To submarine

for other meanings see submarine (term clarifying).

USS Grayling 1909

a submarine (short for submarine; in the military linguistic usage Uboot without hyphen) is a boat, which was built for the underwater travel. Modern large submarines, the one size of to35,000 tons to have, also U-ships can become mentioned.

The term submarine designates particularly military underwater units. Civilian submarines whether commercially or for the research, become usually dipping boats mentioned. Also the submarines which were used in the Second World War become the distinctionopposite the today's submarines, which can remain months-long under water, in the technical literature rather as dipping boats designates, since they were a little efficient in the underwater employment (to short immersion times and to small submerged depths) and thus mainly emerged to the employment came.

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the desire of theHumans, longer and more deeply than it the breathing air permits to dip, is about just as old as the desire to be flown. Therefore always humans were occupied to develop appropriate devices or instruments which should make this possible. From the antique oneare in this connection present reports of Aristoteles and Plinius the older one . Even Alexander the large one is to have already undertaken diving tests in the Mediterranean. The most well-known and also today still broadest “instrument” for it is a snorkel in der "richtigen" Länge, da das Tauchen mit einem zu langen Schnorchel (> 30 cm) becomes lethal. That is because of it,that with to long snorkel, which is clearly smaller in it contained air volumes no longer than human lung contents and so with increasing length of the snorkel ever more used up air is inhaled - one speaks of so mentioned “pendulum air”. Likewisevery old weight belts are, it above all well trained divers (z. B. Swimming or bead diver) relieved to remain longer under water without having to constantly fight against the strength-robbing lift,

15. to 18. Century

Querschnitt durch Bushnells "Turtle"
cross section throughBushnells “Turtle”
the history of technical-coined/shaped dipping and/or. the development of a dipping boat begins 15 with that. Century. Thus for example the Nürnberger master of building of wars Konrad Kyeser in its work Bellifortis a first dipping suit sketches 1405. Leonardo da Vinci designs upthe drawing board already 1515 a one-man dipping boat. These ideas are advanced and 1604 continue to describe Magnus level for the first time in a book the basic ideas and conditions for the building of a dipping boat. The Netherlands inventor Cornelis Jacobszoon Drebbel is first, overthe bare theory goes out and in the year 1620 the first maneuverable underwater craft, a wood rowing boat covered with leather, builds. On behalf the land count of Hessen the French physicist Denis Papin , which is also a professor at the Philipps university Marburg, designs 1691,a dipping boat, which however with the test 1692 one destroys. Nevertheless the idea has to build a functional underwater craft in the meantime world-wide motivated Tüftler. 1772 are tested in the Steinhuder sea the first underwater craft in Germany. It is from wood and has thoseForm of a fish, why it receives the name Hecht. With the boat about 12 minutes one dips. The American David Bushnell builds the “Turtle(“sea-turtle”) for 1776, a construction from iron and oakwood. It is considered as the first correct submarine,since as drive two screws operated over crank handles serve, and not as with the two forerunners a sail or a Ruderer at the water surface the vehicle propel.1799 describe the mountain master Joseph of Baader a construction for a two-man submarine.
See also: Intelligently Whale

19. Century

of the Americans Robert Fulton sketches the submarine “Nautilusto 1801. It possesses a crank handle drive for a screw, again however is now rudders for the side and depth control as well as a compressed air system for supply thatdreiköpfigen crew with breathing air. The “Nautilus” excited even the attention Napoleon, applies however finally to military employments as too slow. 1850 leave - NCO William farmer the first submarine built in Germany, in such a way specified to the Bavarian artillery “Fire diver “, to water. Since the draft under enormous rising costses was built, both dipping cells and without adjustable trim weights one does. The dipping procedure is to take place via flooding water into the boat. With the first diving test at the 1. February 1851 in the Kieler Innenförde shift however after the ballast aft, whereby the flooded water likewise flows into the tail. The boat sags thereupon through and further water penetrates through the seams of the outer skin and the Einstiegsluk. The boat sinksup to the reason with approx. 20 meters depth of water. The dreiköpfige crew, among them William farmer, waits to the internal pressure is as large as the external pressure, opens the Einstiegsluk and floats to the surface, where they are saved. The had an accident“Fire diver” is saved only years later (1887). After different museum stations the oldest received dipping boat of the world has now its homeland in the military-historical museum of the German Federal Armed Forces in Dresden. A copy of the model is located in the German museum for technologyin Munich.

Ictineo II: Erstes maschinell angetriebenes U-Boot
Ictineo II: First by machine propelled submarine
to 2. October 1864 is left by Narcís Monturiol with the Ictineo II the first submarine with a machine drive to water. The boat consists of wood - strengthens by copper trims -and is complete with approx. 2 mm of thick copper plates fit. It is propelled by magnesium peroxide , zinc and potassium chlorate a processing engine.

During the American civil war 1864 several handdriven submarines is built, and. A. the C.S.S. H. L. Hunley. To 17. February 1864 sinks it the opposing ship U.S.S Housatonic and is thus considered as the first submarine of the world, which destroyed another ship. With this action the submarine is lost however with its neunköpfigen crew. Only to 4. May 1995 becomes the C.S.S. Hunley found and saved.

The Sub navy Explorer of Julius Kröhl possessed two hatches for the divers and a system of compressed air tanks and ballast chambers, which made a pressure balance possible. To 30. May 1866 took place thatfirst successful dipping course of this submarine in New Yorker harbor basins. Afterwards it was divided into individual parts and shipped to Panama, where Kröhl dipped after beads and Perlmuttmuscheln, but already 1867 exactly the same as the entire crew probably to the diver craneness deceased.2006 were again discovered the ship. It lay before the coast of Panama due to and could be achieved at ebb-tide to foot. Native ones this wreck was already for years well-known, became, a Japanese submarine destroyed by these however for outthe Pacific war held.

1900 - 1864 also

an increasing interest in the use from submarines begins 1930 the First World War with the employment of the Hunley to war purposes. In the following decades, in particular the two world wars, therefore those becomesDevelopment of submarines particularly by the military decided advanced. In the article in addition further interesting information is submarine war.

Das deutsche U-Boot U 16 des Ersten Weltkriegs
The German submarine U 16 of the First World War

in the year 1902 becomes finally in Germany a prototype of a 200-Tonnen of heavy experimental submarinenamed Forelle built and intensively tested. The small submarine turns out as quite interesting and war suited, and three further boats of the same class are made for the export to Russia. Now becomes in Germany over the employment of military submarinesthought, and finally gives after long hesitating to 4. To design and build April 1904 the realm board of admiralty the Marineingenieur Gustav Berling the order a submarine for naval warfare guidance. Gerling turns thereupon to the Germaniawerft in Kiel. Its draftleans thereby against the three before submarines exported at Russia. Since there are however some important changes with the construction, the distribution of the submarine retards, and only in April 1905 with the building one begins. The substantialInnovations concern mainly the Druckkörper, the horizontal arrangement of the torpedo pipes as well as the drive, since one would like to use a petroleum drive, which is however not yet built instead of a dangerous petrol engine. Finally becomes to 14. December 1906 after several test travels thatfirst German military submarine posed of the imperial German navy as U1 in service. Today U1 is in the German museum in Munich.

With beginning of the First World War (1914 - 1918) submarines become for the first time to the larger extent handels(Submarinesubmarine submarine) or military purposes begun. Particularly at the imperial German navy, in addition, at the British navy. Numerous ships are sunk by submarine attacks. Sinking of the British Passagierdampfers Lusitania converted to the ammunition transporter is particularly spectacular to 7. May 1915. It is accepted until today that the numerous American passengers died thereby were a reason for the war entrance of the USA 1917. After end of the First World War the development of military submarines slows down, there itselfthese altogether as had economically too expensively unprofitable proven and militarily too. But with the advancement of the technology, which make above all longer submerged operations possible, at the beginning of the 1930er begins years renewed armament.

1930 - 1945 the Second World War

U 995 / type VII C - the most frequent type in 2.

The submarines can prove themselves world war only in the Second World War (1939 - 1945) as convincing and effective weapon. Although several of the war-prominent nations had submarines,is the time 2. World war mainly by the history of the German submarines coined/shaped. That is mainly because of the fact that German surface armament after end of the 1. World war by the Versailler contract a barrier was set. Therefore the guidance saw itselfthe German war navy to beginning of war of a quite strong fleet opposite and maximum sinking successes hoped to obtain with the submarines which can be manufactured relatively cheaply. The main threat by the submarines existed thus in the interruption of important commercial routes with the goal, Great Britain as island stateto cut off from urgently needed raw materials. To the attack on surface armed forces above all the necessary speed was missing to the submarines, in particular under water was additionally strongly lowered these, since with battery powered electric drive one operated here. By their technical inadequacies like low speed, smallSubmerged depth and - time, large successes remained refused for the boats of that time against military goals. However directly sensitive losses could be taught to the allied trading vessel travel and the calculation first came up there, an enormous submarine schedule of work in order were given and after beginning of warmore and more submarines in service posed, which could show partial enormous sinking numbers. One of the most well-known German commanders of submarine was Günther Prien, the 1939 as a captain of U-47 into the bay of Scapa flow, the base of the English homeland fleet(Home fleet), penetrated and a battle ship sank there. It is marked that it concerned more a propagandistically motivated operation, because around a militarily particularly important. After initial successes the British economy felt fast the effectsthe many thousand tons of sunk tonnage and extensive counter measures were introduced, on the one hand tactical/logistic kind and purely more technically:

Seeadler auf dem Ehrenmal für die gefallenen deutschen U-Boot-Fahrer beider Weltkriege in Heikendorf bei Kiel (Schleswig-Holstein)
Sea-eagles on the honour mark for the pleased German submarine drivers of both world wars in Heikendorf with Kiel (Schleswig-Holstein)
  • trading vessels driveno longer alone, but in convoys with later over 100 ships.
  • The few existing security forces (above all destroyers and corvettes) are organized in groups (Escort Groups) and trained above all also as unit and abkommandiert as the protection of the convoys.
  • The entire North Atlantic is patrouilliert up to few passages by airplanes.
  • Extensive research within the range radar and sonar is operated, which leads to the development of a multiplicity of progressive over and underwater datum locators.
  • The depth charge (primary weapon against dipped submarines) is developed further substantial,the Hedgehog in such a way specified is invented later, which fires whole salvos of smaller depth charges in such a way that she can coat a relatively large three-dimensional area in a pre-determined depth.
  • It tried with kryptografischen methods into the coding, those thoseSubmarines with communication with the basis use to break in, also which succeeds to the German (Enigma) after capturing at least one copy of the coding equipment.

By gradual successes of the allied measures and increasing losses on sides of the Germans, shiftedthe equilibrium immediately and the German submarine weapon could hold less and less with technical progress the allied step and saw themselves ever more into the defensive pushed and for reaction to the increasing technical projection/lead of the opponent instead of to the offensiveAct in a forced manner.

From this time partly strange seeming technical Notlösungen for one originate ever more strongly becoming defense:

  • The herd attack: several submarines attack a convoy and lead themselves mutually by direction finding the enemy.
  • Magnetic fuzes, under thatKiel hostile ship a detonation release, where it is most vulnerable.
  • Acoustic torpedoes (Zaunkönig), which were meant for military goals particularly and which noise of the machine/the screw of the hostile ship followed.
  • The Biscaya cross in such a way specified -a provisional timber construction, which carried an antenna, which detected hostile radar jets - it had to be turned by a crew member with the hand; as well as extended devices of this kind (mosquito among other things).
  • A “snorkel”, which permitted the conditioned employment of the diesel engines under water,by these during the underwater travel over hinged masts with put on float valve with air supplying.
  • Most diverse coatings, the radar radiation to absorb should.
  • Extended Flak armament.
  • The walter submarine in such a way specified, a submarine that on hydrogen peroxide basis (walter drive) it works, far higher underwater speeds exhibitsand to remain much longer dipped can. This type of boat should bring the idiom in the submarine war.
  • “Milk cows so mentioned”, large supplying submarines with fuel and torpedo for the delivery to the combat vessels.
  • 1-Mann-U-Boote, a torpedo steered by human hand equaled and mainly against valuablemilitary goals were used near the coast. The torpedoes were laterally, outside of the dipping body.

The development of the above mentioned. Technology dragged on partly up to the end of war, in particular the walter submarine never came beyond a prototype stage. As 3 the most important GermansCommanders of submarine in March 1941 fell (Schepke, Prien) and/or. into shank (Kretschmer), were the so-called “golden times” came past. The turn in the submarine war stepped in the spring 1943 after the “Crescendo”, which escort course battles at the convoys SC122 and HX229 belonged in, from now onthe submarines to the chase.

The losses from the submarine war are enormous. From the 41,300 men of the German submarine troop die themselves up to the end of the war 28,728 men in the “iron coffins”

after 1945

although the submarine warwhen very involving heavy losses put out, the strategic value of the submarine weapon gains more and more significance in the cold war. A goal of the submarine development is it now to improve the weaknesses of the models of the Second World War. This particularly aims at extremecut - also snaps and - underwater travel as well as large submerged depths to length. The development culminates in the construction of nuclear-driven submarines, which fulfill the demanded long immersion times. The USA are prominent with this development and to 21. January 1954 runs thatfirst nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus of the pile.
Angriffs-U-Boot Los Angeles Klasse
Attack submarine Los Angeles class

at the 3. August 1958 passes it as probably the first vessel with a submerged operation under the arctic the true north. To 23. January 1960 reaches the research submarine Triestewith 10,916 meters of depth the deepest point of the earth. In the following years the submarines develop themselves further fast. They are built ever more largely and more powerfully. Since there are still spectacular “public” developments in the submarine technology to report hardly, andthe submarine weapon altogether as very secret is classified, experiences the public in the following decades only in the form of “disasters” something over the modern submarines. Thus it comes for example to 9. April 1963 to a tragic accident in the Atlantic.The USS Thresher breaks with a low diving test into six parts. One assumes today a high pressure pipe burst and could not so the ballast tanks for water ballast any longer in time be blown out. To 8. March 1968 occurs on board the Soviet submarine K-129 an explosion, on which the submarine sinks. 98 crew members find thereby death. This is at the same time the prelude to the Jennifer project, the secret attempt of the CIA to save a Soviet submarine out over 5,000 meters of depth. In May 1968the nuclear-powered USS Scorpion disappears during a travel from Gibraltar to Norfolk close of the Azores. Until today there are different speculations over disappearing. On the basis of a collision up to a torpedo uncontrolled started. The recordings of the courseit shows that the latter of the truth comes probably next. To 2. May 1982 is sunk the Argentine cruiser Belgrano in the Falkland War by torpedo of the British submarine HMS Conqueror. To 12. August 2000 sinks the Russian submarine Kursk (K-141) due toseveral explosions of own torpedoes with its entire, 118 men strong crew. In March 2004 the German submarine will hand U31 over as the most modern submarine of the world to the German navy. U31 has as the first submarine a hybrid drive from electrical andGas cell drive and made possible so months-long submerged operations with a clearly reduced safety risk opposite nuclear-powered submarines. The largest ever built submarines are those of the project 941 Typhoon, prototype of the Soviet submarine from the feature “hunt for red Octobers “.


submarines differ by some characteristics of usual ships: They do not only swim (at the water surface), but float in the water (submerged operation). With submerged operation, the main field of application, its entire mass is equal to that of the displaced water (displacement mass;see also Archimedean principle).

This condition is however never reached exactly. On the one hand even smallest differences between the submarine mass and that of the displaced water affect themselves. On the other hand the density of the surrounding water changes constantly by water exchange. The submarinea tendency has to thus always rise or fall, even if only very slowly. Since these tendencies are usually very small however, the submarine knows its depth by dynamic lift with the help of the horizontal Tiefenruder maintained orchange. This functions however only, if the boat makes completely slow travel.


the first underwater crafts from that 15. to 18. Century were almost without exception from wood and became - if at all - only by iron trims orNails held together. Often the boats were manufactured in such a way that one installed another wood boat sense-figurativy onto a normal wood boat keel upward. Usually the wood frames of such underwater crafts were sealed by pitch and additionally with a skin made of leather for sealingcompletely covered. With these “submarines” it acted usually all the “single-hull submarines mentioned”, with which the dipping cells were attached within the Druckkörpers. Since the cells with the external water were located in connection, also they had to be built pressure resistant and/or. appropriate pumpsavailable its. Only as it in the middle 19. Century technically succeeded to attach the propelling screw as well as the control fins in such a manner to the trunk that the vehicles could be selfly-sufficient moved and steered, without on the surface by a Begleitfahrzeug to be pulled,changed also the building method of the trunk. Now the constructions of the coverings were strengthened increased by iron charges, and at the beginning 20. Century the first submarines with a complete iron trunk were built. From striving for good sea-fitness with Überwasserfahrt as well asthe “two-covering boat” finally developed for the use of submarines made of iron, with which the first boat-like dipping cells were put around the cylindrical Druckkörper. The boat received thereby a second covering. Since this was in the Tauchzustand inside as outside at same pressure,it did not need to be strong particularly. One met the weight changes due to fuel consumption by the fact that the fuel oil is swimming driven in not pressure resistant, down open shelters on sea water.

With after and/or. during the Second World War increasing technical developmentgradually the surface aspect of the submarine disappeared. The two-covering boat received first a hydrodynamically clean, smoothed form, and American developments around the attempt submarine Albacore led approximately finally to today the predominantly built drop form.

Die USS San Juan (SSN-751), ein Boot der Los Angeles-Klasse, in der Sudabucht auf Kreta
The USS San Juan (SSN-751), a boatthe lots fishing rod it class, in which Sudabucht hold

Crete the Druckkörper of modern military submarines normally for a water pressure of 600 meters stood (for example picture submarine Los Angeles class). Considering the size of the oceans this means that her actuallyonly scarcely under the water surface to operate can. Some Soviet nuclear-powered submarines possess Druckkörper from titanium and are able, approx. To dip 900 meters deeply. U-ships of the type Alfa come allegedly even under 1,200 meters. Special civilian deep sea submarines as well as Bathyscaphenare able to reach each point of the bottom of the sea.

With modern boats the installations, about crew accommodations, become control center, drive etc. increasingly acoustically, D decouples. h., with passive and active absorption and intermediate members at the trunk hung up and/or. attached. Several traditionalMarine propellers became by only one much-flight-lie to Sichelschraube and/or. propellers - nozzle replaces. A goal is a large minimization of the sound emission to the surrounding water and the Lautlosigkeit of the boat, whereby it becomes “invisible” quasi (see. Stealth). Reports on magnet-hydrodynamic drives(“Crawler-type vehicle drive” and/or. MHA similar technology) might have however rather to barking trichloroethylene TIC to be assigned.


U-Boot-Kontrollraum auf der USS Muskallunge (SS-262)
submarine control room on the USS Muskallunge (SS-262)

submarines must be able in three dimensions to maneuver.

  • Dipping and rule cells: Tank, those for weight increase when dipping with waterand for emerging with air to be filled. The dipping cells take over thereby the main load, the different rule cells serve for the more exact tuning and trim in the dipped condition. Filling the lift cells with air is called to blow on (or to blow out).
  • Untertriebszellen: Task of thesespecial dipping cells is it to increase the weight of the submarine as fast as possible in order to achieve faster alarm immersion times. These amounted to with combat vessels in the Second World War partial less than 30 seconds. Since the Untertriebszellen could not be exposed to large water pressure,they, after the boat under the water surface disappeared, had to be blown on again. In modern nuclear-powered submarines this technology finds no more use, since they must to dip usually only once during their employment and emerge only after months again. Itpartly need therefore for dipping several minutes.
  • Tiefenruder: They transfer the fine tuning in the dipped condition. The arrangement of the front Tiefenruder varies with modern submarines very strongly. At the tower attached Tiefenruder are not able to support the dipping procedure,and make more difficult emerging in frozen-over water. Small submarines have sometimes a dynamic depth control, D. h., them steer only with Tiefenrudern. This technology is used particularly with unmanned submarines and in the model construction.


Maschinenraum in einem deutschen U-Boot (um 1919)
engine room in oneGerman submarine (over 1919)

usual ship aggregates (diesel engines, gas turbines) are combustion engines and need atmospheric oxygen for the Verbrennungsvorgang. Since in the dipped condition no air is available, air-independent drives are used.

  • Dampfantrieb:Experiments with on chemicals are based and/or. only for the surface drivemeant Dampfantrieb with the so-called. Fleet submarine on piston motor and/or.Turbine basis were soon given up as erring way. This drive is however in modified form until today with the torpedo.
  • Petroleum drive:First attempt to operate the submarine differently than by hand operation. In firstSome submarines with petroleum engines drove world war.
  • Electric drive with battery: been suitable for small submarines, for example research submarines and diver means of transport, in addition, for robots and torpedoes. Up to the development of the electric drives the only useful drive.
  • Diesel electric drive:Diesel engines becomeÜberwasserfahrt to the drive and for loading storage batteries uses. In the dipped condition drives the submarine with electric motors, which are fed from the batteries. With the snorkel the submarine can use the diesel engine also under water. The diesel engine is todaysmall and middle boats at most used drive.
  • Walter drive/highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide: During the Second World War there were attempts with an outside air-independent turbine propulsion on the basis of highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide on German side as an oxygen supplier. It concerned the so-called. Walter submarines, designated after its technical designer Hellmuth walter. As advantages longer immersion times and substantially larger underwater speed were to be called. The drive was not transferred to series production; substantial results of the boat development, for instance the smooth hull form, however still came intoAnd noticeably all postwar developments affected war to the employment. After the Second World War Great Britain continued the research at the walter drive, due to the danger of the used chemicals and the high fuel consumption this extremely efficient drive was however soon given up. An errorin the hydrogen peroxide drive of a torpedo Kursk is to have led to the fall of the Russian submarine.
  • Cycle Diesel drive: The diesel engine (and/or. another combustion engine) is operated with an oxygen supplier (for instance liquid oxygen / LOX or hydrogen peroxide) under water. The incineration gases are washed and to thatmissing oxygen before the renewed burn again added. A development, which began later during the Second World War and in the Stirling engine specified down a provisional high point found.
  • Nuclear drive: Here as main drive machines steam turbines are used. Steam becomes again from one Atomic reactor produces. For maneuver travels often also an electrically claimant auxiliary drive can be coupled on the screw wave. Auxiliary steam turbines produce river, which serves again the supply of the electrotechnical mechanisms over generators. Since by electrolysis also oxygen from the sea water can be won,can submarines with nuclear drive under water remain months-long.
  • Stirling engine: In some submarines of the Swedish navy outside air-independent, their exhaust gas are used against the sea-pressure stirling engines discharging outward, which improve the noise camouflage by special quiet running.
  • MESMA drive:A French developmentthis cycle steam turbine drive represents. The actual steam cycle is separate from ethanol - burn cycle similar to the large boiler turbine ship drives. Liquid oxygen (LOX) replaces the earlier hydrogen peroxide of the walter drives, the turbine affects no longer directly the screw wave, a generator provides for the acoustic decoupling.
  • Gas cells:The development of this technology began already toward end of the Second World War. The interest to use gas cells for submarines is thus substantially older than that the automobile industry. Today this drive form probably represents the most progressive. Both independence fromAtmospheric oxygen and a minimum of mobile parts, the noises cause and the small operating temperature correspond for the requirements to modern military submarines. At present a submarine with gas cell drive, built developed , by NSWE and HDW and, is in the active service with U31.U 31 is a submarine of the type U 212a.

military submarines

Ein russisches Patrouillen-U-Boot der Whiskey-V-Klasse in einer dänischen Werft
a Russian patrol submarine of the Whiskey V class in a Danish threw
Schallschatten eines U-Boots
Schallschatten of a submarine
Das japanische U-Boot JDS Oyashio (SS 590) der gleichnamigen Klasse im US-Marinetützpunkt Pearl Harbor
the Japanese submarine JDS Oyashio (SS 590) to the class of the same name in the US-Marinetützpunkt Pearl Harbor

many states possess military submarines, exact data over the numbers are however often secret.

The strength of submarines opposite surface ships lies in the fact that it hides operates and can be only heavily discovered.

Since submarines are not optically detectable,because the sea in larger depths is dark and radar under water does not function, they can be located on larger distances only acoustically, on short distances also by the heating up of the water by the drive or a distortion of the magnetic fieldby the steel covering.

Therefore with the construction it is particularly made certain that a submarine is as quiet as possible. This is made possible by a streamlined bottom structure and particularly formed marine propellers.

tasks and kinds of submarines

the originalTask of submarines was it to fight surface ships. In this role the submarines in both world wars attained their meaning. With beginning of the nuclear age two further major tasks were added: Strategic submarines were equipped with nuclear rockets and served the nuclear deterrence. In addition, they formed a part of the Erstschlagkapazität in such a way specified, could to the secondary impact capacity be counted, which should survive an opposing attack on the own country and be available for a counterstroke. Became simultaneous the hunt for opposing strategic submarinesspecial hunt submarines develops. For both tasks one used primarily, but not exclusive, nuclear-powered submarines. In recent time hunt submarines with non-nuclear, outside air-independent drive were developed. At the German navy and unite allied become at present boats with in Germanydeveloped gas cells - drive procures. In the German navy there is the submarines of the class 212, which are activated gradually.

Apart from these classical tasks the clearing-up with submarines at meaning won. Due to their ability, ungesehento operate and with acoustic sensors very far to horchen, submarines straight in scenarios can collect important realizations underneath the threshold of open conflicts. A further special task is the use of combat floats from the submarine. Both tasks can of conventional orspecial submarines to be noticed.

One can differentiate different types from military or civilian submarines, depending on which purpose and which order come to the respective submarine. Since submarines are predominantly militarily used today however, the portion outweighs in the following listthe various militarily used submarine types:

  • Nuclear-powered submarines can put long distances back and are often very large (up to 35.000 tons of displacement).
  • Strategic missile submarines (SSBN) served the nuclear deterrence (see Ohio class and Vanguard class). First submarines of this kind resulted from changesof attack submarines (see. U.S.S. Washington class). First planning still went on the German A4-Raketen and/or. that prepared employment of American V1-Nachbauten against Japan back. In the course of the disarmament there were considerations, some boats for conventional guided missiles and/or. the transport ofTo use special forces.
  • Attack submarines/hunt submarines (also tactical submarines) are usually armed with torpedoes, in order to attack other ships or submarines. Besides they can also with cruise missiles for the attack on land goals or worthwhile surface targets (like carrier combat teams (CVBG)) equippedits. They exist with a multiplicity of drive forms. Atomically driven hunt submarines serve the fight of opposing submarines. Hunt submarines represent the most effective weapon against submarines with ballistic rockets, since these operate often dipped under the ice. In addition the sensor range is more dippedSubmarines far more largely than of surface ships or airplanes. Hunt submarines are characterised particularly by their high speed. Thus belong the Russian Alfa class - submarines probably to the fastest existing submarines.
  • Supplying submarines and/or. Submarine tanker (the Second World War): Task of these boats was it in the Second World War to supply other submarines on lake with supply (milk cows). The large, in addition, ponderous boats were an easy goal and, so far still intact, soon were differently used.
  • Submarinesubmarine submarines: They became only in firstWorld war begun the only and assigned submarinesubmarine submarines per built, which belonged to a civilian shipping company, were the U “Germany” and U “Oldenburg”. In the Second World War only military submarines of the type IX D became, the so-called. Monsoon boats, which operated in the Indian ocean,load for the return journey to Germany in Penang with india rubber, tungsten, tin, Chinin and Opium. They broke through the allied sea-blockade. Existed in the 70's plans to use large submarines for the arctic crude oil transport. Smaller submarines become today also for thatDrug smuggling uses.
  • Minecasually: In the Second World War specialized submarines were used as minecasual (pit mines). Today this function becomes over the torpedo pipes and/or. special outside mine belts guaranteed.
  • U-cruisers became in the First World War and in intermediate wartime for the economic war after Prize regulation develops. They were armed therefore beside torpedoes also with strong artillery, carried ship's boats and even observation airplanes. The largest submarine before the Second World War, the French Surcouf, was such a U-cruiser. Airplanes served on Japanese submarines for the investigationlarge areas, plans for the bombardment of the Panama channel existed in the Second World War by 6 Seiran of airplanes of the submarines I-400 and I-401, were not implemented however, since the two submarines were operational only in the early summer 1945. The little successful fleet submarines were primarily to built riding along with Dampfantrieb emerged in the federation of the regular fleet.
  • Coastal submarines are built usually smaller and thus more agilely. They operate primarily with conventional drive in the range of the continental shelf.
  • Other military tasks of submarine:
    • Clearing-up: Coastal clearing-up, clearing-upwith dragging rising up nut runner (wagtail) and/or. On-board airplane (S. o.)
    • development: Testing of new techniques, see. U.S.S. Albacore, the German walter boats and the French Gymnote
    • transport: Combat float, manned torpedoes, supplying means, courier services etc.
    • Rescue: Rescue or salvage of had an accident submarine crews


Periskop auf einem U-Boot
periscopeon a submarine

for the Überwasserfahrt submarines have today radar.

For orientation, if the submarine swims scarcely under the water surface, a periscope can be driven out, with which the environment over water can be explored.

Under water a submarine can other ships only acoustically locate. This can passively over Hydrophone (underwater microphones) or over sonar happens actively, whereby the submarine betrays its position with the sonar.

Passive sonar systems can also at several hundred meters long cables as dragging sonar so mentioned(English. Towed array) behind the submarine to be pulled. This brings some pro in addition, cons with itself. Thus the sensitivity of the passive sonar becomes larger substantially, since on the one hand substantially more Hydrophone at the trailing cable can be attached, and on the other hand the distancefor the drive of the submarine reduces the interferences. This leads to a significantly increased sensitivity, which ensures a increased hearing CH range and bearing accuracy. A disadvantage of the dragging sonar exists in its length (some up to over a half kilometer long) and its weight. ThoseManeuverability of the submarine is limited thereby and likewise the speed, whereby the latter smaller problem is, since the dragging sonar is used anyway only in slow travel or creeping travel. The catching up duration of the dragging sonar depends on the length of the cable andcan last quite longer than one minute, what in critical situations however already to “for a long time” can be. Fast if the speed must be introduced be increased in a crisis situation, a close turning maneuver or changed the submerged depth rapidly, nothing else often remains,as the dragging sonar to caps.


passive protection

U-Boot-Bunker an der Adria in Albanien
shelter to the Adria in Albania

fundamental apply, that a submarine all the so with difficulty locate be, the small and quiet it be. Diesel electric claimant submarineshave therefore in the dipped condition often advantages opposite the substantially larger nuclear-powered submarines. The main advantage of nuclear-powered submarines are its perseverance and speed. High speeds reduce however the sensor range substantially and increase the noise level. Additionally the high temperature of the reactor causes numerousProblems. With modern nuclear reactors the cooling can be managed alone by convection with small power output. Otherwise cooling water pumps are necessary, which noises produce, which reproduce themselves over the hull in the water and to be located there are. The waste heat from thatCooling water by nuclear reactors is to be located even by satellites. A further possibility of absorbing the inherent noises of a submarine consists of it, all machines on a freerunning developing rubber-stored platform in order to decrease so the Geräuschübertragung on the remaining hull. Particularly formedPropellers provide for a minimization of cavitation noises.

Apart from the absorption of the inherent noises also measures are used, which are to make the detection more difficult by hostile sonar. Thus absorbs a Grandpa in covering, one approx. 4 mm thick rubber coating, the sound schallrückstrahlung in the frequency bandbetween 10 and 18 kHz up to 15%. The effect of the protective agent depends strongly thereby on Salzgehalt, air content and temperature of the water.

active Ortungschutz, active counter measures

a protective agent exists in discharging decoys (“Bolden"). A decoy is a float, the calcium hydrides (CaH 2) contains and by the submarine to be discharged can. It floats in the water and produces thereby hydrogen blisters,
CaH 2 + 2 H 2 O = approx. (OH) 2 + 2 H 2
for the sonar detection the dummy target to pretend are, behind which the endangered submarine can run off. Another means is discharging or Nachschleppen decoys, those the noises of the submarine and/or. its drive imitate and so approaching torpedoes into thoseErr to lead are.

Against flying submarine hunters are in the meantime torpedo-tubingstarted missiles in the development and/or. in the employment, similarly for instance to the earlier Flak. Over the possible future employment of “intelligent” torpedoes as long-range mines, as current breakdown bodies, as mine clearing, communication and/or.Can be just as only speculated to reconnaissance equipments as upon the employment of rocket-powered “cavitation blister torpedoes” also against opposing torpedoes.


communication with dipped submarines is very problematic. Excluding the superpowers have few data between submarines the technology, andTo exchange airplanes over large distances, as both very long antennas pull behind itself. In order to exchange large data sets, submarines are forced to approach the water surface and to penetrate them with conventional antenna towers. This again facilitates its detection. Attempts, the communication problemby satellite-based lasers to solve, after the end of the cold war were probably given up. With a dipped submarine to communicate is nearly impossible, since only extremely long-wave radio signals can penetrate the water. The USA use extremely high performance very long wave transmitters with frequencies in order 20 kHz, in order to send messages to dipped boats. The data rate is extremely small. Only some indications per hour can be transmitted. The submarine is mostly requested thereby for calling up messages by the satellite. Longer messages toSubmarine are stored and downloaded on a satellite (within seconds!), if the boat pulls an antenna wire scarcely under the sea surface behind itself. Otherwise there is for a dipped submarine still the possibility, a radio buoy with the stored message ascends tooleave, which is then sent for example to a satellite. That is the usual procedure with emergency situations, in which the boat sank on the sea-bottom and assistance is needed from the outside.

Over very short distances acoustic underwater telephones can (Gertrude) to the employment come. In addition information can be exchanged by sonar in the form of Morse - messages. With civilian dipping boats it often offers itself to fall back to an interwiring.


torpedo are the most well-known weapon of military submarines.In addition, from the torpedo pipes of modern submarines missiles can be started. The most usual principle here is it to stow a missile away, which can be started also by surface ships, into a cylindrical container. This container leaves the submarine on the sameWay like a torpedo and breaks through the water surface; afterwards it releases the missile. Such missiles are used predominantly against ships. In addition, there is missile (z. B. the American ASROC), which lead torpedo with itself,against opposing submarines to be used can. Thereby substantially larger ranges are reached, as if the opposing submarine was fired at directly with torpedoes.

Also cruise missiles against land goals can be started from torpedo pipes. However they are fired predominantly from senkrechten silos,in order to have not to reduce the number of carried torpedoes.

Ballistic missiles are started in principle from senkrechten pits, since they have substantially larger diameters than torpedoes.

Modern submarines do not have surface armament or hardly (different air defense rocket starters z. B. to the installation inthe tower exist), since they operate exclusively under the water surface. The fact that submarines nearly against antisubmarine chase - helicopters and - to defend to be able, it does not cause itself airplanes (see ASW) the development of air defense weapons, which are applicable from dipped submarines. Operational one Technologies are however not well-known.

rescue means

such as disasters, as with the Thresher or the Kursk, show, come it again and again to accidents, even in times of peace. In order to save at least the crew, one developed different rescue means:

  • Rescue submarine: small, transportable and to a large extent self-sufficient submarines, which on the door of the suffered average submarine andocken and which evacuate crew. Predecessors were special sealing cones. Diver and/or. Armoring also devices and underwater robots support the employment.
  • Life buoy:the misfortune place ascends and from the wreck, marksmade possible over the buoy rope the anchorage of lifting witnesses.
  • Rettungskapsel: A larger life buoy, in which the crew place finds. It serves after the ascent as liferaft.
  • Escape gear:The mixture from oxygen mask and life jacket makes possible after passing a door air-lock or a door collar(that flooding the submarine makes necessary) the emergency ascent to approx. 100 meters depth of water (with small submarines often the only emergency route).
  • Other rescue measures: With water break-down waterproof Scots limit the water break-down. Emergency stop blisters (Emergency Blow) of the dipping cells and a dynamic emergency ascent toAre possibly still possible for surface.
  • Resus bottles: The hydrazine - gas generators, are modular developed, identical systems, which produce the work gas needed for blowing the dipping cells out on an electrical impulse by catalytic decomposition of the hydrazine. The launch facility of the “Resus” - systems knows manually and fullyautomatically as a function of a certain submerged depth to be operated.

submarines of the German Federal Armed Forces

the German navy as a armed service of the German Federal Armed Forces has - historically caused - only submarines with Diesel and with gas cell drive, not however over nuclear-powered submarines. Therethe tasks of the German navy in the NATO alliance at first were fixed on pure coastal monitoring, and as operation field only “flatten” Baltic Sea as well as the North Sea were applicable, were above all very small, quiet and not for large depths laid out submarines relevant.Therefore those played 24 submarines of the Federal Navy an important role at that time with the defense of the German and Danish Baltic Sea coast against amphibious landings of the marine ones Warsaw Pact during the time of the east west conflict. With changed political conditions have themselveshowever also changes the tasks of the German navy. The new boats with gas cell drive serve primarily the fight of other submarines and the unnoticed clearing-up and operate depending upon case of need world-wide. Became nevertheless so far on nuclear-powered submarines favour of the development of the gas cell submarinesdone without, there hereby, substantially improves an ultramodern and is present safer technology. The commanders of the German submarines are lieutenant commanders or captain second lieutenants.

civilian submarines

US-Forschungs-U-Boot Pisces IV wird von ihrem Versorgungsschiff herabgelassen
US research submarine Pisces IV by its supply ship one lets down
  • deep sea submarines like e.g. the Trieste servesResearch purposes and can dip substantially more deeply than military submarines. Usually they are designed around a spherical Druckkörper, battery operation and could not particularly fast to move itself. Their depth control often takes place via vertical screw drives.
  • Research submarines often become the systematic investigationthe bottoms of the sea or certain Meeresströmungen with archaeological, biological or geological order assigned or they act as search submarines (often unmanned), the objects on the sea-bottom to seek out and examine are (z. B. Wreck of the Titanic (see Alvin) or Bismarck).
  • Tourist submarinesare used, in order to open the underwater world for tourists. They possess large panorama windows and cannot therefore not very deeply dip (only few meters). Usually they are used in close proximity to reefs like z. B. on the Azores or that Kanari islands.
Dipping robots KRAKEN MAX ROVER
  • unmanned submarines (also dipping robots) serve particularly for the research and are usually equipped with cameras, often also with grab arms. They can dip extremely deeply and are substantially smaller than manned submarines, therethey no oxygen supply and no passengers to transport must.
  • other civilian tasks:
    • Rescue: Salvage or rescue of had an accident submarine crews
    • repair/maintenance: Repair or maintenance of certain objects under water such as z. B. Pipelines, offshore construction works, underwater stations or - cables becomeoften by special repair submarines implemented, those over for it necessary devices/tools such as z. B. Grab arms, welding sets, wrench etc. order. Frequently for this also dipping robots are used.


  • Ulrich Gabler: Building of submarines, Berne pool of broadcasting corporations & Graefe publishing house, ISBN 3-763-75958-1
  • Jeffrey Tall: Submarines and deep sea vehicles, new emperor Verlag, 2002, ISBN 3-704-39016-X
  • Florian Lipsky & Stefan Lipsky: Fascination submarine. Museum of submarines from all world, charcoal burner publishing house 2000, ISBN 3-78220-792-0
  • Eminio Bagnasco: U-Boote im 2. World war - technique class types, a comprehensive encyclopedia,Engine book publishing house Stuttgart, ISBN 3-61301-252-9
  • Eberhard Rössler: History of the German building of submarines volume 1+2, 1996, ISBN 3-86047-153-8
  • David Miller: German submarines until 1945. A comprehensive overview, engine book publishing house Stuttgart, bound expenditure, ISBN 3-72767-134-3
  • Klaus Herold: The Kieler fire diver/William Bauersfirst dipping boat - results of an investigation., Publishing house Berne pool of broadcasting corporations & Graefe, ISBN 3-76375-918-2
  • hitting a corner pool of broadcasting corporations Wetzel: U 995 - The submarine of Laboe/the type VIIC - development and technology/the submarine war 1939-1945, engine book publishing house Pietsch, ISBN 3-61302-425-X
  • smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Garret: Submarines,To Manfred Pawlak publishing house, 1977

see also

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