The ''Drebbel''

  • Ship
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Considered by some as the first ''practical'' and workable submersible Device or what would later be termed a ''Submarine''. The idea for a working underwater Fighting Vessel was a passion of Dutch Inventor Cornelis Drebbel. In addition to his idea for a viable submarine, Drebbel contributed to the advancements of Measurements, Optics and Chemistry. Although many cite that Drebble was influenced by the works of Michaelangelo, his Vessel – which would be named after him, The ''Drebbel'', was financed by The English Navy in 1610. It took Drebbel from 1620 to 1624 to construct his contraption.

 

When completed, King James I was on hand to witness his purposed ''miracle'' of warfare. In 1624, The ''Drebbel'' was submerged in The Thames River for a period of 3-hours. However, after 10 years of wrangling The Admiralty for funding and proper materials, The English felt that The ''Drebbel'' was not worth the effort (although they kept the prototype at any rate). Many Historians cite that The ''Drebbel'' was not a true submersible at all. Some state that the vessel was constructed with 10 to 16-oars, which provided human power. The initial displaced weight in the water only partially submerged The ''Drebbel'.

 

The original had long since vanished, but a 2002 reconstruction of The ''Drebbel'' was constructed from the original plans. This version was 15-feet long and made of wood. The interiors were pitched so as to make the vessel more or less water tight. Test of the vessel show that the Oars were retractable, and the ports could be sealed. A depth test had ''Drebble'' achieve 15-feet. Perhaps the vessel could have been eventually weaponized by use of a Spar Torpedo or even perhaps a ''Hull Screw''. Given the advanced in 17th Century warfare, ''Drebbel'' could have revolutionized Naval warfare many centuries earlier than it did.