down on 17 April 1963 by the Newport News Shipbuilding of Newport News, Virginia. She was launched on 22 August 1964, and commissioned on 29 October 1965.

In April 1966 Simon Bolivar got underway and went to alert status for the first of 73 strategic deterrent patrols spanning four decades and three major submarine launched ballistic missile weapons systems (Polaris, Poseidon, Trident).

SSBN 641 outbound for strategic deterrent patrol

During Simon Bolivar's commissioned period she operated in the Atlantic and Mediterranean from three sites: Holy Loch, Scotland; Rota, Spain; and the continental United States, mainly Charleston, SC and Kings Bay, GA. Refit sites consisted of a submarine tender, floating dry dock and complexes of piers and warehouses. At the Scotland site, the entire refit site was anchored out in Holy Loch.

SSBN's and submarine tender at refit site

Selected biography

B. (1908-02-27)February 27, 1908 – d. March 8, 1943(1943-03-08) (aged 35)

Gustav Julius Werner Hartenstein (27 February 1908 – 8 March 1943) was a Korvettenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II and commander of U-156. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. He is credited with the sinking of 20 ships for a total of 97,504 gross register tons (GRT), further damaging three ships of 18,811 GRT and damaging one warship of 1,190 GRT.

Hartenstein joined the Reichsmarine of the Weimar Republic in 1928. After a period of training on surface vessels and service on various torpedo boats, he transferred to the U-boat service in 1941. In September 1942, Hartenstein was involved in the Laconia incident. He and the entire crew of U-156 were killed in action by depth charges from a US PBY Catalina aircraft on 8 March 1943.

Selected picture

A Los Angeles class submarine.
Credit: Sonnenwind (talk · contribs) on the German Wikipedia

The Los Angeles class, sometimes called the LA class or the 688 class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSN) that forms the backbone of the United States submarine fleet.

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Cleanup needed 
Midget submarineCruise missile submarineOhio-class submarineBGM-109 Tomahawk
Requested articles 
Submarine mineTraining submarineCruiser submarineMinelayer submarineCoastal submarine
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List of NATO reporting names for submarinesBenjamin Franklin class submarine
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Soviet submarine L-3USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN-657)James Madison class submarineGerman Type U 151 submarine
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German submarine U-571
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Torpedo tube
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