In the winter of 1982 an odd cigar-shaped vessel was raised from the English Channel after seventy years on the seabed. This tiny boat was Holland 1, the Royal Navy’s first submarine. Her sisters provided the navies of the United States, Russia, Japan and many smaller countries with their first practical underwater warships. Now restored and displayed at the Submarine Museum, Gosport, Holland 1 is a fine example of the first submarines to be operated by modern navies.
The author, while Director of the Submarine Museum, co-ordinated the search for Holland 1 and wrote this book to commemorate its successful recovery and restoration.
This witty and perceptive account of the early years of submarine development contains much new material and the lives of the forgotten pioneers of submarines. It includes many wonderful inventions and even more colourful inventors, but focuses primarily on John Philip Holland, the Irish-American genius who took submarine development out of the hands of lunatics and visionaries and turned it into a deadly weapon of war.
The First Submarines is illustrated with a spectacular collection of photographs, many of which have not been previously published.