However, many of its problems were overcome by two
inventorsJohn Holland and Simon Lake. Holland and
Lake had opposite theories about the submarine.
Holland thought submersion should be made by
power-diving, using the force of the propeller
and the angle of the bow planes.
Lake said boats should descend on an even keel
with slight negative buoyancy.
Lake was more interested in underwater
exploration than naval warfare. He thought a submarine
could be equipped with wheels and driven along the
oceans floor, although he did not pursue that idea.
Holland was more practical; his design included a
workable torpedo tube, which Lakes did not.
Holland received a 0,000 contract from the
Navy for a subsurface vessel. His first attempt failed, but
the Navy was impressed enough to award him another
contract. By 1898, he had built USS Holland, a
cigar-shaped craft, 52 feet long and 10 feet in diameter.
The USS Holland was equipped with a gasoline engine
for surface power and generators that charged batteries
for underwater power. It was armed with a torpedo tube
that fired an 18-inch torpedo and a bow gun recessed
into the hull. A New York newspaper commented that
the offensive powers of the Holland are, considering
the size and method of attack, far greater than any other
engine of war.
The submarines problem of running blind when
submerged was corrected after Simon Lake
experimented with a set of prisms and lenses. Before that,
the USS Holland had to surface to permit the crew to look
out the conning tower; causing it to lose its greatest
advantagesurprise. Lake and a professor from Johns
Hopkins University worked out a design for the
periscope. The periscope, with various improvements,
remained the submarines basic visual aid until 1958.
THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR
At the end of the 19th century, the United States and
Spain became involved in diplomatic disputes about
Cuban independence, trade, and U.S. citizens living
there. On the evening of February 15, 1898, a terrific
explosion suddenly tore through the battleship USS
Maine at anchor in Cubas Havana harbor. The explosion
killed 250 American Sailors. The explosion was a major
reason for the start of the Spanish-American
Remember the Maine became our battle cry.
One event stood out in this short warCommodore
George Deweys seizure of Manila Bay in the
Philippines. On May 1, 1898, he steamed into Manila
Bay and ordered, You may fire when you are ready,
Gridley. Deweys resounding victory destroyed
Spains naval power in the East and was instrumental in
quickly ending the war.
Shortly after the Battle of Manila Bay (fig. 5-8),
U.S. naval forces at Cuba cornered the Spanish Atlantic
Squadron at Santiago Bay. On the morning of July 3,
1898, the Spanish squadron tried to break out of the bay
and was completely destroyed. Cuba and Puerto Rico
fell shortly afterwards, effectively ending the war.
Figure 5-8.Battle of Manila Bay.