Hunley Video 2011 National Geographic: Secret Weapon Of The Confederacy

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Barrycdog

Major
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Location
Buford, Georgia
I was watching the 2011 Hunley Video


I was curious about a few things. First in the video they shared about how the view ports may have been penetrated by rifle fire. They illustrated how most of the boat was cast iron put parts like the ports was wrought iron. Was wrought iron a more malleable or easier shaped metal to use in these areas? I remember reading in one of Ragan's books about the Housatonic's log about when the first saw the boat and at one point they thought it was a porpoise and then they saw the boat. I also thought they tried to stop them by lowering a large net into the water. I didn't see the details in the video. The anchor discovery was interesting. I remember also reading an account of how Hunley and crew died in an earlier accident where Lt. Payne had stepped on the diving planes and caused the boat to submerge. They said the bodies had a horrific look because the water rushed in and drowned them so quickly. The bodies in this case were all at their station with no signs of a struggle at all. I also noticed they used the gBI Forensics dept and other universities. All very interesting.
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
First in the video they shared about how the view ports may have been penetrated by rifle fire.

Theory, not directly substantiated by physical evidence.

They illustrated how most of the boat was cast iron put parts like the ports was wrought iron. Was wrought iron a more malleable or easier shaped metal to use in these areas?

I think that's reversed; the basic hull plates were wrought (or rolled) plate, while the ends of the hull and hatches were cast. Cast iron can be made into more complex shapes than wrought.

I also thought they tried to stop them by lowering a large net into the water.

Don't recall that. They didn't have much time to organize anything.

I remember also reading an account of how Hunley and crew died in an earlier accident where Lt. Payne had stepped on the diving planes and caused the boat to submerge.

This was the first sinking at Fort Johnson. The cause of the sinking is not clear, although some accounts do blame Lt. Payne.

They said the bodies had a horrific look because the water rushed in and drowned them so quickly. The bodies in this case were all at their station with no signs of a struggle at all.

Expired Image Removed
I kinda roll my eyes at the "no signs of a struggle" bit because what they found was -- to be blunt -- clusters of bones. They were regularly spaced along the bottom of the boat, but in reality there was no space for the men to move past one another inside the boat. I personally believe that the "no signs of a struggle/they drifted off to sleep" stuff is partly wishful thinking because the alternative is ghastly.

Have they made any more recent discoveries?

Torpedo.jpg

The big discovery was the announcement early in 2013 that the copper mounting sleeve of the torpedo was still attached to the iron spar. This sleeve matches a contemporary drawing of a 135 lb. torpedo said to have been used on the boat, apparently confirming that a MUCH larger explosive charge was used than previously believed. The presence of the sleeve on the spar also indicates that Hunley did not jab the torpedo into Housatonic's hull and then back off before detonating it, as widely depicted, but that the torpedo went off on contact, as little as sixteen feet away from Hunley's hull. The archaeologist said that this suggests very strongly that the boat was fatally damaged and/or the crew incapacitated by the blast.


HunleyCutawayWhite01.jpg
 
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