Spoils of War: The Experimental Cruise of the Intelligent Whale
Created | Updated Aug 9, 2015
We disagree with the name of this 1872 submarine.
Real whales are much too intelligent to get involved in this folderol.
The Experimental Cruise of the Intelligent Whale
The Intelligent Whale was built at Newark in 1872 from the designs of Mr. Halstead. Its novel features were two doors in the bottom through which divers could leave the boat when submerged. On one occasion, the boat went down in 16 feet of water and General Sweeney, clad in a diver's suit, passed out through the bottom manhole, placed a torpedo under a scow anchored there for the purpose, and after entering the baot and moving away to a safe distance, exploded the torpedo by a lanyard and friction primer, and blew the scow to pieces.
From Submarine Warfare, Past, Present, and Future, by Herbert C. Fyfe, London, 1902.
We refuse to comment, other than to wonder what the scow had done to offend General Sweeney. This book is full of lovely anecdotes about 'submarine boats' in Britain, all the way back, too. There was a really cool story about some guy who was using his to win 'bettes' in Great Yarmouth back in 1774. Frankly, it's a must-read for the seagoing h2g2er.