NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
2nd October, 1901: There was marked lack of ceremony when Britain’s first submarine was launched at Barrow today. The 63-foot Holland Class submarine carries torpedoes but, although the Americans have tested them, there is considerable doubt in the Admiralty as to what use they may be. An Admiralty memorandum has noted: “What the future value of these boats may be in naval warfare can only be a matter of conjecture”. The submarine is powered by a petrol engine while on the surface where she can reach nine knots. When submerged an electric motor, running off batteries, allows her to make seven knots for up to four hours.
[ The boat missed her further chance of historical glory: “On 24 October 1904, with the rest of the Holland fleet and three A-class boats, Holland 1 sailed from Portsmouth to attack a Russian fleet that had sunk a number of British fishing vessels in the North Sea in the Dogger Bank incident. /Fog of Chaos – October memories/ The boats were recalled before any attack could take place.”]