Peter Holt: The Resurgam Submarine: ‘A Project for Annoying the Enemy’: Archaeopress Publishing Ltd., Oxford, 2017, 118 p, 49 Illustrations, £18 (Paperback), ISBN: 978-1-78491-582-7

James W. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The discovery of the nineteenth-century prototype submarine Resurgam in October 1995 solved the riddle of its final resting place, a mystery that had lingered since its loss off the north coast of Wales in February 1880. Resurgam was the brainchild of George Garrett, an English curate from Manchester with a keen interest in underwater breathing apparatus, and a desire to develop a working submarine that would capture the attention of the British Admiralty. Garrett developed two prototypes for his submarine: the first, nicknamed the Curate’s Egg, was a hand-powered proof-of-concept model crewed by a single individual, while the second—Resurgam—was powered by an innovative ‘fireless’ steam engine and required three crewmen for its successful operation. Following a brief trial in protected waters and a longer inaugural voyage in the open sea in less-than-ideal weather conditions, Resurgam embarked on a voyage from the Welsh port of Rhyl to Portsmouth, where it was to undergo Admiralty trials. The submarine took on water while being towed during inclement weather and foundered. In the wake of its loss, Resurgam was largely forgotten, but the discovery of its wreck site offered the unique opportunity to learn more about a remarkable craft for which very little historical information exists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-432
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Maritime Archaeology
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Book review
  • maritime history
  • maritime archaeology
  • Peter Holt
  • George Garrett
  • Resurgam
  • submarine
  • prototype submarine
  • nineteenth-century prototype submarine Resurgam
  • Underwater breathing apparatus

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