100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

First Torpedo Launched From A Submarine

Submarines were conceive in the mid-19th century and primitive models saw battle during the US Civil War. By the turn of the century navies around the world were developing or buying self-powered steam and combustible submarines for their naval fleets. The Holland submersibles built by Irish designer John Philip Holland in 1900 were put into service by the navies of Great Britain, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Several of each of them were retained in both the Imperial Russian and Japanese Navies during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-1905.

In 1910 Greece ordered a submarine built in France. The DELFIN was constructed in the Toulon shipyards along with its sister ship, XIFIAS. Its first captain together with the 17-man crew were sent to France to receive their training. It was delivered to the Royal Hellenic Navy in France just before the outbreak of the First Balkan War. The DELFIN was ordered home and it sailed from Toulon to Corfu, Greece in October 1912. This unescorted, non-stop journey of 1,100 miles set a world record. In November 1912 the DELFIN began patrolling outside the Dardanelles.On December 9, 1912 the DELFIN encountered the Ottoman light cruiser MECIDIYE sailing out of the Dardanelles on a scouting mission. The DELFIN launched a torpedo against MECIDIYE from a distance of 800 meters. The torpedo broke surface and passed by the ship failing to hit it. This is the first recorded launch of a torpedo in battle.

The Ottoman cruiser MECIDIYE

The Ottoman cruiser MECIDIYE

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