April 11 – Thar she Blows!

April 11 is submarine day. Submarines are strange creatures. Crews sometimes leave port and dont surface again for months. The public record is 111 days. At the same time, they have had an enormous influence on history. A submarine attack on the Lusitania brought the United States into World War I. The arms race to create faster, quieter, and longer-range subs played a major part in the defeat of the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Submarine commanders have more autonomy than any other position in the armed services, yet strategic nuclear submarines contain enough destructive power to decide a world war. Recently, subs have been used to find the Titanic, and lost treasure ships from the days of Spanish Galleons.


  1. Would you like to travel in a submarine? Serve on one?
  2. Would yours be yellow?
  3. Why did Holland initially not want the U.S. Government involved?
  4. Why do you think the military required a private entrepreneur to invent such a powerful weapon?
  5. What do you make of the fact that he decided to forgo funding to have the independence to invent without interference?
Image Citation:

Amy Sun/Lockheed Martin. 2, March 2016. USS Hampton surfacing . Retrieved from <stripes.com>.