September 7 - 1776 - The Turtle Becomes the First Submarine Used in War
The Turtle was the very first submarine to engage in combat in war when it attacked the HMS Eagle, Admiral Richard Howe's flagship. That statement makes the Turtle seem much more grand than it actually was in reality. It was a little ball that could only stay under water for a half hour. The basic plan of attack was to place the Turtle next to the ship it was attacking and plant a small bomb. The problem was that the Turtle was not easy to steer, and in its initial mission was conducted by Sergeant Ezra Lee, who had only operated the craft a few times. Nonetheless, the Turtle receives the place of primacy among combat submarines.