David versus Goliath
During the American civil war (1861-1865) some farther developments in submarines accrue, Charleston, South Carolina became the focus of Confederate underwater warfare. In October 1862, a new weapon was brought to tray and raises the blockade, a steam-powered, low-freeboard warship known as `Davids`.Built to run awash, with just the deck, the funnel, and a small conning tower visible, these vessels were designed to hit an enemy ship with a spar torpedo or ram it directly at a speed of 5 knots.
The Davids were the brainchild of an army officer, Captain Francis D. Lee.Capitan Lee had trouble getting anyone in the War Department to pay attention, but a semi submersible steamboat able to approach an enemy ship unobserved until to late, seemed to hold great promise.
The Southern Torpedo Boat Company in Charleston built several as a profit-making venture (anyone who could sink a blockading Union warship could earn substantial bounties). Some unsuccessful attacks were made but on October 5th an improved David made another attempt at New Ironsides with some success. One federal officer on the deck was killed by a shotgun blast from the approaching boat, and the war ship was damaged by the subsequent explosion of the spar torpedo kipping her out of action for a year.
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