SILENT KILLERS - SUBMARINES AND UNDERWATER WARFARE
The premise and promise of the submarine as a means to reach Earth's last frontier, the depths of the ocean, has grasped public attention for hundreds of years, and in the last century the potential of the submarine as an instrument of war has increasingly commanded the attention of military minds. From hand-cranks, steam, electrical batteries and diesel to nuclear power, and from hand-set explosive charges to nuclear missiles, the submarine and the armaments it can deploy have made it the world's ultimate naval weapon. The earliest wooden submarines have given rise to modern, titanium-hulled, fast, deep-diving, and stealthy "silent killers" that can strike from anywhere in the world where there is deep water — even through thick Arctic ice. As an archaeologist with an interest in the role of technology in shaping society, I have long been fascinated by the development of the submarine.That interest has been honed by incredible experiences and opportunities to work with submarines. This has included archaeological and historical research into the Type A Japanese Midget submarines of the 1930s and 1940s and the detailed analysis of a misidentified Japanese submarine in the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia (US), said to be a sponge-diving craft but actually one of Japan's top secret prewar prototypes for its Midget submarine force.
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