Chief of Naval Operations
|Holland and Lake were at odds in developing their submarine concepts .
Lake experimented with boats that ascended vertically according to negative or positive
buoyancy controlled by pumps and tanks.
Hollands boats were given neutral buoyancy by admitting water to balance the weight of the boat with the weight of water it displaced. With diving planes and a constant source of power, Hollands boat could dive and surface on diagonal lines. Hollands principle, with some alternatives for fast diving and surfacing, is still used by modern submarines.
A later crew of the USS Holland. Left to right are: Harry Wahab, chief gunner's mate; Kane; Richard O. Williams, chief electrician; Chief Gunner Owen Hill, commanding; Igoe; Michael Malone; Barnett Bowie, chief machinist mate; Simpson; Rhinelander.
For all its innovations, USS Holland had at least one major flaw; lack of vision when submerged. The submarine had to broach the surface so the crew could look out through windows in the conning tower. Broaching deprived the Holland of one of the submarines greatest advantages stealth. Lack of vision when submerged was eventually corrected when Simon Lake used prisms and lenses to develop the omniscope, forerunner of the periscope. Sir Howard Grubb, designer of astronomical instruments, developed the modern periscope that was first used in Holland-designed British Royal Navy submarines. For more than 50 years, the periscope was the submarines only visual aid until underwater television was installed aboard the nuclear powered submarine USS Nautilus.
In 1912 the U.S. Navy replaced its submarine gasoline engines with safer and more
efficient diesel engines. The oil-burning diesel engine required no complicated ignition,
or sparking systems, and it produced fewer noxious fumes. The USS Skipjack (SS-24) and USS
Sturgeon (SS-25) were the first U.S. submarines equipped with diesel propulsion.
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