We have selected Submarine History as the world's very best website on Submarines.
The Submarine History website is produced by Captain Brayton Harris, US Navy Retired, author of the Navy Times Book of Submarines - a political, social and military history of submarines. The Submarine History website is divided into four main sections covering the following time periods: 1580-1869, 1870-1914, 1914-1945, and 1945-2000. Each of these articles is copiously illustrated with engineering drawings and photographs of the period.
The first proposal for a submarine was published in 1580 by William Bourne, an English innkeeper and scientific dilettante. Bourne, who correctly observed that a ship floats because it displaces its weight of water, proposed that a boat could be designed to act as a submarine if its volume were to be adjustable, while its weight remained the same. He proposed using a screw-driven mechanism to alter the volume of the boat, with leather joints to keep it watertight.
The first working submarine is believed to have been built by Cornelius Drebbel, who was employed in 1603 as 'court inventor' to King James I of England. A decked over rowboat propelled by twelve oarsmen, it was said to have made a submerged journey down the River Thames at a depth of 15 feet. From these early beginnings, Brayton Harris takes the story of the submarine forward in great detail, and with many illustrations, to the present day.