For those wishing to investigate in greater depth the fascinating challenges associated with submarine design, I have included a short bibliography of references that were most useful in my development of the Nautilus and should prove accessible to the general reader. The list includes some older titles, seldom referenced in modern design, but they provide insight into the difficulties of early submarine construction and the nascent approaches taken to address them. Not only is this relevant to the Nautilus, but it also allows us to appreciate the prescience of Jules Verne. It is also true that the field of submarine design has increasingly become classified and thus not within the public realm. Nonetheless, these sources should be sufficient to launch your design ambitions.


Alden, John (Commander). The Fleet Submarine in the U.S. Navy: A Design and Construction History. United States Na- val Institute. Annapolis, MD. 1979.

Allmendinger, Eugene. Submersible Vehicle System Design. The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

Jersey City, NJ. 1990.

Burcher, Roy & Louis Rydill. Concepts in Submarine Design. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1994. Burgoyne, Alan H. Submarine Navigation Past and Present. Grant Richards, London and E.P. Dutton and Company,

New York. 1903.

Busby, Frank. Manned Submersibles. Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy. 1976.

Cable, Frank T. The Birth and Development of the American Submarine. Harper and Brothers, New York, NY. 1924. Corbin, Thomas W. The Romance of Submarine Engineering. J.B. Lippencott Co. Philadelphia. 1913.

Daniels, R.J. The End of an Era: Memoirs of a Naval Constructor. Periscope Publishing LTD. Cornwall, UK. © 2003. Friedman, Norman. Submarine Design and Development. Conway Maritime Press Limited, London, UK, 1984.

Gabler, Ulrich. Submarine Design. Bernard & Graefe, Koblenz, Germany. 1986.

Hay, Marley F. Secrets of the Submarine. Dodd, Mead and Company, Inc. New York, NY. 1917.

Hoar, Allen. The Submarine Torpedo Boat, Its Characteristics and Modern Development. D. Van Nostrand Company. New York, NY. 1916.

Hovgaard, G.W. Submarine Boats. E.&F. Spon, 125, Strand, London. 1887.

Kormilitsin, Y.N. and O.A. Khalizev. The Theory of Submarine Design. St. Petersburg Maritime Technical University.

St. Petersburg. 2001.

Largess, Robert P. and James L. Madelblatt. U.S.S. Albacore Forerunner of the Future. The Portsmouth Marine Society. Portsmouth, NH. 1999.

Manstan, Roy R. and Frederic J. Frese. Turtle: David Bushell’s Revolutionary Vessel. Westholme Publishing. Yardley, PA. 2010.

Morris, Richard K. John P. Holland, Inventor of the Modern Submarine. United States Naval Institute. Annapolis, MD.


Renilson, Martin. Submarine Hydrodynamics. Springer International Publishing. 2015.

Sueter, Murray F. The Evolution of the Submarine Boat, Mine and Torpedo. Gieve’s, Matthews and Seagrove, Ltd. The Hard, Portsmouth. 1907.

Weir, Gary. Building American Submarines, 1914-1940. University Press of the Pacific. Honolulu, HI. 2000.

Weir, Gary. Forged in War: The Naval-Industrial Complex and American Submarine Construction 1940-1961.” Navy Historical Center, Department of the Navy. 1993.

Zim, Herbert S. Submarines, The Story of Undersea Boats. Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, NY. 1942.


Andersen Poul, Jens J. Kappel, and Eugen Spangenberg. “Aspects of Propeller Development for Submarines.” Pre- sented at the First International Symposium on Marine Propulsors, Trondheim, Norway, June 2009.

Arentzen, E.S. and Philip Mandel. “Naval Architectural Aspects of Submarine Design. “Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, November 17-18, 1960, New York, NY.

Bedell, C. H. “The Submarine.” Universal Engineer Vol XXXV, pp. 17-25. January 1922.

Benford, Harry. “In Tribute to Riveted Ships.” Presented to the Great Lakes & Great Rivers Section, Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers. 24 September 2009.

Brown, D. K. “Submarine Pressure Hull Design and Diving Depth Between the Wars.” Warship International, No. 3, 1987.

Dallinger, J. Frederick and J.E. McGill. “Submarine High-Pressure Air System.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, November 15-16, 1962, New York, NY.

French, Peter D. “The Role of Diesel Engines in Early Submarine Development.” USMC Command and Staff Col- lege. Quantico, VA. 2010.

Gertler, Morton. “Resistance experiments on a systematic series of streamlined bodies of revolution—for appli- cation to the design of high-speed submarines.” DTMB Report C-297, Naval Ship Research and Development Centre, Washington D.C., April 1950.

Hay, Marley. “The Design of Submarines.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, November 18-19, 1909, New York, NY.

Hitchcock, Peter Winston. “Intelligent Whale: A Historical and Archaeological Analysis of an American Civil War Submersible.”

“Interim Report of the Panel on the Hydrodynamics of Submerged Bodies, 7 November 1949.” Naval Studies Board Archives, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.

Jackson, Harry A. “Fundamentals of Submarine Concept Design.” SNAME Transactions, Vol. 100, 1992, pp. 419-448. Johnson, David. “A Visual Guide to the S-class Submarines Part I.” June, 2011 and “A Visual Guide to U.S. Fleet

Submarines Part II and III” 2010 & 2012.

Joubert, P. N. “Some Aspects of Submarine Design Part 1—Hydrodynamics, and Part 2—Shape of Submarine.” Defense Science and Technology Organisation Technical Report DSTO-TR-1622, October 2004 and December 2006.

Hemsley, R. “HVAC Considerations for Small SSK Submarine Design.” BMT Defense Services Ltd. Bath, UK. 2015. Land, E.S. “Submarine Hulls.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engi-

neers, November 15-16, 1917, New York, NY.

MacKay, John. “Structural Analysis and Design of Pressure Hulls: the State of the Art and Future Trends.” Defense R&D Canada Technical Memorandum. October 2007.

McGill, J.E. “The Design of Air Conditioning and Ventilation Systems for Nuclear Submarines.” Presented at the New England section of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, January 1959.

McKee, Andrew Irwin. “Recent Submarine Design Practices and Problems.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, November 12-13, 1959, New York, NY.

Pohler, C. H., A. A. Bernent, D. S. Wilson, and W. A. Skinner. “Submarine Main Ballast Tanks—Theory and Met-

hods for Refined Structural Design.” Marine Technology, April 1969.

Robertson, I. M. “Analytical Calculations of Fatigue Loading of Submarine Hulls.” MRL Technical Report. Victoria, Australia. 1990.

Stachiw, J.D. and J. R. McKay. “Windows for External or Internal Hydrostatic Pressure Vessels—Part VII.” Techni- cal Report R773. Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory. Port Hueneme, CA. August 1972.

Torkelson, Kai Oscar. “Comparative Naval Architectural Analysis of Diesel Submarines.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 2005.

Wilgenhof, J.D., J.J. Conesa Giménez, and J. García Peláez. “Performance of Ballast Tank Blowing System.” Present- ed at the Undersea Defense Technology Conference, Cartagena, Spain. 2011.


“System Certification Procedures and Criteria Manual for Deep Submergence Systems,” Revision

A (SS800-AG-MAN-010/P-9290). Naval Sea Systems Command, Department of the Navy. Washington, D.C. 1988.

“Rules for Classification and Construction, Naval Ship Technology, Sub-Surface Ships,”

Germanischer Lloyd Aktiengesellschaft. Hamburg. 2008.

“Rules for the Classification of Naval Submarines.” Bureau Veritas. Neuilly sur Seine

Cedex, France. September 2016


The Fleet Type Submarine, NAVPERS 16160.

Available at:

19th Century Submarine Development Bibliography

The history of the submarine, from a practical standpoint, is largely a 20th-century story. Not unlike the airplane, it is a technology that came of age in the crucible of the First World War, attained lethal maturity in the Second World War, and then experienced a major technological disruption that re-invented it in its modern form. In the case of aviation, that revolutionary innovation was the jet engine, for submarines it was nuclear power. But the lesser-known story of submarine development prior to its official adoption by French and American navies at the turn of the century is a fascinating story of creativity spurred by the imagination and wars of a different era. The following sources offer rich rewards to those interested in undertaking this exploration.

Baird, G.W. “Submarine Torpedo Boats.” Naval Engineers Journal. August 1902.

Barber, F.M. “Lecture on Submarine Boats and Their Application to Torpedo Operations.” U.S. Torpedo Station, Newport Rhode Island. 1875.

Barnes, J.S. Submarine Warfare Offensive and Defensive. Van Nostrand. New York, NY. 1869. Bishop, Farnham. The Story of the Submarine. The Century Company, New York, NY. 1916.

Bushnell, David. “General Principles and Construction of a Sub-marine Vessel.” Transactions of the American Phil- osophical Society 4. Philadelphia, PA. 1799.

Burgoyne, Alan H. Submarine Navigation Past and Present. 2 vols. E.P. Dutton and Company, New York. 1903. Corbin, Thomas W. The Romance of Submarine Engineering. J.B. Lippencott Co. Philadelphia. 1913.

Delgado, James P. Misadventures of a Civil War Submarine: Iron, Guns, and Pearls. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX. © 2012.

Field, Cyril. The Story of the Submarine From the Earliest Ages to the Present Day. J.B. Lippencott Co. Philadelphia. 1908. Forest, F. and H. Noalhat. Les Bateaux Sous-Marines Historique. Ch. Dunod, Editor. Paris, France. 1900.

Fulton, Robert. Torpedo War, and Submarine Explosions. William Elliot. New York, NY. 1810. Fyfe, Herbert C. Submarine Warfare, Past and Present. E. Grant Richards, London, UK. 1907.

Gaget, M. La Navigation Sous-Marine Généralités et Historique. Librairie Polytechnique. Paris, France. 1901. González, Agustín Ramón Rodríguez. Isaac Peral: Historia de una Frustración. Ayuntamiento de Cartegena. 1993. Hennebert, Eugène. Les Torpilles. Librairie Hachette Et Cie. Paris, France. 1888.

Hicks, Brian. Sea of Darkness: Unraveling the Mysteries of the HL Hunley. Spry Publishing. Ann Arbor, MI. 2014. Hovgaard, G.W. Submarine Boats. E.&F.N. Spon. London, UK. 1887.

Laubeuf, M. Sous Marins et Submersibles. Librairie Delagrave. Paris, France. 1915.

Manstan, Roy R. and Frederic J. Frese. Turtle: David Bushell’s Revolutionary Vessel. Westholme Publishing. Yardley, PA. 2010.

Melville, George W. “The Submarine Boat: Its Promises and Performances.” The North American Review. Vol CLXXII, No. 533. April 1901.

Monturiol, Narciso. Ensayo Sobre El Arte de Navegar Por Debajo del Agua. Barcelona. 1891.

Morris, Richard K. John P. Holland, Inventor of the Modern Submarine. USNI. Annapolis, MD. 1966.

Parsons, William Barclay. Robert Fulton and the Submarine. Columbia University Press. New York, NY. 1922. Pesce, G. L. La Navigation Sous-Marine. Librairie de Sciences Generales. Paris. 1897.

Ragan, Mark K. Submarine Warfare in the Civil War. Da Capo Press. Cambridge, MA. 1999.

Roland, Alex. Underwater Warfare in the Age of Sail. Indiana University Press. Bloomington, IN. 1978. Sleeman, C. Torpedoes and Torpedo Warfare. Griffin & Co. Portsmouth, UK. 1889.

Sonrel, L. The Bottom of the Sea. Translated by Elihu Rich. Scribner, Armstrong & Co. New York, NY. 1872.

Stewart, Matthew. Monturiol’s Dream: The Extraordinary Story of the Submarine Inventor Who Wanted to Save the World.

Pantheon Books. New York, NY. 2003.