Portal:Submarine

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Introduction

A submarine (or simply sub) is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. The term most commonly refers to a large, crewed vessel. It is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely operated vehicles and robots, as well as medium-sized or smaller vessels, such as the midget submarine and the wet sub. The noun submarine evolved as a shortened form of submarine boat; by naval tradition, submarines are usually referred to as "boats" rather than as "ships", regardless of their size (boat is usually reserved for seagoing vessels of relatively small size).

Although experimental submarines had been built before, submarine design took off during the 19th century, and they were adopted by several navies. Submarines were first widely used during World War I (1914–1918), and now figure in many navies large and small. Military uses include attacking enemy surface ships (merchant and military), attacking other 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 and maintenance. Submarines can also be modified to perform more specialized functions such as search-and-rescue missions or undersea cable repair. Submarines are also used in tourism, and for undersea archaeology.

Most large submarines consist of a cylindrical body with hemispherical (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. Smaller, deep-diving and specialty submarines may deviate significantly from this traditional layout. Submarines use diving planes and also change the amount of water and air in ballast tanks to change buoyancy for submerging and surfacing.

Submarines have one of the widest ranges of types and capabilities of any vessel. They range from small autonomous examples and one- or two-person vessels that operate for a few hours, to vessels that can remain submerged for six months—such as the Russian Typhoon class, the biggest submarines ever built. Submarines can work at greater depths than are survivable or practical for human divers. Modern deep-diving submarines derive from the bathyscaphe, which in turn evolved from the diving bell.

Selected article

SM U-66 was the lead ship of the Type U 66 submarines or U-boats for the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during the First World War. The submarine had been laid down in November 1913 as U-7, the lead ship of the U-7 class for the Austro-Hungarian Navy (German: Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine or K.u.K. Kriegsmarine) but was sold to Germany, along with the others in her class, in November 1914.

The submarine was ordered as U-7 from Germaniawerft of Kiel as the first of five boats of the U-7 class for the Austro-Hungarian Navy. After the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Navy became convinced that none of the submarines of the class could be delivered to the Adriatic Sea via Gibraltar. As a consequence, the entire class, including U-7, was sold to the German Imperial Navy in November 1914. Under German control, the class became known as the U 66 type and the boats were renumbered; U-7 became U-66, and all were redesigned and reconstructed to German specifications. U-66 was launched in April 1915 and commissioned in July. As completed, she displaced 791 metric tons (872 short tons), surfaced, and 933 metric tons (1,028 short tons), submerged. The boat was 228 feet (69 m) long and was armed with five torpedo tubes and a deck gun.

As a part of the Baltic and 4th Flotillas, U-66 sank 24 ships with a combined gross register tonnage of 69,967 in six war patrols. The U-boat also torpedoed and damaged the British cruiser Falmouth in August 1916. U-66 left Emden on her seventh patrol on 2 September 1917 for operations in the North Channel. The following day the U-boat reported her position in the North Sea but neither she nor any of her 40-man crew were ever heard from again. A postwar German study offered no explanation for U-66's loss, although British records suggest that she may have struck a mine in the Dogger Bank area.


Selected biography

B. (1913-10-15)October 15, 1913 – d. May 14, 1945(1945-05-14) (aged 31)

Captain Wolfgang August Eugen Lüth (15 October 1913 – 14 May 1945) was the second most successful German U-boat ace of World War II. His career record of 46 merchant ships plus the French submarine Doris sunk during 15 war patrols, with a total displacement of 230,781 GRT, was second only to that of Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer, whose 47 sinkings totaled 272,958 GRT.

Lüth joined the Reichsmarine in 1933. After a period of training on surface vessels he transferred to the U-boat service in 1936. In December 1939 he received command of German submarine U-9, which he took on six war patrols. In June 1940 he took command of U-138 for two patrols. In October 1940 he transferred again, this time to the ocean-going U-43 submarine for five war patrols. After two war patrols on U-181, the second being his longest of the war, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten). He was the first of two U-boat commanders to be honored in such a way during World War II, the other recipient being Albrecht Brandi.

Lüth's last service position was commander of the Naval Academy Mürwik at Flensburg-Mürwik. He was accidentally shot and killed by a German sentry on the night of 13 to 14 May 1945. Lüth was given the last state funeral of the Third Reich, the only U-boat commander to be so honored.


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Cleanup needed 
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Citations needed 
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Expansion needed 
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Re-structuring needed 
RUR-5 ASROC
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Torpedo tube
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