United States N-class submarine
USS N-7 (SS-59)
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Preceded by:||AA-1 class|
|Succeeded by:||O class|
|Test depth:||200 ft (61 m)|
|Armament:||4 × 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes, 8 torpedoes|
The boats were constructed by two companies to slightly different specifications; N-1, N-2, and N-3 were designed by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut and built by the Seattle Construction and Drydock Company of Seattle, Washington, and N-4, N-5, N-6, and N-7 were designed and built by the Lake Torpedo Boat Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The N-boats built by Lake are sometimes considered a separate class.
The Electric Boat submarines had a length of 147 feet 3 inches (44.9 m) overall, a beam of 15 feet 9 inches (4.8 m) and a mean draft of 12 feet 6 inches (3.8 m). They displaced 347 long tons (353 t) on the surface and 414 long tons (421 t) submerged. The N-class submarines had a crew of 2 officers and 23 enlisted men. They had a diving depth of 200 feet (61.0 m).
The Lake submarines had a length of 155 feet (47.2 m) overall, a beam of 14 feet 6 inches (4.4 m) and a mean draft of 12 feet 4 inches (3.8 m). They displaced 331 long tons (336 t) on the surface and 385 long tons (391 t) submerged. The N-class submarines had a crew of 3 officers and 26 enlisted men. They also had a diving depth of 200 feet (61.0 m).
For surface running, the Electric Boat submarines were powered by two 240-brake-horsepower (179 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 280-horsepower (209 kW) electric motor. The Lake boats had 300-brake-horsepower (224 kW) diesels and 150-horsepower (112 kW) motors. Regardless of designer, the N-class submarines could reach 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) on the surface and 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) underwater. On the surface, the boats had a range of 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) and 30 nmi (56 km; 35 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged.
The boats were armed with four 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes in the bow. They carried four reloads, for a total of eight torpedoes. They were the last submarines to be designed without a deck gun until 1946.
This class was the first US Navy submarine class completed with metal bridge shields. These had been omitted from previous classes to increase underwater speed. These classes used piping-and-canvas temporary bridges for extended surface runs; these were found to be inadequate on North Atlantic patrols in World War I. All forward-deployed submarines were back-fitted with metal "chariot" bridge shields during the war. The coastal patrol nature of the small N-class submarines was emphasized by their lack of a deck gun.
Ships in class
The seven submarines of the N-class were:
|Ship name and Hull no.||Builder||Laid Down||Launched||Commissioned||Decommissioned||Fate|
|USS N-1 (SS-53)||Seattle Construction and Drydock Company||26 July 1915||30 December 1916||26 September 1917||30 April 1926||Scrapped 1931|
|USS N-2 (SS-54)||Seattle Construction and Drydock Company||29 July 1915||16 January 1917||26 September 1917||30 April 1926||Scrapped 1931|
|USS N-3 (SS-55)||Seattle Construction and Drydock Company||31 July 1915||21 February 1917||26 September 1917||30 April 1926||Scrapped 1931|
|USS N-4 (SS-56)||Lake Torpedo Boat Company||24 March 1915||27 November 1916||15 June 1918||22 April 1922||Scrapped 1922|
|USS N-5 (SS-57)||Lake Torpedo Boat Company||10 April 1915||22 March 1917||13 June 1918||19 April 1922||Scrapped 1922|
|USS N-6 (SS-58)||Lake Torpedo Boat Company||15 April 1915||21 April 1917||9 July 1918||16 February 1922||Scrapped 1922|
|USS N-7 (SS-59)||Lake Torpedo Boat Company||20 April 1915||19 May 1917||15 June 1918||7 February 1922||Scrapped 1922|
Commissioned after the American entry into World War I, they were assigned to the 1st Naval District, primarily operating from Naval Submarine Base New London with some boats operating out of New York City at times, all patrolling the New England coast.
By 1922 the Seattle boats were assigned to the Submarine School, New London, while the Lake boats (sometimes called the N-4 class) were all scrapped in that year, their engines having been removed in 1921 to re-equip some of the L class. The Seattle boats were decommissioned in 1926 and scrapped in 1931 to comply with the limits of the London Naval Treaty.
- Friedman, p. 307
- Gardiner & Gray, p. 129
- Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-263-3.
- Gardiner, Robert & Gray, Randal, eds. (1984). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
- Silverstone, Paul H., U.S. Warships of World War I (Ian Allan, 1970), ISBN 0-71100-095-6.
- Navsource.org early diesel submarines page
- Pigboats.com N-boats page
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
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